Kolbe Profiling

Do you ever feel like some of your best decisions, whether at work or in your personal life, are made when you trust your gut instincts. Have you ever had someone tell you to ‘just trust your gut’. Well, what if you could measure that and understand what your natural instincts actually are?

You can. It’s called Kolbe profiling and it measures how you naturally work to your instincts. Kathy Kolbe is considered the world’s leading authority on human instincts and developed her unique personality profiling system in the 70’s and 80’s. She discovered that if you are working to your instincts then you are more natural, more confident and more successful. If you work against your natural instincts you will find it really hard, will suffer stress and ultimately, burn out.

Are you the type of person who just hates putting furniture together and the thought of it just makes you feel anxious? Then that’s not your natural instinct and it would you take a long time and you’d be stressed by the whole experience. That’s what we’re talking about here. Lets put that in a work context – your boss asks you to research a new piece of software for a project. You love finding out stuff, so you relish the idea, get stuck in and deliver a comprehensive report for your boss; your instincts are working in the right places.

In the two examples above, the furniture builder has a low Implementor score and the software researcher has a high Fact Finder score. I’ll explain what this means.

Kolbe profiling works by looking at four areas
1. Fact Finder – your desire for information
2. Follow Through – your ability to work with procedures and design new processes
3. Quick Start – your attitude to risk
4. Implementor – how you react with the physical world

Scoring works from 1 – 10 in all four areas. A low score is not a bad score, it just means different things.
Fact finder: Low – likes top line information. Not too much detail. High – loves as much information as possible.
Follow Through: Low – doesn’t like systems and procedure. High – prefers process and will design systems.
Quick start: Low – risk averse. High – risk tolerant. A high quick start makes things happen.
Implementor: Low – can visualise how something physical should look. High – loves physical jobs

A mid range score in all of the above just means that someone falls in the middle of each range so a mid range Fact Finder likes top line detail but is happy with finding out more. In fact, someone who scores a mid range in all areas is a great facilitator.

So, to put this into a real example – let’s say someone has a Kolbe score of 7473. This is someone who likes lots of details but is not afraid to take a few risks. The 7 in Fact Finder might hold them back a bit but they’ll readily take the leap when they are happy they have all the info. The 4 in Follow Through means that they don’t love process, but will go along with it. They won’t design any either. The 7 in Quick Start means they are not afraid of taking risks and getting stuff going. Tying back to the 7 in Fact Finder means they’ll do it when they feel ready to. Finally, that 3 in Implementor means they can visualise a solution to a problem. High Fact Finders and high Quick Start people (with low elsewhere) tend to be managers. They are not afraid of risk but like to feel comfortable with it first. Entrepreneurs tend to have a high Quick Start and low scores elsewhere – top line detail only, few processes, loves taking risks, and visualise their outcomes. Sounds like an entrepreneur to me!

So, when you know what someone’s Kolbe score is you know how they prefer to work. Because we are all different, when you get the measure of a whole team you can see a broad spectrum of instincts. This can be useful from a business perspective because if you have a team of low Fact Finders then you might decide you need to put a high Fact Finder into the team to help with getting details rather than a team of people who may be skimming top line facts. On the flip side a team full of high Fact Finders but low Quick Starts will never start anything. You’d need to get a high Quick Start in there to get things moving.

At Tamar HR we have a Kolbe Certified Consultant as part of our team. We can profile your teams to understand how they should best work together and if there are any areas missing. Kolbe is also a great tool for recruitment; you can build a profile for a role you want to fill and then match people into that role so you ensure you get the person with the best natural skills.

The reason people often become stressed at work is because they are working against their natural instincts. If you had a workforce working to their natural strengths, surely that would make a happier team? That’s got to be something worth considering.

Speak to our Tamar HR advisors today about Kolbe profiling for your teams.

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