BIRKMAN INTERESTS – workplace interpretations

Social Services

Personally helping others using a sensitivity to the interpersonal dynamics of the work environment. High scores gain personal satisfaction from helping. Downsizing, layoffs, and firings can be difficult for high scores. Low scores are not insensitive to others, but instead see helping others as a means to share expertise and further the business or objectives.


Engaging with people verbally to motivate others to accept ideas, actions, or opinions. High scores for Persuasive want to be sold and expect others to verbally convince them. Low scores see this same approach as potentially hiding flaws in the idea. Low scores are sensitive being sold to and buy in to ideas because the facts support it.


Analyzing numbers and data to produce quantifiable conclusions. High scores measure the effectiveness of business operations and use facts and data to make decisions. High scores prefer to be convinced of others’ ideas through facts and data. Low scores prefer not to deal with numbers and data. For example, low scores will discuss the budget later.


Administrative processes that include creating and maintaining the routines and systems that bring order to the work environment. High scores bring discipline, tracking and follow-through. High scores prefer to keep the organizational wheels in motion in a predictable manner. Low scores have a lower preference for rules, policies, and regulations.


An acute sensitivity for how things look or appear.A picture truly is worth a thousand words to high scores. High scores may dismiss presentations that are not visually appealing, while low scores may dismiss presentations that use too many visuals.


A sensitivity to sound and auditory expression. High scores notice things like tone of voice, background noise, loud conversations or the “buzz” in a work environment. If what is coming in to the ears is not pleasing to a high score they can get easily distracted and find it difficult to concentrate. Low scores can find it easy to dismiss background noise.


An affinity for language and communication, particularly in written form. High scores compose their thoughts in written form. Low scores may dismiss these messages if the point of the communication is not arrived at quickly. High scores pay close attention to the subtleties and nuances of what they write and that which is written by others.


Curiosity for why things are the way they are. High scores tend to probe and question to discover and understand. Low scores can sometimes view this questioning as a means for controlling outcomes, which can become a source of conflict. High scores enjoy the intellectual process. Low scores are more able to get moving without all of the information.


Connecting with the world outside. In the workplace this can mean an office with a view. High scores can find it difficult to sustain activity when spending long periods of time indoors. The primary difference between high and low scores is the work environment’s effect on their mood and vigor. Low scores can work indoors for long periods.


Curiosity for how things work. High scores tend to get personally involved. HIgh scores want to know the details of production and implementation. Those with low scores can become impatient with these details and prefer to leave it to others to implement and take action.