If you’re familiar with your Birkman data (whether you’re using Snapshot, expresso or the full Signature or legacy reports) you’ll probably have picked up that there are a couple of main areas that this data covers:
- one is Motivation (i.e. Asterisk on the Grid and Areas of Interest - plus My Focus / Organisational Focus if you’re using expresso / legacy reports)
- and the other is Behaviour (Diamond, Circle & Square on the Grid - plus Birkman Components / Behavioural Components if you’re using legacy / Signature reports).
The Motivational data is pretty straightforward.
Your Asterisk gives you an overview of your 10 Area of Interest scores, which in turn tell you the types of activity, or fields, you may be drawn to and energised by.
If your report includes the Focus data, this tells you the specific tasks you may wish to be involved in within that field.
To give you an example: someone with a high match on Artistic Interest, may be drawn to working in the field of art and design, because they are motivated by the way things look, and getting the visuals right. But if they have a Green Focus that may mean they are more interested in the selling / people side of art and design, and may be better suited to a role in a commercial gallery or managing artistic talent, than as an artist or designer themselves.
By looking at the Motivational data, you can be better equipped to:
- Understand what matters to you
- Manage your own engagement (in, or out, of work)
- Know what to ‘put your hand up’ for (and maybe what you should try to avoid)
- Take responsibility for your own career, professional, leadership and personal development
The thing about the Behavioural data is that it also gives us insight into your Perspective, which is even more fundamental than simply the way that you behave.
Your Usual behaviour (Diamond on the Grid) tells us a little about your perspective, in terms of what you perceive to be correct or acceptable behaviour in yourself, but it’s really your Need score (Circle on the Grid) that gives you a picture of your fundamental view of the world.
What your Need is describing is how you think the world ought to function.
In other words, if your Need is very strongly Yellow, this tells us that you are probably someone who believes the world is a place that ought to function in a systematic way, where people are friendly and considerate to one another, and do not cause unnecessary interruptions or disrupt the order and processes put in place to keep things running smoothly.
Understanding that someone may have that perspective of the world, however similar or different it is to your own perspective, can be key to everybody functioning well in a team or organisation. Each region of the Grid comes with different Needs and therefore different perspectives.
By exploring your perspectives and understanding how these differ from those of other people, you’ll be equipped to (among other things):
- Communicate more effectively with others
- Understand your reactions to people and situations
- Increase your self-mastery and awareness
- Build a more flexible, effective approach to collaboration and teamwork
Helping you to understand your Motivations and Perspective is part of the whole reason we’re here: it’s what we’re passionate about - not least because of the difference it’s made in our own lives.
By looking at your report you may already be able to start making some statements about your Motivation & Perspective, based on the data you find there… but keep digging deeper and engaging with these scores and you’ll keep getting more out of them!