by Paul Casey

How to Not Get Run Over by Strong Personalities

Do you ever feel run-over by people with strong personalities—and start to lose your confidence? These High-D, driver, lion-like personality styles can be intimidating, but here are some tips to better relate to them, without losing your uniqueness:

  1. Learn more about the uniqueness of strong personalities. High-D’s are wired differently than you, and they go through life with a different set of desires/needs/idiosyncrasies that probably seem foreign to you. Generally get up to speed on the best ways to get buy-in and to communicate with them. (See my video course on the personality types)
  2. Watch those who are wired like you are and who do seem to not lose their personal power when conversing with drivers. What successful techniques do they use?
  3. More laser-speak, less back story. Drivers want you to get to the point and not bring in stories or touchy-feely color commentary. Slow down and be more calculated with your conversation (especially if you tend to get chatty when nervous. Match their direct questions with short, direct answers. While vulnerability is a healthy quality in leadership, these personalities respect strength first.
  4. Display confidence—even if you are faking it till you’re making it! Since we train people in how we want to be treated, waffling or backing down with constant deference gives the green-light to lions to take control and steamroll over you. Stand in the strength of who you are and what you bring to the table/conversation. This might require doing your homework, mulling over how to get to win-win, and scheduling another conversation.
  5. Speak up when your values are poked/trampled. Silence = consent, and what gets rewarded (by our silence) gets repeated.  High-D’s love when you say YES to their agenda–so, validate their perspective–but sometimes that affects how you live your life at work/home in a negative way. Brace yourself, and get some phrases to be strong with your counterpoint. One might be: “May I push back on that for a moment?” or “Here’s something else to consider…”

Every person is wired just a bit or very much not like you. Get up to speed on the best ways to communicate with each style, and you will better Grow Forward! If you’d like me to present my most popular presentation on Maximizing and Modifying Your Personality Style to your group/team, please contact me at


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