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Do You DISC? Strategies for Different Personalities in Your Practice

One of the most amazing things I learned in the early days of my career is the DISC personality profile system. I’m going to tell you how it can bring your case acceptance rate to 100 percent.
Robert M. Pick, DDS, MS, FACD, FICD
PUBLISHED: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dr. Robert Pick uses the DISC personality profile to make his practice run smoothly.

When understood and used correctly, the DISC personality profile system it is one of the most powerful and useful secrets to a super successful practice. It is also one of the top three management entities regarding practice development, growth, patient education and case acceptance rate. In conjunction with the preclinical interview and proper patient education, your case acceptance rate should see an exponential increase. 
 
There are four basic personality profile types: D, I, S and C. You will also discover most people have a primary personality type and a secondary personality type. The two put together defines that particular individual. Understanding DISC allows you to glean the needs and priorities of the people around your team and your patients, streamline your communication and circumvent conflict.
 
D is for Driver
 
Drivers are usually focused on immediate results, insist on immediate action and often challenge the status quo. They are bottom line individuals, fast-paced, inpatient, businesslike, they have my-way-or-the-highway attitude and are straightforward.
 
They are also risk takers, they make quick decisions, are goal oriented, and they like to see control and appear cool and competitive. The biggest fear of the driver personality type is being taken advantage of. Other Drivers very quickly share their priorities, but can often butt heads from time to time. Different styles can find the D approach blunt, intimidating or insensitive.
  • Common Driver Occupations: Classic D personality types are CEOs, banking executives, army generals, Presidents, and those who are impatient and watching the clock.
  • Famous Drivers: Examples of pure driver personalities are President Donald Trump or Simon Cowell from American Idol. 
  • Strategies for Drivers in Your Practice: Maximize appointment time, be quick and to the point, be on time, be efficient, and give them the what, when, how and why. 
I is for Influencing or Expressive.
 
The I type loves enthusiasm, collaboration, excitement, and quick action. They are optimistic, expressive, animated, energetic, love to tell stories, are enthusiastic and often ignore details. You can also expect expressives to be spontaneous, undisciplined with time, risk-takers and strong in their opinions and actions. Their biggest fear is social rejection and being ignored. Other I types will find their energy exciting, even if they are sometimes too optimistic. Different personality styles may find I’s sloppy or reckless at times. 
  • Common Expressive Occupations: Classic I personality types are entertainers, salespeople, artists and marketing directors.
  • Famous Expressives: Examples of the I personality type are Jim Carrey (just watch his facial expressions) or Dolly Parton. 
  • Strategies for Expressive in Your Practice: Be exciting, use small talk, and use show and tell. You want to increase the I’s status and improve their appearance.
S is for Steady Relator or Amiable. 
 
The S type loves to support people, maintain stability, and enjoys collaboration. S types are warm and friendly, slower paced, avoids risks, can be emotional, and are slow decision makers. Routine is the S’s best friend, and change their worst enemy. They are relationship-oriented, great listeners and share personal feelings and emotions. Their biggest fear is loss of stability. Other S types appreciate their patience and easy-going nature. Different personality styles may see the S style as over accommodating or indecisive.
 
  • Common Amiable Occupations: Classic S personality types are clergy, counselors, therapists, and HR managers.
  • Famous Amiables: The Pope — he is warm, relaxed, amiable and soft. 
  • Strategies for Amiables in Your Practice: Project warmth, be relaxed and speak softer. Because the S type is a slow decision-maker and hates change, you may need a second consult at times.
C is for Calculating or Analytical.
 
The C type focuses on accuracy, likes to challenge ideas with logic, and seeks stability to ensure consistent outcomes. Though they may appear unemotional, they are just really focused on details, facts, and data. For this reason, they are also very organized. The C type is the slowest decision-maker of all the personalities, they will ask specific questions, and will have often a “show-me” attitude. The biggest fear of the C personality type is criticism of their work or being wrong. Other analyticals will love getting things right, even if it means being bogged down with analysis. Other personality types may find the C type’s cautious and analytical pace dry and draining.
 
  • Common Analytical Occupations: Classic C personality types are accountants, engineers, software developers, math teachers, and financial planners.
  • ​​Famous Analyticals: Bill Gates, Mr. Spock, or Einstein all have very little expression and are quite analytical. 
  • Strategies for Analyticals in Your Practice: Be on time, be precise and use a very systematic approach showing all of the details. Also, be prepared with lots of written material.


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