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How to Trust Your Gut in a Crisis

April 16, 2020

  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Kolbe Wisdom

It’s no secret that things are changing at a rapid pace, all around the world. Your financial situation, your employment situation, and because of social distancing, your personal situation could be very different, too.

A lot of changes, because of one crisis, in a short amount of time. It’s hard to know where to turn and how to be productive.

The good news? There’s one thing about you that never changes and that you can count on when things get messy — your natural instincts.

At Kolbe Corp, our mission is to help people identify their natural strengths and use them in the ways they care about the most. And during a time of crisis, it’s even more critical that you know how you naturally take action and how the people around you instinctively do things, too.

Understanding  How YOU  Naturally Get Things Done  

First, it’s important to note that there are three parts of the mind – how smart you are, your emotions  and motivations, plus your striving instincts.  Your emotions are powerful, and your intelligence is important, but how you naturally take action will be what helps you navigate change with less stress. These instinctive strengths are revealed by taking the Kolbe A™ Index.

You might find that you’re the type of person who needs lots of information before making a decision? If so, during a crisis you’re likely asking a lot of questions, probing for justifications, trying to figure out exactly what to do and how to do it. The key is to avoid information overload or spending far too much time doing research and not enough time making critical decisions. Tell yourself that 80% of the information will have to do for now and move forward.

Perhaps you’re somebody who always has a system, a clear structure and step-by-step process. A crisis can throw all of your plans out the window and cause immediate stress. When you can’t follow your own system – because you’re following the government’s mandated system or adapting to new home office systems —  it’s key to focus on what you CAN control. Maybe it’s what time you wake up, and how your living room is arranged. Whatever you CAN control and whatever systems you CAN put into place – do so, but make sure you account for inevitable changes in your schedule.

If you are the type of person who needs to drive change and take risks, it can be extremely frustrating to have outside forces impose change on you. And, working from home makes your need to brainstorm with others less effective. When a crisis prevents you from trying new things and being innovative, the key is to find ways to add little bits of risk and variety into your days. Maybe you challenge yourself to hit a new personal record during your morning workout or brainstorm with others online some innovative new offerings for your clients. A crisis can put you into some rigid situations, insist on ways to be yourself and keep innovating.

For some people, working from home and not having access to quality equipment and materials can cause a lot of stress. If you’re the type of person who needs to communicate in person or have quality workspace and physical activity, you might be struggling to be productive during a crisis. Be sure you have time and space to move around – get outside, be sure to sit by a window when you can – anything that can satisfy your need for physical movement and tangible solutions. You may find that a stress reliever is building something of quality that can last, especially when things seem so fleeting in a crisis. Find time to fix things around the house and be sure to show it off to your family,  because that’s how you communicate the best – by demonstrating what you’ve done.

Committing  Your Energy Wisely  

Once you know about your natural abilities, the next step is figuring out how to use that mental energy wisely. Everyone has an equal amount of conative energy – but that energy is finite. Especially during a crisis there can be a ton of tasks and decisions to be made on a daily basis – so you need to know how to be strategic about deciding what deserves your effort.

If you naturally resist gathering information and data – make sure you reserve that energy for the most important decisions. Enlist others to do the gathering and focus on making the bottom-line decisions. If you naturally break systems and find shortcuts, let others develop the new filing system or accounting process and learn how you can best adapt to the structure they’ve put into place. If you try to do it yourself, you’ll be stressed and run out of energy.  And, if you’re overloaded consider doing nothing at all. Sometimes you need to stop taking action and veg out in front of the TV or take a walk. That way you can recharge and use your energy for the things that truly matte

Counting on the Strengths Of  Others  

After you’ve identified your own natural strengths and decided what things to focus on in a crisis, you’ll quickly realize that you can’t do everything yourself. There are time and resource limits, but you also don’t have all of the 12 Kolbe Strengths™ and will need to rely on others to help you be truly productive.

So, it’s key to get a Kolbe A™ Index result for your team and your family to identify how those people naturally take action and how to split up tasks when you need to get something done well.   

Especially in a crisis, it’s important to understand what you do best and learn how to let go of the rest.  Founder of Kolbe Corp, Kathy Kolbe once said, “In a time of crisis or profound change, our instincts can anchor us. They act as a grounding point. They’re the one thing that won’t change. We can rely on them.”

You can’t rely on those instincts until you know what they are and how they relate to the natural strengths of the other people in your life.

Here’s how to get started:

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…We need to give ourselves permission to be who we are. We need to say, I am who I am. That's all I am. I can't be something else. And even in the midst of this horrible, horrible period we're going through, we can be okay and we can thrive and we can provide help for others….

Kathy Kolbe

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  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Kolbe Wisdom


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