Understanding the "D" Style

Posted by Bill Harshman on

What follows is a series of individual blogs increasing your understanding of the four styles – ONE at a time.  The model is read like the quadrants of a clock, with the D beginning the range between 9 and 12.  The “I” follows, and so on to the “C” which occupies the 6 to 9 quadrant.  That part is not important.  And, frankly, I could start with any of the four styles.  However, for those of you who prefer models and symmetry, this should work for you.  I share the model with you here for reference ONLY. 


As referenced in a previous blog, the DISC is determined by two aspects:  PACE & PRIORITY.  In that blog, I used a car analogy.  The enlightened mechanic understands both the Lexus AND the Volkswagen.  What makes them skilled, is that they understand automobile technology regardless of the vehicle type.  With that knowledge, they can approach any situation (interaction) with improved results, versus being limited by understanding how ONLY one particular vehicle works.  SO, again I emphasize the DISC is about individual understanding of ALL styles (yours and others).  I tend to harp on this because much of the marketing out there features DISC as “personal” understanding and people interpret that to be “self” understanding.  While it IS that, it is equally about understanding others.  In other words, DISC is about understanding the preferences and tendencies of people.

As we move along, the caveat is that the four styles (respectively) will be referenced as the particular “preferred” style.  In other words, a “D” is a strong “D”, a “I” is a strong “I”, etc.  With these aspects in mind, this blog is about the “D” style which stands for Dominance.  This style has a generally faster pace, tends to be outspoken, and is generally questioning and skeptical (task-oriented vs people-oriented).   This style is further described as those who TEND to be direct, forceful, and active.  Other descriptors might include egocentric, direct, daring, domineering, demanding, forceful, risk-taker.  Their core needs include:  1) considering themselves strong enough to shape their own world, 2) the need to control the factors that influence my fate (successes and failures), 3) the need to be on top (to win), and 4) the need to be making progress and always moving forward.

If you have a higher/stronger D style:

Strengths as a co-worker may include:

  • Make decisions when others cannot
  • Confront tough issues or situations
  • Accept change as a personal challenge
  • Keep the team focused and on task

Limitations MAY include:

  • Coming across as unapproachable
  • Insensitivity to others
  • Impatience with others
  • Moving the team before it is ready

Improve effectiveness by:

  • Developing more patience
  • Toning down directness and asking more questions
  • Awareness of body language, seeming more approachable and offering encouragement in your conversations

As ALWAYS, the key to effectiveness through DISC is understanding your and others’ styles, 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 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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