The client-focused mindset: Adapting to differing personality types

A large part of adopting a client-focused mindset comes from the recognition differing personality types.

Tags: Best practices, Employees
Published: July 31, 2019

What does it mean to have a client-focused mindset? For any person in contact with customers and clients, it’s an exercise in putting yourself in their shoes. What are their needs? What’s keeping them up at night? How can you meet their needs in a personal, compelling way?


This is the second part of a series aiming to provide insight into how your internal teams can foster a customer and client-focused mindset. Based on the conversations and learnings that we at U.S. Bank offer our own employees, this series can provide you with a roadmap for adopting similar best practices.


Let’s dive into the recognition of differing personality types. Your clients don’t act and think the same way, so you need to learn to communicate on their level. We base these types on the DISC assessment, a common test used to identify how people react in a business setting.


Here’s an overview of the main personality types within the DISC assessment, referenced from the website.


People with high dominance (D) scores are natural directors, able to focus on the bottom line and attuned to brief updates and conversations. Interacting with a high-D personality means getting to the point – and the sooner, the better.


People with high influence (I) scores thrive through dynamic personalities. They are often outgoing, eager to please and extroverted. Interacting with a high-I personality means establishing a relationship, based on shared values or interests.

People with high steadiness (S) scores excel in controlled, predictable scenarios. Recurring tasks are highly valued by this audience, as they can establish a rhythm to deliver solutions consistently. In contrast to high-D personalities, high-S people tend to seek additional insight and guidance before making decisions. Interacting with a high-S personality means setting up stable routines that they can follow on a recurring basis.

Patience is key when working with high conscientiousness (C) individuals. These personalities are careful, methodical, and prioritize quality above most other traits. They are the fact-checkers, dedicating time and emotional effort to ensure accuracy. In contrast to high-I personalities, high-C people tend to isolate themselves and will need additional help to break out of that shell.


While each of the DISC profiles can describe a person’s personality in full, in most cases people can drift between one or more types depending on their situation. For example a high-D personality could benefit from adopting a C-style when addressing other C-style people. The benefit of a personality style test like DISC is more than just identifying your own style. It’s also about learning how to communicate with people on completely different wavelengths.


In our next article, we’ll look at how to network effectively in both traditional and online settings.