Are you a fan of personality profiles?
Tests like Meyers Briggs and Strengths Finder have a lot of followers, but my personal favorite is the Kolbe Index because it is about much more than personality and really applies to work.
The Kolbe Index is an insightful, overarching test that totally changed the way I viewed my strengths and therefore, how I work. I even purchase a Kolbe test for all of my team members and invested in a consultation with Certified Kolbe Expert, Kathy Tagenel, to help us all understand how we work as individuals and as a team. Kathy was recently a guest on the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast. You can listen to it here.
My team and I are more productive than ever!
How the Kolbe Works
While other tests measure personality traits, how you respond to expectations, or how introverted and extroverted you are, the Kolbe measures the way you take action, your talents, and your instinctive strengths by scoring you in four different areas.
The four areas are fact finding, follow through, quick start, and implementor. Your Kolbe score is a series of four numbers, which are your scores in those areas.
My number is 7-2-9-3, which is a perfect score.
One of my team members has a score of 5-6-6-3, which is also a perfect score.
That’s the beauty of the Kolbe: You always get a perfect score. Your score is perfect because no strengths are better than others, and scoring higher in one area isn’t better than scoring lower. The number just indicates where you fall on the spectrum for that area.
For example, if you scored low on “quick start” (the third number in your Kolbe score) that’s not a good or bad thing. It might just mean you’re a person who likes to think things through, which is just as valuable and valid as someone who is a quick starter.
How the Kolbe Helped Me
Your unique combination of aptitudes makes you the perfect person for certain tasks. It’s not just about what you CAN do, it’s about what you’re best at.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I'm perfectly capable of sitting behind a desk and doing tedious, repetitive work, but that’s not my strength…and it makes me want to pull my hair out!
This totally explains why one summer when I got an accounting job that turned into filing microfiche all day made me want to jump out the window. (Good thing I was in a windowless closet!) I lasted a day and a half at that job. I physically could not stay there. Believe me when I say there was a LOT of cussing in my head for that day and a half!
Some people excel at detailed work like that, but not me. (If you do excel at the details, that is amazing and perfect. Some of my own team members actually love that stuff even though I find it torturous.)
I used to think there was something wrong with me. I would have a good job (by general consensus) with a nice paycheck so why was I so miserable? The Kolbe helped me realize I just hadn’t been putting myself in the right roles, with the right tools that allow me to excel!
The Kolbe also made it clear that I’m an innovator, a quick-start, and a figure-outer. I don’t make a good VA or file clerk, but I’m great at big picture stuff, organization, and strategy. I can make a plan, and while I know the details that it takes to make that plan happen, I’m not the best person to actually do them. That explains why I become exhausted when I am down in the weeds yet soaring when I am planning, strategizing, and collaborating. Talk about liberating!
I’m able to see the parts and pieces and make sure it gets done without getting caught up or weighed down by those details, which is why I make a great Director of Ops and Online Business Manager.
How the Kolbe Helped Our Company
I’ve taken great care to build a team who love and excel in the areas I don’t enjoy or do well. Everyone on my team is much stronger in implementing details, which is why we work so well together! Each team member has their own little universe in the business and my clients’ businesses where they shine.
A recent hiring experience actually reaffirmed the value of the Kolbe test for me. I did things a little backward and hired someone prior to sending them the Kolbe test for some reason. While I really like this person and have much respect for her, after a few weeks we mutually agreed that it wasn't a great fit. Live and learn. No harm, no foul.
I have since hired someone else whose Kolbe score along with her interview shows that she will be an awesome fit, and I’m so excited to work with her!
Self-Knowledge is Priceless
The Koble has been life-changing and eye-opening for me. I believe self-knowledge helps you give yourself the tools you need to succeed. Know your mind, know how you work, and use that to expand your options.
You are perfect. Your score is perfect. Your strengths are needed and valued, and it’s up to you to discover what those strengths are so you can better place yourself in positions to do what you love and serve the world in the best way you can!
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