The Birkman Method


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An overview of the popular and unique assessment, The Birkman Method. The tool for individual, team, organizational, and career development.

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The Birkman Method

  1. 1. Since 1951 ©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. <ul><li>&quot;An individual's pattern of psychological processes arising from motives, feelings, thoughts, and other major areas of psychological function. Personality is expressed through its influences on the body, in conscious mental life, and through the individual's social behavior.&quot; (Mayer, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal context.” (DSM-IV-TR, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The personality of an individual is that which enables us to predict what he will do in a given situation.” (Raymond Cattell, 1950) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The reality of life is that your perceptions — right or wrong — influence everything else you do. When you gain a proper perspective, you will be surprised how much falls into place.” (Roger Birkman, PhD.) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Time-tested … The Birkman Method® began in 1951 – 60 years and millions of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Empirically based (scientific) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>item correlations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>factor analytic approach, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reliable and valid. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trait-based: people differ based on stable attributes or characteristics called “traits.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>traits lie on a continuum, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the continuum is bipolar in meaning with intensity of the measurement increasing as you reach either end of the continuum. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive measurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usual behavior: productive, socialized behavior which is easy to observe. It can be seen by others as adaptable, appropriate and natural for an individual when that person feels positive about self and situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Underlying needs: although rarely seen by others, Needs are vital because they identify an individual’s preferred environment and expectations, clarify motivations, and highlight inner strengths and behavioral drivers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress behavior: counter-productive or less-than-productive behavior that is easy to view. Stress is the response when Underlying Needs are not met over a period of time. It can be seen by others as defensive, reactive, uncomfortable and costly to relationships. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivational interests: the tasks and job roles that hold the greatest degree of fulfillment and pleasure. </li></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. <ul><li>Comprehensive – plainly speaking, the more an assessment measures, the more predictive it is and the greater the level of understanding it provides. Through over 40 scales The Birkman Method® reports: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of the individual, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics of the situation and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction of the individual and the situation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific Measurement – The Birkman Method® distinguishes both differences of kind and differences of degree to maximize the ability to describe the individual across different situations while also providing prescriptive options for dealing with issues or concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Situational Variance – The Birkman Method® does not describe an individual in a vacuum but rather in the complex, dynamic reality of the workplace and relationships. By contrast, other assessments do not adequately account for situational variance due to the situation or social desirability. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Desirability – defined as “a tendency to create a good impression or to respond, either deliberately or unintentionally, in a socially desirable manner” (Messick, 1960). While other assessments either ignore it, pretend it does not exist, or state that it exists but does not hinder the ability to interpret results (Hogan & Nicholson, 1988; McCaulley, 2000). All three of these approaches to social desirability are insufficient and potentially damaging to the employee and the organization . The Birkman Method® acknowledges the existence and influence of social desirability and applies that influence to prediction and validation. </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. <ul><li>11 behavioral scales (“traits”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advantage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>10 interest scales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Artistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clerical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outdoor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>14 criterion-referenced scales </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking styles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>23 job families </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct tangible sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcement … and more. </li></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. <ul><li>A sampling of common traits measured by The Birkman Method® </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroticism Extraversion Openness </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety Gregariousness Idealism </li></ul><ul><li>Dominance Assertiveness Aesthetics </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Emotions Activeness Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Consciousness Novelty Action </li></ul><ul><li>Impulsiveness Positive Emotions Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Agreeableness Conscientiousness </li></ul><ul><li>Trust Structured </li></ul><ul><li>Straightforwardness Orderliness </li></ul><ul><li>Altruism Dutifulness </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance Achievement Striving </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitivity Follow Through </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. <ul><li>The 2007 Birkman normative sample contains 4,300 working adults stratified across gender, ethnicity, age, and occupation, from a variety of industries including healthcare, engineering, transportation, protective services, retail, financial services, and education. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability: 2-week test-retest reliabilities average .85 and coefficient alphas average .80. </li></ul><ul><li>Validity: face, convergent and divergent construct, and criterion-related validities have been established. Validity coefficients range from .30 to .40. </li></ul><ul><li>Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, item response theory (IRT), and classical test theory (CTT) are used in the scale development and maintenance of The Birkman Method®. </li></ul>Source: 2008 Birkman Technical Manual ©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Individual & Team Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Executive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Counseling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hiring / Selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-screening (custom, criterion-referenced and validated profiles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview or promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issue Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict </li></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. <ul><li>Issue: A senior level executive at a Fortune 500 company was unsatisfied with the performance of her executive level team. </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution: The process began by interviewing the executive team leader about her team and why she felt they weren't meeting her expectations. It was discovered that communication problems among the team members as well as differences in understanding roles and responsibilities were in effect. Using The Birkman Method® the team members were empowered to better understand themselves and each other. Ground rules were established for working together and roles were discussed and defined along with role responsibilities. The team leader received individual coaching on communicating to her team and behavioral training for setting new, higher levels of accountability based on the roles and responsibilities established. The executive learned how to work effectively with each individual team member. </li></ul><ul><li>Success: The team now manages issues directly, openly, and honestly. The team is more productive and satisfied due to the understanding of why their co-workers and leader act and react in the manner they do. The team leader gained an understanding of her employees as unique individuals with unique motivations as well as how to help them succeed professionally. </li></ul>Used with the permission of The Communication Partnership, Ltd. ©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. <ul><li>The Birkman Method ® is used by a retailer to maximize the interpersonal efficiency of their management staff within new and existing distribution centers. This retailer uses The Birkman Method during the start-up phase of new distribution centers to increase the people performance, which heavily influences the overall performance of distribution centers at all levels. The distribution centers are responsible for moving millions of boxes a day out to stores. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The new distributions centers open with more than 50 managers brought in from all areas of the company and from outside the company. These managers typically have not met and, therefore, know little about one another. In relatively short time they are required to work effectively together as a team to maximize the productivity and success of the center. The managers participate in a weeklong training session that has The Birkman Method as its foundation. During the course of the training The Birkman Method increases managers’ self-awareness and increases their ability to self-manage and manage the relationships around them.. </li></ul><ul><li>Existing distribution centers use The Birkman Method as a tool to positively impact group performance and help propel them to greater levels of productivity and efficiency. Central to distribution center performance is the senior staffs that oversee them. The Birkman Method provides quick, actionable, insightful information to determine areas of concern and potential conflict between senior staff members and between senior staff members and subordinates. Birkman information is used to facilitate training solutions to get the team working in synch. The Birkman Method is a tool this large retailer uses to improve the interpersonal effectiveness of new leadership teams and existing teams. </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. <ul><li>The Office of Career Management at the University of South Carolina believes self-awareness is the key to better understanding the career paths that hold the most potential for success and fulfillment. To accomplish this, students go on an introspective journey as they consider various career and industry options. </li></ul><ul><li>For graduate students, this journey is underpinned by the comprehensive assessment tool, The Birkman Method®. Each student completes the Birkman Method questionnaire within the first few weeks of school. Individual results are reviewed, evaluated, and assessed in various contexts and at increasingly deeper levels throughout the Moore Professional Series . </li></ul><ul><li>Students who take full advantage of these personal growth opportunities leave The Darla Moore School of Business, not only with a top-notch degree, but also with a more complete understanding of who they are and what they bring to a leadership role. </li></ul><ul><li>In the end, each Moore graduate student leaves with a unique competitive advantage: the self-awareness and professional presence needed to plan and manage a life-long career. You won't find a more complete career and professional development program. </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. <ul><li>Client: an international financial group implemented a Birkman job profile to pre-screen applicants for a Customer Service role. </li></ul><ul><li>Situation: 60 employees performing at a “less than optimal” level, high turnover, and lack of engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(1) Reduce turnover, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(2) Increase staff engagement. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Turnover decreased from 21 in 2008 to 3 in 2009, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff engagement (measured through internal survey) increased from 38% in 2008 to 88% for 2009, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unplanned departures reduced to 4.3% from 8.4%, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7% Revenue growth. </li></ul></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13. <ul><li>3-Year Longitudinal Study </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: HIGH ANNUAL TURNOVER </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Reduce hiring costs, recruiting and training time spent by managers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: The average reduction of turnover in a three-year period was 53% - -a savings in hiring alone of roughly $1.6 million. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: LOW TENURE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Demonstrate that successful hiring/selection improves tenure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: With improved tenure in the selected sample, 54,000 individual employee weeks were added to the sales effort for the same hiring costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: BELOW AVERAGE WORK PERFORMANCE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Replace the bottom 48% of the existing sales force with individuals similar to the upper 52% of the sales force. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: The percentage of average and good performers increased from 69% to 90% of the sales force. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunity: MANAGEMENT SELECTION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: Find short-term predictors of success for hiring on the management level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: All predictors showed important increases based on those new managers selected with the Birkman Method®. </li></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. <ul><li>24-7-365 online , secure, web-based access. No software to download. </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate and dynamic generation of over 35 reports. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated custom report set management and building. </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated profile management and building. </li></ul><ul><li>Database sorting and searching capability for generating and managing individual, group and comparative reporting. </li></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. <ul><ul><li>Birkman International, Inc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(800) 215-2760 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>©2009, Birkman International, Inc., All Rights Reserved.