® The Birkman Method Guide Self-Study Welcome to The Birkman Method®. This booklet has been written to assist you in interpreting your Birkman® report. The more you review the information in this booklet, the better prepared you will be for the Certification Training Course. There are a number of Relational Management Principles to which Birkman® adheres. These are important to be familiar with before moving on the specific information of this booklet. You are not “normal”. No one is “normal”. You are unique. Everyone is unique. Of course, we resemble one another in many ways, but many of the problems in our relationships stem from the fact that we are convinced of our own normalcy and judge others in terms of ourselves. People who are different from you are just different. This is an extension of the first principle. If you stop regarding yourself as “normal”, you may find it harder to pass judgments on other people. The best way of doing things may not be your way. In fact, the best way to do a job is determined by the personalities of the manager and his/her team and the nature of the job to be done. There is not necessarily a connection between the way someone behaves and the way he or she needs to be treated. The way you act is not necessarily the way you want to be treated. Birkman Component scores differentiate between these two. There is no ideal managerial model. Different groups of people require different approaches to management, even where they are performing the same task. New team members can greatly change the required style of the manager. A NOTE ON SCORES Throughout this booklet there will be discussions regarding high and low scores. When the total range of scores is 1 to 99, a High Score is the description given to scores ranging between 61 and 99; and, a Low Score is the description given to scores ranging between 1 and 40. When the total scoring range is 1 to 10, High Scores are 7 to 10 and Low Scores are 1 to 3. Scores of 41 – 60 and 4 – 6 are considered Moderate Scores. Naturally, if you have a very low score or a very high score, you will tend to show the extremes of the characteristics being described. If, on the other hand, you have scores in the moderate range you will probably show some of the characteristics of both extremes. COMPONENTS ESTEEM WHAT ESTEEM IS Esteem is the relationship you have with other people on a one-on-one basis. YOUR INDVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual Esteem Behavior score is an indication of the effective way you treat others on a one-on-one basis - the observable behavior that works best for you. If your score is low, you will deal with others on the basis of frankness, candidness and directness. You will feel at ease with superiors and be objective and unemotional in your relationships. If your score is high, you will have insight into other people’s feelings and communicate diplomatically with others. Your Need score shows the way you prefer to be treated by other people in those close relationships. A low score shows that you prefer others to be open and direct with you and that you like your relationships to involve a minimum of sentiment. If you score high, you prefer people to show respect and appreciation in their dealings with you and you will prefer any criticism of you to be moderated by an understanding of your personal qualities. Your Stress score indicates the negative, reactive, non-productive way you may behave if your Needs on Esteem are not met. If you score low you may be seen by others as too blunt and insensitive to the feelings of others. If you score high, you may be seen to be overly-sensitive, evasive, and possibly uncomfortable with superiors. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES Although a low score for Usual Behavior is common on Esteem, there are positive qualities associated with all scores. The directness of the low Usual Esteem individual is an asset if it does not result in lack of understanding of others’ feelings. And the insight into others’ feelings that characterizes the high Usual Esteem individual is a valuable talent in one-on-one relationships. The danger here is that an excessive concern can handicap your taking direct action. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED A set of scores that merits discussion is a very low score for Usual Esteem behavior accompanied by a very high score for Needs. Your low Usual Esteem behavior score is regarded by other people as a sign that you prefer to be treated by them in a direct and unemotional way. Of course, this is not the case. You are in fact very sensitive to others’ opinion of you, and you need to be aware that it is your Usual Esteem behavior which may be causing people to treat you in such a forthright manner. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. How will people with contrasting Esteem scores get on with one another? How can they improve their relationships? 2. What will be the managerial style of a high Esteem individual? A low Esteem individual? 3. What aspects of your one-on-one relationships do your Esteem scores make you more aware of? In what way (if any) do you think you will change with regard to those relationships? RELATED ISSUES Managing performance problems and performance reviews Awareness of feelings and special needs of others The use of candor as an interpersonal tool Dealing with sensitive or tough business issues ACCEPTANCE WHAT ACCEPTANCE IS Acceptance is the relationship you have with people in groups. It is a broader, more casual relationship. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES The score you are given for Usual Behavior on Acceptance shows how you relate to other people on this broader basis. A low score indicates that you work and think independently of the group. You work effectively alone or with one or two people with whom you are fairly close. If you score high, you are socially adaptive, comfortable working in a team and generally get along with people in a group setting. Your Needs score for Acceptance shows how you prefer to be treated with regard to groups. A low score shows that you prefer a minimum of group interaction and enjoy opportunities to be alone and work independently. A high score indicates you enjoy the support of a team or group, and it is important for you to feel that you are accepted by people. Your Stress score shows the non-productive behaviors you may exhibit when your Needs are not being met. If you have a low score on Needs, when in stress you may be seen as withdrawn and impatient with group or social time demands. You may underestimate the importance of group dynamics. If you score high you may be seen as too dependent upon group approval and support. You may be easily swayed by group opinion or say what others want to hear (to maintain the approval of the group). ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A high score for Usual Behavior is quite common. The assets of a high score are generally acknowledged – an ability to appear at ease in groups and the ability to work effectively in those groups. A low score on Usual Behavior can be just as beneficial. The ability to withstand the pressure of group opinion and to work alone is a very valuable asset. The individual with a high Stress score needs to be aware of the possibility of being agreeable merely for the sake of maintaining the approval of the group. The individual with a low Stress score needs to be aware of the possibility of becoming obstructive, and this can happen if the individual plays down the importance of group meetings and discussions. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED Some people who score high on Usual Acceptance behavior are surprised to find they have a low Need on Acceptance. There is nothing strange or unusual about this. It merely shows that you do not like being required to be with groups of people all the time. Provided you are allowed to spend a certain amount of time on your own or with those close to you, you are able to be friendly and at ease with groups. By contrast, if you have a high Need on Acceptance, it becomes important to you to spend a lot of time with groups of people. You need to feel a part of the group; that you “belong”. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. What suggestions would you make to a high Acceptance and a low Acceptance person to help them get on better? 2. Does a high or low Need person make the better sales person? Think carefully. 3. What would be the contrasting managerial styles of high and low Acceptance managers? 4. How will your knowledge of your Acceptance scores affect your relationships in the future? RELATED ISSUES Social enthusiasm Participation in meetings Open lines of communications Comfort in interacting with others Spontaneous expression STRUCTURE WHAT STRUCTURE IS Structure, in Birkman terms, is the way you relate to systems and procedures. Are systems and order an integral part of the way you function, or are you more productive working outside such constraints? YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual Behavior is an indication of the extent to which you impose system and order on your own activities and on the activities of other people. If you score low, your approach will be characterized by flexibility, an enjoyment of novelty and a preparedness to try out new methods to solve problems. A high score for Usual Behavior indicates by contrast an approach that is systematic and meticulous in planning and executing. A low Need score shows that you need to be treated by others in a low Structure way. You will prefer broad schedules and minimal routine. You will also enjoy frequent change and activities providing a sense of adventure. A high score shows that you need a structured environment, a plan to work by and the support of organization in what you do. A low Stress score indicates the possibility of becoming a procrastinator – leaving things until the last minute. You may also be seen by others as unconcerned with follow-through and underestimating the importance of systems and procedures. An individual with a high Stress score may be seen as over controlling, rigid regarding past precedent and resistant to unexpected change. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A high score for Usual Behavior on Structure is fairly common. Your ability to organize and follow through on your tasks is a considerable asset as long as it does not become an overly rigid insistence on following precedent and procedure. But a low score for Usual Behavior on Structure offers equal potential for success. It is surprising to many people that low Structure individuals make good planners. Their ability to think outside established procedures helps them here. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED You may discover that you score high for Usual Behavior and low for Needs. This shows that you enjoy structuring and organizing your affairs but that you dislike having a schedule or plan imposed on you. You would rather be given the “broad picture” and be left to work out the details yourself. By contrast, a high score for Need indicates that you would prefer to have some organizational support or plan offered to you on which to structure your own approach. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Find (or imagine) someone with scores that vary greatly from yours. Write brief notes on how that person is likely to view you. Does this alter your feelings about other people’s approach to Structure? 2. Read the section on Change. Discuss or make notes on the various combinations of Change and Structure scores. 3. List the positive and negative characteristics of high and low Structure managers. Is there a better style for a manager? RELATED ISSUES Managing meetings effectively Clarity of delegation Projectmanagement/time management Sustaining systems and procedure AUTHORITY WHAT AUTHORITY IS Authority is the way that you relate to direction and control. It relates to issues of conflict and verbal dominance. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual Behavior score for Authority tells you how you exercise control in your dealings with other people. If your score is low, you exercise your authority in an atmosphere of pleasant and easygoing relationships. You will probably ask or suggest that people do things, rather than order them. A high score, by contrast, shows that you are self-assertive. You enjoy directing the activities of others. You are quite prepared to argue a point if you find yourself in disagreement with other people and you like to take a stand on issues. The score for Need tells you the kind of environment you prefer to be in with regard to the exercise of direction and control. If you score low, you need pleasant and agreeable relationships and the support of authority vested in a job description or title. If your score is high, you need an environment that offers the assurance of being tightly controlled by the appropriate authority figures and opportunities for forthright discussion of policies and decisions. In other words, you need to sense firm control. The Stress score identifies the negative behavior you may exhibit when your Needs around Authority are not being met. A low score indicates the likely behaviors of being weak in the exercise of control, insufficiently self- assertive and uncomfortable in the maintenance of discipline. One the other hand if you have a high Stress Authority score you may exhibit behaviors such as being domineering, over-assertive, and argumentative. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low score on Usual Behavior is common on Authority. This agreeable approach to exercising control is a great asset unless it leads to undue reluctance to be firm in difficult situations. But a high score can be equally effective. High scoring individuals have a capacity to be brief and to the point, leaving no doubt as to who is in control. This only becomes a problem insofar as you run the danger of being seen as too dominant. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED A fairly frequent phenomenon is a low Usual Behavior score together with a high score on Needs. Your Usual Behavior score shows that you exercise control through suggestion rather than direct orders, but your Need score indicates that you approve of firm supervision and need to feel a definite sense of control in your environment. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. What problems will a low Authority supervisor experience with a high Authority team? A high Authority supervisor with a low Authority team? 2. Choose one person whose managerial style you regard differently as a result of studying Authority. What has changed? Why? 3. How would the Authority score play a role in an individual’s performance evaluation meeting? The supervisor’s Authority score? The individual’s Authority score? RELATED ISSUES Cooperation/conflict management Use of verbal authority Listening skills Openness to others’ ideas Emphasis of delegation ADVANTAGE WHAT ADVANTAGE IS Advantage is the Birkman term for how you prefer to be incentivized. At one end of the continuum is the concrete recognition of individual effort. At the other is the focus on the abstract rewards of working on a project. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual Behavior score is an indication of your productive way of behaving with regard to incentives. A low score shows that you will place an emphasis on the abstract values of your work and that trust and loyalty will be dominant features of your approach. A high score shows that you are competitively inclined. You will enjoy activities directly connected with concrete recognition of your individual efforts. The Need score shows the environment you prefer to be in or the way you like to be treated by other people. If you have a low score, you are indicating that you need an environment that stresses the usefulness of your work and encourages teamwork and loyalty. A high score, by contrast, shows that you need the support of a competitively-oriented environment where emphasis is placed on individual ability and its recognition in some concrete form. The Stress score indicates the likely non-productive behaviors should your Needs not be met on Advantage issues. Low Stress Advantage behaviors are likely to include a tendency to be too idealistic, impractical and unrealistic. High Stress Advantage behaviors include becoming distrustful and opportunistic. Other High Stress Advantage behaviors may include being too prepared to take advantage of others and too self-promoting. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low score for Usual behavior is fairly common. It carries with it the benefits of an idealistic, sharing attitude toward others and is only handicapping if it causes you to overlook the harsher realities of the competitive side of society. A high score for Usual behavior carries several assets too. A competitive approach to life is after all the foundation of most market economies and is fostered in most of us from our early high school days (if not sooner). The danger associated with high Advantage Usual behavior is the possibility of alienating or even taking unfair advantage of those who are more idealistically inclined. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED One set of scores that causes some confusion is the combination of low Usual behavior and high Needs. Individuals with this combination may sometimes be concerned that they are “secretly” materialistic and overly competitive. In fact, this combination is common and perfectly natural. The high Need score merely indicates the importance of being in an atmosphere that encourages and recognizes individual effort, even though the Usual behavior score shows that this recognition is not actively sought out. Nevertheless, that individual recognition is something that is needed and it is something that actually motivates you to respond with your more idealistic Usual behavior. THINGS TO THIK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Find (or imagine) a person whose Advantage score contrasts with yours. How do you see that person? How does he/ she see you? How can you reconcile these attitudes? 2. Do you see anything significant in the frequency of low Usual behavior in a society that is based on individual competition? 3. How will a low Advantage manager likely approach the problem of remunerating employees? A high Advantage manager? What special considerations should each be aware of? RELATED ISSUES Risk-taking vs. security in the work place Materialistic winning vs. intangible values Comfort with bargaining vs. negotiating ACTIVITY WHAT ACTIVITY IS Activity is a measure of the degree of physical activity that characterizes your work and play. To a large extent, it also indicates the approach that you take to dealing with matters or problems that arise in your affairs. Is your response usually in terms of action, or of sitting back and reflecting before committing to a course of action? YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES The Usual behavior score is an indication of your natural, productive way of approaching issues. A low score shows that you prefer a reflection-oriented approach which makes the best use of your and other people’s energies. If on the other hand, you score high, this suggests that you have a high energy level and that it is important to you to be active for a large part of your day. The Need score shows the kind of environment you need to be in or the way you need to be treated by others. If you score low you will need an environment that permits a certain amount of time for reflection and thought and does not place the demands of a heavy schedule upon you. A high score shows that you need and enjoy the stimulus of a busy and active environment and a variety of things to do. A low Stress score on Activity indicates that when in stress behavior others are likely to see you as lacking in energy and enthusiasm and perhaps even feeling you are lazy. If you have a high Stress score on Activity you will likely be seen by others as restless and impatient and perhaps busy for the sake of being busy. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A high score for Usual behavior is fairly common. Individuals with high scores display plenty of physical energy and tend to have the stamina to accommodate a demanding schedule, though they may run the danger of believing that direct action is the answer to every problem they encounter. The low-scoring individual possesses the valuable asset of being able to stand back from a situation and reflect on the best way of handling it. A possible handicap is that this relaxed approach can on occasion lead to personal inertia. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED A fairly frequent combination is high Usual behavior and low Need. With these scores, you prefer a fairly relaxed environment that offers opportunity for thinking through problems at hand. Provided this is offered, you are able to display sufficient energy to carry through the solution you have chosen. Less common, but just as potentially successful, is the combination of low Usual behavior and high Need. If you have these scores, you enjoy and have a need for a busy work environment. Nevertheless, your personal response to this environment is to place a heavy emphasis on thinking your problems through, delegating some of your work and generally planning for an efficient approach to your work and the work of others. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Discuss how best a high Activity and low Activity person can work together. What concessions will each have to make to the other? 2. Will a high Activity or a low Activity person make a better team leader? Why? 2. How can a high Activity person relax? Why is this critical? What will be the contrasting problem of the low Activity person? RELATED ISSUES Urgency in decision-making Balance between thought and action Patience with planning and pacing CHALLENGE WHAT CHALLENGE IS Challenge is a measure of the way you relate to the demands of your work or of any project you are involved in. It is the self-imposed demands for achievement. The scores for Usual, Need and Stress are identical. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES If you have a low score Challenge you will show a confidence in your own abilities and you will come across to other people as charming, pleasant and persuasive when you are in your productive, Usual behavior. Generally, you are well aware of your strengths and you will tend to choose tasks that you know are within your capabilities. If you have a high score for Challenge you will tend be strong-willed and determined. You will seek challenging goals and will be stimulated by difficult personal challenges. Individuals with low scores on Challenge need an environment that provides emotional protection from punishing situations or relationships. These individuals need praise and recognition to maintain a successful image. Individuals with high scores need an environment that provides opportunities to prove themselves. They need continued elevated goals. Once in Stress behavior, the low Challenge people can be seen to blame personal problems on situational, external factors. They sometimes avoid introspection and self-examination. They can also be perceived by others as taking too much credit for team accomplishments. The individuals with high Challenge can feel inadequate and can be too critical and demanding of self and others. They can become unconsciously defiant in subtle ways. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES The charm and self-confidence of the low Challenge individual are considerable assets. They can be handicapped by a refusal to acknowledge one’s responsibility for mistakes and a tendency to blame such errors on other people. High Challenge individuals have the ability to stretch themselves to achieve high levels of attainment, but can be troubled by excessive feelings of personal guilt for mistakes, sometimes even when the mistakes are not of their own making. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED Perhaps of greatest significance are extremely high or extremely low scores. The self-confidence of the low scores can extend to a genuine inability to accept anything critical about themselves. This tendency is not a “cop-out” – it is sincerely felt. If you have a very low Challenge score, beware of this tendency causing you to reject your Birkman results as inaccurate. Very high Challenge individuals can feel responsible for problems in which they are not even involved. If your score is very high, you may have a tendency to see your Birkman results in the worst possible light. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISSCUSS 1. How would a person with a Challenge score greatly different from yours tend to view you? What would you tell that person to help them gain a more balanced view of you? 2. Try to guess the Challenge score of people with whom you are familiar. If you can discover their Birkman scores, do so. Account for any mistakes you made in your guesses. 3. Discuss the pros and cons of the high and low Challenge scores for managers. CEOs. Ministers. Entertainers. Salespeople. RELATED ISSUES Intensity in work commitments Risk-taking Approach taken in establishing credibility Goal setting and achieving EMPATHY WHAT EMPATHY IS Empathy, in Birkman terms, is a measure of the extent to which feelings are a part of your day-to-day interactions. It indicates the degree to which you see emotion as a significant factor in your dealings with other people. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual behavior score shows the extent to which you display feelings in your relationships with other people. A low score indicates that you are objective and practical in such relationships. If you score high, you tend to be insightful and sympathetic to the feelings of others and you enjoy warm, genuine relationships. Your score for Needs is an indication of the extent to which you wish others to take your feelings into account. If you have a low score, you will prefer and need to work in an environment that offers detached supervision and matter of fact instruction. A high score, on the other hand, tells you that you need a more emotional environment where people are more mindful of your personal feelings. The Stress scores indicate the non-productive behaviors you may exhibit if your Needs do not get met over time. Individuals with low Stress scores may be seen as impersonal and unfeeling. They may lose sensitivity to feelings and problems of others. High scoring individuals may be seen as allowing emotion to affect judgment. They may magnify problems and personal setbacks. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low score for Usual behavior is fairly common. Low scorers can be detached in difficult situations and do not allow their emotions to cloud the issue. However, they can sometimes overlook an important emotional element in their dealings with others. High scorers are sensitive to the feelings of other people, but this same sensitivity can make them prone to wide changes in mood and occasional discouragement. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED People are sometimes surprised to discover that a low score for Usual behavior can be accompanied by a high score for Need. If you have such scores, you are simply indicating that although your own productive behavior is objective and practical, you need for people to be warmer and more sensitive in their dealings with you. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Do high Empathy scores help or handicap the typical manager? 2. Having read about Empathy, do you think that personnel issues demand high Empathy scores? 3. What suggestions would you make to help a high Empathy person and a low Empathy person understand one another better? 4. Is true that low Empathy people “don’t care”? RELATED ISSUES Practicality of ideas vs. thought and creative ideas Control vs. expressions of enthusiasm CHANGE WHAT CHANGE IS Change is simply a measure of the level of interruptions and change of significant priorities that you prefer. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your score for Usual behavior is an indication of the amount of change that you introduce into your own schedule or the schedule of others. If you score low you are likely to keep this sort of change to a minimum. A low score also suggests that you are able to concentrate on a given project for a sustained period of time and that you are able to resist distractions. A high score for Usual behavior shows that you enjoy introducing change into your personal affairs and that you are not averse to effecting similar changes in the routines of other people. There is also a tendency to enjoy taking on a variety of tasks, being easy to stimulate and linking plenty of variety and novelty. Your Need score offers insight into the amount of change you need to have imposed upon you by your environment or by other people. If you have a low score for Need, you are indicating that you need to have a minimum of change imposed upon you and that you need the support of an environment that permits concentration on one task at a time. A high score shows that you need to be offered the opportunity of varied work situations and changes in activity. A low Stress score indicates that others may see you as resistive to change and unresponsive to new demands or priorities when you are in Stress behavior. High stress scorers may be seen as restless and lacking in self- discipline. High scorers may also find concentration to be difficult when in stress. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low score for Usual behavior is common. Low scorers manifest dedication to the job at hand and general contentment with things as they are, although they may occasionally resist necessary changes because of an over-emphasis on difficulties in accepting or accommodating such changes. If you score high on Usual behavior you enjoy variety and novelty and appear attentive and alert. You may, however, introduce change for its own sake when it is not really required. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED Occasionally people find it hard to understand “cross-scores” on Change – that is, high Usual behavior with low Need, or low Usual behavior and high Need. Low Usual behavior with high Needs mean that you enjoy having a certain amount of change introduced into your environment or being offered opportunities for novelty and variety in your personal affairs. With this support, however, your productive (Usual) behavior is to be stable and consistent and to apply yourself to your tasks one by one rather than moving rapidly from one project to another. If your score is high for Usual and low for Needs, you enjoy introducing change into your work but you need for changes imposed by others to be kept to a minimum. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. What is the best way to help low Change individual adapt to necessary change? And how would you help a high Change individual work a long period of time at one particular task? 2. What drawbacks is a high Change CEO likely to have? A low Change CEO? What particular assets will these people have? Which is preferred? RELATED ISSUES Comfort in shifting work priorities Patience with interruptions Flexibility in accepting externally imposed change FREEDOM WHAT FREEDOM IS Freedom is a measure of the extent to which you need to be free of social constraints. It offers you an insight into the degree to which you feel and demonstrate your individuality. It is how much independence of pressure for cooperation, co-ordination, and conformity we prefer. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES The Usual behavior score for Freedom tells you to what extent you see yourself, and behave, as an individual. If you have a low score, you tend to regard yourself as very much the same as other people. Your behavior is consistent and restrained and you are fairly conventional in attitude. A high score indicates that you feel your behavior is rather different from most people. Your behavior will be more distinctive and individualistic and will not necessarily be bound by convention. Your Need score indicates how you like to be treated by other people or the kind of environment in which you need to be. A low score for Need on Freedom shows that you need a conventional and predictable environment that offers the reassurance of consistency and predictability. By contrast, a high score indicates a need for surroundings that offer plenty of opportunity for self-expression and self-determination. Low Stress scores indicate non-productive behaviors such as being overly constrained by past methods, dreading the unexpected, and being too conforming. High Stress scores indicate non-productive behaviors such as being unpredictable in thought and action, too individualistic and misjudging the needs and feelings of others. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low to average score is fairly common for Usual behavior on Freedom. If your score is low, you enjoy the considerable advantage of understanding the thoughts and attitudes of the average person. Your problem may be that you are too prepared to dismiss the unconventional as a waste of time. There are also positive aspects to a high score. You do not regard precedent or convention as a bar to trying new ideas and approaches and are more likely to appreciate the value of an unusual solution to a difficult situation. However, you can occasionally espouse unconventional notions merely because they are different. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Does your reading about Freedom alter your attitude toward people who you suspect score differently from yourself? How? 2. Is it true that individuality is the only gateway to progress because only high Freedom people will accept new ideas? 3. How can the contributions of the high Freedom people be accepted without upsetting low Freedom people? And, how can routine matters be handled without boring high Freedom people? RELATED ISSUES Conforming and cooperating with the team Willingness to take initiative Resistance in work/social situations THOUGHT WHAT THOUGHT IS Thought is a measure of the length of time it takes you to make a decision. It is important to remember that this is the only aspect of decision- making that is covered by Thought. For example, your Thought scores give no indication of whether your decisions tend to be good or bad. Thought scores indicate how much time we prefer before we have to close out a decision and begin action. YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCORES Your Usual behavior score tells you the length of time it usually takes you to arrive at a decision. The score applies particularly to routine decisions which do not require taking novel or unusual circumstances into account. If your score is low, you tend to make decisions rapidly and in an objective, matter-of-fact way. If your score is high, you will, by contrast, take longer to reach a decision because of your ability to see all sides of the issue and your liking for getting the input of other people before committing yourself. The score you have been given for Needs is an indication of the amount of time you like to be given to make a decision. It also tells you how long you tend to take to make decisions that are not routine and that involve a consideration of unusual or unique factors. A low score means that you do not need to feel you have a lot of time to reach a decision and that you are capable of rapid, decisive action even under pressure. You do feel a need for situations to be presented to you in clear, unambiguous terms. If you have a high score for Need, you need to feel that you have plenty of time to make up your mind and that advice is available from other people. It also indicates that under pressure or when considering unusual problems you need a long time to reach a decision. The negative, non-productive behaviors of a low Stress score include being over-simplistic in the assessment of relevant factors of a decision and possibly becoming impetuous. High scores indicate the non-productive behaviors of indecisiveness and worrying unnecessarily. ASSETS OF HIGH AND LOW SCORES A low score for Usual behavior is common. If your score is low, you have the ability to grasp relevant issues rapidly and weigh competing factors quickly. However, you can occasionally be impetuous. If you score high, you are able to take into account the consequences of your decisions and you have a natural tendency to look at all relevant considerations in your decision-making. You may sometimes find, though, that you delay making a decision too long. SOME SCORES DISCUSSED If you score low for Usual behavior and high for Needs, you need to feel that you have plenty of time to make up your mind even though you may avail yourself of that time relatively infrequently. You also take much longer to make up your mind about difficult decisions. A high score for Usual behavior and a low score for Needs show that you generally take some time to make your routine decisions, although you need a minimum of ambiguity in the way those decisions are presented for your consideration. You also tend to react more quickly when under pressure or when difficult decisions are required. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DISCUSS 1. Make a case for both the high and low Thought CEO. Which do you prefer? 2. How would you help a high Thought person to make a rapid decision? How would you prevent a low Thought person from making too rapid a decision? 3. Think of one person whose decision-making style has puzzled you. Does the description of Thought help you better understand that person? How? RELATED ISSUES Decision making and patience Degree of comfort with risk Consistency with positions taken LIFE STYLE GRID® LIFE STYLE GRID® This part of your Birkman report is a simple way to visualize your overall behavior. It shows a summary of the behavioral portions of the Birkman information on a grid with four quadrants. Each quadrant is identified by a color. The Life Style Grid® is based on a model of how people behave in general. Broadly, there are basic differences in temperament. Birkman describes these as EXPEDITERS (red), COMMUNICATORS (green), PLANNERS (blue), and ADMINISTRATORS (yellow). There are four areas of your personality and behavior that appear on the Grid: (*) The Asterisk indicates what you want to do – that is, your work preferences, as indicated by your interest patterns; the type of results you want and the kind of activities that will give you the most satisfaction. It is what you like to do. (%) The Diamond shows how you like to get things done, or what your Usual behavior is. It is how other people see you acting most of the time. It is how you get things done when your Needs are being met. (O) The Circle shows your Needs, how you want the environment or others to treat you. ( ) The Square show how you act under stress, when you are under pressure and your Needs are not being met. The placement of these symbols is very important. If a symbol is in one color quadrant but close to another color quadrant, you will likely take on characteristics of both colors. The deeper you are in one color quadrant the more you will take on the characteristics of that color. There is no “good” or “bad” color quadrant. One way to think about this is that the Blue people will give you the idea, the Green people will persuade you and others to do it, the Red people will work out how to do it, and the Yellow people will keep the records. While this is certainly an oversimplification, it can provide a way to appreciate the strengths of all four color quadrants. The diagonally opposed color quadrants have the least in common with one another, but likely quite often need the support of one another. LIFE STYLE GRID® Direct Communication The Red Quadrant: The Green Quadrant: Likes to : Build; organize; see Likes to : Sell; promote; finished product; solve problems. persuade; motivate. Appears : Friendly; decisive; Appears : Competitive; assertive; energetic; straightforward; logical; flexible; enthusiastic about the new. casual. Needs : Individual approval; Needs : Casual, matter-of-fact defined authority; varied activities; relationships; strong, direct authority; broad scheduling. outlet for energy; directive scheduling. Under Stress : Becomes easily Under Stress : Becomes impatient; distracted; distrusts others; dismisses others’ feelings; busy for the becomes domineering; fails to sake of doing; finds it difficult to provide follow the plan. Task individual support. People Oriented The Yellow Quadrant: The Blue Quadrant: Oriented Likes : Scheduled activities; work with Likes to : Plan; deal with detail; develop policies and procedures; abstractions; visualize possibilities; numbers, accounting. generate ideas; innovate. Appears : Orderly; concentrative; Appears : Insightful; selectively cautious; insistent. sociable; thoughtful; reflective; supportive; optimistic. Needs : Friendly but casual relationships; specific direction and Needs : Individual reassurance; control; demanding projects; close direction by suggestion; stimulating scheduling. activities; to create own schedule. Under Stress : Becomes over- Under Stress : Ignores social conven- insistent on rules; resists necessary tion; becomes indecisive; finds it hard to change; reluctant to confront others, take action; sees worst possibilities. possibly losing advantage. Indirect Communication LIFE STYLE GRID® THE ASTERISK The Asterisk shows what you are interested in; what you really want to do. The Red Quadrant Red people like to build, organize, see the finished product, solve practical problems and work with tangible objects. The Green Quadrant Green people like the challenge of selling, persuading, promoting, motivating, counseling, teaching, and working with people in one form or another. The Yellow Quadrant Yellow people like to work with rules, procedures, definitions, sequences, do detailed work, and work with numbers. The Blue Quadrant Blue people plan, work with abstract ideas, think up new approaches, and consider the emotional side of issues. THE DIAMOND The Diamond helps you to understand how you like to get things done. It is the productive, adaptive, natural way you go about your activities each day. If your Asterisk and your Diamond are far apart (in different color quadrants) your actions may not necessarily reflect the things that motivate you (your Interests). Your Diamond (Usual) represents the style that works for you in helping you to achieve your goals or Interests. The Red Quadrant People with a RED Diamond are practical in approach, usually decisive, action-oriented and forthright. The Green Quadrant People with a GREEN Diamond prefer to direct people, to talk or influence. They are flexible. The Yellow Quadrant People with a YELLOW Diamond emphasize procedures and systems, use precedent in problem-solving and measuring results. The Blue Quadrant People with a BLUE Diamond are agreeable, reflective, and emphasize creativity. LIFE STYLE GRID® THE CIRCLE The Circle suggests the type of support you need from your environment or other people. The Red Quadrant People with a RED Circle need the support of a practical, action-oriented environment with strong direct authority. They need the focus to be on the present – the task at hand. The Green Quadrant People with a GREEN Circle need to feel the support from the team, and they do well with individual approval, defined authority and broad scheduling. The Yellow Quadrant People with a YELLOW Circle need the support of recognized systems and procedures and definite rules and objectives. They also need a generally friendly, but low-key environment. The Blue Quadrant People with a BLUE Circle need individual reassurance and an environment that appreciates creativity and innovation. They need time to think and reflect. THE SQUARE The Square provides indications of how you will likely behave under stress. These behaviors are reactive and are non-productive. Each color quadrant has its unique stress behaviors, but they are all negative. The idea is to work quickly to get your Needs met once a stress behavior is observed. The Red Quadrant People with a RED Square are likely to become insensitive, impatient and demanding. They are likely to become busy for the sake of being busy – working on things that are not a priority. The Green Quadrant People with a GREEN Square are likely to become easily distracted, domineering and confronting. They may fail to follow the plan. The Yellow Quadrant People with a YELLOW Square become overly insistent on rules. They may resist necessary change, and they may be reluctant to confront others. The Blue Quadrant People with a BLUE Square may ignore social convention, become indecisive, and may become easily discouraged. LIFE STYLE GRID® THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. What color quadrant is your Asterisk in, and what does that mean to you? How have your hobbies and jobs matched what you now know of your Asterisk? How have they not matched? 2. What does the position of your Diamond mean to you? Have you and your manager maximized the positive nature of your Diamond in the job requirements you have had? If not, is there a way to improve this? 3. Think about your Needs (Your Circle). Do you think knowing this information will help you be aware of what you need from your environment? Will it help you find ways to get your needs met? How? 4. How does knowing your Stress Color Quadrant help you become more productive? 5. From which color quadrant do you need the most support, and why? AREAS OF INTEREST AREAS OF INTEREST The “Areas of Interest” page compares your interest in broad areas of activity with the level of interest most other people have. There are ten areas, and each one has a bar graph followed by a number from 1 to 99. The number tells you how many people out of 100 have less interest than you do in that area. For example, if the number beside “Mechanical” is 88, you are more interested in doing mechanical things than 87 people out of 100. You can say that you’re strongly interested in that area. Below is an explanation of the numerical system. 1-10 Shows an intense lack of interest in that area. You don’t like to be involved in these types of activities, and in fact you may be uncomfortable when this kind of activity continues for very long. 11-49 Indicates less interest in that area than most people. 50 Is the “average” interest, meaning that half the people have more interest and half have less interest than you do in that area. You are neither strongly interested nor uninterested. 51-89 Indicates more interest in that area than most people. 90-100 Shows an intense interest, even a need to be involved in this activity. This means you may be unhappy and feel unfulfilled without at least some of this activity in your life. Keep in mind that there are no perfect numbers . . . just different numbers. A 20 is no worse (or better) than an 80 – it just indicates a level of interest in an area. Also keep in mind that a single area and number don’t tell the whole story. You need to look at all the Interests to see how they balance and reinforce each other. For example, a Mechanical of 90 plus an Artistic of 90 might indicate you would enjoy being a draftsman. A Mechanical of 90 and an Outdoor of 90 might mean you would rather be a carpenter outside building houses. In any case, you have to look at all 10 areas and numbers together to get a complete picture. AREAS OF INTEREST As you might infer from what you have just read, you should interpret these Areas of Interest broadly. A high Artistic score does not mean that you are necessarily interested in art museums, just as a high Musical score doesn’t mean you like opera. A high Artistic score does indicate a need in your life for some sort of design or graphics work. It is important to remember that Interests do not necessarily relate to talent, as Birkman does not measure skill or aptitude in any way. Because of this, your occupation will not necessarily match your highest Interest scores. This is okay, as long as you realize that a score over 90 indicates a need in your life. That need can be met vocationally (with your job) or avocationally (with your hobbies or what you do at home); one way is not better than the other. Below are the basic definitions of the Areas of Interest with examples of how they may be expressed by various individuals. Artistic An affinity for abstract concepts and unique forms usually expressed in a visible manner. Methods for expression may include sculpture, painting, interior design, architecture, crafts, and photography. Occupations may include photographer, architect, landscape design, artist, and florist. Clerical An affinity for order, structure, systems and accessibility of material and information. Methods for expression may include scheduling activities and resources, filing, systematizing materials, keeping close control over resources, and producing order in the surrounding environment. Occupations may include financial manager, office worker, and court reporter. Literary An affinity for language and its use in the printed word, along with appreciation for the abstract feelings and ideas conveyed in written material. Methods for expression may include reading in all forms (pamphlets, novels, professional publications, and magazines), concern with different literary styles, interest in writers and their histories, writing or a desire to write, and interests in foreign languages. Occupations may include writers, editors and literary agents. AREAS OF INTEREST Mechanical An affinity for the design, building and/or maintenance of devices requiring the operation of several inter- related parts with separate functions. Methods for expression may include engineering, machine design, home repair, auto maintenance, carpentry, woodwork, mechanical operations and construction activities. Occupations may include auto mechanics, engineers, plumbers and craftsmen. Musical An affinity for the art of arranging sound in time through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and color. Methods for expression may include playing a musical instrument, listening to varied forms of music; writing music, singing, dancing, and watching musical performances. Occupations include singers, musicians, and song writers. Numerical An affinity for activities requiring quantitative or mathematical abilities, i.e., the use of numbers. Methods for expression may include statistical theory, bookkeeping, systems approaches, any measurement technique, logic and forms of logic expression, and novel approaches to measurement. Occupations might include cashiers, accountants, mathematicians, administrative office workers, and any jobs working with computers. Outdoor An affinity for any activities that are conducted in the outdoors or natural environment. Methods for expression may include sailing, forestry, skiing, camping, driving or touring, swimming, hunting, building things outdoors, and observing and interacting with nature. Occupations might include carpenter, farmer, veterinarian, sportsman, forest ranger, and field engineer. AREAS OF INTEREST Persuasive An affinity for any activities that have to do with verbal communication between individuals or groups. Methods of expression may include selling, teaching, debate, and psychological counseling. Occupations include sales, public relations, politics, mediation and psychology. Scientific An affinity for any area of study dealing with a body of facts systematically arranged to show the operation of laws. Methods of expression may include chemistry, physics, medicine, biology, anthropology, astronomy, botany, zoology, and geographic enterprises. Occupations might include diagnostician, all types of scientists, lab worker, weather forecaster, dentist, and occupations in medical and technical areas. Social Service An affinity for those activities that tend to indirectly assist others in obtaining goals of growth, development or physical necessities. Methods of expression may include social work, church activities, civic groups, youth services (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.) and volunteer work. Occupations include teacher or coach, community service, social work, therapist, and minister. AREAS OF INTEREST THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. From this section of your Birkman® Report, what are your highest work interests? 2. What job functions will motivate you the most? 3. Which ones may de-motivate you? PREFERRED WORK STYLES PREFERRED WORK STYLES The following scores describe how you prefer to contribute to an organization and what you value in a work setting. These scores are broken into four categories: Management Styles; Corporate Styles; Social Styles; and, Intellectual/Problem Solving Styles. Management Styles Birkman® has identified three general management styles – Knowledge Specialist, Directive and Delegative. Management Style Scores range from 1 to 10. A high score (7-10) indicates the probable management style of the individual. Low scores do not necessarily imply an inability to manage in that style. A low score merely indicates that that particular management style may not be the natural, preferred management style. It is possible to have high scores on more than one Management Style. This indicates a preference for various styles which may be utilized at different times. A score of 7 or higher on Knowledge Specialist indicates a person who contributes and leads by utilizing personal expertise and knowledge for problem solving. The individual will manage through example. A score of 7 or higher on Directive indicates a person who is personally involved in problem solving and direction and implementation. This person will lead from the front, staying very involved and will exercise strong authority. The individual will manage through action and urgency. A score of 7 or higher on Delegative indicates a person who will utilize plans and strategies. This person will arrange resources and assist subordinates and teams in dealing with resource and implementation issues. The individual will manage through plans and people. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. What does it mean if all three Management Style scores are all above 7? What if they are all below 4? 2. If a company was working on long-range (5 – 10 year) planning, do you feel there is an ideal management style for the leader of the company? If so, which one? If not, why not? 3. For which types of occupations would a Knowledge Specialist be best suited? Directive Manager? Delegative? PREFERRED WORK STYLES CORPORATE STYLES Corporate Styles identify your motivational style when working in business and industry. Birkman has identified three important factors: Work Motivation, Self-Development, and Corporate Adaptability. Work Motivation describes your attitude towards work – what motivates you to work. People who score high (7 or above) seem to enjoy work for its own sake and have a tendency to work well for others, exhibiting responsible attitudes toward work rules and assigned functions. People with lower scores need to have an interest or a buy-in in their work in order to get motivated. They need to see the value in the work being assigned to them. It is important to note that good managers score low as well as high on Work Motivation. Self-Development measures how much you prefer to learn, advance and develop. A score of 7 or above shows a strong desire to learn skills in classroom settings. A score of 3 or lower suggests the person will learn new skills best through practical, hands-on experience. Corporate Adaptability refers to how a person responds to, and level of commitment to, the organization. Someone with a high score (7 or above) understands and is prepared to participate in corporate politics. This person is able to identify with the organization as an entity. Someone with a low score (3 or lower) does not like or choose to participate in the politics of an organization. This person will identify with the people or an individual within the organization rather than with the organization itself (i.e., “I work for Joe” not “I work for IBM”). THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. If a company has limited resources for training, which score would be helpful in determining the type of training in which to invest? Why? 2. Based only on the Corporate Adaptability score, which person would best handle frequent changes in managers, the high or low Corporate Adaptability person? Why? 3. Can a person with a low Corporate Adaptability score succeed in a large organization? Why or why not? PREFERRED WORK STYLES SOCIAL STYLES Social Styles represent a person’s general social style – how the person views the world. This category is broken down into two parts: Social Adaptability and Social Responsibility. Social Adaptability describes your basic opinions concerning other people in general. A high scoring individual is generally trusting of other people as well as being open to new ideas. A low scoring individual generally feels that trust must be earned. The low scoring person is more cautious in trusting others. Social Responsibility describes the tolerance a person has for following social and organizational rules and procedures. A five or above indicates a willingness to go along with the rules and a willingness to conform to various expectations society places on us. A person with a score lower than five will sometimes question the expectations that are put on society. This individual will likely choose to do something only if it is believed to be the right thing to do. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. Is there a better or worse score on Social Adaptability for police officers? Explain. 2. How has your Social Adaptability score played a role in your relationships? Personal relationships? How? 3. Has your Social Adaptability or Social Responsibility score ever helped you in a work experience? Describe. Has either ever caused trouble for you? Describe. Would you have handled the situation differently if you had known about yours scores? PREFERRED WORK STYLES INTELLECTUAL/PROBLEM SOLVING STYLES These scores identify your preferred style when solving problems or developing a plan. The numbers within each pair of terms add up to 11, so a score of 6 in one guarantees a 5 in the other. A score of 5 ½ or a 0 is not possible, therefore a 6/5 or 5/6 split indicates a moderate balance and a 9/2 or 10/1 shows a strong preference for one style. Public Contact – Detail: Enjoying public contact and having a preference for activities that involve people vs. enjoying the procedural and detailed aspects of work. Global – Linear: Big picture, holistic approach vs. sequential, step-by-step approach. Conceptual – Concrete: Comfortable dealing with abstract information and intangible ideas, drawing on intuition and previous experience for solutions vs. a preference for concrete examples and the utilization of an analytical, factual approach to problem solving, emphasizing concrete, immediate results. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT 1. Can a high Detail person be an effective salesperson? Why or why not? 2. Describe what you think a high Global and high Concrete person will look like. 3. Describe what you think a high Linear and high Conceptual person will look like. 4. What suggestions would you make to a high Global person who is working closely with a high Linear person? FOUNDATION COLORS FOUNDATION COLORS While the four colors (red, green, blue and yellow) are used in Areas of Interests, Life Style Grid® and Foundation Colors, they have slightly different meanings in each area. Areas of Interests colors identify the types of things you are interested in doing. The Life Style Grid uses the four colors to identify your interests (a generalization of Areas of Interests) and behaviors (Usual and Stress) you exhibit to achieve your goals and interests. Foundation Colors use the four colors to identify the types of issues or problems you will naturally notice and pay attention to when problem solving, brainstorming, and/or planning. Each Foundation Color is a profile made up of fifty-five scales. Your main Foundation Color may or may not be the same as your Interests or your Usual behavior. This is because people are complex. You may notice certain things (one color) when problem solving, brainstorming, etc. but you may have learned that a different behavior works for you in accomplishing tasks (a different color). On the Foundation Colors Report, your scores are represented by four color-coded bars, with the length of the bars dependent upon your responses to the Birkman® Questionnaire. The Foundation Colors Report identifies your “Bottom Line Color” which is the bottom (longest) bar. This bar, whatever color it is, reflects the types of issues that will be noticed first in any situation you experience. In some ways this bottom line color identifies your perceptual filter. Each bar after, depending on the length, represents the likelihood of additional perceptual filters (other types of issues that you may also notice). Many times people will have two fairly long Foundation Color bars. When this happens the person will have two “perceptual filters”. It is possible to have one, two, three or even four long Foundation Color bars; just like it is possible to have all short Foundation Color bars. If you happen to have all long Foundation Color bars, this means you happen to score similarly to all four Birkman® color profiles. You may recognize or identify issues and solutions that vary in focus. You may just as easily notice the lack of a sales strategy (Green) as you do the need for better systems and controls (Yellow). If you happen to have all short Foundation Color bars it is indicating that there is not a strong match with any of the 4 general color profiles. This may indicate that your Usual behavior does not align with the general socialized patterns seen in society or conform to the typical Interests patterns normally seen. Randomness in the Interests may contribute to short Foundation Color bars. When there is not a predominant concentration of related interests, it may indicate that you are flexible as to the types of activities you seek out and you may not be passionate towards one area alone. It is important to remember that if you have short Foundation Color bars, it does not mean you are not suited for jobs or cannot be successful. It indicates that you do not match what is typically seen in those specialized roles. You can be an excellent liaison or bridge between departments in an organization. Due to the lack of intensity in any one color, you are not burdened by the strong filters someone else may have with an intense bottom line Blue bar, for example.Without a dominant filter, you will likely see the benefits and challenges from a variety of opinions regarding company direction. When examining levels within the organization the higher levels, where managerial responsibility is broad, show a greater frequency of individuals with shorter Foundation Color bars. Things to Discuss 1. If you have Interests that are in the same color as your longest Foundation Color bar what can you assume about what motivates you? If your Usual Behavior was a different color what does this mean to you in regards to getting tasks accomplished? 2. Identify some of the issues and solutions you would be most likely to notice due to your Foundation Colors. Identify possible blind areas due to your Foundation Colors.