The client-focused mindset: Adapting to differing personality types 

July 31, 2019

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

 

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 DiscProfile.com website.

Trait

Summary

Dominance (D)

Emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results.

  • Motivated by winning, competition and success. Prioritizes accepting challenges, taking action and achieving immediate results.
  • May fear being seen as vulnerable or being taken advantage of.
  • Values competency, action, concrete results, personal freedom and challenges.

Trait

Summary

Dominance (D)

Emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results.

  • Motivated by winning, competition and success. Prioritizes accepting challenges, taking action and achieving immediate results.
  • May fear being seen as vulnerable or being taken advantage of.
  • Values competency, action, concrete results, personal freedom and challenges.

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.

Trait

Summary

Incluence (I)

Emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others.

  • Described as convincing, magnetic, enthusiastic, warm, trusting and optimistic.
  • May fear loss of influence, disapproval and being ignored.
  • Values coaching and counseling, freedom of expression and democratic relationships.

Trait

Summary

Incluence (I)

Emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others.

  • Described as convincing, magnetic, enthusiastic, warm, trusting and optimistic.
  • May fear loss of influence, disapproval and being ignored.
  • Values coaching and counseling, freedom of expression and democratic relationships.

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.

Trait

Summary

Steadiness (S)

Emphasis on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task.

  • Described as calm, patient, predictable, deliberate, stable and consistent.
  • May be limited by being indecisive, overly accommodating, and a tendency to avoid change.
  • Values loyalty, helping others and security.

Trait

Summary

Steadiness (S)

Emphasis on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out the task.

  • Described as calm, patient, predictable, deliberate, stable and consistent.
  • May be limited by being indecisive, overly accommodating, and a tendency to avoid change.
  • Values loyalty, helping others and security.

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.

Trait

Summary

Conscientiousness (C)

Emphasis on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy.

  • Described as careful, cautious, systematic, diplomatic, accurate and tactful.
  • May be limited by being overcritical, overanalyzing and isolating themselves.
  • Values quality and accuracy.

Trait

Summary

Conscientiousness (C)

Emphasis on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy.

  • Described as careful, cautious, systematic, diplomatic, accurate and tactful.
  • May be limited by being overcritical, overanalyzing and isolating themselves.
  • Values quality and accuracy.

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.

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