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How do you deal with someone who has an exceedingly domineering personality?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How do you deal with someone who has an exceedingly domineering personality?

  • I avoid them: 14%
  • I confront them directly: 16%  
  • I work around them: 44%
  • I coach them and give them feedback: 27%

Stopping a Steamroller. We’ve all worked with someone who has a “steamroller” personality. They get things done but they roll over everyone in their path in the process. These coworkers can be difficult to deal with. While working around them might be an acceptable approach in the short term, you’re only setting yourself up for future pain down the road. Take a moment to provide the person some feedback. It is possible to stop their steamrolling behavior. They may not even realize they’re bowling people over as they do their work. Their overzealous nature and “get it done” attitude can be huge assets to the organization if they’re tempered. They might mistakenly think their behaviors are not only appropriate but valued. If you want to make things run more smoothly and avoid you or others getting crushed in the future, stop avoiding the issue and provide the required feedback.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and the host of the upcoming Executive Insight 16 — a leadership conference being held in New York this November.