Fast Company: The 5 Types of Coworkers Who Can Make Your Work Life Infinitely Better

Fast Company recently published an article quoting Deloitte’s Leadership Center for Client’s National Director, Kim Christfort, who shared her insights about two of the four Deloitte Business Chemistry working styles and how to leverage these types to help you achieve success–Pioneers and Integrators.

Pioneers are great for helping teams brainstorm.  “If you need to change the lens on the way you are looking at something and trying something completely new, they’re the ones who love blue-sky innovation,” says Kim Christfort, national director of Deloitte’s Leadership Center for Clients.

Meanwhile, if you need a team player, who can build consensus or motivate a team, the integrator also adds great value.  “Integrators like to make connections and have a strong sense of empathy and nuance, so they’re good at reading people and understanding their needs. This is the person you want building and motivating your team.”

Read the article, “The 5 Types of Coworkers Who Can Make Your Life Infinitely Better,” by Gwen Moran, Fast Company and then let us know how the different types can help you achieve successful outcomes. 

It’s a Trap! Avert decision-making biases with Business Chemistry

I recently wrote about how to recognize each of the Business Chemistry types, with their approach to decision-making being among the clues that can help.

  • Guardians prefer a systematic approach to thoroughly assessing detailed information
  • Pioneers go with their gut and have a high tolerance for risk
  • Integrators seek input from others and are open to changing their minds
  • Drivers value strong, logic-based analysis and calculated risk

Each of these is a reasonable way to approach decisions–there is no right way. And combining these approaches–making decisions in a diverse team–can be a great way to combat some of the cognitive biases, or decision-making traps, that sometimes lead us to make faulty decisions.

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The Power of Opposites

The Power of Opposites

If given the choice, would you work with someone who’s similar to you and shares your views? Or would you choose someone who’s quite dissimilar, and has a different perspective?

Research suggests that we make better decisions in diverse groups than in homogeneous ones, but that we feel less confident in those decisions1. Why? Maybe because making decisions with people similar to us feels easy; if we’re all on the same page from the start it must be the right page, mustn’t it? The overconfidence that we’re prone to individually, gets multiplied in homogeneous groups.

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Recognizing the value of collective contributions

collective contributions

We’ve recently wrapped up performance review season here at Deloitte–a great opportunity for each of us to review our accomplishments and define our value. I spent some time doing the same, and it made me think about how Business Chemistry might come into play at this time of year.

  • If you ask a Pioneer about her contribution, she’ll excitedly describe the new ideas she’s brought to the table and the resulting possibilities now on the horizon.
  • A Guardian will dust off the list of his projects and tasks that he’s been keeping throughout the year, review it for completeness and accuracy, and setup an hour to walk through it.
  • A Driver will fervently bullet each goal achieved during the year, pointing out that she’s already working at the next level.
  • But ask an Integrator about what he’s accomplished, and more often than not, he’ll need some time to think about it.

The Integrator’s need to deliberate isn’t based on lack of accomplishment or confidence in his abilities. Instead, an Integrator may have a harder time identifying his individual achievements if much of his value lies in his efforts toward collaboration, relationship-building, and working for the benefit of the group. Because these are collective contributions, his individual contributions are naturally de-emphasized. Further, such activities are often viewed as “soft” skills that don’t directly contribute to business results or the bottom line. No wonder Integrators may not be able to articulate their value right off the bat.

And yet, most of us have experienced the benefits of an Integrator’s contributions. An Integrator may boost morale when there is a lack of motivation on the team, helping to bring a project over the finish line on-time. Their optimism and authenticity may speak volumes to a client and help the team land a new project. Their diplomacy and ability to relate to others may help get naysayers onboard with a decision that’s right for the company.

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‘Is that your final answer?’ Why Integrators are so indecisive

Why are Integrators Indecisive?

Do you know any Integrators? If so, you are probably familiar with their tendency to change their minds. Today it’s “yes,” tomorrow it’s “no.” ”Final” decisions usually aren’t really final, and new information can start the decision-making process all over again. Integrators might be accused of being capricious, flighty or even fickle – though I’m sure not by you. Recriminations aside, many of us find this tendency toward indecisiveness frustrating. A little insight into the mind of an Integrator might help.

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Direct or not, which is best?

Direct or Not, Which is Best?

Then you should say what you mean,’ the March Hare went on.
I do,’ Alice hastily replied; ‘at least–at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing, you know.’
Not the same thing a bit!‘ said the Hatter.
– Alice in Wonderland

Do YOU say what you mean? If you’re a Driver, chances are you probably do—Drivers tend to be direct and are unlikely to shy away from confrontation. If you’re an Integrator, well… you may mean what you say but not always say it directly—Integrators lean towards diplomacy and usually avoid confrontation. But does it matter? And if it does, which approach is best? As usual, it depends…

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A leader’s job is to get everyone’s best contribution

A leader's job is to get everyone's best contribution

Leaders sometimes ask me whether Business Chemistry is really just about making everyone feel included. While that’s a worthy endeavor in my opinion, Business Chemistry offers so much more, like the potential to make a good leader great.

I think great leadership is about creating environments that both empower and compel people to make their very best contribution. But since not everyone is empowered or compelled by the same environment, the trick is to understand what different people need and to provide them with the right kind of space to excel. For those leaders who aren’t sure where to start, Business Chemistry can help!

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Welcome! Let’s Stir Things Up

Time For Something NEW!

Welcome to the Business Chemistry Blog, a place to explore leadership, teams, and how relationships fuel our work. The launch of this blog coincides with the 5-year birthday of Business Chemistry, which I’ll describe in more detail below. To begin with, I’ll be writing from my vantage point within Deloitte’s Greenhouse Experience Team—I have so many questions to explore here—but other voices will join in along the way and you’ll have the opportunity to engage with more members of our team.

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