Hollinden Inbound Marketing for Professional Service Firms

How Tapping into Your Natural Instincts Can Lower Your Stress and Aid in Success


Think of a time when you had to make a decision where your head said to do one thing, but your gut was steering you in a different direction. If you went with what you learned or thought was expected, and ignored your instincts, did it work? What happens when you trusted your instincts? Most people say that if they trust their instincts they have less stress and more success. Several years ago, I became fascinated with how and why people make decisions, how and why they approach things in a specific way, and how those differences impact outcomes. As a result of my curiosity, I became a Certified Kolbe Consultant.

Trusting One’s Instincts

The Kolbe® Methodology is about helping individuals trust their natural instincts— one’s innate approach to solving a problem, making a decision, or approaching a task. When given the freedom to trust one’s instincts, individuals and teams operate at peak efficiency. Yet, what we see is that learned behavior or the belief that we must do things the way others want them done so interferes with these instincts that the result is a decrease in communication, underperformance, and lack of collaboration – all exacerbated with amplified levels of stress.

The Idea of Teams 

Even though our society is fiercely competitive and individuals are judged by their own performance, the concept of teams is strongly engrained. In fact, the belief that working in teams make us more creative and productive is so prevalent, teams are the norm in today’s business environment. U.S. business leaders believe so much in the concept of teams, they are convinced that the collective is and will be greater than the individual contribution – though reality says quite the opposite. Teams typically:

  • lack coordination and collaboration,
  • are dominated by strong personalities,
  • rarely give equal weight to all participants,
  • are plagued by poor communication, and
  • are vastly ineffective in getting greater results.

The Kolbe
® Concept

The Kolbe A Assessment identifies Conative Strengths, the striving instincts that drive behavior, decision making, and ultimately, action. Through decades of research, the Kolbe Concept has proven that unlike other skills or knowledge, natural instincts never change throughout one’s lifetime. However, when individuals and groups understand and recognize their natural instincts and learn to trust those instincts, organizational performance is maximized.

One aspect of the Kolbe Concept® that I found most outstanding is their belief that all instincts are strengths, unlike so many personality assessments that say some profiles are better than others or here’s what’s wrong with you. The “trick” is to utilize those strengths in the right environment, manner, and job position.

A Team Component

The Kolbe® has both individual and team components that further serve to help organizations achieve greater levels of performance. If your team is not working harmoniously, what can you do short of rebuilding?

  • Examine the firm’s culture. Culture impacts communication, action, productivity and outcomes. The leader sets the tone.
  • Rethink job design. I’ve found that organizations that have existed for ten years or more are often using job descriptions that simply don’t match today’s work environment. Scrutinize expectations and look for ways to redesign the job.
  • Encourage outside interests. If you can’t change the job, encourage team members to apply their strengths through outside interests or assign “special projects” that tap their strengths.
  • Celebrate individuality for the greater good. Recognize individual contributions to the team success. Train team leaders to proactively seek input from all team members, making a concerted effort to give credence to the individual perspectives and ideas.

No one approach is better than another. To achieve success, organizations must learn to tap into the strengths of each and every individual. I could go on and on about all the amazing aspects of the Kolbe®; however, if you are interested in improving productivity, reducing stress, or simply just curious click here or give us a call at 713-520-5532.