There is a lot out there at the moment, both individual and 360 assessments, designed with the aim of stopping people in organisations from derailing themselves. “Don’t be like this, don’t do that, watch out for your tendency to act like the other thing”.

The problem is that this is like asking a volcano to “just keep a lid on it”. With the best will in the world, the rumbles keep building up, the mountainside shakes more and more often, and you just know that sooner or later the top of the volcano is heading skywards, along with hundreds of acres of the surrounding countryside and half the inhabitants of the little town at the foot of the mountain.

It is only when a person genuinely understands the underlying reasons that lead them to behave in a certain manner, and react in the way that they do, that they can actually start to manage and change behaviours.

70 years ago Dr Roger Birkman had a critical insight which, combined with 12 years of painstaking observational research, enabled him to develop an instrument that gives individuals that level of self knowledge. The Birkman Method does predict exactly how each one will uniquely “come unstuck” in certain situations; but it also equips them to understand what is going on - and master themselves.

How is the Birkman Method different from Hogan and other ‘derailer’ focussed assessments? If you’ve seen the movie, “The King’s Speech”, think of the difference between the Duke of York being told “please concentrate, your Royal Highness” by the ‘expert’ with his bowl of heated glass balls; and the combination of empathy, understanding and technical insight and training he received from Lionel Logue. One approach was all about “stop stammering” (stop derailing yourself); the other was about “understanding what is going on here; and here’s how you can learn to address this”.

So if you are tired of telling your clients that they need to change something (something they are probably only too aware of); or indeed, if you are tired of being on the receiving end of that advice - there is another, better and much more fruitful approach.

Understand what is going on beneath the surface for yourself, and you will find you are more than halfway home.