Dowie called his squad together to point out their responsibilities after the 4-1 home defeat by Burnley eight days ago.
And the former Crystal Palace manager's approach did the trick as the Tigers gained a creditable goalless draw at top 10 side Birmingham on Saturday - only their fifth away point of the campaign.
Dowie confirmed: "We had a meeting on Tuesday. It was a no-holds-barred, nitty gritty meeting where a few homes truths were told.
"Too often you tread on egg shells. I didn't think it was a week to do that with the players. It was a week to tell them how it is.
"It wasn't a democracy, it wasn't a debate. It was me telling them what we are we going to do.
"With the cosseted lives they have, they sometimes forget the impact of their actions. You lose 60, 70 jobs if you go down in an area that is deprived anyway.
"It is a working class area and they demand to see the lads put a shift in and the second half we didn't do that enough against Burnley.
"We've got people like Kevin Kilbane and Dawson who are proper lads. They care deeply about being a Premier League footballer. The good thing is we got the response we wanted at Birmingham."