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The DISC Psychometric Journal

Your regular update of news and articles from the world of DISC personality profiling with the Discus solution.

Dominance, the 'D' Factor of DISC

A Discus DISC Factor Spotlight

Published: Tuesday 14 May 2024

Dominance on a DISC Graph

Dominance is the first of the four factors that we use to form the basis of a DISC assessment. On a DISC graph, it appears as the leftmost of the four DISC factors, labelled as the 'D' of DISC. In this introductory article, we take a brief look at the factor and its interpretation.

The factor of Dominance is a measure that combines independence with assertiveness, so that profiles showing high Dominance describe individuals with a sense of self-reliance and forcefulness. DISC profiles showing a high Dominance score relate to people who are motivated and determined, and who value personal success and achievement.

Because of their independent attitude, high-D individuals are generally ready to take a decision-making role, or one that requires direct responsibility, and for this reason at least a measure of Dominance is often seen in leaders and managers. The factor is also common in work that needs a resilient and determined mindset, and so many salespeople (for example) show Dominance as a primary factor in their profiles.

Because personal achievement is a key motivator for a highly Dominant person, such a person will tend to have a competitive attitude to their life and work. Where Dominance is the sole high factor in a profile, the person described by that profile can be expected to be strong-willed and driving in their approach, especially in situations where they are under pressure to succeed.

Dominance mixes with Influence to describe a more open and persuasive type of person. Individuals with both high D and high I still have the drive and assertiveness of Dominance, but Influence means that they will be readier to reach their goals through persuasion and teamwork than for high Dominance alone. Dominance is also commonly seen in combination with Compliance, and this high-DC shape emphasises the more self-sufficient side of a personality. High-DC profiles tend to reflect individuals who reach their goals through authority and formality rather than through persuasion.

Dominance Sub-traits

All four DISC factors have associated 'sub-traits', describing the ways they interact with the other three DISC factors. For Dominance, those sub-traits are Efficiency, Self-motivation and Independence.


A profile with high Dominance and low Influence describes a person who focuses on practical needs, looking for the most efficient and effective ways to meet their goals.


A profile with high Dominance and low Steadiness describes a person motivated to drive towards their personal aims; such people tend to be self-starting and ambitious.


A profile with high Dominance and low Compliance describes a person with an especially independent approach, following their own ideas and making their own decisions.

If you want to know more about DISC's Dominance factor, you'll find plenty more information and resources online. Here's a selection of useful links to Dominance-related material on the Discus Online Website:

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