If you want to improve yourself personally and/or professionally, it’s important to know your strengths and your weaknesses. You need to be able to assess yourself, know how you work, and what motivates you.
It also needed to sell yourself in your resume, and to explain what are your strengths during an interview for a new job. Even if you’re not looking for a new job, it can bring you more clarity about how to contribute better in your current position.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sunzi, The Art of War
Why I Decided to Take the Kolbe Test?
I first heard about the Kolbe Test while listening an Asian Efficiency podcast talking about personality types. I didn’t give it much attention until I heard it mention again in another podcast more recently. I decided to check the Kolbe Test website to learn more about it. The reason that push me to take the test was that I’m kind of feeling stuck professionally, and I wanted to get more insights about my working style.
What Is the Kolbe Test?
The company was create by Kathy and David Kolbe, and they were originally working on helping elementary and high school students to achieve their goals. They now have several tests, book, audio and other resources.
According to the website, their missions is: “To help people understand their own and each other’s instinctive strengths and use that understanding to improve their lives in the ways they care about most.”
They have different tests aiming at helping:
- Business to develop their talents, building teams, developing leader, etc.
- Individual to boost their career and improve their relationships.
- Children to maximize their potential and improve parenting.
I decided to take the Kolbe A Index, their basic test that identifies and quantifies your natural talents. It’s a series of 36 questions asking you to choose two answer (“most” and “least”). Besides the test itself, I decided to buy the Career MO+ which is report based on these 36 questions to give you insights on your career. The test is available in English, Spanish, French and German.
Kolbe A Sample Questions
As mentioned above, the test included 36 questions and you need to select what correspond you the most and what correspond you the least. To get the most accurate analysis, you need to be honest with yourself.
The 36 questions are short but need some time to reflect on the answers. It tool me less than 40 minutes to complete the test. You don’t have time limit.
You will pay for the test after its completion. So, you can have an overview of the questions. Here’s a sample of the questions below:
What Insights the Kolbe Test Give Me?
1. The Kolbe A Insights
After completion of the test, you will get a report divided in the following categories: Action mode, fact finder, follow thru, quick start, implementor, time & energy, communication & relationship, summary. You will also get a score based on your answers, I got 7-5-4-3, and a summary as well. Here’s mine: “You are fantastic at making comparisons, documenting information, and defining priorities. You can be counted on to research historical details, becoming an expert in areas of special interest, and make strategic decisions.” This summary is quite accurate as I like doing research studying book and on the Internet, and I’m extremely interested about strategic thinking.
You will get a lot of graphs and tips about developing your strengths as well as some audio comment based on your score. Here’s some screen captures.
I also learn that my mind is conative which is action derived from instinct; purposeful mode of striving, volition. It’s a conscious effort to carry out self-determined act.
There were some other interesting tips, but one especially resonates with me: “Position yourself as an export. State your case with examples.”
2. The Career MO+ Insights
The Career MO+ will give you a 22 pages report (in Flash format…).
According to the Career MO+ report, the job where I have more chance to succeed is a job where I can:
- Probe and thoroughly research information
- Investigate the background of what’s happening
- Justify my results based on past results
- Differentiate between options and set priorities
I should position myself as the creative problem solver that I am, and not just focus on my past experiences.
In the report, they’ll give you a list of several job, with a description on how good you can be at them. Then, they will suggest you a list of jobs (but not marketer?!) that you can suit you. In my list, without much surprise, I got the following suggestions: Engineer, Technical Writer, Strategist, Linguist, Business Analyst, etc.
They also provide tips on how to write your cover letter or what to say during a job interview. I was agreeably surprise by the fact that they even provide you a set of questions to ask to the interviewer to make sure that is the right environment for you.
Was it worth it the $63.95?
The answer is yes, definitely. I think it’s important to invest in yourself, and to learn continuously. This is why I’m spending money on buying books, online courses and softwares / online services. I wanted to get insights about my career and my work style, and what I got from the report was worth the $63.95. We spend one third of our life at work, so why not trying to improve it.
For business owner or manager, this could be a good way to ensure that you hire the person with the right “approach” for key positions.
Separately, the Kolbe A costs $49.95 and the Career MO+ costs $19.95. But it you buy them together, it will cost you $63.95 instead of $69.95. Yes, I know not much difference, but still better than nothing.
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