Written by Gary Matsuda
Difficult co-workers? We’re talking about those who make your life miserable by overly complicating things or leaving out essential process details. Of course, they wouldn’t have done it the way you would have, which would have been faster or more accurate by far!
While interpersonal problems could be the result of differences in personal goals and values, another potential source of conflict is not often recognized or measured. It’s part of our innate way of doing things called conation.
Stephanie Clergé, Career coach, VP of Training and Consulting at Kolbe Corp broke it down for us.
Psychology defines 3 parts of the mind:
- Cognition (intellect, skills, knowledge)
- Affective (feeling, personality type, preferences, values)
- Conation (instinctive action, problem solving approaches, decision making methods)
Well-known psychological tests work with the thinking cognitive (IQ, SAT) and feeling (DISC, Myers Briggs) parts of our brain.
The third component of the mind associated with conation or how we naturally take action (or avoid action) is measured by the Kolbe test, the only validated assessment that measures a person’s conative strengths. The results are called your MO or Method of Operation. If you know your MO, you will understand your own human nature and can begin the process of maximizing your potential. You’ll also be able to describe yourself clearly and articulate how you have performed in preparation for interviews and how to thrive in your new job!
The online Kolbe test takes about 20 minutes, during which you’ll be asked 36 questions which are designed to accurately determine your conative strengths. (It’s so accurate, if you change your answers, it will track that too.)
You’ll get your results in the form of 4 numbers representing a range from 1 to 10 for each of the action modes. These are the 4 action modes:
- Fact Finder – one’s way of gathering and sharing information
- Follow Thru – one’s way of organizing
- Quick Start – one’s way of dealing with risk and uncertainty
- Implementor – one’s way of handling space and tangibles
You then interpret your scores like this for each action mode:
CounterAct – Scores in 1-3 range of the continuum
Indicates an ability to resist being in action mode or being energy saving or conservative.
- Fact Finder: indicates a need to generalize, give an overview, briefly summarize, and find bottom line information.
- Follow Through: indicates a need to do several things at once, keep things where they can be seen, take short cuts, go outside regular procedures.
- Quick Start: indicates a need to avoid chaos, bring stability, stick with the tried and true, and reduce uncertainty.
- Implementor: indicates a need to avoid literal construction of model, working in three dimensions, or handling special relationships.
ReAct – The in between zone 4-6
Indicating an ability to accommodate in the mode as needed. Not going to detail actions here but generally they blend between the two zones above and below.
Initiate Action – scores in the 7-10 part of the continuum
Also referred to as insistence (on performing an action).
- Fact Finder: indicates a need to be specific, read and report details, define terms, and justify facts.
- Follow Thru: indicates a need to be highly structured, act sequentially, and complete one task before starting another.
- Quick Start: indicates a need to experiment, act spontaneously, and do things in new and different ways.
- Implementor: indicates a need to touch, physically explore, move around, build, and deal with what is concrete rather than abstract.
The emphasis here is to recognize and exploit your superpowers. We all have habits we should improve, but most career coaches advise that it’s not productive to put significant effort into improving your weaknesses or abilities you were not born with. Likewise, you’re unlikely to change your team members weaknesses into strengths. Instead there is much more return on investment on developing and using natural strengths.
If you have ever wondered why the boss needs to drone on about the big picture, while you just want the details on what to do next, you’ll understand why there is a disconnect. With your Kolbe score you’ll have the basic information to start meaningful conversations and reduce stress in the workplace or at home!
Compared to most career advice that seem to focus on intelligence (i.e. good grades, certifications) and personality, the Kolbe A Index guides us further by:
- Learning to rely on actions that instinctively work for us.
- Helping focus time and energy to be more productive.
- Directing more effective communication, career choices and study habits.
- Improving relationships with friends, loved ones and co-workers because we’ll trust our instincts instead of trying to change each other.
To get help planning for your next career (or date), take the Kolbe A evaluation. If you’ve registered for this Career Connectors event, it’s free until March 15th.
Stephanie Clergé is a VP of Training and Consulting at Kolbe Corp, which specializes in assessments and interventions that increase individual and collective performance.
Cenlar, Mark Pierce, Recruiter
If your strength is with people, yet you want to be behind the scenes and have immediate impact on people who need help, Cenlar needs you! For many of us owning a home is part of our country’s foundation. Behind most homeowners is a mortgage to manage and some people need assistance. Your help involves guiding customer issues from basic questions on their loan to loan structuring. You’ll get experience with many different banks and lenders so your experience can grow with you ambition! There are flexible schedules, day or night which will work with your availability! Contact Mark Pierce (firstname.lastname@example.org) for full time summer and part time positions.
Career Connectors Academy, Steven Hatch, Director of Admissions
IT careers are hot, have always been and are likely to be in demand for years to come. If you’re changing careers or building up your current one, there are many paths available through Career Connectors Academy to help you quickly get the needed education and skills! Full work schedule or commute a problem? Well you can get you training done online. If covering tuition is an issue, for those who qualify there are free IT certifications, federal grants and payment programs set up to make the financial burden lighter. Email Steven Hatch (email@example.com) for more info.
Jessica Pierce, Founder and CEO of Career Connectors, closed the first part of the event and invited attendees to participate in talking to hiring managers and resume experts, finding educational opportunities, visiting Coaches Corner, and posing for a free head shot by a professional volunteer photographer. And thanks to GCU for the venue!
For details about upcoming Career Connectors events throughout the Valley, click here to visit the events section on the website for times, locations, and details about hiring companies and keynote topics.