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Connecting & Communicating with the Everything DiSC® D Personality

Tips for Communicating With the D Personality

The Everything DiSC® Model has 12 styles; this blog focuses on the “D” or Dominate style, which tends to be fast-paced, goal-oriented, and favors a direct communication style. The two other “D” styles within the “D” segment of the Everything DiSC® circumflexes are Di and DC.

As an Everything DiSC® Certification facilitator, clients often ask me, “How do I effectively communicate with the driven D personality style?”

It’s a great question, and the first answer is that the DiSC D personality can be intimidating for some. Their decisiveness, urgency, and blunt delivery often catches people off guard. But by understanding what makes them tick and adjusting your approach, you can have productive, mutually beneficial interactions with DiSC D-style coworkers, managers, and clients.

This post explores tips and strategies for improving communication with the action-oriented D:

  • Key traits of the D personality.
  • Where communication often breaks down.
  • How to deliver messages effectively.
  • Strategies for engaging conversations.

Introduction To The DiSC D Personality

The following characterizes the fast-paced DiSC D personality type:

Competitive and driven – They are motivated to achieve swift, dramatic results. They set bold goals and work relentlessly to attain them.

Decisive and self-assured – They make quick decisions, even with limited information. They have strong opinions and confidence in their judgment.  And can change their minds as needed to achieve their goals.

Direct communicators are frank in delivery, sometimes at the cost of sensitivity. They dislike beating around the bush.

Action-focused – They want to cut to the chase to start driving outcomes. Discussing abstract ideas feels like a waste of time.

Thrive under pressure – Challenges and time pressure energize them. Routine bores them.

Dislike inefficiency – Processes that seem redundant or conversations that meander frustrate them.

Where Communication Can Break Down With DiSC D Personality

Because of their bluntness and urgency, many people have difficulties effectively interacting with the DiSC D personality in one-on-one conversations and team scenarios like meetings.

Some common pitfalls include:

  • Meandering in conversation without a clear agenda.
  • Using wishy-washy language instead of being direct.
  • Shying away from healthy debate out of fear of confrontation.
  • Focusing too heavily on rules, protocols, and minutiae.
  • Seeming indecisive when presenting options.
  • Taking their blunt delivery personally and becoming emotional.

These communication breakdowns annoy and lose respect from the driven DiSC D personality. They value clarity, competence, and results above all else. Keep this in mind to get your interactions on the right track.

Tips for Delivering Messages Effectively with D Personality

When looking to provide information, influence decisions, or gain buy-in from those with the DiSC D personality style, consider the following best practices:

  • Be clear and concise. Don’t waste their time beating around the bush. Get right to the point.
  • Focus on outcomes.  Frame messages regarding goals, results, and the bottom line versus theoretical concepts.
  • Provide options. Present two to three viable paths forward, summarize pros and cons, but let them drive decisions.
  • Be prepared. Have evidence and facts at your fingertips. Think through potential objections or critiques.
  • Project confidence. Hold your ground in the face of scrutiny or challenge. Don’t become deferential if questioned.
  • Avoid rambling. Opt for succinct statements and bulleted lists over long-winded paragraphs.

When messages are focused, direct, and outcome-oriented, you gain credibility with the D style.

Strategies for Productive Conversations

One-on-one dialogue with the D style also requires some specific communication tactics:

  • Don’t make small talk. Get right to business in your conversations.
  • Come prepared. Have an agenda and purpose. Know what you want to achieve.
  • Talk about innovations. Discuss bigger, bolder ideas and visions versus incremental improvements.
  • Be ready to debate. Expect that the D style may challenge your ideas. Back up claims with data.
  • Don’t mirror their bluntness. Remain logical and professional even when they turn critical. Avoid becoming emotional.
  • Give them room to speak. Ask their perspective and don’t interrupt once they start voicing opinions.
  • Wrap up efficiently. Once the purpose of the conversation has been achieved, summarize the next steps and any decisions made to avoid open-ended discussion.


Although adapting your communication style takes effort, it’s a worthwhile investment. When you can flex to the preferences of the DiSC D style, you experience more positive interactions and mutually beneficial relationships. Be direct, concise, outcome-focused, and thick-skinned; you can speak their language in no time.

So next time you sit down with that driven, fast-talking colleague or boss with the decisive DiSC D personality, put these tips into practice. With preparation and patience, you’ll communicate smoothly and productively before you know it.