“Chemistry” is something we typically think of to describe our personal or romantic relationships––how we naturally gel with another person. But authors Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg argue it should also be applied to business relationships.
Their latest book, Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships, uses research, analytics and real-world examples to help people with different personalities and working styles to have better chemistry. The authors acknowledge this is not a new topic, but they are taking a new approach: “Built for business, it’s purposely designed to be practical and sticky, distilling an often-murky subject down to the essence of what really matters for people in a work environment.”
Business Chemistry outlines four basic personality categories that we all can associate with:
- Pioneers value possibilities and they spark energy and imagination. They’re outgoing, spontaneous and adaptable. They’re creative thinkers who believe big risks can bring great things.
- Guardians value stability and they bring order and rigor. They’re practical, detail-oriented and reserved. They’re deliberate decision-makers apt to stick with the status quo.
- Drivers value challenge and they generate momentum. They’re technical, quantitative and logical. They’re direct in their approach to people and problems.
- Integrators value connection and they draw teams together. They’re empathetic, diplomatic and relationship oriented. They’re attuned to nuance, seeing shades of grey rather than black and white.
The authors note that the magic of achieving business chemistry is not in the individual types, but rather in the combinations collectively. When we can better understand different ways of thinking about the same situation, we are more poised to be empathetic and open to diversity in our workplace. Practically put, we can learn how to find that “chemistry” with colleagues, clients and customers regardless of our individual personality style.