DiSC: It’s Not About You!

In To the Point by David BlackLeave a Comment

DiSC profiles can tell you how you like for people to approach you and what you’re comfortable with in interacting with others.

But in business it’s not about you.  Learn how to understand your team and clients so that you can more effectively meet THEIR needs.  


Dentists and office managers alike usually have a collective “Yawn” when I bring up the idea of using the DiSC personality profile to help with teamwork improvement and communications.  The typical response I get from most owners and managers that have been around very long is,” Yea, I did that a few years ago, and I am a “S” or I am a “D”.

Our first reaction to this type exercise is “ME-Centric”, and that is where the problem lies.  The highest and best use of this exercise is NOT ABOUT YOU.  It is about how to interact and get the best from others, both team members and clients.

Think about the structure of your dental office.  A productive office will keep the dentist busy at the chair, interacting with primarily two people: the client and the chairside assistant.  The bulk of the communications and interactions will be by the office manager and administrative team.

Checking clients in, checking clients out, phone calls in and out, making first impressions on new patients, coordinating treatment plans and treatment acceptance to name a few tasks.  How about the day to day management of the office?  There is very little time in a productive office for the dentist to be the primary manager.

The key to the best use of DiSC is to know the personality of the person you are interacting with.  There is a statistically equal chance that the population will be one of the four different styles.  We all are a mix of all four styles.  My personal anecdotal experience with dental personnel is that you will find more “S” and “C” personalities because of a natural affinity of the pool of people seeking work in the health fields to like a stable environment, like to get along in a team situation, or like structure and precision in what they do, which are some of the tendencies of these two styles.  They don’t like confrontation or to be pushed too quickly to change how they do things.

Does that sound familiar?

What we most often do is to relate and talk to people, try to convince them to complete task, totally from our style, unless you understand how to convince people, using their preferred type of communications.

The different Personality Styles are:

“D”- These people are known as Dominant or Drivers.  Their preferred way of communication is Direct, results-oriented, Firm, Strong-willed, and Forceful.  They don’t care much for “Touchy-Feely” methods.  You want to stick to the facts and get things done NOW.

“i” – These people are Influencers,  People-People.  They like relationships and talking to people, they are outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, and High Spirited.  They want to get to know you, and enjoy when you relate in a personal way when discussing what you want from them or want them to do.

“S”- These people are Steady.  They are even-tempered, accommodating, patient and humble.  They do not like change.  They like to be appreciated and tend to make changes slowly or even resist change.  A lot of dental assistants are this style.  Beware of passive resistance to changes in the schedule or systems.  Explain what and why and how to them.

“C”- These people are Conscientious and also quite often Analytical.  Their main question is WHY? They most often are reserved, precise, private and systematic.  They like detail and systems so that everything is done with order and precision.  Be ready to answer questions and defend why you think the way you do.

Remember, it is NOT about YOU.

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