Business Chemistry Book Summary By Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg

*This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn an affiliate commission without it ever affecting the price you pay.

Business Chemistry (2018) is a book that specifically looks at the dynamics of working relationships.

It offers unique insights and strategies to help you effectively connect with colleagues who may have completely different work styles than you.

Whether someone is high energy, quiet and reserved, analytical, or diplomatic, readers will discover how to best communicate with them in a meaningful way.

The book explains why there are such diverse personalities and how to handle difficult conversations around work topics.

You'll also get advice on how to recognize when certain situations need more patience or tougher measures from an HR standpoint.

This guide is your essential resource for navigating your relationship with co-workers in today's ever-evolving workplace.

Business Chemistry Book

Book Name: Business Chemistry (Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships)

Author(s): Kim Christfort and Suzanne Vickberg

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

Categories: Career & Success

Author Bio

The author of the Business Chemistry book is Kim Christfort, who has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and eighteen years of management consulting experience.

She currently serves as leader of the Deloitte Greenhouse team, a group that works to strengthen teams and expedite progress.

With her vast knowledge and experience in business strategy and development, Kim is well equipped to provide readers with insights on how they can better utilize their business competencies for optimal success.

Learn How To Improve Your Business Chemistry With Your Coworkers: Unlocking The Secrets Of Working Styles To Create Lasting Rapport At Work

Business Chemistry

If you’re looking to ramp up office chemistry and get the best out of your colleagues, then knowing their working styles is key.

In Business Chemistry, there are four distinct types of personalities at work – Guardians, Pioneers, Drivers, and Integrators.

Knowing which type each one of your team members falls under can help you manage them better and understand how to motivate them.

For example, if you know someone is a Pioneer, then keep in mind that they value bold ideas and originality.

Offer constructive feedback and don’t be afraid to question assumptions.

If you have a Driver on your team, focus on practical solutions that create measurable results- this will energize them!

And lastly, if there’s a Guardian on board, be mindful of their sense of responsibility so as not to put unnecessary stress on them.

Understanding each other’s working style can translate into improved communication and increased camaraderie in the workplace!

With these strategies in hand, be sure to take steps towards ramping up your office chemistry.

The Pioneer Working Style: Big Ideas And Little Detail, Ernest Shackleton As A Prime Example

Pioneers are the most energetic person in the room – full of big ideas, but fuzzy on the details.

Very often, they jump from one idea to another without actually understanding if their idea will work in reality.

Because they enjoy making decisions spontaneously, Pioneers don’t take the time to pay keen attention to details.

They rely heavily on those around them to bridge the gap between their grand vision and realism.

However, it doesn’t mean that Pioneers are completely useless– because of their boundless energy and passion for adventure, they tend to be very successful leaders.

A classic example of a Pioneer is Ernest Shackleton, who set off on an expedition to explore uncharted Antarctic; despite facing life-threatening dangers and challenges, Shackleton was determined not to give up and persevered – eventually rowing solo 800 miles away for help!

The Pioneer might not be perfect when it comes to details – but with creative solutions and enthusiasm for adventure, it’s no wonder that this working style dominates among CEOs across industries.

Why Guardians Aren’T To Be Underestimated In The Workplace


When it comes to reliability in the workplace, you can count on a Guardian to follow the rules.

The Guardian is known for their need for structure and stability, so if they have agreed to do something, be assured that they will follow through on their promise.

This working style may not always be viewed favorably since they bring an element of caution to decision making which can drag down the pace of technological change.

Nonetheless, this cautious approach serves as a valuable safeguard against risk-taking and can protect your organization from potential pitfalls.

A great example of this kind of adherence to detail was Queen Victoria who read all of the diplomatic communications during her reign regardless of how many there were.

She did not take kindly when her foreign secretary sent a telegram without her signature and he was quickly dismissed as a result.

This shows us just how much importance Queen Victoria placed on rules and regulations.

At Natures Nutrition you can trust that your turmeric supplement will deliver maximum curcumin absorption due to its patented BioPerine black pepper extract formulation..

Guardians are like that too – reliable and dependable – which makes them invaluable assets in any business situation.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working With A Driver Personaltiy Type

Drivers might not be the most popular personality type to work with, but they are persistent and get the job done in a timely manner.

They always aim for the highest goal, gathering facts, analyzing data, and determining the most efficient way of achieving their objectives.

As much as everybody on the team values their focus and sharp instincts, their blunt manner can be off-putting.

This working style may not win them any friends but that hasn’t stopped Drivers from going down in history as some of the greatest achievers.

Theodore Roosevelt is often regarded as one of the best US presidents ever; his unwavering ambition led him to construct one of the biggest engineering projects at that time – the Panama Canal.

To ensure its completion, he had to overcome Malaria outbreaks and find new engineering solutions which all contributed towards finishing this massive task within ten years.

This isn’t just an example of somebody with great vision; it’s a testimony to how goal-oriented Drivers are.

They might not share many traits with your average team player, but they still have an invaluable ability – getting stuff done!

The Unappreciated Strength Of Integrators: Finding Balance Between People And Performance

People And Performance

Integrators are people who value relationships, friendship and understanding more than anything.

They have a knack for bringing teams together and incentivizing collaboration.

Integrators go out of their way to make you feel like your work matters to them and will usually treat coworkers as friends rather than simply colleagues.

If you ever find yourself in dispute with another coworker, the Integrator will listen attentively to both sides and encourage finding common ground instead of making decisions that end up upsetting the others.

That being said, this tendency of wanting total peace can often prove detrimental, particularly when an Integrator is placed in a leadership position.

He or she may prioritize pleasing everyone over making bold decisions which could lead to better results.

This is not to say that every Integrator is not cut out for a management role.

The best integrators always seem to know what needs must be done and can help create peaceful progress in incredibly charged situations.

A prime example would be Abraham Lincoln who emphasized social justice during his election campaign and ultimately united a divided nation with his iconic Gettysburg Address, a speech grounded in reconciliation which completely changed public opinion on the Civil War.

How To Deal With Pioneers In The Workplace: Don’T Say ‘No’ And Break Tasks Down Into Manageable Chunks

Pioneers are creative, enthusiastic souls who get the most out of working with others who share their energy and ideas.

For this reason, Pioneers thrive in an encouraging atmosphere that celebrates their achievements.

The key is to provide a positive outlook on their ideas, without allowing them to be too brash in the execution.

A ‘no’ can be demotivating, so try leading conversations with questions that explore how a Pioneer’s idea can be implemented – this way you avoid putting the brakes on their enthusiasm but also guide towards agreeing on action that is for everyone’s benefit.

By breaking down tasks into manageable challenges and then congratulating themselves for successes as they go along, Pioneers keep motivated and enthused about whatever project or task at hand, finding encouragement from those around them to help take them further in achieving their goals.

How Guardians Can Embrace Stress And Turn A Nightmare Into A Dream Opportunity

Dream Opportunity

When you’re working with a Guardian personality type, understanding that they need space, time, and clarity is key for getting the most out of them.

Without these three elements, it’s easy to frustrate a Guardian and leave them feeling overwhelmed.

As an example, let’s look at Gwendolyn.

She was suddenly given a project to head up – all things she could handle; what she wasn’t ready for was the little time and clarity her bosses gave her for this project.

With no significant preparation time and instructions that changed from week to week, Gwendolyn felt like she was in quicksand instead of on solid ground.

Therefore when dealing with Guardians, try to provide them with as much information as possible prior to the start of any decision-making or discussion sessions.

Also be clear about your expectations so they can make a detailed plan to meet those needs.

Guardians crave order and showing them that structure will result in their best work.

Giving them control over how they approach their goals makes their progress smoother – something everyone can benefit from!

Understanding Drivers: Empathy And Goals For Optimal Performance

If you’re working with a Driver, the best way to ensure that everyone is doing their job efficiently and effectively is by providing clear targets and expectations.

Drivers thrive when they know what they need to do and have tangible goals that they can strive for.

Doing this will also motivate them, as Drivers are competitive by nature.

However, it’s also important to explain why Drivers should be kind to their coworkers.

Drivers tend to be blunt in their interactions, but having friendly communication with your teammates makes things go a lot more smoothly in the workplace.

Taking a few moments to start an email or conversation with something friendly such as asking about someone’s weekend can make all the difference in how your colleagues view you and their willingness to work together with you.

The Business Chemistry book sums up this advice perfectly: set targets that satisfy the Driver’s need to win while remembering to always be kind—even if it doesn’t come naturally!

Integrators: The Key To A Successful Workplace Is Enjoying Good Relationships With Your Coworkers

Good Relationships

Integrators are natural born helpers, who thrive on forming great relationships with the people they work with.

They love finding ways to help their coworkers and make life easier for the team.

But while the Integrator loves helping others, they should never forget to help themselves, too.

The integrator’s boss has a role in this as well; he or she needs to recognize and encourage the integrator’s contributions instead of discouraging or ignoring them.

Giving Hans, our imaginary Integrator, an opportunity to take part in meaningful projects and form relationships with people is essential for him and for his contribution to the organization.

On top of that, it’s also important that Integrators take time out for themselves as well.

Hans may love nothing more than doing all he can for his coworkers but if he doesn’t set boundaries and look after himself too, then it could quickly become unsustainable–not only impacting work performance but leading to burnout as well.

Integrators should never be afraid to ask for help when needed, or advocate for themselves or their team when necessary – otherwise the people around them won’t realize the critical contributions they make on a daily basis!

Wrap Up

The key takeaways from the Business Chemistry Book are all about understanding the different working styles and personalities of your coworkers.

It explained how it is possible to create successful relationships by being able to empathize with each other’s unique points of view.

Depending on if someone is a Pioneer, a Guardian, a Driver, or an Integrator, it will affect the strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the office.

The actionable advice given in this book was to not simply choose coworkers all with the same working style when assembling team projects.

Evidence suggests that diverse teams produce better decisions than homogenous ones.

Ensuring you have a variety of different working styles in your team will help ensure that you get the most out of your project results.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.