Dominating Personalities At Work Space? Here's How to Manage it!

Mallika Khandelwal

13th Sep'22
Dominating Personalities At Work Space? Here's How to Manage it! | OpenGrowth

Every team benefits from having a colleague with exceptional skills who can be relied on to produce answers to complex problems. However, there can be a problem if an alpha personality in the team dominates discussions and decisions.

A team member with a dominant personality can influence the team negatively by stifling input from other colleagues, restraining team collaboration, and hurting morale.

If your organization struggles with dominant personalities, here are several approaches to manage it.


Leverage Emotional Intelligence

If you are looking to manage different personalities in the workplace, you need to take your time to understand what is driving your team’s behaviour. You need to know whether they desire to be in control, arrogant, or impatient.

Understanding what drives your team’s behaviour can help you develop and present your ideas to make them feel in control and on the winning side. Even better, understanding the different personalities of your employees increases their ability to pay attention to what you have to say.


Politely Cut Them Off and Redirect

If you struggle with managing different personalities, pay attention to the duration they take to talk. If you notice that the dominant person is speaking for a very long period and the team members' body language indicates that they are uncomfortable, look for a polite way to cut the speaker off.

You can use a point they have put across as a jumping-off point and then spin it around positively. For instance, you can acknowledge that they have put across a very relevant point and then ask for the opinions of other team members.


Dominating Personalities At Work Space


Confront Your Colleagues Privately

Managing different personalities in the workplace requires you to pull the dominant employees aside and talk to them. Ensure that the person understands that their input is still valuable to the team and that it is important to hear from other team members.

Private meetings could help you as the team leader to explain that you want to create an environment where everyone is welcome to participate. Point out further how difficult it is to create an inclusive environment when one member is always jumping in.

You can also interrupt when the dominant person takes over and let them know that you appreciate their enthusiasm, only that they must let the other colleagues finish their point too. 

It is less known that there are even some software solutions that could help you deal with these complex problems. For example, you can use Leapsome to improve 1:1 meetings between your employees.


Use Questioning Tactics

Many managers looking for how to manage different personalities in the workplace always find that using questioning as a tactic can help to tame dominating employees. Instead of sharing an idea as a suggestion, ask questions so other team members may want to contribute.

Asking for your teammates' advice may give the dominant person an opportunity to dominate the session. Giving advice makes dominating team members feel important that the members will pay attention to their advice.

Disagreeing with dominating employees may not go down well. Ask questions to help the team member evaluate other alternatives. Questions make dominant employees curious, and they may try to see things from another person’s point of view.


Create Boundaries

If you are wondering how to manage different personalities in the workplace, use signals to set boundaries. These will help to show that it is not yet their turn when people with dominant personalities want to interrupt.

Dominant team members may become more aware of their behaviour if you set boundaries and emphasize that each member needs to voice their opinion. For example, you can tell the employee that they have an excellent point, but you have a different perspective that you think the team should consider.

If the person with a dominant personality interrupts, stay calm and factual. If emotions run high, you can involve another senior colleague to intervene.


Dominating Personalities At Work Space


Let Them Chart Their Course

You can also consider assigning tasks independently to the dominant personalities in your team. Assign them individual projects that enable them to have limited contact with other team members. Focus on what they need to do while you let them figure out how to do it.


Don’t Constrain Their Ideas

Employees with dominating personalities often come up with bold and creative ideas. While they may want to dominate discussions, make use of their enthusiasm by suggesting ways their ideas can become even more effective.

Avoid pointing out their flaws, but instead, focus on explaining how alternative solutions could help to arrive faster at the desired results.


Assign Them Challenging Tasks

If you are wondering how to manage people with dominating personalities in the workplace, consider giving them challenging tasks to keep them occupied. Try and find projects that test their skills and personalities as they enjoy working on them.



Working with teams requires the leader to understand that each member has a different personality. Keep in mind that most dominating employees do not have bad intentions. However, if their dominance is not addressed, it may affect team morale and productivity.

Tackling employee dominance will benefit the teammates and help the team member strengthen their listening skills and therefore meet greater professional success.


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A staunch proponent of karma, Mallika believes in what goes around, comes around philosophy. She is ecstatic with her life and strives to live it to the fullest.