During my life I’ve worked with different types of people – from newborns to retirees, from prisoners to successful entrepreneurs, from needy to wealthy. There’s one thing that ALL of these people had in common. There’s one thing that even you and I have in common, no matter how old, skilled, smart or rich we are.
We all have our own unique strengths that we bring to the table. We’ve had them from the moment we were conceived. They make us who we are. I call them strengths, you might know them as instincts or talents. Basically, this is an innate force, this is how you will take or not take action.
Let me explain. There are 3 parts of the mind:
- COGNITIVE = thinking. Your IQ, skills, knowledge and experience belong here. This is where most employers look when hiring people for a job position. What do you KNOW to do. CAN you do it?
- AFFECTIVE = feeling. Now we’re looking at what you LIKE doing. This is where your desires, motivation, attitudes, preferences and values come in place. One thing is to KNOW how to do something, but do you also ENJOY doing it?
As you probably know, both of the above areas can change over time. You can study a new topic, learn something new, deepen your existing knowledge, or you can grow personally or interpersonally. But there’s one more area. And this one never changes.
- CONATIVE = doing. Have you ever noticed that you can KNOW how to do something (cognitive part), you might even WANT to do it (affective part), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will actually DO it (conative part)? This is where great candidates and exciting businesses fail.
Let me give you an example. I grew up on the farm. I learned at a very early age how to take care of animals and plants. I liked living on the farm and having fresh fruits and veggies. Would I do it now as an adult? Not really. My natural instincts are to work with my head, not so much with my hands. When it came to farming, my natural tendency was to think about how I could improve the management, what could be done differently/better, and how it could be simplified?
Your instinct might be different. If you’re like my daughter, you might jump into research to see how to best run the farm, what worked and didn’t work in the past. If you’re like my husband, your instincts may push you to just forget the theory and get things done to have the harvest.
Your instincts define you. This is who you are and who you always will be. This is how you best take action and create your best results.
Kathy Kolbe, creator of the Kolbe ATM Index and founder of Kolbe WisdomTM observed that people’s actions clustered into four sets of behaviors, or Action Modes, as she calls them.
- Fact Finder – ways of gathering and sharing information
- Follow Through – ways of arranging and designing
- Quick Start – ways of dealing with risk and uncertainty
- Implementor – ways of handling space and tangibles
Looking back at my farm example, you can probably see what makes me so different from others in my family. My daughter leads with Fact Finder, my husband with Implementor and I lead with Quick Start and Follow Through. It’s not about what we KNOW to do, or what we LIKE doing. When free to be ourselves, this is how we actually DO things.
Why does it matter?
Successful people are the ones who have discovered who they are – their strengths, instincts, talents and use them freely. Understanding your instincts is the key to living purposeful life.
On the other hand, if you don’t understand your instincts or have to perform against your own instinctive methods, you’ll suffer some form of stress. But this is a topic for yet another article.
If you have previously taken Kolbe A Assessment, but need help applying it into your life, join me at the IMPACT ACADEMY designed to help you create your best results quickly.