When someone re-takes the Birkman questionnaire, the most "stable" reports (that is, the ones that change the least) are from people who have not had an in-depth feedback on their first results.
When people ask to take the Birkman again, there is often a desire to see where they have "grown" or developed. The best test for accuracy is probably in the people who know this individual very well - a spouse, sibling, or candid colleague. The best scores for them to examine are the stress scores, because this area is typically the one most recognizable to those who know us.
- Use the original scores if they appeared accurate at the time of initial feedback. If they did not, that is the time to re-test.
- When a person re-tests, require them to go twice as fast and to go with their first answer with no changes or second thoughts allowed. The goal is to respond, not think about it.
- If scores change, ask the client if these are areas they wanted to change and if they changed in the targeted direction. Sometimes unconsciously, we answer the report as we are "trying to be" instead of "how we are".
- Ask for validation. Have the individual ask someone who knows them VERY well which stress behaviors are more accurate - first or second report. Don't ask someone who feels it necessary to tell you what you want to hear.
- If the second report has many scores that went from Low to High or vice versa, the answers may be suspect. A few changes would not be of concern.
- After all your research, use the report that overall seems to be the best example of the person you see before you. Remember, we could make a lot more money if we encouraged people to re-test as they went through life and participated in learning activities, coaching, therapy, etc. Our research continues to show that most of the scores for most of the people stay the same most of the time.