Using Gap Analysis as a Coaching Tool

D. PerrymanBirkman Mehtod is not primarily a behavioral assessment.It is a measure of mindsets that drive a person forward a pattern of behavor.The questionnaire emphasizes “see,” so it is all about preception.The Leadership Mindset Cycle

  • Mindset
  • Judge
  • Emotion
  • Thought
  • Action
  • Feedback
  • Change

Usual – your perception of your natural, comfortable self interacting with the world.

  • How we learned it – Practice, Approval, Reinforcement
  • Why we learned it – Competence, Relatedness, Autonomy

Needs – Your perceptions of the way others are most of the time

  • What we believe – Science, Experience, Faith
  • Why we believe – Nature, Nurture, Hope

Social energy

  • Positive (usual 99, needs 20) – I see myself as being more social than others, but that’s ok becaue I can control my calendar.
  • Negative (usual 20, needs 99) – I see myself as being less social than others, but I want to be invited, even if I don’t attend.

Fixed mindset language

  • You are…
  • You will…
  • You need…

Growth mindset language

  • You see yourself as…
  • You anticipate…
  • You’re prepared for…

Amanda – Physical energy (49/20)

  • Normally we’d say that she is less active than other people
  • Perception – “I’m responsive more often than other people are.”

Marie – Physical energy (99/97)

  • Perception – “I think I have a high sense of urgency, just like everyone else”

Consultants: Ramping Up Your Marketing Efforts to Grow Your Small Business

Amelia SmithBirkman InternationalOne of the best things I took away from this session is that all of the newly branded marketing materials are already available on their website. I was wondering when these materials were going to be available, and my question has been answered!

Laying the groundwork

Elevator pitch

  • Sum up your business in 30 seconds


  • A list of different phrases that are relevant to your service
  • Keyword list can grow


  • Think about colors that reflect your brand
  • Once created, keep it


These items were all things I knew about ahead of time. It’s not clear from the audience how many people in this room already have a consulting/small business website.

Social Media

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube

I don’t agree with the Google+ site, but otherwise I agree with all of these. 

It’s better to manage a few well than be on too many networks and neglect them.


This wasn’t a bad session, just not what I expected. It was more “Social media 101” and didn’t go into as much on the Birkman-specific marketing as what I was hoping for. 

Visual Gap Analysis with Birkman

Jerry DeatherageUsing gap analysis

  • Visual learners
    • 6-8 is ideal
    • No more than 10
  • Experienced with Birkman
  • New teams
  • Combined groups

    Use case: Collaboration

    High usual Social Energy (acceptance)

    • Comes across as friendly/includsive
    • Chats with others comfortably
    • Appears to share information

    Low usual Incentives (advantage)

    • Pulls for team
    • Wants group as a whole to benefit
    • All for one, one for all

    Low usual Freedom

    • Strives to bring group together
    • Everyone on the same page
    • Seeks to stay within accepted norms

    Technical point to consider

    You have to manually create these scatterplots with the information that Birkman provides – it won’t create these for you. In Excel, you’ll need/want to set the graph to increments of 7, instead of the default (5). You’ll also want to set the scale of 1-99 to align with the Birkman measurements.


    This is an interesting idea, taking results for a number of components and displaying them, as a group, on a scatterplot. Based on some of the examples that he showed, I can certainly see how this would be helpful. Especially when looking at a team/local company’s employees to determine gaps in usual behaviors. One of the things that he mentioned is that this is (for the most part) based on usual behavior, to determine their normal behavior. I imagine that this would also be helpful in measuring needs.Another point to consider, which came up during questions, is that it might be a good idea to plot the group/team leader’s usual behavior scores against the needs of the team members. The presenter indicated that this is something he has done before and can certainly be done, but isn’t his primary focus when using these models.

    Perspectives Report & New Scales

    Lynn GreeneUsual scores are taken exclusively from questions answered about yourselfNeed scores are taken exclusively from questions answered about other peopleHow do I see myself compared to how I see others?<<Birkman collects millions of>> –> <<how people…>>

    • Self perception data points –> view themselves
    • Social perception data points –> view others

    New Perspective Scales

    Individuality (how I see myself) compared to how most people see themselvesDistinctiveness (how I see myself) compared to how I see most people

    • Only available when both “self” and “others” data is present.
    • Means that Birkman is likely the only assessment that can measure this.

    Social Acuity (how I see others) compared to how most people see others

    • The closer your Need score is to 50, the higher your social acuity will be.

    Image Management (how I see myself) compared to how I see others

    • In the context of social desirability
    • Improved version of Challenge
    • A measure of the intensity of the respondent’s positive self-image
    • Will show values of self-affirming & others-affirming (inverse of  self critical & most critical)


    • Coaching
    • Development
    • Leadership development
    • Other

    How to Drive Your Birkman Business and Your Clients’ Bottom Line

    Doug HoweBirkman and the bottom line

    • How do you sell your Birkman services?
    • Why do your clients hire you?
    • What holds them back from hiring in you?
    • What is your re-hire/sustainability percentage?

    Things you can say when selling the “Birkman” (really selling your services)

    • Have you ever purchased a software package and not opted for the help desk/support package?
    • How do you ensure that your employees are working at an effective rate to ensure/guarantee your ROI?
    • What is a pain point?
    • If you could wave a wand and fix 1 people problem, what would it be?
    • Impact quality of life (for owner or person in charge & employees)
    • What is your budget, in terms of what you invest to make your human capital investment (salary) pay off?

    How to connect proposed offering to business

    • Strong, more self-aware people
    • Better functioning team?
    • Reward/perk that drives results
    • Key executive/employee attraction, retention, equipping 
    • Hiring for attitudes and behaviors rather than skills and experiences


    • Consider their overall spend for employee development
    • If it’s a 1 time event, ask what their follow-up plan is?
    • Try and do a monthly contract for follow-up meetings, 1-on-1, etc.
    • Birkman public pricing for an assessment is $495 – consider making that your price (“I charge the same thing as Birkman”)
    • Faith-based/non-profit orgs – don’t negotiate prices


    Not a bad session at all. Lots of things to think about, whether you are an experienced consultant or just getting started (like me).

    Two New Ways to Team: Facing Change or Building New

    Patti HansenCorbett ConsultingReasons for presenting a Birkman-based team session:

    • Learning about existing team members
    • Introducting new members/leaders to team
    • Annual opportunity to learn
    • Budget to use or lose

    Top issues for training:

    • Communication
    • Priority management
    • Project management
    • Change

    Patti started off going over change management in an organization, talking about the several stages of change (anger, despair, etc.) and clues into which stage an individual is in (including what someone in each of the stages needs).What We Found Works

    • Sell to interests
      • Blue – Harmony
      • Green – What’s in it from me?
      • Red – Why should I care?
      • Yellow – facts, measurements
    • Manage needs
    • Leverage usual behaviors

    Tips on how tomanage and support implementers of change

    • Blue
      • Ask for opinions, listen, be patient, don’t rush.
    • Green
      • Reduce risk
      • What’s in it for me/us?
      • What are our competitors doing?
    • Red
      • Begin a pilot
      • Low hanging fruit
      • Early wins
    • Yellow
      • Provide lead time
      • Realistic deadlines
      • Fair burden distribution

    After capturing attnetion/gaining buy-in/matching strengths to tasks/planning support

    • Give individuals their own tasks
    • Forces action and accountability


    I had high expectations on this one. For the most part, it met those expectations. I was able to take away 1-2 activities to implement in change management trainings, and she indicated that there were going to be more activities and reflective questions in the PowerPoint slides. Hopefully I can build out a training on change management for my “toolkit.”

    Integrating The Birkman Method into an Organization’s Talent Management Strategy

    Matthew GosneyHillcrest Healthcare System

    • Interview question – “Tell me a time when you were at your best”

    Best Practice Assessment – should be used when interviewing/selecting candidates

    • Behavior 
    • Personality
    • Skill
    • Fit

    Steps for integration

    1. Identify (rank) most critical to least critical the behavior standards (competencies). Rank the results
    2. Rate existing employees against the top standards
    3. Randomly selected 50 and had them take the Birkman
    4. Run statistics


    I thought this session was pretty rough. It was a case study of what they did at their hospital and most of the session was based on their steps and results. What I was hoping for, and didn’t see, were practical steps/examples of how the Birkman could be used for talent management in other organizations. There really wasn’t anything usable/applicable to other organizations. My notes are pretty scattered because I was trying to find items that I could apply outside of this specific hospital network.

    Signature Report & Component Renaming

    Carol Buckner & Amy ShepleyBirkman InternationalCarol mentioned at the beginning of this session that this will be a recap of everything mentioned during the General Session from yesterday. I’m not sure how many notes I’ll be taking since I took a lot of notes during the General Session yesterday.The Signature Report will replace the previous Preview Report. This was one of the things that I was confused about – there were several reports mentioned during yesterday’s General Session so I didn’t know which one this was replacing.Amy made some comments about the training that will be provided to new consultants and the fact that new consultants will default into the Signature package. One of the things that they made reference to, in passing, is the cost. I’m still curious as to what the price breakdown will be between the platforms and which reports are available in each package. I’m hoping they talk about this more at some point today or tomorrow.One of the questions was about the yellow looking more “orange.” Apparently this is by design and is now called “Birkman Yellow.” With yellow’s printing differently on every printer, this change should standardize the colors.An interesting thing is how the components are mapped. The color associated to each of the components is what is tied to the high usual for that component. So Physical Energy is red because of the high score – what this also means is that the low Physical Energy is blue (opposite of red). I don’t know if this was covered during my training, but it’s interesting to know.

    Using “Needs” in Discussion

    Rather then using “Needs,” considering explaining it as “I expect people to be…” This may help explain this to end users. When people meet your expectation, you respond with your usual behavior. When people do not meet your expectation, you respond with your stress behavior.

    Use of “Motivation” in Discussion

    One of the questions was dealing with how they sell the Birkman to clients – the fact that Birkman is one of 2 assessments that measures motivation. How does motivation change with the changes to Birkman?Their response was that Motivation does not change. What you need is what motivates you. The fact that there are gaps between usual/needs no longer needs to be threatening. You can explain it by saying “The way you see yourself vs. how you see the world is very different. Let’s talk about that.”


    Reversals are easier for the end user to identify on the component pages. With the 3 graphs on each component page, you can quickly/easily identify when the indicator on the bottom 2 graphs are not in the same place, that is the reversal. It makes it easier to explain the reversal (and explanation of what it means) to the end user.Note to self: Spend more time looking at the definition/use of reversals.


    The session was alright. I think I got most of what I needed from the General Session, so I don’t think I got a lot out of this. But it’s better to have the same info explained a second time than not at all. 

    Birkman Booster

    Carol BucknerBirkman InternationalThe best thing about this session right off the bat is that the attendees from this session will walk away with a new Needs at a Glance, which is now called the Component Atlas. Social Energy (prev. Acceptance)

    • Represents preferences for group and team participation.
    • High scores – magnitude of social energy
    • Low scores – tend to conserve social energy
    • Needs – how we recharge our social energy (being around people or being alone)
    • Analogy: At a conference by yourself, do you feel comfortable going up to people and talking to them, or keep to yourself?
    • Norm: High (usual), low (need)
    • Reversal: Low (usual), high (need), low (stress)

    Physical Energy (prev. Activity)

    • Represents preference for pace of action and physical expression of energy
    • High scores – appear physically active and busy
    • Low scores – can still be active, though they will seem less physically active and more thoughtful/reflective
    • Higher Thought can result in lower Physical Energy

    Emotional Energy (prev. Empathy)

    • Represents openness and comfort with expressing emotion
    • Low scores – tend to regulate emotions
    • High scores – more expressive of emotions (positive & negative)
    • Physical energy and emotional energy are negatively correlated

    Self-consciousness (prev. Esteem)

    • Use of sensitivitiy when communicating with others
    • High scores – think “what should I be saying? how will what I say be interpreted?”
    • Could also be considered “consciousness” because it takes into consideration how others will feel based on what you say.
    • High usual takes the scenic route, while low usual wants the most direct route.
    • High needs – wants others to pay attention to phrasing before speaking.
    • High (usual) – tactful / guarded with communication
    • Low (usual) – don’t worry about what they are saying.
    • Norm – low (usual), high (need)
    • Reversal – high, low, high

    Assertiveness (prev. Authority)

    • Tendency to speak up and express opinions openly and forcefully.
    • Think of verbal dominance
    • How inclined somene is to speak up, disagree, or share their opinion
    • High scores – skill comes naturally and easily
    • Needs – what we expect from other people (high = vocal and assertive, or low = if we expect them to be suggestive/agreeable)
    • Reversal = high, low, high

    Insistence (prev. Structure)

    • Approach to details, structure, follow-through, and routine
    • Original name choosen by Dr. Birkman


    • Drive for personal rewards or group rewards
    • Low scores (usual) – group rewards
    • High scores (usual) – individual scores

    Restlessness (prev. Change)

    • Preference to focus attention or change focus and seek varied activity
    • Person’s ability and preference to focus on a task before finishing another one.


    • Decision making process and concern for consequences in making the right decision

    Overall – Not a bad session. I wish there was more time spent on the last 3-4 components so that I could get a better understanding of them. But the time spent on the first 1/2 of the components was really good. I haven’t had a chance to flip through the Components Atlas but the fact that they redid it was good.