“Freedom is free of the need to be free.” — George Clinton

how is the Birkman method used?

Broadly speaking, the information in these reports covers two domains: the professional and the relational. The report on relational aspects gives information on how you respond to other people and to your environment. It contains information about your communication style in one-on-one conversations, the way you view structure, authority and personal freedom as well as how you manage your energy, your emotions, etc.


Your answers are then compared with the responses of 350,000 other people in the Birkman database. The differences in your responses are mapped out and conclusions are drawn about the effect of these differences when working with other people. These reports also provide information about the reasons for dysfunctional behaviour and, more importantly, how you can manage or better still prevent this behaviour. 

The relational aspect of the Birkman method can help groups to improve their collaborative and decision making processes. It helps managers understand what is needed in order for people to work effectively and pleasurably. The report also gives people a neutral ‘language’ with which to discuss individual differences. These reports also provide a highly effective basis for people to work out conflicts and improve collaboration.


In coaching and training I employ the Birkman method as a standard tool because:

  • it provides you (and me!) quick and solid understanding of the information needed to guide you effectively

  • it gives a detailed level of self-understanding: useful for a clear definition of your goals

  • it’s been developed as a self-coaching instrument, which allows you to continue under your own steam even after the coaching process has ended

  • it provides as easier and more effective mechanism for discussing inter-personal relationships and understanding the distribution of strengths within teams.


The professional reports compare your responses to those of people in a particular profession. In total 350 different occupations are used for comparative purposes and based on these comparisons predictions are made about possible successes in various professional fields. These reports are primarily used in careers and management development, for example:

  • help with career choices and development

  • job training development

  • the design of management development programmes

  • support with assessment and (candidate) selection

  • development of customised human resource systems.

To date, more than 1.5 million people world wide, from more than 5,000 companies and organisations, have completed the Birkman questionnaire.


You can find out more about the Birkman method birkman.nl or birkman.com