The idiots I work with - Meet the reds

By Awah | Leadership | 9 Jan 2021

In a recent post I introduced the concept of DISC profiling which is a way of understanding the different behaviours that often cause conflict in the workplace or in our personal lives. Understanding these different behaviour profiles can help us understand our own weaknesses and help us to adjust our behaviours when dealing with conflicting profile types. It would be better to read the introduction post first to make sense of this post.

Today, I want to introduce you to the reds who are the D's - the dominant type.

Before we start off, just a reminder that this is not black and white. It is just a guide to help us understand the world we interact in. There is no right answer either. Each type has is strengths and weaknesses - just as we all do.

Introducing the Reds

The reds are confident, determined and decisive. They move at pace. They are motivated by wanting to hold power and they enjoy winning. Some may see them as the typical alpha male but of course, they can equally be female.

They tend to make quick decisions and are prepared to take risks. There is no need to talk too much as they already know they are right. They therefore don't like too much detail. "Let's move on and deliver results!"

They are always up for a challenge - because they like winning. They gravitate towards positions of authority whilst wanting their own personal freedom from the rule of others.

The reds can be brilliant in an entrepreneurial management position where decisions need to be made quickly and we need to move forwards. They seem themselves as the natural leader and will push themselves forwards to lead the team.

Weakness of the Reds

Reds can come across as being a bit brash, impatient and sometimes even arrogant. They tend to take control of the conversation and give the impression they are not listening to others. They will frustrate others by making decisions without listening to the opinions of others or considering the detail. Since they don't mind stepping on people's toes to get things done, if they are not careful they can leave a trail of destruction around them.

Their quick decisions may help in some scenarios but when they start making the wrong decisions they will quickly lose the respect of the team. They can also overstep authority sometimes as they prefer to be in charge themselves.

The reds need to make sure that their frustrations and negative body language don't show. They need to focus more on developing personal relationships and sometimes be a little bit more approachable.

Handling Reds

When you are dealing with a red, you will need to have your arguments carefully worked out and be ready to relay them in a concise way. Cut out the small talk and get to the point. Reds will respect being challenged if the argument is concisely and precisely laid out. Be prepared that a red can cut a conversation short at any time. Once they understand, no need to keep on talking.

Reds will smell any uncertainty, so it is perhaps best to work your argument out upfront before taking a red on. Stick to the topic as they don't like waffle.

If you are trying to sell something, don't ask about their recent vacation. Get straight to the point, they are not ones for trying to build a relationship. Reds judge you on how you can relay your arguments, so get on with it.

Reds can sometimes be short-tempered, even bang their hands on the table or raise their voices. If they do this, then you are losing the battle and it might be best to fight another day.


The most famous example is probably Donald Trump. He is a high D, red type. I wonder if you can see any of the attributes I have provided above in this type of person?


Note: First published by me on Hive.

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