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How To Set Boundaries With Dominating Personalities In Your Team

There’s nothing wrong with having employees who have exceptional skills and talents, and who can guide the team toward success. But sometimes, when there’s an alpha personality in the team, they can tend to dominate decisions as well as discussions. When this happens, inputs from other employees can be stifled.

This can end up affecting team collaboration. To ensure that every employee at your business gets the opportunity to have their voice heard, there’s a need to set boundaries with dominating personalities. If you’re wondering how to manage different personalities in the workplace, then here’s how you do it.

1. Do a Behavioral Assessment 

The first step is to determine whether the traits that your employees have are low-dominance or high-dominance traits. You can do this with the help of a Predictive Index test. Employees that have more low-dominance traits, tend to be the sort to be more submitting. They prefer not to upset their more dominant colleagues.

Employees with high-dominance traits, on the other hand, want their voices to be heard. After the behavioral assessment, show your employees how they fared on the test. For employees that have more high-dominance traits, ask them to monitor their behavior. Let them know that you want the team to be able to work well together. For that reason, they need to take a step back and be a part of the team.

2. Using Emotional Intelligence 

To be effective at managing different personalities at work, you’ll need to use your emotional intelligence. This is where you try to find out what is driving the behavior of a certain teammate. Perhaps they have the desire to be more in control of the situation. They could lack patience, and sometimes, it could just be their arrogance as well.

When you know what’s driving them, you can present ideas in a way that makes them feel accepted. You can help them to feel more in control of the team as if they are leading it. Advise employees who want their voice to be heard more, to approach dominating personalities at work in a similar way. By making dominating personalities feel like they’re an important part of the team, they are more likely to let other team members speak up more.

3. Use Questions 

Ask employees to contribute ideas in the form of questions. When people with dominant personalities hear questions being asked, they are more likely to want to answer. This means that they’ll be paying attention to what other employees are trying to say.

Anytime an employee feels like disagreeing with someone with a dominant personality, they should ask questions that lead the dominant team member towards other answers. Don’t just say, ‘you’re wrong.’ Instead, give them options, and try to lead them toward alternatives. You can do this by asking questions about your other ideas, and letting the dominant team member contribute to the answers.

4. Tell Them Directly 

The different workplace personalities could end up helping your business find success, or it could drag your business down. Sometimes, people with dominating personalities don’t know what kind of effect they’re having on other employees. If you see that one of your employees dominates over the others at work, then try to talk to them about it.

This can help them become more self-aware. During your team meetings, emphasize they you want all the team members to actively contribute to the discussion. It’s possible for people with dominating personalities to interrupt conversations. If this happens, stay calm. Let them finish what they have to say. Then say, ‘I think you have great points, but I have a different perspective that I would like to share.’

5. Employ A Team Based Approach 

It’s common for teams to have different employee personality types within the same team. If one of the team members is too dominating, they may end up intimidating the other members of the team. This is why you should hold a team meeting, where you bring up this subject.

Ask the team members whether they feel comfortable about sharing opinions during your team meetings. Ask them if they feel heard, or if they feel like they have something to contribute. You can also talk to your team about how you can invite open discussions.

The team members can be asked to rate how team meetings so far have gone. Through this open discussion, you and your employees can better evaluate how previous team meetings have gone, as well as how to improve future meetings.


Team members with dominating personalities can end up taking control of the team, not allowing other team members to voice their opinions. To ensure that every team member gets the opportunity to contribute at work, there are several things you can do. Use this guide to learn what they are.

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