Other Updates:

Reflections on Leading a GRIP Team Process

Introducing Discerning Direction Together

5 Reasons to Attend Set in Motion

Dissecting the Dotted Diamond

Resilience in Ministry

The Allure of Structure

Dotted Diamond:  Most commonly asked questions 

I continue to frequently run into Christian leaders who equate Spiritual Gifts with strengths. It makes me sad. 

Through the GRIP-Birkman, we have a way to concretely illustrate the variance in this, and the falsehood of believing that Gifts are the same as internal motivation, needs, or our usual behavior. Take a look at this FAQ about the Dotted Diamond to understand more about it, and how to effectively use it as a GRIP-Birkman Coach. 

Q: What is the Dotted Diamond? 

A: It is the visual representation of how in the power of the Holy Spirit, we see a change in behavior to a new place on the Birkman Map©. Our Usual behavior is represented by the Diamond on the Birkman Map © and the Dotted Diamond show how others may experience us as we use our Spiritual Gifts. 

Q: Why is it important? 

A: In order to help individuals understand the difference between the natural and supernatural, it provides a visual depiction of the change. This movement represents how others experience the Gifts, and thereby also the potential disconnect between how we normally behave, and how we may function in the Spirit. Example: I have a deep blue Diamond, but I have the Gift of Exhortation, making me much more DIRECT and more TASK oriented, moving my Dotted Diamond to the red quadrant of the Birkman Map ©. The dotted diamond clarifies the variance of experiences people have with us, and it provides the necessary visual and language for us to explain the empowerment of the Spirit to others. 

Q: How do I know where the Dotted Diamond should go? 

A: It’s not an exact science. And we are not trying to put the Holy Spirit into a box or in a complex algorithm. Instead, we have guidelines and principles that help us understand directionally where the Gift will move us:  

  • Equipping gifts (verbally powerful) will move us upward in the grid. 
  • Supporting gifts (action driven) will move us downward in the grid. 
  • Gifts associated with a task will move us to the left in the grid. 
  • Gifts associated with people will move is to the right in the grid.   

See the graph for more detailed ‘fans’ of the direction. To understand how far the movement is, it is best to consider how others experience you. Is it dramatically different? Probably a greater distance. Is it somewhat or minimally different? Likely a lesser distance.

Q: Does everyone’s Diamond move to a new place? 

A: No. For about 10% of people, their Gifts will not significantly move them away from where they operate normally. As a coach, remember that the conversation is still relevant. There is a difference between Usual behavior and supernatural empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Even without movement, it will likely be experienced differently from a person- and should be validated through the Gift characteristics and liabilities. This is also where the Here’s What I Think of You tool can be valuable.  

Q: How do I know if it’s natural or supernatural? 

A: We will always revert back to our 3 primary words of JOY, POWER, and FRUIT. These help us in the ‘pull-apart’ process of separating the conversation. Sample questions: Where do you experience God’s joy as you serve others? Where have you had ‘God moments’ of power as you interact with others? What fruit have you seen as you have served the Body of Christ [fruit for each Gift will look different. Helping your coachee understand that will also be a helpful process].  

Q: When should I focus on the Dotted Diamond in the coaching process? 

A: The coachee needs to understand their Gifting and they need to understand the layout of the Birkman Map ©. This means it typically will fall towards the end of the coaching process. However, planting seeds about the Dotted Diamond earlier in the process can help. Once you are beyond the introductory coaching for the assessment, Dotted Diamond is a very helpful concept in: 

  • transitional coaching- highlighting and understanding how others may experience you, as well as understanding where you experience joy, power and fruit. 
  • conflict resolution- highlighting how the distance/variance in location from natural diamond to Dotted Diamond may be causing misunderstandings. This is also where some of the gift liabilities may be manifesting themselves. 
  • team fit conversations- understanding how God has given us the ‘variety’ we need through the Dotted Diamond, and not always through the natural diamond. This helps us at times further understand his unique design for us, and we can often ask questions of ‘where the Lord may be leading us’ as we see a grouping of individuals’ Dotted Diamonds in a particular space on the map.   

Q: Doesn’t the Dotted Diamond just push us toward our Interests or our Needs? Can’t it just be explained through the natural lens? 

A: No. Again, the value is in helping people see that we have natural abilities, we have skills we have developed, and we have Spiritual Gifts which were given to us at conversion. For some people, their Dotted Diamond will move toward their asterisk. For some people, it will move them toward their Needs. This is again not uncommon, but it is not a rule that is consistent enough for us to make assumptions or direct correlations. Rather, it allows us to ask different questions like “How does God use this specifically for you in your relationships? How do you see the Interests and the Dotted Diamond differently? Often as we create space for the individual to discuss their own Gifting and personality, they will have profound insights. You do not have to be (and shouldn’t assume you are) the expert on someone else. You are the discovery partner along their journey with them.  

Q: I like the Dotted Diamond concept, but it’s just hard to coach. What are some tips you have? 

A: It is complicated, but it can be life-changing for individuals. Try some of these: 

  • Use the resources provided. Visit gripbirkman.com/dotted-diamond for further information.  
  • Pray before you go into the conversation. There can be profound moments of clarity for individuals as we give language to a unique part of God’s design.  
  • Ask questions that help them see the difference before you dig into the ‘drawing’ elements. (How have people responded as you use that Gift? What is typically the outcome? When using that Gift, what is the drive / motivation?) These answers will allow you to reflect their own words and language back to the individual as they progress through the visual steps of plotting their Dotted Diamond. 
  • Restate the concept of Dotted Diamond multiple times, and ask them to share back what they are hearing you say. Clarity on concept before practice is very helpful.  

Hopefully these thoughts are helpful to you as you coach the Dotted Diamond. At the core is the idea that God shifts the way we act / behave as we use our Gifts. We will then return to our natural behavior when we are not using that Gift.  

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