Q&A with The Enrichery’s Birkman Certified Professional, Ashland Robertson


An already beloved Enrichery coach, Ashland Robertson, recently added one more tool to her coaching toolbox. The Birkman Assessment is an “instrument to measure human characteristics he saw influencing behaviors, motivations, and perceptions.” In other words, the assessment can predict how someone is likely to act, and why they’re likely to act that way. Ashland became a Birkman Certified Professional, which means she’s now able to administer the Birkman assessment and interpret the results. Lucky for us, she’ll be sharing her talents with our Enrichery clients, using the assessment for college planning purposes, as well as helping parents and students navigate their expectations for the future together.

Here are all the details about the Birkman Method (and the services available to you!) from Ashland herself.

Let’s start with the basics: what is the Birkman Method? 

Well, it used to be known as the “Test of Social Comprehension,” if that tells you anything! It’s really just an assessment that explores how a person’s individual/interpersonal perceptions affect their behaviours, motivations, interests, etc.

The Birkman Method is rooted in positive psychology – can you explain what positive psychology is?

Positive psychology is the study of the strengths that enable both communities and individuals to thrive. 

Why/how is the Birkman Assessment an advantageous tool for students and professionals (and all individuals in general)?

At its core, the Birkman is about facilitating conversations that enable us to approach our lives more mindfully. How do we see ourselves? How do we see others? How do others see us? and so on.

In a team environment, it can allow for a better understanding of colleagues & their motivations. Have you ever had that teammate who simply blurts out whatever is on their mind and drives everyone else crazy? Well, their Birkman results could give the entire team some insight into why they act that way, how to better leverage that behaviour as a strength, and how to approach the situation with it if/when it gets to be too much.

The same applies to individuals. It can be incredibly helpful to have your “needs” and “motivations” presented to you in a concise manner. How do you show up and what will you do with what you learn?

The Birkman Method “reveals four key perspectives of every person: Motivation, Self-Perception, Social Perception, and Mindset.” Can you explain a bit about what these four areas are?

– Motivation: what makes you tick? What drives your bus? This perspective examines what sorts of things motivate or demotivate you and what sorts of things get you engaged. It’s great because, with a skilled Birkman professional, you can begin to map out a path forward for yourself (in school, in your career, whatever) that really plays to your passions. We’re always better at what we enjoy.

-Self-Perception: how you see yourself in relation to the world.

-Social Perception: the underlying framework for how you move in the world. This one isn’t always readily apparent! It uses your internal context (created from personal experiences, personality, etc.) and helps you decide if a given situation is comfortable or not.

-Mindset: what do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about others? Why?

How will you incorporate the Birkman Method into The Enrichery? Who do you recommend this assessment for? 

I recommend this assessment for high school age and up! I find it to be especially useful for college planning.

In my role at The Enrichery, I’ll be using the Birkman Method to help students & parents evaluate their expectations for the future and make a plan accordingly. 

We all have that friend who has a passion for art and wants to pursue graphic design while their parents want them to go to law school. That sort of dichotomy is really stressful in a parent/child relationship! The Birkman Method will help parents get a better understand of who their kid is and what drives them. From there, it becomes easier to have conversations about differing expectations and how there are multiple paths forward that lead to success for their child.

Give me the deets about the assessment! 

The assessment itself is very brief – maybe 30 minutes, max, and you just take it at home. It’s a mix of yes/no questions and then ranking things in lists.

I book consults to review results in one-hour blocks, and I encourage a minimum of two to really get an understanding of things. That said, I’m always happy to meet more if someone finds it helpful! If you would like to schedule an assessment with Ashland, please reach out to her at team@theenrichery.com