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.

Guardians: How to spot one and what to do about it


Now that you’ve learned how to recognize and better work with Drivers, Pioneers, and Integrators, this final post in the series will address spotting and working with Guardians. After reading all four you’ll be that much closer to Business Chemistry ninja status.

Spotting a Guardian

Guardian motto: Changing the World, One Spreadsheet at a Time

Methodical. That’s the number one characteristic of the Guardian. They’re also structured, meticulous, focused on the details, and practical. If you’re paying attention to these things a Guardian is easy to spot, but because they’re also reserved, they don’t always make themselves known. You may need to be on the lookout for them.

Guardians are also likely to be conventional, hierarchical, disciplined, and frugal. They’re likely to speak slowly, or, as the most introverted of the four types, not at all, especially if others are dominating the conversation or fighting for the floor.

When it comes to making decisions, a Guardian usually isn’t in a hurry. They’re most comfortable with what’s familiar and they tend to be risk averse, so when making a decision that involves a new direction they’re going to want to check every detail. They may seek out benchmarks and best practices to ground the decision and make them more comfortable with a change. They’ll likely use a deliberate and methodical process for reaching a decision and once they’ve made up their mind they’re unlikely to change it. I’ve written before about the Guardian’s tendency to go with the status quo.

Continue reading “Guardians: How to spot one and what to do about it”

Integrators: How to spot one and what to do about it


I previously shared thoughts on how to recognize and work with Drivers and Pioneers. In this third installment I’ll address how to know when you’re working with an Integrator, and what to do about it. Because of course, doing something about it is really the point of Business Chemistry.

Spotting an Integrator

Integrator motto: Consensus Rules!

The Integrator’s strongest traits are their tendency to avoid confrontation and seek consensus, their empathy, and their tolerance of ambiguity.

Integrators are connectors. They connect with people, emphasizing relationships and striving to be helpful. And they connect ideas. Their way of thinking is nonlinear, big-picture, and contextual. They’re also traditional, trusting, and dutiful.

Integrators tend to think through decisions carefully and to seek a lot of input from others, trying to get a sense of whether people are in agreement. They’re not particularly keen on risk-taking, but if they see the group heading in that direction they may be inclined to get on board. The people-implications of a decision are likely to be important to an Integrator and they’ll consider these carefully. They’re also prone to changing their mind, which I’ve written about before.

Continue reading “Integrators: How to spot one and what to do about it”

Pioneers: How to spot one and what to do about it


A few days ago I wrote about how to know a Driver when you see one, as well as a few tips for working with them. In this second post of the series I offer the same kind of perspective about Pioneers. After all, Business Chemistry wasn’t developed for introspection, it was developed for action!

Spotting a Pioneer

Pioneer motto: Have fun. It’s just work.

More than anything, a Pioneer can be recognized by their spontaneity and penchant for brainstorming.

As the most extroverted of the four types, Pioneers are also energetic and expressive, and have broad networks and collaborative styles. They adapt easily to change and like to jump in and lead the charge toward new horizons.

When it comes to decision-making, Pioneers don’t belabor it. They tend to make quick decisions going with their gut, have a high tolerance for ambiguity and risk, and aren’t afraid to change their minds.

Continue reading “Pioneers: How to spot one and what to do about it”

Drivers: How to spot one and what to do about it

Drivers_HighResLearning about Business Chemistry is interesting (and fun!), but its real value lies in applying it to strengthen your relationships with others. This post is the first of four that address how to know each type when you see it, and what to do about it.

Spotting a Driver

Driver motto: And your point is…?

The most defining characteristic of the Driver is their technical and quantitative orientation. This may take the form of an expertise in math, engineering, mechanics, technology, or even music. If you have very little to go on, these are pretty good clues that someone is a Driver.

The Driver type is also strongly characterized by a direct style, a logical approach, a competitive streak, and a willingness to make tough decisions. Drivers are likely to take charge and enjoy experimentation, and often prioritize goals over relationships.

When it comes to decision-making, Drivers value a strong analysis backed up by logic and facts. They’re good at synthesizing and will look for patterns in complex data. They’ll willingly take a risk, but only after consideration. Once they’ve made their decision, they’re not likely to change their minds.

Tips for Working with a Driver

Drivers are attracted to both competence and confidence. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and then don’t be afraid to strut your stuff a little bit. At the same time, don’t carry on too long–Drivers appreciate you getting to the point, and doing so quickly. If you want to keep a Driver’s attention, be careful to avoid excessive small talk, indirectness, and indecisiveness.

Continue reading “Drivers: How to spot one and what to do about it”