People with the Drive personality type on their DISC profile are typically bold, persuasive and impervious to influence from others. They are goal-oriented and strong leaders and, when they’re at their best, they can see projects and goals through to completion with top-of-the-line quality, effectiveness, and impact. As such, they can be excellent assets to any team. 

However, the same traits that can make them such good colleagues can sometimes isolate them and lead to more controlling and demanding behavior than strong leadership. Here are a few ways that DISC Drive-oriented personalities can find balance and help their team reach its collective goals.

Remember the traits good leaders possess

While drive personalities are born leaders, it often can be helpful to take a step back and think about what makes for good leadership. Are leaders demanding, controlling, and impatient? Or do they delegate, guide and support their team members? Drive personalities are more likely to debate with others that guide them -- but only a tiny percentage of people have the Drive style alone.  

Most of us are a blend of styles, and you can call on our secondary type to round out your leadership style. For example, a high-D (Drive) with high-C (Clarity) type according to DISC results could call on their need for efficiency as a way to delegate. So, focus on the type of great leadership that you want to emulate and find that balance of strength and focus that best helps your team reach its goals.

Use debates purposefully

Drive-oriented personality types love a good debate. They enjoy being challenged and are skilled at finding ways to support their argument. Debates for debate sake can be fun on occasion, but if you’re always looking to prove how smart you are, you might find that your coworkers and team members shy away from those engaging conversations. 

Instead of being contrarian for the sake of it, try to use debates and friendly discourse as a way to move a project forward. Allow others to support their ideas, designs, and goals and see which path has the strongest foundation and momentum. Debating and engaged conversation can be an excellent way to reach your goals and bring out the best in your team.

Practice patience

DISC Drive personality types like to get things done — and that’s great! Your focus and determination means you easily meet your goals and that your work is always top-notch. That said, you can sometimes struggle when others don’t use the same methods that you do, which can lead to a sense of frustration and impatience.

Being part of a team means that you have to take the time to listen to others and work effectively with their styles and systems, as well as your own. So, take that extra moment to practice patience and allow things to more easily slide off your back. This will help the project move along more efficiently and provide you with more peace of mind.

Balance competition with empathy

By nature, Drive-oriented personality types can be very competitive, which is a great way for them to get work completed quickly and efficiently. Competition certainly has its place and it can help inspire your colleagues and coworkers to be effective. It’s important to remember, however, that behind every competition are individuals, and other types may not do well when they feel like they’re at a disadvantage or not being heard or listened to. 

Balance the competition and enthusiasm of a job well done with empathy for the people around you, so all personality types feel supported and ready to engage. Maybe you could talk to others about what it is like to walk in their shoes before you make a judgment call?

Find methods for ceding control

The truth is, you don’t always get to be in charge. This can be very challenging for Drive personality types who thrive in positions of control, but the more you practice finding ways to manage it, the better off you’ll be. Taking direction can be difficult for you, but there are still opportunities to follow your own style, create excellent projects, and showcase your talents, while following guidance from another. 

Leadership is an important skill, but so is the ability to cede control to managers and project directors, so find a way that makes it easier for you.

Look for the gray areas

As a Drive-oriented person, you often see matters in black and white. Is the job completed or on track? Has everyone done their work? When will these elements be finished? 

While it’s essential to stay on top of your projects and ensure that everything is done right, there’s more to working in a team environment than one answer or another. If a project isn’t going right or your team is struggling, look for other options than the one before you. Think outside the box, utilize your colleague’s skills, and be creative. You’ll be surprised at what you might find by looking at the gray areas.

Take a breath

You don’t have to do it all yourself! A classic trap that Drive personality types often fall into is the idea that they’re single-handedly responsible for making sure that everything goes right, but you run the risk of burning out if you put that much pressure on yourself. Instead, it’s important to take the time to breathe, care for yourself, and sometimes even step back from the immediate action, to ensure you can keep working to the best of your ability in the long term. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.

Provide guidance

Your skills in leadership and goal-getting are essential to completing projects and finishing a job well done. But remember that your coworkers and colleagues have skills and strengths of their own and can better utilize them when properly guided and supported. Rather than dictating the project’s needs, provide guidance for their role and set your expectations, then allow them to do what they do best. This will help ensure that they feel excited about the project and can do their top work.

Active listening for the win

Drive-oriented personality types can be very focused on their goals and projects, which is an enviable skill. It’s important not to get tunnel vision, however. When you’re in a team environment, everyone around you also has excellent ideas and talents that can be used to create an even better finished product. 

Instead of waiting for your opportunity to share, focus on really listening to what your teammates have to say and incorporate it into the greater design of the project. Comprehensive, collective creation can lead to some amazing work.

Use your confidence and daring for the team

When you’re on your own and working on solo projects, you can put your head down, focus, and not come up until the work is done (though we don’t advise it!). When you work with a team, however, it’s important to focus on the collective goals and how you can take advantage of the skills, creative thinking, and input of all your team members. 

Use your confidence, your ability to focus and really get the job done, and your interest in taking risks to help the whole team succeed. You’re motivated by presenting ideas to groups; focus those ideas on common goals and you’ll create an even more complete and polished final product.

In summary

So many of the traits Drive-oriented personality types possess are vital to a workplace or even social environment. You have the ability to lead with grace and ease, to encourage top-shelf work, and to effectively meet deadlines, goals, and project markers with unique and original work that really stands out. Once you balance those excellent skills with team-focused intentions, patience, and humility, there’s no telling what you and your team might be able to accomplish next. 

Ruby Scalera recently graduated Emerson College and has since reported on a wide variety of topics from the Equal Rights Amendment to the history of the romance novel. In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent several months living in a 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. She currently resides in Nashville.