Have a tough nut to crack? Play Biz Chem 20 Questions


A friend recently tried to convince me to try a really out of the way sushi restaurant. I live in Southern California, so sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen.

I asked her, “Why would I travel so far for this one?”

In response, she provided several other restaurant options, but outlined the reasons why her choice was better than the others. She sent me reviews and ratings. She also forwarded GPS directions, including several different routes, and assured me we could avoid traffic if we chose the right route for the right time.

My friend hasn’t yet read this blog, and she doesn’t know about Business Chemistry. If she did, she might have considered my Business Chemistry type—I’m a Pioneer–and realized that convincing me to try a new restaurant isn’t that difficult. All she had to say was that the celebrity chef was creating unique taste combinations that we couldn’t get anywhere else, and she had landed a coveted reservation. I’d have headed straight for my car!

Understanding someone’s Business Chemistry type can give us important clues about how to best relate to them. Dr. Suz recently wrote a series of posts that highlighted tips for interacting with each personality type and hints for how to recognize the type you’re dealing with. (Click here to read about Drivers, Integrators, Pioneers, and Guardians). But suppose that, like my friend, you don’t yet feel confident in your level of Business Chemistry expertise, and you’re not sure what someone’s type is. How can you figure it out?

If you’d prefer a more systematic approach to creating a hunch about someone’s type, then I have a tool for you… Biz Chem 20 Questions.

To play Biz Chem 20 Questions you’ll answer—you guessed it—20 questions about a person you’re trying to better understand. Each question is based on observable business behaviors and preferences. For example, you’ll indicate whether the person is:

  • more skilled with numbers or words
  • outgoing or quiet around new people
  • risk avoidant or risk tolerant

If you’re not sure of the answers to all 20 questions, don’t worry, you can select “I don’t know” for up to 2 questions and still receive a result.

Once you’ve made your way through the questions, the tool’s algorithm kicks in and provides you with a hunch about the person’s Business Chemistry type. For example, when I answered the questions about my colleague Jill, Biz Chem 20 Questions indicated that she’s likely an Integrator or Guardian.

Remember, a hunch is really just a hypothesis, not a sure thing. Biz Chem 20 Questions narrows things down to two possible types and then identifies the characteristics those two types have in common. That way you’ve got a pretty good chance of identifying some of the person’s important preferences and traits, even without being certain of their exact type.

In addition to providing me with a hunch about Jill’s type, Biz Chem 20 Questions offers interaction tips for engaging with her. To better connect with Jill, the tool suggests I create structure and routine in my interactions with her and allow her time to make a decision. It also warns against downplaying the importance of tried and true ideas, or being too blunt or direct in my conversations.

Each time you complete a hunch using Biz Chem 20 Questions your results will be saved in the system so you can revisit them at any time. If you get to know someone better you can return to the tool to refine your hunch. Additionally, you can override the system and insert your own hunch about the person’s type if you strongly believe it’s different from what the tool suggests. And if you’re concerned about confidentiality, you can simply use initials or a pseudonym, rather than the person’s actual name.

There are no limits on how many hunches you can save in Biz Chem 20 Questions, so don’t be shy, create a hunch today and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of Business Chemistry!

(Click here to access Biz Chem 20 Questions or type businesschemistry.deloitte.com into your browser)

Danielle Fowle
Danielle Fowle is the Business Chemistry Operations Lead for Deloitte’s Leadership Center for Clients. Danielle brings Business Chemistry Labs to Deloitte clients to help them create more effective relationships with their stakeholders, colleagues and teams.

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