Posted: 18 Feb. 2019 6 min. read

Drivers: How to recognise them and how to work with them

So, our first blog explained Business Chemistry and the benefits of applying it in the workplace, but in order to connect effectively with others we need to have an idea of their Business Chemistry type - we call this ‘hunching’. Hunching is a hypothesis. Only once we have developed a hunch can we apply our knowledge of Business Chemistry to strengthen the relationships through our actions and behaviour, and benefit everyone.

We will look at each type in turn to help you know one when you see one.

Recognising a Driver

Driver motto: And your point is…?

The most defining characteristic of the Driver is their focus and competitiveness. To get the results they’re after, they like to calculate the most direct route and tend to stick to that path, no matter what (or who…) gets in their way. This directness infuses everything they do, from making decisions, to interactions with others, to completing their aims. Drivers love a challenge, and they love to challenge.

Drivers are likely to take charge, and often prioritise goals over relationships, so they’re not the warmest of the Types. Don’t expect them to sugarcoat anything, or engage in small talk; that’s a waste of valuable time.

As well as being direct, Drivers are logical, technical, and quantitative. When it comes to decision-making, they are very willing to make tough decisions, but they’ll ask you to provide them with facts and data, so make sure you’re prepared and can provide them. They’re likely to question what you put in front of them but that’s the Driver way; they thrive on debate and challenge.

Drivers are willing to take a risk, but only after consideration. Once they’ve made their mind up, they’re not likely to change it, so it’s full steam ahead!

How to work with a Driver

Drivers like to get to the point and they value people who are competent and confident. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and get to the point quickly; but also know when to stop. Avoid excessive small talk, indirectness, and indecisiveness if you want to keep the attention of a Driver.

Working effectively with a Driver requires some flexing. How you flex depends on your own Business Chemistry type; here are some type-specific tips:

If you’re a Pioneer, you're naturally bold and quick thinking is likely to engage a Driver. Go ahead and bring up your out-of-the-box ideas; Drivers like to explore too. And feel free to spar a little, you’re both likely to thrive on it. But don’t lose sight of logic or practicality. Pie-in-the-sky thinking isn’t going to work here, and ill-considered risks will likely not be embraced.

If you’re a Guardian, start with the punchline. Drivers appreciate logic, data, and analysis, just like you. But they don’t want to walk through your full thought process. Bring the facts, get to the point, then stop talking.

If you’re an Integrator, brace yourself; your style is quite different from the Driver’s. Most likely you are skilled at relationship-building, and this can make you a great complement to a Driver, offering critical support in areas that they may deem unimportant, like navigating politics or working towards consensus. You may need to speed up your normally prolonged decision-making process though; a Driver’s likely to tell you they haven’t got all day. And you may possibly need to grow a thicker skin, as a Driver can come across as abrasive, but they won’t waste much time worrying about such a thing.

If you’re a Driver yourself, you may think working with like-type colleagues is the ideal scenario. It will probably feel easy in many respects but you may also find yourself in a power-struggle, as you’re both likely to prefer being in charge. Further, your similar perspectives can lead to risky tunnel vision; make sure you aren’t ignoring context or the people-implications of your actions.

Drivers out there, any other pearls of wisdom to share?

Read the other posts in this series, on Integrators, Pioneers, and Guardians, and subscribe below to be sure you don’t miss future posts. You can also find out more on Business Chemistry at our website.

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Key contact

Jessica Dooley

Jessica Dooley

Senior Manager

Jessica founded and leads Deloitte’s Business Chemistry client practice for the UK and North South Europe member firms. A business behavioural tool designed to help teams communicate and collaborate better for greater success, Business Chemistry is a proprietary self-assessment tool used to support boards, executive, and senior leadership teams across the FTSE, private, and public sectors. She helps teams understand each other’s working styles; hold honest conversations; be better leaders of diverse teams; build plans for enhanced collaboration; team deliberately for a common purpose; and build trust quickly to achieve strategic and organisational goals. The book ‘Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Relationships – a guide to putting cognitive diversity to work’ was released in the US and UK in May 2018.