D Type Personality

D personality styles are direct, decisive and results oriented. They move fast and complete tasks quickly.

What is a D Personality Type?

The letter "D" in D personality type stands for Dominance. The D personality profile is one of the four primary DISC personality types that originate from William Marston's DISC Model. Simply put, a High D style is self-assured and overbearing. They have incredible energy to get things done. D styles are the rarest DISC personality types and form approximately 10% of the New Zealand population.

Key Characteristics of a D Style Personality

D personality styles are the most direct and assertive of the disc personality types. Others see the D types as competitive, aggressive, decisive and results-oriented. Sometimes this can come across as insensitive or showing a lack of concern for others. Under pressure, D styles tend to overlook how their actions affect others.

D styles prefer to move fast, take risks and get things done immediately. They like to be in charge and have control. They require change and challenges. D styles come across as self-confident and tough.

Communication of a D Style Personality

The communication style a D type personality is often one-directional. They tend to dominate the conversation and talk more than they listen. They are impatient listeners and may not listen at all. D styles communicate as efficiently and state their views and opinions as facts, expecting others to agree with them. Their blunt tendencies may appear as being uncaring and even interruptive. D styles ask 'what' questions such as 'What's in it for me' or 'What is the bottom line?'

When communicating with D Style individuals, talk about the bottom line and how the topic affects them. Avoid being 'fluffy', refrain from repeating yourself, and focus on solutions rather than problems. When you can, provide alternatives, act quickly, and try not to let emotions dominate.

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How to Work With a D Style Personality

Emailing a D Style

Emails should be brief, business-like, and concise. Avoid opening the email with questions such as 'How are you?' or 'I hope you are well.' Get straight to the point. Focus on actions and results. Describe the outcomes and possible achievements, and provide them with options. Leave them to have the last word - if possible.

Meeting with a D Style

Meetings should be very brief, get straight to the point, and only scheduled when necessary. D styles tend to have short concentration spans and as a result, often interrupt if they are bored or frustrated with where the conversation is going. They are, in general, a "big picture thinker" so they often talk about plans or goals.

Providing Feedback to a D Style

D styles prefer compliments on their ideas or results, rather than their personality. When providing positive feedback, focus on achievements, actions, and results. Be direct and avoid 'fluffy' talk. Development feedback should focus on the issues and describe the possible achievements and outcomes. For example, "if you focus on 1, 2, and 3, you'll create more significant results with a large impact on the bottom line for the entire organisation."

D Style Leadership Culture

The leadership culture of a D personality type tends to be based on fear, power and distance. They may exhibit an authoritarian style leadership. D styles are excellent in crisis situations and can even create a crisis of their own if there isn’t one! They emphasise the speed in completion of tasks and achievement of results. They view themselves as very much in charge!

D Styles Working Remotely

​D Styles will enjoy the change and challenges of working from home. D styles are very results driven, they are likely to stay focused and complete their tasks. When managing a team, D styles may become challenged by the separation between themselves and the group. They may feel as though they have lost a degree of control. Ensure your D Style remote workers remain connected with the team and have the space to share their results and opinions.

What Does a D Style Personality Contribute to a Team?

D personalities typically want to be above a team and are usually the group leaders. They tend to be very autocratic managers and rise to the top during crisis moments. D personalities participate in teamwork if it furthers their own goals and needs. D styles are great at developing new things, whether it be creating new systems and producing something unique. They provide clear direction and keep the team moving forward.

What are the Strengths of a D Type Personality?

D styles are great at shaking up the environment and overcoming the oppositon to get results. They have an excellent ability to overcome challenging problems and deal with many issues.

D style Strengths:

  • Goal-orientated
  • Eliminates unnecessary hesitation and makes quick decisions
  • Does not get tied down in routines
  • Act fast and confidently

What are the Potential Weaknesses in a D Type Personality?

D personalities types are often percieved as overbearing, impatient, and even rude. They tend to talk rather than listen and may make snap decisions. Others see D styles as somewhat self-centred, demanding, blunt, and overly aggressive.

D styles do not find it easy to trust others and prefer to work independtly for this reason.

D styles:

  • Don't like listening to others
  • Can be disruptive and interrupt others
  • Are very blunt which may insult others
  • Tend to exceed authority as they prefer to be in control
  • May not work well in a team

Typical Careers for a D Style Personality

Your DISC style does not limit your career opportunities. DISC styles are all capable of working in any profession. The different types may find some aspects of a job more or less challenging than the other styles.

D personality types usually excel in jobs that provide them with an opportunity to increase their sense of power, authority and area of influence. D style like freedom from routines and to oversee things from above. They like to contribute to the broader organisation while using their area of expertise.

Some of the tasks that suit the natural strengths of D personality types are:

  • Challenging projects and tasks
  • Independently performing tasks
  • Completing tasks that involve a certain among of risks
  • Multi-faceted tasks
  • Tasks that have clear, quantifiable goals
  • Tasks that do not require routines 

When finding a new career, D personality types should look for jobs that offer challenges, areas of responsibility, change and project work. Popular career choices of D styles include:

  • Businesses start-ups and entrepreneurial roles
  • Commission based sales
  • Sales management
  • Operations management 

D Style Celebrity Personalities

  • Helen Clark (Former NZ Prime Minister)
  • Winstron Churchill (Former British Prime Minister)
  • Jeremy Clarkson (TV Personality)
  • Gordon Ramsay (TV Personality and Chef)
  • Madonna (Artist)
  • Russell Crowe (Actor)
  • Donald Trump (US President)
  • Simon Cowell (TV Personality)
  • Captain Kirk (Star Trek)
  • Darth Vader (Star Wars)


What about the other DISC styles?


I personality styles are talkative, optimistic and lively. They are people-focused and influence others.

Learn more


S styles are calm, patient and modest. They are people-focused and eager to help others.

Learn more


C personality are logical, analytical and correct. They are task-focused and get things done accurately. 

Learn more