Maybe you popped over to the website when I first mentioned I was becoming a Certified Birkman Consultant but maybe you didn’t. I wanted to just give you a brief overview of the Birkman Method today because it will probably take me awhile to get my website updated to include all the services I am so excited to offer.
What is the Birkman Method?
The Birkman Method is a behavioral assessment (not a personality test) that simply shows you what you do. What makes it unique is that this assessment shows you:
- Your usual behavior (your positive style/your visible strengths)
- Your motivational needs (which can be quite different than your usual style and may be invisible to others) and
- Your likely stress behaviors when your needs remain unmet
Personality tests and other assessments tend to stop at the first one: they describe you and that’s it. Maybe they describe a few of your potentially negative stress behaviors as well but they’re missing a key piece of the puzzle: what your actual needs are.
This kind of information is extremely valuable for your own self-awareness, for your personal relationships and for finding your ideal work environment. The Birkman Method can give you neutral language to discuss areas of conflict and differences of style with your spouse, child, manager, colleagues or teammates. Without judgment, the reports give you information about how to get the help you need to operate mostly out of your strengths (usual behavior) and minimize and manage your stress behaviors.
I often find it just as helpful to understand what an assessment does not promise to do.
The Birkman Method WILL NOT:
- Tell you WHY you behave the way you do
- Make a clinical diagnosis
- Measure emotional maturity or mental health
This tool has been around for 60+ years and was developed by a former WWII Bomber pilot named Roger Birkman. He’s 94 years old and apparently was still coming into the office until just a few months ago! The assessment has an 94-96% accuracy level for validity and reliability of the results and the company has ongoing longevity studies that show your results are unlikely to change much over time (barring highly traumatic experiences). That means you really only need to take it once. I took it for the first time at 17 or 18 years old (about the youngest recommended age for taking it) and I still find my results are a very accurate reflection of what I do.
What do I want to do with it?
As you might guess, I love the Birkman Method for its insight into motivational needs, occupational interests and the level of self-awareness it can bring to your relationships and work. I am picturing using this method and the wide variety of reports it delivers with:
- College students wondering what to do with their lives
- Engaged or married couples who would like some extra tools for building a great relationship
- Teams that need or want a boost reaching their potential in working together
- Managers and employees who want or need to improve communication and working relationships
- Anyone working through career frustration and transition
I see this tool as providing a safe space for helping people address behavioral differences neutrally and also break down some of the generational, cultural and gender stereotypes we often run up against. In an interview with Dr. Birkman, he summarized his desire for the Birkman Method as a way for people to learn to accept and love themselves, see God’s love and purpose in how he made them, and then celebrate the diversity and potential in everybody else they meet (you can watch that interview on youtube – warning: it made me tear up in a couple spots).
How do you take it?
Contact me! Right now, you can just shoot me an email if you’re interested in taking this (or use the contact button above). We can discuss cost (I’m still figuring out all the pricing options!) and then it’s as easy as sending you a link to a questionnaire and scheduling a feedback session (in person, over the phone or on skype) to review and discuss your reports. The questionnaire takes about 45 minutes if I remember correctly and provides you with a hefty report (seriously, people we’re talking 50+ pages of different report options). Soon, I will hopefully have a link to the questionnaire right on the website and have an info page with the different options available.
UPDATE 6/11/15: If you’re ready to get your Birkman report, here are your choices!