The Birkman Method

Optimize engagement and team performance by increasing your leadership versatility

Leadership versatility is not just a competitive advantage, it has become an expectation. When leaders develop various, customized approaches to teaming up with the professionals in their environment, they can create enhanced engagement and performance levels.  Think of it as a sort of leadership fluency – a multi-lingualism that can be applied to collaborate and communicate both adaptively and uniquely with colleagues and clients to meet individual expectations or needs.

Kenning colleague Laurie Burkland Waller offers her leadership coaching clients The Birkman Method® assessment to help them develop this versatility.

Laurie answers questions about the approach.

birkman-button1Q. Why use The Birkman Method?  What does it do?

There are a variety of tools and techniques to help clients move from functional to optimal.  I’ve begun using The Birkman Method because it offers leaders a non-judgmental profile with insights about their most effective leadership styles, what they expect from their environments to thrive as leaders, what motivates and interests them, what stress behavior may look like when their needs are unmet, how to get out of stress, and better yet, how to prevent it in the first place.

Q. How widely used is this assessment?  Is it well regarded in the field?

The Birkman comes with 60 years of test and retest validity studies, a database of 8,000 organizations that have used it, and more than 3 million past and current participants.

Q. What does the assessment help a leader do differently?

When leaders have a better understanding of what specifically drives their own behavior, it gives them a greater range of choices and fosters more self-responsibility.

Applying these lessons learned, clients gain appreciation for how to customize their leadership and communication styles to be most effective with their diverse teams and customers.  Furthermore, they are able to support growth in conflict resolution, personal accountability, onboarding, team building, and leadership development.  Rather than relying on a default leadership style and hoping it’s effective with a diverse stakeholder group, leaders can more strategically develop and use adaptable approaches to achieve their individual and organizational goals.

Once I’ve used the assessment to support an individual in achieving enhanced self-awareness, I offer to do a team assessment so the leader I’m coaching can identify critical team intelligence, including how to more effectively motivate team members, how best to coach and develop individuals, what makes it easy for team members to work together, where the team may get into trouble or conflict, and how to prevent discord or performance risk.

Q. How does the Birkman differ from the Leadership Circle assessment, which Kenning coaches also use?

The Birkman and the Leadership Circle assessment are both vital tools for leaders looking for insight and self-understanding.  The Leadership Circle is a 360 evaluation, which builds on survey input from the leader, his or her manager, his or her team, and important peers.  The assessment report is organized around a number of leadership competencies.  The Birkman, in contrast, is a behavioral self-assessment and focuses mainly on the leader’s relational and occupational profiles.  Using information about how people relate to each other and to the demands of management positions, clients use their results individually and as a team-building tool to improve communication, increase management effectiveness, build cohesive teams, reduce conflict, and improve productivity.

Laurie Burkland Waller is a Certified Birkman Consultant.  Contact her here for more information.