Interacting with “Drivers”

So you find yourself at a meeting and you’re interacting with someone who is a bit pushy and demanding. Additionally they want to take the lead, and have no desire for socializing, small-talk, or idle chatter. They present themselves as strong, decisive, and results-focused. How do you effectively interact with this type of individual?

Well, what you have encountered is a “driver” type of personality. They want to provide guidance to those who need it, and unfortunately to those who don’t need or want it. They comprise a group totally different than Amiables (wimps), Analyticals (nerds), or Expressives (bozos); your “Drivers” (jerks) have an affinity to take charge and make things happen. Every group needs this type of personality, and every group needs to have a personality that can effectively interact with this type of behavior.

Consider these tips for communicating successfully with the ‘driver’ type of personality:

• Stick to business and eliminate idle chitter-chatter
• Be prepared, be organized, be specific, and be to the point.
• Present facts in a logical format
• Provide solutions and defer to the ‘driver’ to make the decision.
• If you disagree, take issue with the facts, not the person.
• Incorporate persuasion by referring to objective, goals, results, and outcomes.
• Upon completion of discussion, gather your materials and depart quickly

With Drivers make the effort to:

  • Avoid circular conversations or rambling
  • Avoid wasting time
  • Avoid disorganization or clutter
  • Avoid ambiguous concepts
  • Avoid leading the decision phase
  • Avoid over-promising and under-delivering
  • Avoid leading or directing them

Though ‘drivers’ can be challenging, they can also be easy to interact with, if you’re willing to let them take the lead. They provide the inertia of movement, and with just a little tweaking on your part in subtle ways, you can both head in a direction of mutual agreement.

Posted in Coach's Corner.