Parent Guide for Kathy S.

You’ve got an expert in the house. Kathy has a great ability to get all of the details.

Review of Kathy's Kolbe Y™ Result

Kolbe Action Modes®

Kolbe Strengths™





Your child is perfectly capable of solving problems and her four most natural ways, her strengths, are depicted above in her Kolbe Chart.

She is excellent at coming up with her own solutions and dealing with confusing situations. She’s good at explaining choices.

Kolbe Action Modes®

There are four Kolbe Action Modes identified across the top of the Kolbe chart. Each Action Mode represents a pattern of behavior. The four Action Modes are:

Fact Finder:

The instinct to gather and share information

Follow Thru:

The instinct to sort and store

Quick Start:

The instinct to deal with risk and uncertainty


The instinct to handle space and tangible objects

Each Action Mode describes a continuum of behavior that moves from preventing problems (at the top of the continuum) to initiating solutions (at the other end).

What is the Parent Guide?

Know thyself. It’s been good advice for thousands of years. Kolbe Y™ Index results help kids know themselves and their natural talents (though they haven’t been around for thousands of years). This guide to Kathy's natural talents will help you support her in understanding and developing those talents.

We all have to learn how to use our god-given talents while living in the world as it is. Our philosophy is that everyone, including kids, needs to be responsible for how they use their natural strengths. Children will be most successful doing that when they have loving parents and others who support them.

By understanding the basic nature of your child’s conative talents, you'll be able to anticipate some of those issues, and lead your child toward solutions. Keep in mind, though, that there's a lot going on with any child, and other factors will affect how she behaves. Sometimes kids aren't motivated to take action toward a goal, so you may not see that strength.

The Conables® tricks are examples about how to handle school work and other topics.

They will help you see how Kathy needs to operate to achieve the best possible results. Use them as starting points for long-term conversations with your child, while also avoiding needless conflicts between the two of you.

If you have taken the Kolbe A Index, you'll notice a few differences between the result that kids get and your own Kolbe result. One important difference is that the Youth Index result shows where your child's talent in an Action Mode is, but doesn't give a number to describe each. We do this for two reasons.

  1. First, kids and parents focus too much on the numbers and may think that a higher number is a "better" score.

  2. Second, we've seen that kids' scores are not quite as precise as adults' and should be reported in broader ranges rather than a single number.

  3. Additionally, we encourage you to go over Kathy's Kolbe Y Index result with her.

That result displays just a few of her talents so she can focus on key points that will drive her success. Combining the Parent Guide and Kolbe Y information will help you better understand Kathy's talents and gain ideas for empowering actions that fit. With this guide you're taking an important first step.

Kathy's Fact Finder Talent

Kathy's strength in Fact Finder is to Research the details and get specifics. You will see her do all or some of these:

  • Be very precise

  • Thoroughly remove mistakes

  • Point out differences

  • Consider the odds before guessing at answers

  • Get the facts before making big decisions

Kathy's Strength




Kathy has the wonderful ability to be an expert on topics of her choice. People can trust her to have the details because she is good at gathering a lot of information. She can help a team understand the specifics and make strategies. Since Kathy finds it natural to research, in-depth projects should come easily for her. She will be at her best when asking questions and looking for information.


Before starting a school project, Kathy needs to learn everything she can about what the teacher expects from her, how work will be graded, and what due dates exist. Her strength is in providing complete documentation and she should use her talent to make sure grammar, facts, spelling, and punctuation are correct.

When taking tests Kathy sometimes tends to think about the question too much, making it difficult to be sure how to answer. When this happens, she should eliminate the incorrect answers and use her ability to assess the “odds” for the most likely or best answer.

Recognizing Her Talent

People who know a lot about a subject often enjoy being asked for information. Ask your child questions about the things that interest her and evaluate the answers on how much detail and specifics she provides. Make sure you have set aside time to listen because this conversation could be lengthy.

What Not To Do

Giving or asking too many details (or even correcting adults) might be getting Kathy into trouble. When she is told to “be quiet,” her Fact Finder need to gather and share information is being squashed. Help her learn to give the most important facts first and to find appropriate ways to ask for information when needed for decision making.

Practical Suggestions

Allow Kathy time and resources to get information, especially on her favorite topics. The library, museums, books, movies, and the internet are all good ways for Kathy to acquire the information she needs. She will make her best decisions when she has access to details. Games and activities that use facts will allow her to use her talent for problem solving.

What is Fact Finder?

Fact Finder is the Action Mode that deals with the need to probe. It is how we gather and share information.

Kathy's Follow Thru Talent

Kathy's strength in Follow Thru is to Plan for projects and ideas. You will see her do all or some of these:

  • Seek order

  • Plan ahead

  • Make charts and graphs

  • Finish before moving on

  • Work sequentially

Kathy's Strength




When things have to be organized, Kathy is a natural. She puts together the steps needed to get things done. One of her great qualities is that she finishes what she starts.

In fact, it is important that she be given the chance to get everything done and put away before she begins a new project. Try to tell her ahead of time what is going to happen so she can stay on track.


Kathy will do her best when she can organize and plan for work. Suggest that she create a system that may include a calendar or day planner. Because she probably doesn't enjoy surprises in her day, encourage her to ask about upcoming homework assignments or due dates so she can plan for them. Some teachers may be known for changing the assignment after she is already started, this will be a challenge for her. Watch for it and try not to let it stress her out.

It will be difficult for her to skip tough questions when taking timed tests. Suggest that she make an attempt and move on to the next one. She should keep in mind that she can go back after she has answered the other questions. Kathy’s ability to see patterns will help her with guessing, when that is appropriate.

Recognizing Her Talent

She will pay attention to set dates like birthdays, dances, or sporting events and plan accordingly. One of her fortes is picking a them, putting together a schedule, and coordinating lots of pieces and parts. You may need to help her when unexpected events pop-up because that could throw her off. Also remember, she will not be at her best when facing several tasks with the same deadline.

What Not To Do

One of the quickest ways to squash your child’s great ability to initiate systems is to constantly change plans without giving her a heads-up. Although it is not always possible to know when things are going to change, give Kathy advanced notice when possible so she can think about the new scenario and plan accordingly.

Practical Suggestions

Put Kathy in charge of planning a family outing or designing a routine for bedtime. She will shine when she can create her own system or figure out the best sequence of events. Watch the way she plans for a trip or organizes her schoolwork and you’ll start to see your child’s natural strength.

What is Follow Thru?

Follow Thru is the Action Mode that deals with the need for organization. It is how we sort and store things or ideas.

Kathy's Quick Start Talent

Kathy's strength in Quick Start is to Innovate solutions. You will see her do all or some of these:

  • Experiment

  • Take risks

  • Do things at the last minute

  • Make deals

  • Originate ideas

Kathy's Strength




Kathy is sure to find novel ways to do things. She probably adds to the ideas of others and suggests many of her own. She needs to be different. It is important for her to test the limits. Kathy is a natural at convincing people to do something different and selling her ideas. For example, she might offer to do dishes so she can choose what to watch on TV. Doing things the same way every time is boring for her.


Kathy may feel unable to express her innovative instincts at school. Usually there are limited opportunities to choose how you will do your homework and grades typically aren't given for originality. This can provide a challenge for Kathy.

Offer ideas for her teachers to give her options for ways of getting work done. You may be surprised at how well things go when she can do them her way. However, some teachers won't be as willing or have the same need to try new things. Even so, help your child work on her ability to negotiate. Developing her speaking skills and approach will give her a chance of convincing teachers to let her try something different. Find out if she has flexibility to use video or slide presentations, debates, oral reports, or role-playing as other ways of doing her work.

When taking tests she should be encouraged to trust her hunch when she can't think of the answer, unless she is taking a multiple choice test where wrong guesses lower her score.

Recognizing Her Talent

As she looks for unique ways of doing things, she needs to be free to experiment with unknown outcomes. In fact, one of her strong suits is her ability to get around road blocks. She needs to talk to brainstorm. She will most likely try to cut deals for things like a larger allowance. Don't be surprised if you find she waits until the last minute to really get going. That may make others uncomfortable, but it's natural for her.

What Not To Do

Tied to the natural talent for coming up with great new solutions are the “flops.” Your child has a large number of new options and ideas springing up all of the time; however some of those ideas are not going to work out. Requiring, expecting or demanding perfection could stifle her terrific ability to brainstorm possibilities.

Practical Suggestions

There should be plenty of opportunities for Kathy to be able to use her creative energy. Sports and other extracurricular activities allow for innovation and risk-taking. Ask her to be the first to do things (like ride the new ride at an amusement park). Challenge her to brainstorm what she might do if she lost her house keys or encountered a wild animal. Watch the way she comes to life with these opportunities to be totally unique.

What is Quick Start?

Quick Start is the Action Mode that deals with the need to innovate. It is how we handle risk and uncertainty.

Kathy's Implementor Talent

Kathy’s strength in Implementor is to Imagine how to solve the problem. You will see her do all or some of these:

  • Explain how things work, without using props

  • Understand without having to see or touch

  • Think through ideas in his head, instead of on paper

  • Build things with whatever he has on hand

  • Avoid working with tools

Kathy's Strength




She doesn't need to see something to believe it. Kathy has an excellent ability to imagine the solution. This talent helps her get things done without having to take the time to build a model first or to have an example before she makes something. She can make a useable project from ideas in her head. Of course, what she builds may not hold together for very long, but that won't matter much to her as long as she makes what she needs for the time being.


There may be times when she is asked to present something she built. She will do her best if she stays away from showing how it works. Encourage her to stick to talking about all that it can do. Her descriptions of its good points will be more important than making it work.

Recognizing Her Talent

She is at her best when able to talk, or write out the solution rather than having to physically demonstrate it. A present that requires too much time putting it together would ruin the fun for her because it is against her natural grain.

What Not To Do

Forcing your child to actually build or craft things may be torturing her. If she does build something, don’t expect it to be long-lasting. Squashing preventive Implementor (the talent for the abstract rather than the concrete) is a particular issue for younger kids and boys. We often expect/demand younger kids to do “crafts” and “hands-on” activities which is not a great use of this talent for imagining things. The problem for boys is that there is often a stereotype that boys should do physically demanding, hands-on things. So boys who don’t fit that might get teased or feel bad about their talents.

Practical Suggestions

Perhaps you’ve heard the coaching trick to visualize the basketball going in the hoop over and over again. That’s not great advice for everyone, but it is good for Kathy. Her talent for imagining can help her in all sorts of ways. Imagine what the test might look like, picture how this process is going to work, imagine what is needed for the project, all of these can tap into her talent for being more abstract.

What is Implementor?

Implementor is the Action Mode that deals with the need to build. It is how we handle space and tangibles.

The bottom line is that Kathy has an amazing set of talents and with your commitment to helping her get the freedom to use her natural talents, you are definitely on the right path. Key points to keep in mind:

  • It's up to Kathy to make the most of her gifts.

  • As someone who is important in her life, you can make a big difference in helping her figure out how to develop her talents.

  • Remember that when she's at her best, Kathy starts the problem solving process with Fact Finder. Help her have the confidence to use this talent, even when conventional wisdom is pushing her in another direction.

  • Kolbe doesn't give Kathy an excuse to not do what needs to get done. You can get the results you want while empowering her to do it in a way that works best for her.

You're at your best when you are:


the details and getting the specifics


to whatever comes up




how to solve the problem

Your Kolbe Y Results

These strengths are your natural talents or abilities.

Your own natural talents are important too, whether they are similar to or different from your child's! All natural talents are equally valuable. You don't have to change who you are for your child. Just be aware that what works for you may not work for her.

For additional information, refer back to the Parent Guide homepage where you’ll find links to expanded information on Kolbe, the Parenting By Instincts article, and a copy of your child’s Kolbe Y Result.
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