DISC: Communication tips for Ds – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the importance of DISC. In this next discussion, we’ll cover the characteristics of Ds and how to communicate with them.

What do Margaret Thatcher, Bruce Lee, Donald Trump and Michael Jordan have in common? They all score highly in their D’s.

Quick reminder: D measures how a person solves problems and responds to challenges.

communication tips

D(rive) style characteristics

People with high scores on D have these characteristics:

  • High ego strength; seek  authority
  • Impatient
  • Greatest fear is to be taken advantage of
  • Desire change
  • Do many things at once
  • Respond to direct confrontation.

People with a higher D value are more active and intense in trying to overcome problems and obstacles. Consequently, the lower the D value of an individual, the greater the tendency for him to gather data prior to making a decision.

The D factor also measures the emotion of anger. Extremely high D’s are quick to anger while extremely low D’s are slow to anger.

Enhance communication with D’s

While reading D’s characteristics stated above, several co-workers’ names may  pop into your mind. Now that you know they are high D’s, how can you communicate more effectively with them?

Here are some tips to enhance communication with D’s:


  • Be brief, direct, to the point
  • Ask “what”, not “how”
  • Focus on business
  • Build trust by demonstrating competency and delivering results
  • Highlight logical benefits
  • Agree with facts and ideas, not with a person
  • Discuss problems in light of how they affect the outcome and  make sure you offer solutions.


  • Ramble
  • Repeat yourself
  • Focus on problems
  • Be too sociable
  • Generalise

Fun fact: When in an antagonistic environment, a high D responds aggressively and directly.

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can read it here. The next posts will cover the characteristics of Is, Ss, and Cs.

This article is modified from the Institute of Management training module: Communicating to Influence. For more information about the course, please visit our website.

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