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7 behavioral cues that lead to increased treatment acceptance


Most big dental consulting groups will use some version of DISC personality types to introduce a dental team to the fact that both the team and the clients have different personalities and react to information in different ways.

Most big dental consulting groups will use some version of DISC personality types to introduce a dental team to the fact that both the team and the clients have different personalities and react to information in different ways.

The problem I had was it was an introduction only; they gave us the words but not the ability to use the information in day-to-day application. I will give a brief explanation of DISC and some tips on how to actually use the information.

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DISC was developed to simplify the old Meyers-Briggs personality assessment. There are four groups, and each has specific reactions to information. We are really a mix of all these types with one or two being our most dominant way of processing and using information.

D - Dominant

This person is forceful and action-oriented. He or she has projects and goals. Dominants want to get things done, and you should approach them in a no-nonsense way with a plan in place.

I - Influencer

The influencer is a person interested in personal interaction. He or she is most often friendly, accepting and warm and likes to be the center of attention. You may want to let them tell their story and show them empathy.

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S - Steady

Steady people try to help people get along, do not like change and are dependable. You may not want to pressure them to make decisions quickly. They like a high level of certainty and explanation of options.

C - Conscientious

Conscientious people are very analytical and quality-conscious. You will probably have to explain how things are done. They do not like pushy people. You will need to prove your expertise.

You can quickly figure out which of these personality types are sitting in your chair. You only have about 30 seconds to make this first decision:

  • Secondly, evaluate whether the patient is questioning and skeptical or accepting and warm. D and C personalities are more skeptical, and I and C are warmer. Looking at these two will give you a possible quadrant type.

  • An example of a D is someone who is fast-paced, outspoken, questioning and skeptical. While these are clues to the patient's type, but you can also read other factors that may give you clues to who he or she is and how he or she will react to your diagnosis.                       

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  • Often the D and C personalities are more dressy or formal in the way they present themselves. I and S personalities will be more casual.

  • Body language is also important. Is the patient open or closed? Does he or she make eye contact? Is he or she hostile or friendly? Nervous or relaxed? Are they arrogant or inquisitive? 

No system will be able to get a 100 percent correct read on all people. The best we can hope for is to better understand how to talk to people in a way they can hear us. With a little training by a facilitator, your team can have the tools to better understand your clients. With these tools, you are more likely to approach your clients in the most effective way, resulting in a better relationship with the client and better acceptance of the treatment you recommend to them.

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