A simple definition: Dominance is the drive to have control over or make an impact on one’s environment.
Understanding the high-dominance employee
A person with high dominance has many ideas and opinions, and he is eager to share them with those around him. They are hands-on and focused on producing results, valuing independence and autonomy above all. In most day-to-day situations, he will be competitive and will challenge himself and those around to put their ideas into action. He aggressively pursues his own goals.
The high-dominance employee is a “get-it-done” type of person, technically-oriented, preferring the world of things and facts rather than that of people and relationships. Naturally innovative and venturesome, he can be critical of the status quo and “the way it’s always been done.” This employee's way is better. Just ask him.
In the extreme, a high-dominance worker will be fiercely individualistic. This may be exactly what’s needed in entrepreneurial, uncertain, or risky work roles. He is undaunted by criticism, although this can create a barrier to his accepting and acting on external feedback at times. His communication style can be sharp and direct.
Understanding the low-dominance employee
As the dominance drive is all about making an impact in one’s own way, it’s not surprising to learn that workers with a low amount of this drive are cooperative and accommodating by nature. Low-dominance co-workers are unselfish, and they’re quite willing to allow those around them to set the agenda. They readily accept the authority of others, including situations when directives are set by company policies, procedures, or systems.
Low-dominance co-workers are typically more interested in the team or group win. A “we” before “I” sort of thing. They don’t need the trappings of victories--public recognition or the best parking spot. What they do need is office harmony. Low-dominance workers are uncomfortable in the face of interpersonal conflict. They may attempt to defuse such a situation or try to bring balance in the pursuit of general agreement.
Service-oriented, well-functioning, collaborative, and low-risk jobs are often a great match for low dominance employees. When taking up a leadership post, the low dominance supervisor will take extra care to make sure everybody is bought into the direction--not just because she says so.
Common traits of low-dominance people
- Cooperative; comfortable working under the supervision of others or as a member of a team
- Unassuming and unselfish; willing to do things for others and deriving satisfaction from service-oriented activities
- Accepting of company policies, standards, systems and authority; less likely to originate or put forward ideas for change
- Agreeable; willing to accommodate the decisions, attitudes or leadership of others
- Seeking harmony rather than conflict in relations with others; able to get along well with most people
- More concerned with group or team achievement,recognition and association than with individual achievement and recognition
- Confident handling familiar work in which he or she has plenty of experience and training; uncertain and cautious about anything new and unfamiliar, looking to leadership for guidance
- Most secure in a stable and familiar work, organizational and social environment
Common traits of high-dominance people
- Confident, independent and sure of the value of his or her own ideas, decisions, opinions and actions
- Primarily interested in the achievement of tangible results; competitive; determined to do more and do it better than others
- Innovative and venturesome; willing to make waves and take responsibility for the risks of change and innovation; able to tolerate the pressures of criticism or the possibility of failure
- Self-assured and a self-starter; likely to value own judgments over others.
- Primarily interested in facts,things, concepts, systems or strategies; technically oriented
- Direct, frank, factual and authoritative in style of expression; aggressive when he or she encounters resistance or opposition
- Resourceful and ingenious in problem solving; responds positively and actively to the challenge of difficult or unfamiliar situations
- Take-charge; demanding of results of himself or herself as well as other people