We are usually well able to itemise our knowledge, skills, expertise and experience when asked to do so for a resume, job application or internal promotion; but how well can we describe who we are? How confidently can we write and talk about the unique approach and perspective we will bring to whatever role or context we find ourselves in?

Knowing who you are and being able to explain who you are to others matters for a few reasons:

  1. It helps you align yourself with roles that will allow you to work in line with your motivations and to contribute what you do best - and to spot ones that won’t.
  2. It enables you to identify the contexts and environments that will really suit you, to know what to look out for, what questions to ask and to notice the ‘warning signs’ of unsuitable contexts that will quickly frustrate you.
  3. You will catch the attention of potential employers.

We are not talking here about a list of what every employee is expected to be: reliable, honest, attentive to detail, adaptable etc. Rather, we are describing something more fundamental about ourselves - are we fundamentally someone who consistently contributes innovation, creativity and ideas; are we someone who fundamentally sees through the lens of process and system and what it takes to keep business on track and sustainable and so on?

Your Birkman (or expresso) Report provides you with some great insight and language for building up this description of who you are. Here’s a quick guide to help you make a start:

  1. First review your highest Areas of Interest and turn these into a summary motivational statement. E.g. if your highest scores are Persuasive and Literary: “My passion is to influence through engaging directly with customers and through ensuring that the collaterals we use are doing the best job to explain the unique value of our services”.
  2. Next take a look at your Organisational Focus and turn this into a second statement that adds to the first. E.g. if your strongest colour is Blue: “I am most interested in making a strategic and creative contribution, ensuring that we are innovating and staying relevant for the future”. (If you have Signature you can request your Org Focus data from us by emailing support@elaura.com - please note: this is not available to Snapshot users without upgrading)
  3. Finally, consider what your Need scores (either the aggregate score on your Birkman Grid or Map, or the Components Need scores if you have Signature) reveal about the fundamental perspective you will bring. E.g. strong Yellow Needs: “I believe bullet proof processes and access to the most relevant data are key to knowing where we are, to measuring and sustaining success and to setting realistic expectations for year on year growth”.

If this topic is of interest and you would value more guidance, please contact us about a one-on-one Birkman Conversation with a Birkman Certified Professional (fees apply). You may also find Elaura’s Explain Yourself worksheet useful. (expresso users can find Explain Yourself in the Printable Worksheets tab on the platform; other Birkman users can find the Explain Yourself video and worksheet here.)