The popular business magazine Inc. has written about the value of psychological and personality assessments in the hiring process for potential employees. The article mentions The Birkman Method® and includes quotes from both independent consultants and CEOs that are using our assessment to improve teamwork and hiring practices.
David Duncan, chief operating officer of Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville, Calif., turned to the Birkman test to help his staff learn about him as much as he sought to learn about them. When Duncan took the reins of his family’s 85-employee winery a year ago, he inherited a management team that had close to a decade of experience in grapes. In hopes of writing a new chapter in the company’s history, Duncan had the group take the Birkman, which measures 11 components of behavior, highlighting everything from morning grumpiness to whether people are “outdoorsy.” Perhaps even more telling than the test is the off-site retreat that typically follows, where employees come together as a group and attempt to explain, well, themselves. “It led to a real breakthrough of everyone’s likes and dislikes, as opposed to their skills,” Duncan says. “Those little insights are the key to a functional team.”
Duncan is quick to concede that the Birkman is not a magic solution for all woes, but the healthy dialogue that comes during a Birkman retreat lays the foundation for working relationships that he believes can have a tangible effect on the bottom line — especially in a fast-changing, fast-growing entrepreneurial company. “If I understand you and you understand me,” he says, “a lot of those business processes fall into place.”
Ginny Corsi, an executive consultant with Strategic Solutions International in Boulder, Colo., says her clients are often stunned that the Birkman’s seemingly benign questions — such as how much time you prefer to spend alone — can create such accurate personality sketches.