Grayson happy as Larry at Leeds
"Diamond," was the immediate reply.
I suspect that Grayson himself would wince at the description. When I asked the 39-year-old how he would describe his managerial qualities the quiet confidence of his previous answers gave way to a momentary uncertainty.
"I don't know, it is for other people to analyse," Grayson, whose nickname is Larry, told me. "Different people would have different opinions."
Given that Leeds, defeated finalists in 1987, 2006 and 2008, are preparing themselves for another crack at the play-offs, their supporters would probably agree that much-maligned chairman Ken Bates has delivered to them something precious.
Leeds have lost just one of their last 15 games and have an ominous look about them as they push for a return to the Championship after a frustrating, perhaps humiliating but wholly deserved couple of seasons in League One. The first leg of their second-final tie takes place at Millwall on Saturday.
But Grayson's popularity rating is probably not too high in Blackpool, the club he walked out of after three successful years to take over at Leeds just before Christmas.
It was an unsightly mess, with Seasiders chairman Karl Oyston going public with the claim that he rejected five approaches from Leeds before Grayson eventually resigned. The clubs settled at a tribunal in early April, with both parties refusing to comment publicly on what transpired.
When Grayson arrived at Elland Road another season was in danger of going under, with Gary McAllister's dismissal coming on the back of five straight defeats that included an FA Cup reverse against non-league Histon.
So what did Grayson do?
"The players now are totally different to my first game in charge, at home to Leicester," said Grayson, referring to the attitude and self-belief of his players.
"You could sense the anxiety among the players and the fans, things were not right. We had to restore some confidence and make them believe they are talented players and get them back to some sort of level where they are maintaining performances."
Grayson strikes me as being an extremely pragmatic manager, one who is quick to identify a problem, work out what needs to be done and put a plan in place.
He decided it was important to start by keeping clean sheets, building from the back and get back to winning football matches. Then move towards the sort of attacking, attractive football that Leeds fans have glimpsed over recent weeks.
Grayson recalls certain training sessions where he thought that the players were starting to grasp what he and his backroom staff were trying to impart.
But if the Yorkshireman, elder brother of Essex cricket coach Paul, was to isolate one day when the season changed it was 17 February.
His team had been abject in losing 2-0 at rock-bottom Hereford and been subjected to some terrible stick - fully deserved in Grayson's view - from their own fans.
After the match Grayson shut the dressing-room door and let them have it. BBC Radio Leeds reporter Adam Pope recalls waiting and waiting and waiting for the manager to emerge. It was more than an hour before the manager returned.
Grayson is not a yeller and shouter. He has played for managers who have given it to his players every half-time and after every match. After a while Grayson used to switch off. It became white noise and lost its impact.
During his own managerial career Grayson has surprised his players by appearing calm when they might have expected harsh words, or losing his temper when they did not expect it. He subscribes to the importance of psychology in management.
In the dressing-room at Hereford it was raw emotion, pure and simple. He told his players they could go one way or the other.
"They could hide and duck away from the situation and not play for the club again, moving to a side lower down the league, or they could grasp the opportunity and use the stick they had quite rightly taken to prove the fans wrong," explains Grayson.
"As a group they have taken that opportunity and done really well from what could have been a delicate situation."
And so on to the play-offs and a semi-final tie against Millwall.
Grayson is no stranger to this part of the season, having won two finals and lost two as a Leicester player. He was the skipper as they defeated Derby 2-1 in 1994 and lifted the trophy. It was the Foxes' third play-off final in as many years and reward for their persistence.
As a manager he guided Blackpool to victory at Wembley in the 2007 League One play-off final. I interviewed Grayson ahead of that play-off campaign and asked him whether he would dust off his old videos.
Grayson immediately quipped that Betamax was a thing of the past but that is not to say that his experience will not prove useful.
He will insist that his players do not become carried away or change their habits. They must not lose sight of the hard work and application that has got them to this point. "If you start doing things differently you will come unstuck."
But he will also stress that his players must enjoy being involved in the play-offs, especially if they reach the final at Wembley on 24 May.
"I told my players at Blackpool not to have any regrets because it might not come around again," said Grayson.
Grayson himself knows that there is a pressure to deliver at Elland Road, restore the club to something like their former standing. He points out Manchester City as an example of another club that has recovered from an unwanted spell in League One. It is a measure of his common sense that Grayson quickly adds that Leeds are where they are for a reason.
Nonetheless, Leeds are not an ordinary League One club. While staying in London between away games at the start of April the entire squad went to see The Damned United.
Grayson found it slightly surreal to be watching a film about a man whose job he now has and a club he is charged with taking back through the divisions. But if it is something that concerns him it does not show.
"I felt when I was offered the job I could be the one to take them back to the heights and prove to be successful but time will tell I suppose," he said.