How well do you really know your team? Who are they? What drives them? When these questions are answered, you’ll likely discover your team is a lot stronger than you first thought! The Birkman Method is a great tool to creating your dream team and becoming aware of all you have to offer.
What is the Birkman Method?
The Birkman Method is not like other personality tests. It is a science-backed assessment methodology, which dives deep into your behavior, perceptions and personality to help you understand the why behind your traits and interpersonal dynamics. It looks into what drives you and where your interests are.
What makes a team a dream team is by aligning each team member to support its strategic goals. Each team member brings distinctive strengths and capabilities to the team. The Birkman identifies these strengths and capabilities in a framework of four types: communicator, thinker, doer, or analyzer.
Like points on a compass, these strengths represent four kinds of individual focus, all critical to a dream team. Each strength, represented by a different color, identifies the basic
motivational direction that drives us toward our interests, overall approach and predispositions. These styles, or colors, filter our worldview and determine how we choose to approach work, solve problems and relate to people around us. Combinations of these styles create a dream team that provide diversity and significantly increase potential for optimal solutions.
The Birkman Method uses these colors to easily convey meaning of personality characteristics while also calling attention to the differences found within these characteristics. The four colors act as descriptions to help each person understand differences in personality. Many behavioral assessment tools often trap people by confining them to one type. The Birkman Method understands the unique traits that any one person may have might not conform nicely to an assigned category and takes into account the God-given diversity in each person.
Learn About Yourself
After reading my full Birkman report, the Interest section was one of the most helpful for me. This section uses 10 areas of interests and offers a score for each one. If you score higher than 85%, then this area of interest is not a want but an actual need. Also, if you score lower than 10%, these area of interest are ones that drain you or you have an aversion to. You may have a general idea of what you are interested in, but the Birkman can help reveal those interests in a clearer way.
Understanding areas of interest can help show areas where you will thrive. The areas in which a person scores highest in, are likely the areas of work they will be most motivated in to do a good job and to invest in.
Mark Twain said: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
When the work you are doing is something that you want to do, you will find that you put more care and effort into it. Those things matter to you, you want them to turn out well. It is important to find these areas that you are interested and pursue them. This works in reverse too. Regular responsibilities that require you to invest in areas you have a low interest score may cause higher stress and be harmful to the rest of the team.
Know Your Team
Now that you know who you are, the ways you work best, and what motivates, you can better build your dream team. Diversity is important to build a dream team, but diversity also can cause friction and stress if we do not understand each other better and on how we can communicate with each other effectively. Uncover and understand team strengths, challenges and motivations with the Birkman will help you get to dream team status.
At a recent company retreat, we discussed our Birkman reports and shared information about ourselves. We took time to get to know each others’ interests and strengths. As we talked, we discovered how different that we can be, yet how much we need each other. Each person has something unique that they bring to the table, and it can strengthen our appreciation for each other.
In every business or organization, unique personalities merge to create a dynamic environment which drives morale, engagement, and performance. Connecting team members with differing communication and work styles is one of the key challenges that organizations face. Birkman provides the tools to integrate diverse individuals into dream teams that achieve better productivity and success, and have the framework to resolve conflict and become more resilient.
Putting The Birkman to Use
As you recognize that there are unique gifts and personalities on your team, use them! Information is great to have, but having information is useless unless put it into action. Discover how to utilize the strengths of your teammates.
When leaders know the skills and strengths each individual brings to the team, they can use them to their fullest. It would be a waste for these strengths to go unused.
It also helps with communication. As you begin to realize your differences, you will likely find that people prefer to communicate using different mediums and express thoughts in different ways. Understanding why someone communicates in a different manner than you do can help in avoiding additional and unnecessary conflict.
Leaders will benefit a lot from this as well. It can be amazing how two people can respond to a situation so differently. There have been days that I’ve arrived to work with a to-do list in my inbox. For me, it was perfect. I could sit down and very clearly see what was expected of me and begin working. Yet for others, this would have been demeaning, and they could feel controlled and micromanaged.
Don’t let any test confine you or your team. Be aware that no test can fully understand a person’s strengths and abilities. Also, be careful not to allow the results to be an excuse to get out of tasks or responsibilities. For example, just because you are a thinker doesn’t mean that you should not play the role of communicator. Don’t limit yourself to the strength the test suggests you have, and please feel free to keep exploring!
The Birkman Method is a great tool for building your dream team. It can be a great way to discover your potential in ways that you never knew that your team possessed. Recognizing your team is made up of unique individuals with different offerings can help you thrive to create the dream team.