How to communicate with and coach the driver personality type

Shopper in-store

The Driver personality characteristics

The Driver personality is a high achiever – a mover and shaker who is definitely not averse to risk. The individual is extroverted, strong-willed, direct, practical, organised, forceful, and decisive.

If we were to define driver personality types in one sentence, it’s this; The Driver Personality style is someone who tells it the way it is and is very persuasive.

The characteristics of a driver personality are undeniable. You’ll often know one when you see one and watch out or you’ll be worn down and bowled over.

A driver is task- rather than relationship-oriented and wants immediate results.

This individual is not concerned with how something is done, but what is being done, and what results can be expected. “What” is his or her battle cry.

“What’s going on? What’s being done about it? What you should do is …!”

The driver personality weakness is the fact that they're often perceived as stubborn, domineering, impatient, insensitive, and short-tempered, with little time for formalities or niceties.

They can also be demanding, opinionated, controlling, and uncompromising – or even overbearing, cold, and harsh. While this can often make for a challenging work environment, Drivers have particular strengths in sales-focused roles or positions where there is a tangible (often data-based) success metric in place.

How to coach a Driver personality type

If you’re in a management or other senior position, you may encounter situations where you must deal with Driver personality types at work.

The Driver personality at work takes pleasure in power, control, and respect. Their pain is loss of respect, lack of results, and the feeling that he or she is being taken advantage of.

If you’re in a situation where you’re dealing with driver personality types or the driver personality under stress, here are some tips on how to communicate with a driver personality and still have a fruitful coaching interaction:

Talk about expected results

Drivers like to know they’re achieving, so results are everything to them, particularly if they work in a sales environment, so make your expectations clear and results-focused.

Be businesslike and factual

Get straight to it. The Driver personality style of communication means that they’re not here for chit-chat; they’re here to get stuff done, so stick to the facts and ignore the fluff.

Discuss and answer “what” questions

Being business-like and factual is important, but you’ll likely find that the driver will often seek clarification by asking a lot of “what” type questions; they’re very action-oriented.

Argue facts, not feelings

Feelings aren’t part of the equation for the driver personality, meaning they’re more focused on the facts of a situation. If you’re looking to correct a technique or behaviour, stick to the facts of the situation (for example, relate the correction back to a policy or an expectation that has already been set and agreed to).

Don’t waste time

Get in, get clarification, get agreement and get out. A driver is always on the go, so brevity is key to a successful coaching interaction with this personality type.

Provide options

Knowing that the Driver personality likes to be in control, often the best way to steer them in any particular direction is to provide them with options. Narrowing down the options will help you guide them towards your desired outcome while still helping them to feel as though they’ve made the decision themselves.

In summary:

When you're coaching or communicating with a Driver:

  • Focus on the task
  • Talk about expected results
  • Be businesslike and factual
  • Provide concise, precise, and organised information
  • Discuss and answer "what" questions
  • Argue facts, not feelings
  • Don't waste time
  • Don't argue about details
  • Provide options

Our leadership training for managers has more information on how to successfully coach a range of different team members.

Check out the other personality types!

...or take our quiz to discover your own style!

Published by:
Let‘s keep in touch

Sign up to our newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Continue reading...

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


You can search the RedSeed website by entering search terms below.