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The Danger of Conative Stereotyping…

It’s important to recognize that each person’s Kolbe A™ Result is unique to that individual. Yes, people often have similar M.O.s and we can identify, and even predict, how they will do things – but sometimes people’s M.O.s manifest in unexpected ways. It’s never a good idea to make assumptions…

We know from Kolbe’s years of research identifying conative Action Modes®, that those who initiate in Follow Thru are systematic in their approach to solving problems and need plans and procedures. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t necessarily make them neat and tidy. Kolbe Corp's VP of Technology & Development, James Trujillo (6743), is a great example of someone who uses their initiating Follow Thru energy organizing ideas and information rather than stuff. The first photo shows the "stuff" in his office, and the second shows how he arranges his ideas and plans (if you look closely, you can see the writing on the glass too).


So, what is organization, anyway? One person’s definition of “being organized” can look very neat and tidy, a place for everything and everything in its place. Another person may look at that and cringe! Their best way to organize is to have everything within reach, perhaps in piles on their desk or around the room, not filed away in a drawer somewhere.  Many others are glad to follow an organizational system that already exists, or that is taught to them…at least most of the time. We have found that sometimes learned behavior and preferences are confused with conation though, and while you may prefer tidiness and order, it’s not necessarily part of your M.O. and vice versa.

Another common stereotype is that initiating Quick Starts are extroverted. Being an introvert or an extrovert has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s M.O., rather those are personality types. While it’s true that initiating Quick Starts brainstorm and think out loud, it doesn’t mean that they thrive around lots of people. People sometimes think that preventative Quick Starts hold organizations back or squash innovation, but the truth of the matter is that we need these people to keep our businesses, families, careers, etc. from going off the proverbial cliff. Thank heavens for preventative Quick Starts!

Everyone knows that guys are good with tools and working on building things, right?...like Tim, the Tool Man, Taylor? Another stereotype debunked! There are just as many women as men who are initiating Implementors with a natural talent for mechanical things and concrete solutions. Perhaps Implementor is the least understood, but often most appreciated Action Mode. Everyone is grateful when an initiating Implementor saves the day by repairing things others wouldn’t even try to fix. However, a preventative Implementor CAN work with their hands successfully and build something when they need to.

What about Mediator/Facilitators? Aren’t they “wishy-washy” and unable to lead or solve problems since they don’t initiate in any of the Action Modes? Actually, the unsung heroes in many organizations are Mediator/Facilitators. They are the glue that holds people and organizations together by bridging differences and helping them work together in harmony. Mediator/Facilitators lead by building consensus and “buy-in” within the organization, often delegating tasks to the best people for the job and filling in the gaps, which inspires loyalty and strengthens the team (you don’t have to be an Insistent Quick Start for that either).

We should never put people in a proverbial “box.” As Kathy Kolbe says, “Every individual is equally capable of being creative.” 

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- Kids taught to trust their instincts develop self-efficacy. Kids taught the "right" way to take action fear failure.

Quote of the month...

- “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”

Albert Einstein

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