How to Deal with a Dominating Person on Your Team

On any given team, there’s usually a member or two who dominate the landscape. Often, they have incredibly strong personalities and, either intentionally or incidentally, end up spending most of their time on center stage. While their confidence can be beneficial, it may also manifest as pushiness, aggressiveness, or even rude, depending on the situation.

If you aren’t the dominating personality, determining how to simply maintain harmony can be challenging. Plus, figuring out how to ensure you’re able to stand out might be incredibly difficult, especially if the person’s domineering tendencies shift into controlling and toxic territory.

Fortunately, there are ways to navigate this situation. Here are some tips that can help.

Focus on Facts During Discussions

Generally speaking, dominating people are results-oriented. They care less about “how” and more about “what” and typically favor data over speculation. If you need to work with them on a project or want to make sure you can hold your own, go with a fact-oriented approach.

While it may border on blunt, being straightforward increases the odds that your perspective is fully heard. Additionally, presenting an idea as an assertion effectively speaks their language, increasing the odds that they’ll engage with what you share.

This approach can make working directly with a dominant personality much easier. As a result, you’ll be able to accomplish more as a team.

Give Them Independent Tasks

If you have any say about how the work is divvied up, give the dominant personality team member a task that allows for more autonomy and independence. In many cases, they’ll be quite equipped to hit the ground running with little support, making them an ideal pick for this type of work. Plus, it allows team members who thrive on collaboration to use their preferred work style on other tasks.

Just make sure that the dominating person has clear guidelines regarding the needed outcome and where their decision-making authority lies. Otherwise, they may get overzealous.

Frame Feedback Correctly

In some cases, curbing some of a dominating personality’s behavior is essential. In that case, make sure to frame the feedback correctly if you want results.

Often, your best bet is to demonstrate how their approach could prevent them from achieving their goals. For instance, you could discuss how their way of addressing teammates harms relationships, making it less likely that they’ll get the support they need to reach a particular project target.

By highlighting how their communication strategy results in personal hardships regarding performance and status, a dominant person may rethink their approach. After that, provide guidance about how to ensure they adjust to the communication styles of others, ensuring that they can achieve their goals by handling discussions strategically. In many cases, that’s enough to spur positive change.

Ultimately, dealing with a dominating person on your team isn’t easy. However, by using the strategies above, you can make progress.

Selectek is Here to Help You

If you’d like to find out more about effective communication at work and how to deal with different personalities, the staff at Selectek wants to hear from you. Contact us today.