Using The Kolbe™ Index
To Get To Know Your Coaching Clients

The Kolbe Index™ is just one of the many tools you can use as a coach to kick-start your client’s deeper awareness of themselves and what prompts their behaviors. 

My personal experience has been with the Kolbe A Index™ (created by Kathy Kolbe)  and also the DISC system.

The thing I love about Kolbe is there is no judgement of your result and encouragement to strive for improvement. 

Just an appreciation of your natural operating style and an awareness of how to interact with others.

And being familiar with your own way of operating will help you in your relationship with clients who might be very different from you.

The profiling is based on Conation - a system developed by Kathy Kolbe to discover our natural action orientations which are our instinctual methods of 'acting' or performing tasks.

 Kolbe™ makes doing things your way,
the right way

So what is Conation? The Latin 'conatus', from which conation is derived, is defined as "any natural tendency, impulse, or directed effort."

In other words your natural MO (modus operandi) or way of addressing tasks and situations.For instance, whilst one person may instinctively do lots of research and analysis before they start, another will tend to dive in and learn as they go. Neither is right or wrong - they are simply being who they naturally.

Whilst we can and sometimes have to operate against our natural instincts, doing so all the time can cause a lot of stress and even illness.  This can show up in both work and personal situations.  There are four basic 'action modes' - Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Implementor and Quick Start. Within each there are three levels of performance: Insist, Accommodate and Resist. Or to put it simply, high, medium and low.

The Connative Connection is abut identifying your natural operating style.

If you are interested in learning more about Conation I can do no better than recommend Kathy Kolbe's first book The Connative Connection.  She has written several others since but I still find this the best one for a simple, easy to understand explanation with lots of examples.

Personally, I found taking the A Index one of the most freeing and empowering things I have ever done and that is why it has become an important tool in facilitating a success path for my clients.

Identifying that I am naturally a high Quickstart, with a medium level of Fact Finder but low Follow Through and almost non-existent Implimentor was really validating in knowing and accepting myself for who I am. 



It explained my quick thinking, and creativity and tendency to get bored with detail and just want to get on with it.  It showed me why I adapt systems rather than follow them blindly.  But most importantly it made those tendencies really OK to honor  as part of who I am and how I best operate. 

Once I know a client’s profile, I know how best to coach them. For instance some clients need lots of information and structure before they get going. Others just want to get on with it and will find too much structure restricting. The result gives me the information I need and in a coaching situation I can adapt to their MO. 

How the Kolbe™ A Index works

Online you fill in your answers to a series of questions.  The idea is not to think too much, just follow your instinct.  The online or printed debrief you receive after taking the index is extensive and give much more than a result.  It shows you how by being allowed, or allowing yourself to go with your natural instincts of how to get things done and adapting any given task to your MO, things get done better, quicker and easier.

Here's where you can take the Kolbe A Index.

The important thing though is to choose a profiling tool that is simple and easy for both you and the client to use. The result should help the client understand how they operate boost their confidence in being who they naturally are rather than make them think they have to change.


Kolbe Index is a really useful tool for getting to know personal coaching clients