In episode #19 of Accepted, we discussed the different Birkman personality scores. Here is your quick reference guide for each score and what it means for you.
Birkman Personality Scores
We’re taking a look at each of the Birkman personality scores – starting with my own Birkman Assessment.
Social Energy Score
The social energy score of my Birkman Assessment is fairly high. And this makes sense. I have a direct style of communicating. And I appreciate it when others are straightforward with me.
Not everyone communicates directly though. So for me to expect this of others who communicate in an indirect way is unfair.
This is a great example of how Birkman helps with relationships. I realize that I cannot expect others to do exactly what I want and how I want it done. Instead, I use the gathered information to improve my own social energy towards others.
If your Birkman reads a similar score to mine, you may want to be a little more cushiony in your conversations – especially now at the end of this whirlwind of a year when people are tired.
Personally, I tackle this by making an effort to be grace-filled, make eye contact, and be more gentle with my words. Overall, this has helped me become more considerate and courteous to others. I think this has been appreciated by the people I interact with.
When looking at your self-consciousness score, there’s a lot to unpack.
I don’t tend to feel self-conscious about myself. So it’s not surprising that my score was on the low end. That’s not a bad thing. It does however mean that I need to be more sensitive to other people.
This is an example of where the score helps us understand why we are the way we are.
If I were as direct as I prefer to be, I could come off sounding angry. And I don’t want that. Unless, of course I really am angry. This means I need to understand how others may be perceiving me.
People with self-consciousness scores in the middle range, typically 40s-60s, are usually pretty flexible people.
Having a flexible personality certainly has its advantages. But what we see sometimes is that these middle range scoring people can be too flexible.
If you scored in the middle range, you should watch out for giving up too much of yourself to others. I recommend being mindful of setting boundaries.
These boundaries still let you use your flexible personality but help you in a way that you’re not giving up all of your energy to others.
When you can do this, you keep the energy required to meet your own needs.
This is so important. It’s not a bad thing to be willing to help others. But you can’t pour from an empty well. You must take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.
The most challenging self-consciousness scores are the extremely high ones.
If you have an extremely high score, you’re probably pretty sensitive. Remember, there is nothing wrong with that. The Birkman does give you insight into how to best approach many situations.
When you’re around family or in other stressful situations, it’s important to find a middle ground. Understanding the whys and hows behind our personalities is invaluable. And it helps us to more easily navigate potentially stressful situations.
When it came to the assertiveness score, I personally scored pretty low. What this means for me and for others with low assertiveness is that we need practice handling stressful situations.
We call this assertive role play. You can play with a friend, or your Bright Futures counselor to see how to assert yourself when needed.
There will be times in your life when you need to speak up for yourself – especially when interviewing for jobs and college. But with practice, you’ll be more comfortable when they do.
In the face of an aggressive and assertive person, this may seem like a challenge you’d rather avoid.
When working on how you assert yourself, you want to find a middle ground – somewhere between passive and aggressive. Being able to communicate your message without coming off as pushy and mean is often the best route to actually achieving your goals.
Isn’t that what we all really want?
Even more so than avoiding uncomfortable situations.
People’s restlessness scores can be easily misunderstood.
Throughout this pandemic we’re living through right now, students are probably feeling stir crazy.
I’m sure we’ve all felt this way at some point during the past year. My hope is that students, and really everyone, find outlets.
Exercise is an example of an amazing outlet. Not only is it great for your health, but it also expels the high levels of restlessness that may be driving parents crazy.
What we really want to avoid is for restlessness to turn into a video game marathon with no end in sight.
One student who I really admire came up with a great activity. He learned how to build a computer. And it worked out great! After he built the computer, he had the gratification of using his amazing new computer. It wasn’t just the learning component of the experience that is so great. His hobby put him on a path towards both computer science and electrical engineering.
Hobbies like this are fantastic outlets for restlessness.
So really think outside the box. Your students’ greatest new adventure could be right in front of them.
Another personality trait that has probably seen some struggles this year is the incentive score.
For instance, one of our amazing counselors here at Bright Futures really benefits from rewards. Her incentives score is on the high end. It’s one of her needs that keeps her motivated.
So many people who share this need are currently out of work and getting frustrated. But what we have to keep in mind is this need isn’t always just paychecks and promotions.
There are many ways to keep these rewards coming – even if you find yourself out of work for the time being.
One method is to invest in your craft and then excel at it. Once you’ve mastered a craft, you can insert yourself into competitive environments. There are still several competitions going on that the pandemic did not halt.
Examples for an adult who is stuck at home include “yard of the month” and “best holiday decorations” in your community. At the very least, your home will look fantastic. Even more importantly, you’ll be rewarding yourself for your own hard work. And hopefully, you’ll receive a prize you get to proudly display.
Of course, there are other competitive and rewarding hobbies.
For instance, running or taking up BMX biking. Or if you enjoy listening to music for hours, look into virtual lessons to learn a new instrument.
The possibilities are endless.
The thought score is another one that is often misunderstood.
A high score for most people can explain their penchant for procrastination.
These types of people think and think and worry about the outcome; so much so that they put off whatever they are concerned about.
Feeling rushed or hurried is often frustrating – even more so when you’re under pressure.
If you fall into this high score, you probably prefer to consider all angles of a situation. You tend to want your decisions and actions to be decisive and well thought out.
Did you or your student score high in thought? Then this is definitely something to keep in mind.
Rather than accusing your student, or yourself, of procrastinating, use this as an opportunity. Talk it through. What are the concerns? Why are you having a hard time checking off this action? What’s the worst that can happen? How do we reach this goal?
When making decisions, it is helpful to come from a place of understanding.
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