Welcome to our first Birkman Breakdown! Whether you have been using the Birkman for a while now or are brand new to it, I believe you will find our occasional breakdowns helpful. Of course, the depth within the Birkman can go on and on, making it close to impossible to cover every aspect of a topic within a single blog. If you have more questions regarding each topic and your own Birkman, feel free to post your questions and we will respond as quickly as possible.

***Important Note. You will most likely find that having your own Birkman out in front of you while going through our Birkman Breakdowns will make the content more helpful.

Our first topic is focused on the importance of structure, or organization. The opposite of order is disorder. Disorder is generally not effective. However, some people believe they perform better in the chaos. While that might be true, the reality is that they just operate with structure in a different way.

Let’s start by first talking about the key areas where structure and organization show up in the Birkman. You may already believe this is more of a “yellow” category. And you are correct. But other colors do come into play.

Diving into our behavior first, the Insistence and Restlessness Components are what we will look at for now. You probably notice Restlessness falls into the “green” category. Keep in mind, all relational areas within the Birkman (Map, Interests, Components) connect to each different part of our life, but some Components and Interests will generally hold greater weight.

As a reminder, Insistence is your approach to detail, organization, routine, and follow-through. Low styles (Usual Behavior score) are generally seen as more flexible. High styles are generally seen as more demanding or persistent.

Restlessness is how you focus your attention or how you change your focus and opt for variety. High styles generally enjoy and choose more variety (e.g. in activities, tasks, or ideas) whereas low styles generally stay more focused (e.g. stick to one task at a time).

Here are a few Usual Behavior score combinations as examples (High scores are above 50, low scores are below 50):

  • High Insistence/High Restlessness: This is generally someone who is organized (pays attention to the details) but is willing to change direction if they have a new or better idea on how to do things. They are meticulous, but also responsive and able to shift. In this case, the two behaviors working together can help create balance.
  • Low Insistence/Low Restlessness: This is someone who is more flexible with the details, adapting more easily to the bigger picture, but also concentrative with the task at hand, not being easily distracted. They are comfortable with change, but also focused. Again, this can create a good balance.
  • High Insistence/Low Restlessness: This combination is often seen as particular or picky. They come across as persistent and meticulous with details while also strongly concentrative and focused on tasks. It is important to be aware of yourself when these scores are present, as it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. The strength, however, is that you can be some of the most organized people on the planet.
  • Low Insistence/High Restlessness: This combination is often seen as unfocused and unorganized. They come across as easily distracted and overly pliable. Again, it is important to be aware of yourself when these scores are present, as it can be easy to miss details and fail to follow through with action. The strength, however, is that it’s easier to stay focused on a big picture without getting caught up in too many details.

Remember, no certain style or combination is better than another.  Each has its place, and each is important.  The goal is to learn how to best apply who we are while keeping in mind how it can hurt us.  We will continue on the topic of Structure next month, diving more into its importance and how to make it work for who you are.

In the meantime, here are some questions to work through:

How do your style combinations come across to others when it comes to being organized?

What are some ways you can modify your behavior when engaging with people that are different from you?

Update: Click here for Part II

Update: Click here for Part III