Personality profiling is extremely valuable when you want to win agreement. Knowing who is in front of you means that you can adapt your performance and language to make yourself familiar to the other person. When you do this, you show yourself to be a member of that person’s tribe and therefore credible, trustworthy and sound. When you behave this way, you are at least halfway to your goal.

According to DISC personality profiling, there are four main templates of character that we can discern when reading the other person. I’ll be outlining the other three in the next few entries. I’ve chosen to explore the High D personality first, (typically those who occupy the MD, CEO and Marketing Director roles) since that’s what people with the High D personality will expect:

High Ds – Extraverts and Task-Focused
10% of the population

  • Dominant
  • Demanding
  • Direct
  • Drivers

Dress: Conventional

These are the guys who need (and I do mean need) to be in charge! They won’t give you eye contact unless you are of interest to them. In a networking context or at a party, after initial introduction, they’ll be the people whose eyes will be roaming round the room obviously impatient to talk to the next person unless you grab their attention. They want you to come to the point straight away and get frustrated with detail. They want to make a quick decision and then move on. My view is that they put great value on appearing strong, competent and in charge and they fear appearing vulnerable. In their childhood they learnt that to be vulnerable was weak and they fear weakness most of all. They are fast-paced and action-orientated. They are great at project managing a crisis when there is a clear need for strong leadership though unless self aware, may alienate their staff in other circumstances. However they can inspire loyalty since they are very protective if you are ‘one of their own’! For example, in the successful BBC series, “The Apprentice”, Lord Sugar is concerned to look after his deputies Margaret and Nick. He is allowed to get angry with them, though would become furious if anyone showed them disrespect.

High Ds can make the mistake of assuming they are right in all situations, even to the extent of manipulation and underhand dealings in order to get their way. It’s the task that needs to get done and done their way since they hold the vision for how they want the outcome to look. They are the righter of wrongs so everything is OK in the cause. Effectively they are God and the rest of us merely worshippers and disciples. They seek out conflict as a way of testing their strength. They can feel like bulldozers in clearing opposition out of their way.

To sell to them:

  • Speak in headlines
  • Appear calm and strong yourself – expressionless and unsmiling
  • Use succinct language
  • Keep your gestures spare or not at all
  • Keep still
  • Head upright
  • Body squared up
  • Give eye contact – especially when making a point
  • Give them quick decisions to make with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers
  • Suggest that you or your solution will gain them superiority and overwhelm the competition

All in all, assume the high status position they also occupy. This will get their attention and reassure them you are someone worth talking to.

In the next post, I’ll be talking about the High Is who inspire us!


About anrah

Anrah is a business development consultancy specialising in helping senior women in engineering and science, their teams and doctoral students increase 'presence', improve communication and generate impact to win stakeholder buy-in at the highest level.
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