One of the first suggestions my line manager in the Department of Education and Science, an assistant chief inspector, made when I was appointed national co-ordinator of the Transition Year Curriculum Support Service was that we should both do the Birkman Test. Furthermore, it was then processed to see how we might work together. Next, we both sat down with Mary O'Rafferty. She, skillfully identified not only how we might best work together but, critically, potential areas of conflict. Over the following years there were numerous occasions when, thanks to the Birkman, that assistant chief inspector and myself paused, recognised how we were engaging in behaviour predicted by the test, and changed course. At a personal level I also found it especially helpful in increasing my general self-awareness, particularly about how I behave when stressed.