How to deal with a Dominant boss

I remember when I first came to Asia, how do I deal with a Boss from a culture different to mine. I struggled for a while until i first came into contact with DISC. I quickly saw it was a way to cut through my cultural bias and enable me to understand the behaviours of both my new colleagues and bosses.


In the first of four articles, I’ll help by enabling you to tell the archetype styles, and give you an idea of how you are able to deal with them, by understanding their behaviour preferences. Part One- dealing with, communicating with, working with a Dominant Boss.

High D’s are Identified by these easy to read traits

Communication             Direct and to the point

Motivated by                     Competition

Orientation                       Project oriented, rather than people oriented

Main Priority                   Goals

Wants                                   The job done efficiently, with positive results

Basic Weakness              Being impatient

Key Strength                      Makes quick decisions

Turn Off                               Indecision

Work Pace                          Fast and determined

Emotion                               Anger

Wants others                    To be fast paced

When confronted           Will attack


When communicating with a DOMINANT style:

  • Be clear, specific, brief and to the point.
  • Stick to the business at hand.
  • Have your support material in a well organized “package” but don’t run through it, be ready to support your views, quickly.

Factors that tend to create tension or dissatisfaction:

  • Not sticking to the problem or issues at hand.
  • Leaving gray areas, not making a decision.
  • Appearing to be unorganized.

How an “D” Boss Gives Assignments:

  • Quick meeting or email.
  • Expect little information when assigned.
  • Focus will be on the results.
  • Deadline included or it is assumed “DO NOW!”


“The sales to Richland Development is low for the last three quarters. What’s going on? Send me a justification for the subpar performance by the end of the day.”

How to Respond to Assignments from “D” Boss:

  • Best to get details from other reliable sources, your Boss will dislike going through details with you.
  • Keep questions to a minimum. (If deadline is omitted, offer your best turnaround time & verify their approval.)
  • Do what it takes to get objective(s) met. (Excuses & reasons for not getting job done are not acceptable to a “D”.)
  • Give your Boss short reports/graphs/pictures/diagrams…on time or before deadline.
  • Be brief, direct & state when “D” Boss will receive assignment.


“Acknowledged. I will email the Richland orders and their project plans and our response to you by the end of the day.”


Extra Tips…

Your Boss is a “D” & You Are a “D” If you disagree, do it with facts/alternatives.

Your Boss is a “D” & You Are an “I” Stay business-like. Don’t over-promise.

Your Boss is a “D” & You Are an “S” Move faster than normal in handling the assignment.

Your Boss is a “D” & You Are a “C” Do not “over-data” your response.

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