By gaining a deeper understanding of your strengths, motivational interests, and perspectives you can excel in your career as well as in your professional and personal relationships. There are a handful of online personality assessments, including the Birkman Method and the Clifton StrengthsFinder. When choosing between assessments, you’ll want to go with the one that provides you with the most comprehensive report and specific information. But how can you access this information? The Birkman Method is available directly, through a company, or through a consultant. StrengthsFinder, on the other hand, is only available using a unique access code found within a self-help book published by Gallup.
Birkman vs StrengthsFinder: Validity
Clifton StrengthsFinder (CSF) does not necessarily measure what it would seem to. CSF claims to measure strengths and talents, however, the CSF scales have no relationship to specific abilities or skills. Instead, CSF identifies personality traits. The content of the CSF looks at personality, interests, and values, without any relationship to abilities or skills. Further, CSF hasn’t published any valid research to back up their assessments, which means that no one really knows for sure whether or not CSF is a valid and accurate test.
The Birkman Method evaluates one’s personality, occupational interests, and social perceptions. In 2018, Birkman enlisted a third-party research firm to confirm the assessment’s validity. Across all test areas of the Birkman scales, the results indicated ongoing scientific validity and reliability. For more information on this research visit the “Reliability and Validity” page.
Birkman vs StrengthsFinder: Individual Measurement
The StrengthsFinder assessment consists of 34 different strengths or “themes” including Learner, Achiever, and Intellection. However, in order to say that your “Intellection” is stronger than your colleagues, you need to be able to compare the skills between individuals. Interestingly, Gallup “discourages comparison across profiles of individuals” because they claim the report is for intrapersonal development, limiting the reports effectiveness and value.
By contrast, the Birkman Method is a trait-based test that can measure the amount or intensity of certain personality traits. This offers much more personalized insight, including the unpacking of a person’s unique strengths, and allows comparisons on the intensity of a trait from one person to another. In addition, the Birkman Method also provides insights on the underlying stress factors and needs of each individual, making it clear what you need to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Birkman vs StrengthsFinder: Over Time
It’s been noted that StrengthsFinder results can completely change if you take it more than once. This brings CSF’s validity into question once again, especially considering that no one’s innate personality would fluctuate so wildly.
In comparison, the Birkman Method delivers consistent results. If you take the Birkman assessment every five or ten years, your results will end up in a statistical range, within a few data points of past scores. Although who you are won’t change, the slight fluctuation is due to your growth as an individual over time. For example, you may learn to adapt your communication style from direct and straightforward to warmer and more sensitive as you age in your relationships.
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