What Kind of Team Member Are You? Understand Brain Chemistry And Create Your Dream Team

Understand Brain Chemistry And Create Your Dream Team [Podcast]

Cara Lemieux, Director, Communications & Content
#Phase2 | Posted

We’ve all been on teams where we marvel at the amount of cohesion and productivity. You know, the type of gelling where you are knocking it out of the park and 3 people are seemingly doing the work of 5.

And then we’ve all been on teams where we can’t quite figure out why, but no matter how hard we try, we can’t reach that level of harmony. The personalities just don’t seem to be in sync with ours, the perspectives not in alignment, and nearly every action item on your collective to-do list seems to be a battle of wills.

Well what if the issue isn’t really the personalities of the individuals involved in the groups you are working in, but rather the chemistry of their brains that dictates working styles?  

Why Are Some Teams Highly Productive and Others Aren't?

After realizing that there were certain teams here at Phase2 who produced a high level of productivity and others who didn’t hit that same level, Kellye Rogers, Phase2 Director of Solutions, decided to try to understand the discrepancy - which is when she came across the concept of “Business Chemistry.” She joined forces with Jordan Hirsch, Director of Strategy, to figure out what makes our teams tick and how to make all of them as productive as possible.

In early 2017, Harvard Business Review released an issue all about “the new science of team chemistry.” They delved into the four primary personality types that people tend to present when they work on teams, using a framework called “Business Chemistry.”

Developed by Deloitte in conjunction with scientists from the fields of neuro-anthropology and genetics, Business Chemistry is an attempt to pair a work-based personality profiling system with rigorous brain chemistry research to arrive at a new understanding of how people work together. The resulting system is easy to remember, but with a sophisticated underpinning that highlights statistically relevant behavioral cues in a business environment.  


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4 Primary Working Styles

This research identified 4 primary working styles, each with identifiable traits.

You can refer to the chart we have below from Deloitte, but at a high level here is how these types break down:

  • Pioneers seek possibilities. They spark energy and imagination.

  • Drivers seek challenge. They generate momentum.

  • Integrators seek connection. They bring teams together.

  • Guardians seek stability. They bring order and rigor.


working styles chart

Source: Deloitte Greenhouse, Using Science to Improve the Art of Relationships

We tend to glorify Drivers and Pioneers, they have the most tangible results. And it can be easy for Integrators and Guardians to be left behind.

(It is important to note that most people are a combination of one or two of these types.)

Kellye and Jordan shared what they learned at P2Con, our recent company conference, and in this Phase2 Podcast discussing what they uncovered when they applied Business Chemistry to our own Phase2 staff, using Deloitte’s survey. What they learned is not only helpful for Phase2’s day-to-day but can help you and your teams work together more effectively.


What can you gain from this insight?

  • Figure out which type you are

  • An understanding of your opposite and, ideally, an empathy for people whose working styles are not like yours

  • When those inevitable battle of the wills occur and you are frustrated beyond belief with a teammate, you’ll be capable of noticing that what you are actually seeing is a warped, amplified version of a strength

  • Tools to move past the battle, to a place where you can use those differences to strengthen your weaknesses

  • How you can become a better collaborator with your team members

  • How to put teams together quickly and move them to high performance without a lot of warm-up time


Cara Lemieux

Cara Lemieux

Director, Communications & Content