One of the interesting sidelights of the MBA experience, for me, has been my new exposure (and newfound appreciation for) Personality Tests. Most of you have heard of the Myers-Briggs test, and the different types. Most of us even use Myers-Briggs terminology when we describe ourselves: that being whether we are an extrovert or an introvert (though we typically use the terms differently from the way Myers-Briggs means it).
I don’t know about you, but I personally have a love-hate relationship with the Myers-Briggs. I find the concepts intriguing, but the execution and classification to be dense and misleading. Considering how popular it is, the somewhat misleading nature of the test can be dangerous if employed in the workplace, for instance. It’s also been my experience that the Myers-Briggs is not, shall we say, as fixed as the creators would have you believe. I’ve seen my MBTI-type change over time, depending on my mood at the time of the test. There is just something left to be desired by this overly simplistic classification system.
Introducing the Birkman
So, I was initially skeptical when introduced to the “Birkman Method” in connection with the MBA program I’m in. It’s just another way for someone to think they know me when they don’t know me, I reasoned. But, I’ll be honest again, with my Birkman report in hand, I think I’m converted to the potential value of tests like this. I can even see how this would be useful if deployed within a proper context within the workplace. I can even see how I can use this tool as a writer. Continue reading