DiSC - Interaction Between Styles: D (Dominant) with S (Steady)

Posted by Bill Harshman on

In today’s blog, we look at someone with the primary style of D (Dominant) interacting with an individual whose primary style is S (Steady).

As a D, you thrive on Results, Action, and Challenge.  To you, others with the S style may appear:

  • Soft-spoken
  • Easy going
  • Patient
  • Team Player
  • Calm
  • Good listener

The S values cooperation and friendly interaction.  The S is motivated by providing support, maintaining stability, enjoying collaboration.  NOTE:  When it comes to PACE and PRIORITY, the D and the S share very little.  The S has a more moderate, reserved pace as compared to the faster, more active PACE of the D.  The S has a people, accepting PRIORITY as compared to the task, questioning PRIORITY of the D.  As such, interaction between these two styles requires what is referred to as “stretch”.  If you can picture the 4-quadrant DiSC model, the D is located farthest away/across from the S (versus the neighboring C or i).

Suppose you work with an S.  That person seems calm and somewhat compliant and is always patient and eager to help.  The S is usually well-liked and can always be counted on to perform the job consistently.  Not likely to shake things up with daring ideas or push others to achieve like the D tends to do.  However, with your D focus on tangible outcome and results, you may become frustrated by the S’s concern about everyone’s happiness and may find them overly cautious.

To the D, the S may seem more concerned with including everyone.  While the D is outspoken, the S is focused on group harmony.  When the D needs to be more effective with the S style, consider the following strategies:

  • Provide a safe environment so they feel comfortable speaking up when something is bothering them
  • Show concern for their feelings rather than just pushing ahead for results
  • Be proactive in seeking their ideas and opinions

 DiSC® Humor:  D with S Road Trip:

The D gets in the car and says, “I’ll drive”.

The S gets in the car and says, “Do you have what you need?  I think I packed what you requested.  But don’t worry, if you think of something else, we can stop and I’ll grab it.  I just want everything to go smoothly and for us to have a good time”. 

The D thinks quietly …”It’ll be fine.  Quit worrying”. 

So what?  Why is this important?  Because to a D, people with an S style may seem soft-spoken, trusting, indecisive, and unassertive.  By having a slightly deeper understanding about their nature, the D is better able to acknowledge, respect, and reflect behavior(s) which are more effective, support problem solving, and help deal with tension if/when it arrives.

As a D, I hope this provides more insight into your style AND/OR the S styles in your world and develops a broader understanding as to “what makes for successful interaction.”  As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DISC is understanding your and others’ styles and then using that knowledge for improved interactions.

If you would like a live, complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to info@traininglocation.com.  If you’d like to purchase the DiSC®, visit DISC Classic or Everything DISC at our website.  And, check out our products from The Ken Blanchard Companies as well.


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