Dominant Personality - Traits, Behaviors & How to Assess |

People with a dominant personality are confident, assertive, and independent. They’re valuable in the workplace as they’re goal-oriented, focused on delivering results efficiently, and can be trusted to do so without too much oversight.  

That said, they do need some management. And this management should acknowledge their dominant personality traits, and know how to handle them for optimal team performance.

Key traits of a dominant personality

Let’s take a closer look at the specific traits of a dominant personality.

Assertiveness and confidence

Dominant personalities are naturally assertive. They take control of situations without being asked and tackle challenges head-on. They’re not easily rattled either.

These qualities influence how they lead - and dominant personalities enjoy taking charge. Their confidence can boost morale in a team, but their assertiveness may overwhelm less assertive team members.

Desire for control

Dominant personalities need to take and maintain control. They have an idea of how something should be done, and they want to do it this way to ensure the outcome they’ve envisioned. This means they work well when given autonomy but aren’t always good team players.

Competitiveness and goal-oriented behavior

Competition motivates people with dominant personalities - many high-profile athletes have a dominant personality, which has arguably helped them get where they are. This trait drives them to succeed, but dominant personalities must learn how to apply this competitive drive to help their teams succeed without affecting or overwhelming team members.


As they’re so confident and goal-oriented, dominant personalities tend to be decisive. They make quick, firm decisions which is a trait to be valued in critical workplace situations. That said, sometimes dominant personalities can be a little too decisive. They may rush into a decision for the sake of having made one without sufficient consideration of alternative options.


Dominant personalities aren’t afraid to take risks. If they think a risky decision could help them reach their goals, they’ll go for it. This can mean that the dominant personality on your team is a great asset for innovation and success, but their risk-taking tendencies should be monitored to avoid unnecessary exposure to failure.

Low tolerance for inefficiency

Inefficiency is a real irritation to dominant personalities. If they see something being done inefficiently, they’ll work to streamline the process and speed things up because they can see how it can be done better. This can be a good and bad thing in the workplace: although they can improve processes, they may also overlook that what they perceived as inefficiency was necessary due diligence.

Influence and persuasion

Some of the most persuasive people you’ve ever met may have had a dominant personality. People with a dominant personality often lean on their communication skills and strong presence to influence others to come around to their point of view. This can be a valuable trait in a leader who needs to unite teams and get everyone on board, but it should be wielded with empathy and inclusiveness and not used to steamroll people.

Adaptability to leadership

Dominant personalities are naturally inclined towards leadership roles. They know they have vision and decisiveness, and they want to be in charge because they think they’ve got what it takes to deliver success. The qualities of dominant personalities are useful when it comes to leading and, as a study in Harvard Business Review found, people even prefer to have dominant leaders in times of uncertainty. 

If dominant personalities are to become leaders, they need to work on their emotional intelligence and inclusivity, ensuring their leadership style is balanced and supportive and not too inspired by their in-built dominant traits.

The behavioural patterns of dominant personalities

The traits of dominant personalities are evident in the way they behave.

Decision-making style

When dominant personalities make decisions, they do so quickly and assertively, with no messing around. In the workplace, this decision-making style is efficient but can stifle the potential for team input.

Interpersonal relationships

Dominant personalities need to recognize their tendencies towards taking charge in the workplace and see how that impacts their relationships. If they can strike a balance between assertion where needed and working to grow genuine, collaborative connections then they’ll be a real asset to any team.

Adaptability and flexibility

As people with a dominant personality have such a clear vision of their goals, they can be thrown off by the need to adapt to this objective. They may need extra time and space to process and adapt to feedback, or take on board diverse viewpoints that are proposing they flex their vision.

Influence on team morale and productivity

Given their tendency towards assertion and persuasion, dominant personalities could hurt team morale by coming off as bullish or not considering others’ opinions. However, when dominant personalities learn to leverage these traits towards a common goal and work with their team members, their confidence and drive can motivate their teams to succeed.

Conflict management

With their excellent communication skills and decisive nature, dominant personalities can be very effective at conflict resolution. However, if they’re too assertive, they may exacerbate tensions. Dominant personalities must remember to remain empathetic in times of conflict, ensuring they’re using healthy conflict management strategies to reinforce team cohesion and not undermine it.

Assessing dominant personality traits in the workplace

Dominant personality traits can be identified through behavioral assessments. The PPA assessment not only identifies dominant personality traits but also helps managers understand the implications for work roles and team composition.

Using observational techniques and targeted questions, Hiring Managers can identify dominant personalities during the recruitment process. Interview questions that pose scenarios to do with conflict management, decision-making, and leadership will unearth dominant personality traits.

With input from the people we work with, our workplace personality becomes clear. As such, 360-degree feedback and self-assessment is another way of assessing dominant personalities in the workplace. 

Leveraging dominant personalities for team success 

Once we’ve assessed and identified dominant personalities, we can leverage their assertive, confident traits for success. We might do this by placing dominant personalities in leadership roles or roles that require decisive action - a dominant personality will thrive here.

We must use this information to balance team dynamics. Too many dominant personalities in one place could lead to clashes and an unhealthy working environment. However, with development and coaching aimed at enhancing the strengths of a dominant personality, we can all benefit while mitigating the potential downsides. Dominant personalities can embrace their natural inclinations and flourish with the right support.

Embracing the strengths of dominant personalities

Dominant personalities bring a lot of necessary qualities to the workplace: They’re confident, assertive, decisive, and results-oriented. We need them in our teams and at a leadership level, where they’ll particularly shine. 

However, these individuals need to be managed with skill to avoid upsetting team harmony. We can integrate their gregariousness while emphasizing the need for empathy and to consider the input of others.  

If you want to assess your teams for dominant personalities and learn how to manage them and identify them in the hiring process, speak to Thomas today. We can help you find these personalities in your teams and support you in developing them for the benefit of your organization. 

Dominant personalities are all around us in the workplace. When we harness their strength of character and develop their all-round abilities, we can create high-performing individuals who drive us to succeed.