Ways to Deal with a Dominating Personality on Your Team

3 Mins read

Let’s look at ways to deal with a dominating personality on your team. If you’ve ever been on a team where the leader’s or team members’ behaviour became so toxic that you and the rest of your team members were at risk for serious consequences, then you know how difficult it can be not just to deal with that person, but all members of the team. Thankfully, there are ways to get through this difficult time and avoid making things worse.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of these methods so you’re prepared with a plan before your boss starts going too far. This way when they do start getting out of hand, your patience will be more effective and less likely to result in their dismissal or reduced prestige in the company.

Ways to Deal with a Dominating Personality on Your Team

1) Be Aware and note the behaviour

For starters, you need to be aware of their behaviour in the first place. It’s often easy for a dominating personality to bully their employees if they’re not able to recognise the effect their behaviours have on those around them.

This behaviour could hypothetically include anything from being rude and condescending to yelling at people under them and putting down work that they or others complete without any justification.

If you notice this kind of behaviour happening, it’s important to make sure you’re not blinded by any sort of personal feelings or preferences toward the person you’re working with as it could hinder your ability to stay objective and recognise the problem at hand.

If you find yourself having difficulty recognising the problem, then you might need to do some deep thinking and ask around as to whether or not your boss is a dominating personality.

It could be in your best interest to dig a bit deeper if they are able to perform their role adequately and meet the company’s requirements.

2) Ask questions to understand them better

There could be many reasons why your boss is behaving this way, so it’s important to engage in some kind of conversation about their behaviour to understand them better and avoid making rash judgments.

This is not a direct attack on the person, but more so an attempt to help you understand where they are coming from and why they are behaving the way they do. It might also be possible that your boss has been put under pressure from above which has caused them to feel stressed and therefore less willing to work with others towards a common goal.

3) Stand up for yourself and set boundaries

It’s important to realise that you have the right to have a voice and not be disrespected by your boss. By setting these boundaries and no longer tolerating their behaviour, you’re able to show your boss that you’re willing to stand up for yourself and not be bullied.

4) Become a leader without getting personal

The more you can demonstrate that your individual skills outweigh their own, the more likely it is that your boss will get the message and take note.

This will help to decrease the amount of abuse you receive from them and ultimately undermine their power over you as a member of their team. Take charge!

5) Put your foot down and say “no” when need be

It’s important to recognise when your boss is pushing things too far and needs to be stopped. If this becomes too much for you to handle, then there’s no shame in taking a long break or leaving altogether.

It’s helpful to start by asking your boss if they’d be willing to step back and give you an opportunity to handle the situation without having to deal with their behaviours. This will allow you to put more energy and time into your work as opposed to dealing with the implications of destructive behaviour.

6) Take a break, take a deep breath and go for a walk

When working for a person who is a dominative personality, it’s important not to just sit there and take it. This could lead to growing resentment that could ultimately lead them to dismiss you from the team.

It’s important to recognise when enough is enough and it’s time to take a break. At this point, it could be helpful to have someone who you trust and have authority over who can help you take some time off and get away from the situation.

7) Don’t fall into their trap

If they start going too far, then it’s important to recognise this as a threat. Do not fall into their trap of jumping on you for any little things you do wrong because it will only encourage them along the way.

By doing so, there’s a good chance that they’ll then focus more on how everything is your fault than how the overall situation needs improvement.

It’s important to remember that being a dominating personality is not necessarily the result of a negative mindset. Instead, it could be a result of some kind of life event or psychological problem such as depression, anxiety or PTSD that caused them to behave this way in the first place.


Depending on the situation, you can openly discuss these situations with your boss/team member and help them to understand how their behaviour affects those around them before they get any worse.

You might be interested in how to create work life balance as a software engineer.

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