The Birkman Method and how it helps with Team Effectiveness

As you go through your career, it’s likely that you’ll work with a wide range of personality types and work dynamics. Chances are you’ve probably noticed how these differing personalities and perspectives can sometimes impact team effectiveness by slowing down projects and even ending in conflict. The Birkman Method can help teams realize the unique talents of their members and understand how to work more efficiently and cohesively.

Diversity is an asset and having people with diverse strengths and backgrounds can bring in new perspectives and solutions to your company.

Across organizations, unique personalities can come together to create an interesting, dynamic work environment which drives engagement, morale, and ultimately team effectiveness and performance. However, this diversity can also increase the chances of misunderstanding and conflict within a team.

The Birkman Method outlines what’s referred to an individual’s “organizational focus”, which is one’s fundamental approach to any work situation. Broken up into four categories known as occupational groups, each group is assigned a colour. The four occupational groups provide a quick summary about the kinds of work activities that will have the greatest and the least appeal to you. This is demonstrated clearly in a graph, making it easy to interpret.

This breakdown can help each team member develop a respectful, unbiased language to open up a dialogue around behavioral differences and blind spots. Understanding each other’s work orientations, preferences, strong suits, and perspectives can make communication and collaboration easier. It will empower your teams to optimize one-on-one and group interactions based on each individual’s communication style. The Birkman Method provides the necessary tools to integrate diverse employees and form productive teams that achieve a greater level of productivity and success. Having a deep understanding of one another can also provide the framework to resolve conflict when it arises and become more resilient as a group.

Everyone has unique needs in the workplace, which the Birkman Method is able to help you understand. The “Needs” element highlights how your coworkers can help you stay productive and less stressed. It also points out how you can support them. This is because 70% of the time, we don’t live by the golden rule. In other words, the way we act towards others is not necessarily how we want to be treated in return.

By having a greater understanding of your teammates, it’s easier to foster a safe environment that cultivates respect for one another. Working together becomes easier as everyone is able to understand what their teammates need from their work environment in order to be successful. This creates a culture where everyone feels included, encouraged, and supported by their coworkers, leading to greater success both individually and as a unit.

You will learn how to avoid causing others stress that can impact productivity and performance, while also matching work experience and skill with personality attributes to maximizing talent. All of this ultimately adds up to an increase in team alignment and by consequence, team effectiveness.

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