Since 2005, Miramont Country Club has upheld standards of excellence in providing a family-friendly and upscale community for Bryan and College Station residents. As one of the finest private country clubs in Texas, Miramont was awarded ninth place by Golf Digest for
As an established and complex organization with a variety of services, Miramont depends on successful interrelationships between its eight different departments, all headed by the General Manager, Aaron Dawson. With each department comprised of anywhere from five to sixty employees, Dawson found challenges in bridging the diverse teams. This led to communication issues that brought significant conflict.
The challenging dynamic between Aaron and Jon, one of Miramont's most valuable employees, left Jon questioning if he was a good fit for the organization. Miramont turned to Birkman to foster greater understanding among employees, mitigate conflict, and help two essential leaders work together to maintain
Over the past few years, Birkman helped Miramont establish a greater understanding of different communication styles, expectations, and work preferences throughout the organization by providing a way for team members to identify their unique personalities and increase their social and emotional intelligence. The tool also enabled team members to discuss what they need from their environment and those around them to be successful, resulting in a healthier workplace with increased levels of cooperation and morale.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF OPPOSING COMMUNICATION STYLES TO DRIVE UNDERSTANDING, RESPECT, AND PRODUCTIVITY
|Aaron Dawson, General Manager||Jon Snider, Director of Golf Course and Grounds Maintenance|
"I'm not sure he would still be on our team had we not unpacked this and used it. He would have been frustrated with me and I with him, but Birkman helped me keep a valuable key employee."
IMPLEMENTING BIRKMAN INTO AN ORGANIZATION
Aaron Dawson first came to know about Birkman through his supervisor who had used it for career development with her children. While facing several challenges throughout the organization, Miramont members that ran a business recommended Birkman for conflict resolution and team alignment. At first, Aaron had doubts about using the tool. After all, he had over fifteen years of leadership experience under his belt, and thought he knew how to read people. However, Aaron was deeply impacted by the assessment’s powerful insights and data after walking through his personal Birkman report. He immediately began implementing the tool across the organization and witnessed the powerful change. Upon further reflection, Aaron says if he could do it all over, he would begin the process by being more transparent with his own scores to reduce employee anxiety about the assessment.
Aaron gave an assessment to everyone in a leadership position. At first, his team members were wary of the assessment. They were fearful of the unknown and how Birkman might affect the workplace—Miramont’s superintendent even called it a “psycho test.” However, the power and accuracy of the tool soon proved itself within the organization, and its use throughout the club continued to grow.
Aaron expanded the use of Birkman to incorporate group reports—making an even greater impact within the organization. This allowed individuals to understand how they fit in with the rest of the team, and how they needed to approach their peers to keep things running smoothly. A new, heightened self-awareness cascaded down all levels of the organization as Aaron guided each manager on how to utilize Birkman to engage with direct reports.
BIRKMAN USE CASES THROUGHOUT MIRAMONT
After experiencing the effects of Birkman throughout the organization, Aaron sought to expand his knowledge of the tool by attending the Birkman Perspectives course, a training that dives deep into leadership and coaching to help respondents understand the impact of their perspective on themselves and others. The Director of Golf at
In conjunction with Rob, Aaron found another way to utilize this tool in a different facet of the organization—tenured college students that had long contributed to different departments of the country club but would soon depart Miramont to launch their careers elsewhere. Even though these students were pursuing college degrees, many were still trying to figure out what to do with their careers.
As advocates of the validating and enlightening nature of Birkman, Aaron and Rob pushed to have the club gift these college students with personal Birkman feedback sessions, giving them clarity and affirmation as they worked to develop their careers.
In addition to the new application of Birkman with college students, Aaron intends to grow the use of Birkman with Miramont’s teams and leadership to break down more barriers in communication.
Using Birkman to bridge the gap in personality styles drives powerful understanding, boosts synergy, and increases productivity throughout the organization.
For the past several years, Dawson has used the Signature report and Group reports to bridge the gap between leadership and teams, focusing on different communication and personality styles. Aaron claims that Birkman is “One of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made,” and attributes the power of Birkman to the concept of Needs (or expectations)—what an individual must have from their environment to be successful. Needs are especially important to understand as they are crucial for one to be productive and perform at their best. Since Birkman Needs are often unseen and hidden from others, it makes it difficult to identify and implement this understanding without explicitly talking about them. Aaron states, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you only works thirty percent of the time. Seventy percent of the time, who we are outwardly is different from what we expect from others."
Taylor hails from Boston, Massachusetts, with a deep passion for design and innovation. With over ten international creative publications, she brings a trained, artistic eye to Birkman’s marketing department. When she isn't consuming 17th century European works, you can find her dancing, running, or serving her church on the weekends.