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  • Writer's pictureAmelie Mongol Derby Racer

Know yourself, ride better?

Last week at work, I went through a session on my Birkman profile. What’s the Birkman method, you ask?

It’s an assessment to understand one’s personality. There are plenty of such tests out there and this one in particular looks for ways to empower performance.

The incredibly interesting part is that it ranks the types of work that you’re more interested in and then gives you a grid of your needs, stressors, and expectations.

Just to give you a highlight of my profile, the activities that motive me the most are ‘scientific’. Now, don’t take scientific in the general sense - in this assessment, ‘scientific’ refers to getting to the bottom of things and understanding why things are the way they are.

In other words, I’m usually the person in the office asking, “why do we do this” or “why is this happening”. Colleagues or bosses might find this annoying or feel I’m questioning their decision when, in fact, I’m just trying to understand. I vividly remember a conversation I had with my boss in the US about 7 or 8 years ago. She specifically told me, “I love the fact that you’re always questioning and getting to the bottom of things, but be mindful that this might not be the case for everyone”. I didn’t know how right she was at that point.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, in or out of the saddle, this is who I am and I can’t avoid it.

  • “Oh crap, I would have loved to have that filmed so I could understand what I did wrong and what I did right!”

  • “Quick question: why is my horse doing A, B, C?”

  • “But if I don’t truly understand it myself, how can I expect my horse to get it?”

The beauty of this assessment is that, if done and analysed correctly, it gives you the key to really focus on your strengths and motivations so you can not only be a better performer, but also a happier one.

It means that I don’t have to feel weird about sounding like a 2 year old asking “why” every minute. Just joking! But, it does mean that being totally conscious of it makes for better riding lessons and better practice.

Is there some part of your work that you bring to the barn? Or do you bring the barn to work?


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