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Quantifying Your Work Instincts

When I was in graduate school at Emory University, we had to sit through and absurd number of personal assessments. DiSc, Myers-Briggs, you name it and we took it. The assessments did provide valuable feedback at the time, but the results were soon forgotten negating any of their utility.

When I started working as an industry consultant I was introduced to the Kolbe A Assessment. It is a simple 36 question test that nets the participant a four number score that shows your “Action Modes”. Once you know your numbers, it creates an amazing framework for understanding how you prefer to work, instinctively. Instead of testing for your weaknesses, it identifies your strengths as a worker. It also will help you understand exactly how you prefer to communicate in a work environment. Once your teammates and staff take the assessment, you can really start to see power of knowing their Kolbe Score.

If you are familiar with the assessment, my numbers are 8-6-4-2.

I could not explain the Four Action Modes® any better than the folks at Kolbe Corporation themselves:

Four Action Modes®

Kathy Kolbe was the first to identify four universal human instincts used in creative problem solving. These instincts are not measurable. However, the observable acts derived from them can be identified and quantified by the Kolbe A™ Index. These instinct-driven behaviors are represented in the four Kolbe Action Modes:

Fact Finder - the instinctive way we gather and share information.

Follow Thru - the instinctive way we arrange and design.

Quick Start - the instinctive way we deal with risk and uncertainty.

Implementor - the instinctive way we handle space and tangibles.

The Kolbe A Index result is a graphical representation of an individual’s instinctive method of operation, or modus operandi (M.O.). The numbers in each Action Mode represent different points on a continuum, rather than relative values. Each point on the continuum indicates a positive trait. There is no such thing as a negative or “bad” Kolbe Index result.

Kolbe Indexes enable individuals to unleash the boundless power of their own natural instincts to:

  • Improve job performance and productivity

  • Launch rewarding careers

  • Enrich personal relationships

  • Become effective parents

Unlike personality tests, which tell you what’s wrong with you and how to change it, Kolbe tells you what’s right with you and how to make the most of it.

Backed by 35 years of scientific research and validation, Kolbe Indexes are fun and easy to complete online in less than 20 minutes. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers to the multiple choice questions in a Kolbe Index.”

Here is a real-world example of how I have applied the Kolbe to improve working with one of my business partners. My numbers show that I am a high ‘Fact Finder,’ which to me means that I need details and and have a desire to be over prepared before moving forward on a project. One of my business partners is a high ‘Quick Start’ which means he is comfortable with uncertainty and risk. He is also a world-class salesman. In application, he is comfortable moving forward on a project (or sales call) without all the facts while I have a tendency to error on diligence and research. We know this about each other so we can leverage this to improve our consulting engagements and business growth. If a clients needs a customize stock portfolio built, I will generally take the lead on the project. If a client needs help coming up with a strategy to land a big prospect he will take the lead. Knowing each others instinctive strengths allows us to optimize our workday, and deliver better client outcomes.

I am such a big proponent of the Kolbe A Assessment that I now require new clients to take it before I will start an engagement. This allows me to have a better understanding of how they naturally prefer to work, and how I can best communicate with them during the engagement.

Offer: Complimentary Debriefing

If you are interested in a complimentary debriefing of your Kolbe score, please take the assessment and schedule a time for use on my scheduler (Link). As of this writing, the analysis is only $49.95 and can be found here:

This blog post is an expert from my upcoming book: How To Build A Resilient Advisory Business.


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