Persuading Personality Types: The Driver/Pragmatic

We’re on the final group in our look at the best ways to persuade people based on personality type. Our final group is the driver/pragmatic and as the name implies, people in this category are “driven.” They thrive on challenges and have a strong intrinsic motivation to succeed. They are practical, focused and results oriented. They have the ability to get lots accomplished quickly. Pragmatics talk faster than most people, can be very direct and usually get straight to the point. Words that describe people in this category include: action-orientated, decisive, problem solver, direct, assertive, demanding, risk taker, forceful, competitive, independent, determined and results-orientated.

With 96 people (36%) identifying themselves as being the driver/pragmatic personality type, they were far and away the largest group taking the survey which I think is only logical. Think about the kind of person that’s going to read a blog on influence and persuasion – probably a driven person who looks for opportunities for self-improvement.

The second largest group was the influencer/expressive which should also come as no surprise. Leaders, people who need to persuade others, generally fall into the driver/pragmatic and influencer/expressive categories.

As I strongly suspected, the driver/pragmatic personality type is heavily influenced by the principles of scarcity, consistency and authority.


My original hypothesis with drivers was that scarcity would play a big role in persuading them. My reasoning was simple – drivers are used to winning, that’s why they’re usually successful so show them what they stand to lose and you can probably move them to action. The survey results showed this to be the case as this group on the whole was more motivated by scarcity than all the other groups. It’s not that they were always motivated most by scarcity on each question but they were more consistently motivated by this particular principle of influence, choosing it as an answer about a quarter of the time.The survey question I found most interesting was question 1: There’s a popular movie out, one you’ve been thinking about seeing. Which would be most likely to get you to go? Because this was really a social situation it should not be a surprise that most people chose the answer that had to do with liking (A couple of good friends are going) but significantly more drivers, as compared to the other personality groups, said they would go when they learned, “It’s only in theaters till the end of the weekend.” In fact, the ratio of drivers choosing this answer was nearly double the analytics and more than four times the percentage of amiables!


Another thought I had about those in the driver/pragmatic group was this; their self confidence makes them believe they’re right so it might seem like they stubbornly hold to an opinion. If you can tie your request to what they’ve said or done in the past (principle of consistency) your odds of success will go up. As Richard Dawson used to say on Family Feud, “Survey says…Yes!” The group that was most motivated by consistency was the analytic/thinker followed by the driver/pragmatic. A full 50% of the time, drivers chose an answer having to do with consistency when that was a possible choice. When an answer dealing with consistency was available, drivers chose it about 10% more often than amiables and 25% more often than people in the influencer/expressive category. I found question 4 most interesting for this group because it was social:

Q – Someone is trying to set you up on a date with a friend of theirs. Which is the biggest reason you decide to go?
A – A good friend reminded you this person has all the qualities you always say you’re looking for in a relationship. Drivers responded to the consistency answer 46% of the time compared to 42% of the analytics, 37% of the amiables and just 32% of the influencers.


I was right on with my assumption about the principle of authority impacting the driver/pragmatic personality. My thought was this; they don’t care much what the crowd says because they tend to blaze their own trail and are willing to go it alone. However, cite a recognized expert or someone they respect and they’ll pay attention. When an answer dealing with authority was an option drivers responded to it just about half of the time and that figure would have been much higher but the percentage for question 1 about going to the movies had a very low response rate to the authority answer (critics are giving it two thumbs up).


What conclusion can we draw about people in the driver/pragmatic category when it comes to influencing them? I say with some pride, what I originally thought – tap into scarcity by telling them what they stand to lose if they don’t do what you’re asking. Bring to bear information from a person or source they recognize and respect to back up your assertion and if possible, incorporate their words or actions into what you’re asking. Bringing these three principles of influence to bear at one time could make if awfully hard for them to say “No” which means it’s much more likely for you to hear “Yes!”

Survey Wrap

So there you have it, my analysis of the personality/influence survey data. As I shared at the start of this project, I’m not a professional survey administrator nor am I a behavioral psychologist. Perhaps people in those fields will read this and take it several steps further. My goal was simple – to give you some easy to remember insights on a few ways to use the principles of influence in a more strategic way when you clearly know the type of person you’re dealing with. If you have thoughts on this subject I’d love to hear from you so just leave a comment below and I’ll respond as time permits.


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