How to hold your own working with a dominating personality

Nearly each group has that one dominant personality who’s motivated by profitable, competitors, and reaching outcomes. Whereas dominant personalities are sometimes seen as commanding and assured, their traits have a flip aspect. They’ll additionally grow to be obstinate, aggressive, and overly direct.

Take Gabe, a enterprise growth supervisor at a meals and beverage firm. Gabe was thought to be a “doer,” or somebody who’s outgoing and all the time up for a problem. He was decisive, by no means hesitated, and took quick motion to drive new gross sales. His demanding, assertive model landed the corporate new accounts, nevertheless it got here at a price. Gabe usually upset senior management when he circumvented authority so as to push by way of new procedures. He additionally tended to fixate on gross sales targets to the detriment of long-term consumer relationships.

Working with somebody like Gabe may be a problem, particularly when you’re on the other finish of the personality spectrum. A lot of my teaching shoppers, who have a tendency to be reserved, empathetic, people-oriented professionals, battle with dominant personalities. They discover their dominant colleagues’ controlling, demanding nature exhausting to deal with, and lots of of my shoppers have problem standing their floor within the face of the dominant sort’s sturdy will.


If this sounds acquainted, then you might end up questioning why your dominant colleagues do what they do and the way to discover peace in working with them. The nice factor is that you just don’t have to surrender being kindhearted and caring, if that’s your pure disposition. However if you need to achieve success in work life, then it’s important you be taught to work with personalities which are completely different than your own, together with dominant varieties.

Listed here are a few methods to adapt your model to work extra successfully with dominant personalities like Gabe.

Give attention to the “what”—not the “how”

Dominant personalities are task-oriented. They care about outcomes, not processes. When talking with them, concentrate on concrete, tangible info. Choose to make direct assertions or solutions fairly than approaching conversations as a brainstorming session. Speak about how your proposal impacts the underside line and the anticipated outcomes.

Skip the small speak

Dominant personalities function on urgency and respect effectivity. They’re the kind of colleague that it is best to skip pleasantries with and get straight to the purpose. For instance, omit phrases, comparable to “How are you?” or “I hope you’re doing properly,” from the beginning of your emails. Equally, leap proper into your assembly agenda, making certain you retain banter to a minimal.

Don’t waste their time rehashing occasions, repeating particulars, or build up to your level. Lead with your key message and reduce to the chase.

Give them independence

To affect a dominant personality, you’ve got to perceive what motivates them, which is achievement and management. The extra you can provide this individual room for impartial problem-solving and decision-making, the more practical they’ll be. Dominant personalities prize autonomy, so don’t be stunned if one-on-ones are transient or non-existent. Earlier than delegating to a dominant personality, make certain the areas of authority are clearly outlined and articulated. Focus them on daring, bold long-term targets to preserve them constantly aiming greater.


Thoughtfully spotlight areas for enchancment

When giving one of these individual suggestions about their efficiency, concentrate on how the conduct adjustments that you just’re requesting assist them attain their targets and get higher outcomes. For instance, one among Gabe’s colleagues identified that Gabe’s bluntness was negatively impacting his direct reviews. The colleague shared that if group members left, it will imply Gabe had fewer sources with which to fulfill consumer gross sales, and due to this fact, he could fall wanting his targets. That framing impressed Gabe to change his method. You can even use comparability as a approach to constructively inspire these with dominant kinds. As an illustration, spotlight rivals who’re performing higher as a approach to energize them to enhance.

Fill their gaps

Wholesome, productive groups require a mix of personalities. If you happen to’re working alongside a dominant personality, increase their conduct by being their foil.

Whereas dominant varieties have a tendency to be progressive and progressive, they’ll additionally overlook dangers and act too shortly. If you happen to have a tendency to be a extra cautious, deliberate choice maker, you’ll be able to interject stability and purpose into the method. Likewise, you may be the one to break down bold plans into specifics and information precise implementation.

Don’t take their actions personally

Dominant varieties could reply curtly. Keep in mind that their brusqueness doesn’t imply they’re indignant, upset, or rejecting you. Acknowledge that in the event that they ask you pointed questions, it’s as a result of they’re participating you, not as a result of they lack belief. Count on brevity in your interactions, and perceive that it’s a part of their regular sample of conduct—not a reflection of your adequacy.