Far out: seeing in monochrome
If you’ve read much of our content, you’ll know that we often talk about blindspots. That may seem a little repetitive, but it’s such a key part of what The Birkman Method reveals, that we really can’t talk about it enough!
Blindspots are areas that fall so far out of your range of understanding that you may underestimate how little you share or relate to (or even understand) that perspective.
This can be true for very low Interest scores, or for areas of the Grid that are a long way from any of your markers. (If you have Signature, it can also be true for any Components where you have especially high or low scores!)
If, for example, you have all Red markers on the Grid, chances are you have a bit of a blindspot in those areas native to ‘Blues’. You may think you ‘get it’, but the likelihood is that your version of ‘low-key, reflective, people-focused, innovation’ looks to everyone else a lot like ‘practical, hands-on, task-focused, getting it done’.
Because your version of Blue may be really just a less extreme Red.
Here’s another example: let’s say all three of your Grid markers are in the far corner of the Yellow quadrant. We could describe you as a ‘deep Yellow’.
The opposite of Yellow on the Grid is Green, so we’d expect that people who are strongly Green may be those you would find it most difficult to relate to.
Yet, when we ask you, it turns out that you feel you can relate to Green-ness, and succeed in thinking or acting the way they might think or act, and you therefore don’t have a problem getting along with Green people!
That’s great, but it’s possible you may be underestimating how Yellow you yourself are… Your version of being ‘responsive, flexible and people-focused’ may seem very different from the way you usually behave, but to others looking on it may still appear pretty Yellow!
And when you find yourself working with a real Green person you may be in danger of thinking they are just a problem person, working outside the realm of acceptable or ‘normal’ behaviour - rather than seeing how they just have a very different approach and perspective to your own.
In other words you may feel you can deal with responsive, flexible, competitive people… as long as they are also orderly, focussed and concentrative, fair and even-handed, and insistent on due process.
Your perspective may be so ‘Yellow’ that you probably don’t even recognise it - you may assume that everyone does things the way you do things and when that turns out to be very far from the case with some people, you are likely to think the offending person a “bit of a weirdo”.
Nope, they’re not a weirdo, just less of a ‘Yellow’!
If you are a far corner Yellow, and want to understand how that ‘opposite’ person truly differs from you, you could try asking a strongly Green person how they go about doing something that you often do, and see what their response reveals about your differences in approach or perspective.
For example: how do they organise their personal finances, or how do they go about scheduling their week, or how do they go about organising an overseas trip with friends…
If they are a colleague, and you are feeling really brave, ask them how they experience you in a typical work environment - what they find helpful, what they don’t find so helpful.
The same goes for a Green trying to understand a Yellow perspective, and Reds and Blues trying to understand each other too.
You may think you’re seeing the whole picture, but if you’re living out of one small corner of the map you might be missing more than you realise…
There can be great strength in being very strongly one colour on the Grid, but there can also be dangers when it comes to interacting and working with people who are very different from us. Recognising that fundamentally different perspectives are equally valid and important is key to not allowing our own blindspots to become a problem.