More about the "D" (Dominant) Style - Stress & Motivation

Posted by Bill Harshman on

In this series of blogs, you have learned increasingly more about the four styles of DISC (Dominant, Influence, Steady, and Conscientious).  Now that we have the basics of PACE & PRIORITY behind us, I’d like to dive a little deeper into each styles' Stressors and Motivators.  Today’s deeper dive blog is about the “D” (Dominant).  I always refer to our PACE & PRIORITY model.  We know that the “D” is a faster, active PACE and a more task-oriented PRIORITY.  I’d also like to add some other descriptors to your understanding here of the general “D” style:  direct, firm, strong-willed, and forceful.  Along those lines, “D’s” are about 1) getting results, 2) taking action, and 3) presenting a challenge. 

 DiSC:  Stress & Motivation of the D Style   

Stressors:  Different people may find different aspects of their lives (especially work) stressful.  Because “D’s” tend to focus on the result and achieving goals, they may find it particularly frustrating when their authority is challenged or feel they don’t have control over their own success.  Getting bogged down with tasks or procedures that “waste their time” can also cause irritation.

Aspects of a “D’s” work which can create stress include:

  • Adhering to strict rules or protocols
  • Following inefficient procedures or meeting structure
  • Having little independence or autonomy
  • Slowing down of pace
  • Dealing with others who don’t meet the “D’s” standards
  • Recurring tasks (timecards, gate entry procedures, mandatory meetings)
  • Providing attention to the emotional needs of others

Motivators:  On the flip side, “D’s” enjoy situations that allow them to take charge and have authority.  They prefer working in a high-energy environment and are often willing to do “whatever it takes” to get results.

 Aspects of a “D’s” work which can motivate include:

  • Implementing ideas
  • Having authority
  • Overcoming obstacles
  • Working in an innovative setting
  • Making key decisions
  • Getting things moving
  • Convincing others

I hope this helps provide more insight into your OR other “D’s” in your world and provides a broader understanding as to “what makes them tick”.  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 complimentary webinar (online) for your team or organization, please send an email to  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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