Kolbe Index – a Unique Method to Assess Your Talent and Improve the Quality of Your Life

Have you ever had the feeling that you are unhappy with what you are doing? You don’t want to get up in the morning. You don’t devote much care to picking out the clothes you are going to wear at the office for the rest of the day. Your colleagues and managers irritate you. You feel like a bird in a cage. You don’t want to sing because you can’t fly freely catching insects on the way, skipping on the ground or twittering on the branch of a beautiful green tree.

Of course, our mood is changeable and all of us might occasionally feel blue, but it passes with the hug of a beloved person or a couple of cocktails with friends. We don’t mean these to be short-term remedies for melancholy. We would like to talk about the deeper problems connected to our life choices and psychology. In fact we are rarely given the possibility to choose what we really like. In childhood, caring parents strive to protect their kids; they free them from the burden of choice in case they make the wrong one, which may result in mistakes, pain or even health hazards. When we grow up, the time to decide where to study comes. What guides our choice then? Money issues, career perspectives, relatives’ advice and so on. This list can be added to, but we are not sure that subjects, like our natural inclinations and passions, will be taken into account.

Most people take social restraints for granted. They do not live the way they wish and do not do the things they want. They sacrifice their dreams - barter their initial desires for the sake of personal comfort or other reasons. Everyone has his/her own story.

But is there any opportunity to change the situation for the better? Sure, Kolbe Index can be a solution.

What is a Kolbe Index and who can use it?

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The method was developed by Kathy Kolbe. She is the world’s leading authority on human instincts. Kathy solved the riddle of how all people can be both equal and different in their creative efforts by identifying the nature of universal instincts that constitute individual modus operandi. Kolbe is an acclaimed theorist, who discovered the four innate conative modalities, which she named Action Modes, and developed the only validated assessment of these instinct-based strengths. Kathy is a prolific writer and bestselling author. She has over 120 printed works, and has written an almost equal amount for published software programs. She is also an entrepreneur who founded, and was the CEO of, Kolbe Corp, a publishing and consulting company for 30 Years, and is now its Chairman and Chief Creativity Officer. Kathy is an educator, who has taught preschool through university classes, lectured worldwide, and formed the not-for-profit Center for Conative Abilities to do research and develop educational programs. She has been an advisor to leaders in business, government, sports, religion, and education, and has spoken to a multitude of audiences around the globe in her effort to make a difference in the world. Some call Kolbe “Maslow’s successor” because of her work in showing how the three parts of the mind (cognitive, affective and conative) impact the creative problem solving process. This seminal work became the basis for Kolbe’s algorithm for team synergy identification. It took Kathy decades of research with hundreds of organizations to author a comprehensive set of programs to assist leaders in making wise decisions based on a comprehensive set of human factors involving cognitive, affective and conative levels of efforts.

Being an inquisitive person, Kathy was dissatisfied with IQ-based identification of abilities. Kolbe spent long years studying the mysterious conative patterns of behavior, which have largely been ignored by academics during the last century. She authored the first reliable measurement of conation, the Kolbe A™ Index, which identifies the patterns of actions or modus operandi of an individual and developed coaching-type results which are individualized, Internet-delivered, insights in applying the information in real-life situations. This assessment can be called revolutionary without any exaggeration as it provided an entirely new approach to mental measurement and the explanations of it.

Actually, the Kolbe test will be useful for any person. Parents will be able to reveal the strongest points of their children and then help them to move in the right direction. Professionals will get to know what adjustments they should make in their lives to become happier, more efficient and successful. Employers will assemble a really great team, members of which will perfectly complement each other.

We guess you are interested in more information on the topic now. Ok, let’s dig into details.

Kolbe’s approach

kolbe index review

Kolbe’s concept is based on the fact that every person is uniquely and perfectly capable of creative problem solving. Our creative instincts are the source of mental energy that drives us to take specific actions. This so-called mental drive is separate and distinct from passive feeling and thoughts. Creative instincts become apparent in an innate pattern that determines our individual unique method of operation. Method of operation is also called modus operandi or M.O. in the abbreviated form.

What is a method of operation? The notion is quantifiable and observable, yet it functions at the subconscious level. It governs our actions, reactions and interactions. It determines our use of time and natural form of communication. Understanding and exercising control over this mental resource is supremely important as it gives you the freedom to be your authentic self.

Just think about that. What do you feel when acting according to your instinct? If you don’t remember how it feels, watch the little kids. If left alone, they are guided by instincts. Their energy is almost inexhaustible; it can be compared to a waterfall. But when we are forced to act against our instinct, our energy is rapidly depleted because we are trying to swim upstream. Don’t you think that this makes sense?

Kolbe Corp asserts that individual performance can be predicted with great accuracy by comparing a person's M.O. with self-expectations and the requirements of specific tasks. Performance fluctuates based on how closely these elements align.

What’s interesting, M.O.s vary across the general population and show no gender, age or racial bias. If you want to achieve synergy in your team, all you need to do is group people with the right mix of interactive M.O. functions and their combined mental energy will produce it. It was proved that teams organized along these lines can perform at a higher level than is possible for the same group of people functioning independently. Team performance is accurately predicted by Kolbe's proprietary algorithms which determine the appropriate balance and makeup of M.O.s.

Needless to say that the Kolbe Concept is backed by substantial scientific research and validation and is examined in numerous research articles. You can find more research and validation here as well as undeniable evidence that creative potential in all humans beings, regardless of gender, age, or race is equal and the use of instinctive strengths improves quality of life with innovative solutions that provide greater individual freedom to thrive.

Speaking about the Kolbe Index, we couldn’t help mentioning the conation as it is closely related to the topic. So, what is conation? Conation is an action derived from instinct; purposeful mode of striving, volition. In other words, it is a conscious effort to carry out self-determined acts.

The word is erived from the Latin 'conatus', which is defined as "any natural tendency, impulse, or directed effort."

Conation, coupled with Kolbe Wisdom™, identifies the nature of creative instincts and enables individuals to unleash the boundless power of their own natural instincts and their M.O.s to improve personal productivity, enrich relationships, become effective parents and launch rewarding careers.

Want to know more about the conative part of the mind? Follow this link.

Our mind divided into parts

From ancient times until now, philosophers and psychologists share the concept of a three-part mind with separate domains for thinking, feeling, and doing. The conative (the doing) part contains the striving instincts that drive our natural way of taking action (modus operandi). This set of innate strengths and talents is unique. Every person possesses it and it remains unchanged from birth. Everyone has an equal amount of conative energy for engaging the thinking (cognitive) and feeling (affective) parts of the mind to produce purposeful action.

A human mind is really the most inconceivable essence, and that’s why studying it and revealing its secrets has such a magnetic attraction for scientists. They invented thousands of tests for the purpose. Some of them evaluate intelligence and what you’ve learned; i.e. your knowledge and skills – identifying what you know. Others evaluate your affective “style”, your preferences – identifying how you feel and what interests you. But only the Kolbe Indexes are validated assessments of the conative part of the mind. They are the only tests that look at conation, evaluating the instinctive talents with which you were born – identifying the way you take action. That’s what makes them differ from other psychological tests.

Ok, Kathy Kolbe was the first to identify four universal human instincts used in creative problem solving. But instincts can’t be measured, can they? That’s the truth, 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 presented in a graph of an individual's instinctive method of operation. 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 index review

The combination of the four Action Modes® mentioned above describes 12 unique methods of problem solving, or Kolbe Strengths™. Although we can all solve problems using any of the 12 methods, each of us has four - one in each Action Mode. Namely these four methods allow us to do our best, most efficient, creative work.

No matter what combination of talents we involve to succeed, each of us will be most productive and get a greater sense of accomplishment when we operate in our own unique way. We make the biggest impact only when we solve problems in ways that are most natural for us.

kolbe index review

Reasons to pass the Kolbe test

Knowing your Kolbe Indexes enables you to unleash the boundless power of your own natural instincts. What do you need this for? To improve job performance and productivity, launch rewarding careers, enrich personal relationships and become effective parents.

Kolbe is not a personality test. It doesn’t 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.

Bolstered 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. Results are delivered dynamically online and include a customized audio interpretation by Kathy Kolbe.

Here is a sample of Kolbe A:

kolbe index review

There are 7 Kolbe assessments: Kolbe A™ Index, Kolbe Y™ Index, Kolbe B Index, Kolbe Parent Guide™, Career MO+™, Financial MO+™, and Kolbe R™ Index. Each of them is directed at a certain sphere of life, so you can decide which one you would like to improve and choose the assessment according to your personal requirements.

What would you like to change? For instance, you can become more productive with Kolbe A™ Index. The Kolbe Y Index helps youth (4th grade reading level to age 17) identify the set of striving instincts that drive their distinctive way of taking action. The Kolbe B Index measures an individual's perception of your own job responsibilities. Comparing a Kolbe B Index Result with an A Index Result yields insights into how to leverage instinctive talents at work. Kolbe Parent Guide Report helps parents better understand their child's talents and gain powerful suggestions for customizing parenting and communication techniques to fit their child's unique method of operation. The Career MO+ identifies jobs and careers that fit your MO. It also offers guidance on how to make the most of your natural talents in a current job. It is a supplemental report to the Kolbe A Index result. The FMO+™ identifies ways you can use your instincts to make smarter decisions about money and finances. The Kolbe R Index measures your expectations of another person in a relationship. Comparing one person's Kolbe R Index result with a partner's Kolbe A Index result provides insight into ways to improve the relationship.

Instinct assessments are paid services. Their prices vary from $9.95 to $49.95. We guess that’s not too much for a happier life.

You can have detailed information on each assessment or even take the test right now here.

Wrap up

Kolbe Indexes can turn out to be really helpful in many spheres of life.

Entrepreneurs can improve their businesses as Kolbe's unique collection of employee assessments and WAREwithal® software are powerful diagnostic tools that help decision makers in businesses of any size. i.e.: hire and keep the right people, maximize employee potential and build successful project teams. Kolbe also offers specialized training on the Kolbe System.

It works better of if you decide to start from a blank page and get your business a new office before you start "digging".

With the freedom to be yourself in real life, you can make great strides in your career, family life, and other personal relationships. You will become more confident, more energetic, and more powerful - just from understanding your natural instincts and talents. Unlike many personality tests that suggest what's wrong with you and tell you how to change it, Kolbe focuses on what's right with you and tells you how to build on it. It’s safe to say that Kolbe helps you to achieve your goals, and put you in control of your destiny.

Good parents would be surely interested to know what's right about their child. Kolbe sees every child as uniquely and perfectly capable of creative problem solving. The Kolbe Y™ Index can help you identify the natural way your youngster takes action. It is designed for children with a 4th-grade reading level to 17 years old. Learning how to nurture and tap into your child's unique method of operation can make you a more effective parent. It can also increase the likelihood of success in school and transform the way a family functions.

To make a long story short, we consider the Kolbe Index really awesome and even revolutionary in its uncommon approach. And now we would like to hear what you think about it. Did you know about the Kolbe Index before? Was this article (Kolbe index review) useful for you? Are you ready to take the Kolbe test? Which one will it be (Kolbe personality test, job fit assessment test or other), if it’s not a secret, of course? Your feedback is welcome in the comment section. And, please, don’t forget to like and share the article with your friends if you believe that it can change their lives for the better.

Helga Moreno

Experienced writer passionate about highlighting all the topics related to web, design, marketing, SEO, and more. Follow Helga on Quora.

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