Helping Others Make the Most of Their Conative Strengths – Kathy Kolbe

December 28, 2009

This year I got an extra special treat – I got to meet and get to know Kathy Kolbe.

I had known about Kathy’s work for years and had my own Kolbe A™ Index done in 2005. (My M.O. is 4-3-9-2) Since then, I have used the Kolbe Assessment Tool Set and Kolbe certified consultants to gain insights into creating high performance teams.  But it was not until we started chatting on Twitter that Kathy and I actually set a date to get together for lunch and started to share ideas. 

About a month later, at Kathy’s suggestion, I got certified myself so that I could better apply the power of understanding my own innate abilities to what I do an and learn how to use Kolbe Wisdom™ to make the most of the natural strengths of others in my home life, at work, and in my various community activities.

I continue to learn something new about conation every time I listen to Kathy (here’s a podcast she did recently with Koren Motekaitus) or by following @KathyKolbe on Twitter.  Here is an article Martha Beck wrote in O Magazine about the Kolbe Index.

Understanding what my natural strengths are and how I can make the best use of them has been a huge advantage for me over the years.  So when I started the “People Making a Difference Series on Little Life Stories – Kathy was a natural to interview. 

An Interview with Kathy Kolbe – the world’s leading expert on Conation.

JKW: Kathy, I hear your name every time someone talks about Conative Abilities.  How would YOU describe yourself?

KK: Theorist by nature, entrepreneur by preference & writer by pure determination, I’m also a severe dyslexic who has created paths to my freedom to be me. I strive to develop expertise & opportunities to help others do the same.

As the author of 100+ books & programs teaching creative problem solving for kids – thru my biz, Resources for the Gifted -Time Magazine named me (1985 Man of the Year article) 1 of 7 people representing America’s Can-Do Spirit.

Shortly after, a near-fatal car accident left me unable to walk, talk, read or write. I’d been exploring little known instinct-driven conative actions & reactions, and this provided the unique opportunity to experience the isolated use of that source of personal power. The recovery process gave me a higher education in the conative part of the mind. When the book I later wrote (Conative Connection) became a best seller, it was clear that my life’s work was to help others discover the power of the differing but equal innate abilities I’d unearthed. I do that through Kolbe Corp and the non-profit Center for Conative Abilities.

kolbeJKW:  Many companies are learning the importance of understanding conation in the workplace – but it does not stop there.  You’ve shared some great examples with me.  Would you share one with our readers?

KK:  A favorite application of my work is what happened when I was helping a CEO build and lead his exec team. He asked if I could also help with family problems. His wife and 16 and  12 year old kids completed the Kolbe A Index or Kolbe Youth Indexes, and by phone we discussed natural conflicts in their MOs (or Kolbe Index results). His wife came to realize she was on his son’s case because he didn’t stick to her sense of order. She was also uncomfortable with her husband’s innate degree of risk taking. The daughter, who they feared was ADD, was actually able to thrive once they understood her conative need for hands-on, multitasking activities. In three teleconferences, a family in crisis became one with an appreciation – even a sense of humor – about their differing instinctive responses to one another. And, like a doctor who faces family illnesses, the CEO became a better leader.

JKW:  You have inspired thousands.  Who inspires you?

KK:  My greatest inspiration has come from my grandchildren. When I see their joy when they have the freedom to be themselves, their persistence in overcoming obstacles, their compassion for each others’ conative needs, and the great wisdom in how they use this information, I am in awe of both the power within them and the way they put it to use.

JKW:  Why do you do what you do?

KK:  I do what I do because it is what I believe I was meant to do. I am fulfilling my sense of purpose.

JKW:  If you had three wishes, what would they be?

KK: Wish #1 – That every human being knew the nature of his or her instinct-driven conative powers, found joy in it, humor in their differences from others, and had the freedom to use it purposefully. 

Wish #2 – That our culture would stop pathologizing conative strengths (false ADD and other misdiagnoses ) and stereotyping these universal traits by gender, age , and race (“men are more mechanically inclined”).

Wish #3 – That the combination of human intelligence, compassion, and conative creativity could be used to rid humankind of poverty, pain and wars against one another.

A Special Gift from Kathy Kolbe

Kathy Kolbe’s gift to all of us is the ability to better understand HOW we will do what we do to solve problems, find solutions, and get things done. Understanding our personal M.O. (Modus Operandi) and identifying our natural talents helps us understand how we do our best work and why certain things come so easily to us while others do not.

Kathy even has set up a special page on her website just for you as a thank you for reading this post.  For a limited time, you, our readers can receive a 20% discount ($10.00 off) on the Kolbe A™ Index. See offer and more information at: http://kolbe.com/jkw .

When you take your Kolbe A™ Index, be sure to listen to the audio portions of your report, recorded specially for you by Kathy.  They are incredibly helpful. 

Plus – as a special gift from me (I can’t let Kathy do ALL the work) – I’ll be happy to spend an hour with you on the phone or via Skype chatting about how you can put this knowledge to work for you.  Just send me a note by clicking on this contact link.  In your note, include Your Name (exactly as you entered it in the Kolbe system) your four number MO (mine is 4-3-9-2) and your email address so I can review your report and get back to you to set up a time.

Taking the Kolbe A™ Index is the first step to learning how to emphasize the things that come most naturally to you and how to stop fighting your natural instincts.  Isn’t that a great way to kick off 2010!

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

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Are you a juggler? How to keep those balls in the air.

November 23, 2009

Are you a juggler? Do you always have at least three balls in the air at all times.  For me that is just the way I am made up.  Multiple businesses, family, writing projects, community involvement activities and other stuff are in constant motion.

Some people look at jugglers in awe.  Other’s shake their heads in dismay.  But for a juggler, it’s a natural state – there is no other way.

Recently I got to spend three days at Kolbe Corp with the wonderful Kathy Kolbe and her team. Together with others being certified to use the Kolbe Method, I learned about the instinctive talents that we all have and how the combination of those talents help us get things done as individuals and on teams.  I also learned another word for my juggling abilities – it turns out that my particular combination of talents is termed an Innovator. Go figure.

For me, getting that ball up in the air is as natural as breathing, but keeping it there, circling with all the others takes more.  It takes the discipline to make sure the balls don’t  drop.

So, if you are a juggler like me, here are some tips on the things I do to keep things moving in the right direction and avoid that embarrassing drop.

  • Make lists of what needs to be done for each project and check them off as they are completed and by whom.  (Your list may be on a piece of paper, a white board, a planner, or a PDA – but however you do it – record it, schedule it, and check it off when it is done.)
  • Do the annoying little ‘must do’ things first.  Get them out of the way and then reward yourself with the more exciting projects.
  • Build a great team and delegate.  Know what you are good at and what you are not.  Find others who compliment your natural abilities to get things moving with other who are great at gathering facts, creating systems, and implementing solutions. Work with them to create a team that can’t be beat.

Even though others may believe that you can not possibly handle one more thing – always be on the look out for the next great idea, project or opportunity.  It’s where your energy comes from.  Don’t let other people make you believe you can’t when you know you can. You are a juggler, it’s what you do.  So, do it well.  The stage is yours.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker