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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on May 9, 2004
Though a few tidbits of encouragement may be picked from this book, I found the oversimplified and unlikely dialogue between two strangers a mind-numbing format. The "meat" behind Kathy Kolbe's philolosphy is condensed into a few pages of academic style writing at the end of the book. Most frustrating though was the contstant reference to the results of a personality test that was NOT included in the book, but could be found on-line......for $49.95.
Your instinct should tell you to not waste your time on this book.
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on December 28, 2003
Capturing your Instincts
How many times have you looked back over a decision you made and said, "I knew better than to do that! Something in my gut told me not to do it." Oh, I've been there plenty of times. How do we harness that instinct, that gut feel that can guide us on a better path through life? Author Kathy Kolbe has a set of five rules to harness the hunch and a set of "think-ercises" to retrain your behavior. This is brilliant. In fact, this is one of the best self-improvement books I have ever read. I am serious!
The five rules are:
1. Act-before you think (scary!)
2. Self-provoke (stimulate your instincts)
3. Commit, but to very little
4. Be obstinate in overcoming obstacles
5. Do nothing when nothing works (stop beating that head against the wall.)
I am especially impressed with Kolbe's visualization chart of the Creative Process. This is quite different than the creative exercises I learned in the past. Kolbe's process involves charting first motivation, then your inner talents, drives and energy, then your will and its commitment to the goal, followed by the reasoning and rationalization process to justify the action, and finally the behavior. This is not acting WITHOUT thinking; instead it is acting with a follow-through of self-examination that combines your subconscious hunches with rational thought and experiential data.
I also like the question set about instinct when something "feels wrong":
1. Is it the way you are approaching a task?
2. Do you feel you've done something wrong?
3. Are you feeling sick or run-down?
4. Does the way another person responds to you make you uncomfortable?
5. Is there something physically unsafe about your situation?
6. Are you ill at east with the way things are happening?
Look at the above list and look how that applies to so many situations in life. Let's take the decision to ride home with a friend after a party. If your feeling is you shouldn't get in the car, examine if you feel something is unsafe. Perhaps the friend had a few too many drinks. This list would be a good exercise to train teenagers to act on their inner voice of conscience, something to harness their good sense and channel it to better decisions. And of course, this list is essential for looking at your daily work life and perhaps deciding to move on to find other opportunities before you are forced by the situation to do so. This list alone would help you stay ahead of the wave of circumstance.
I think nearly everyone could profit from "Powered by Instinct." If you know someone in the job market or going through a life-changing event, this would make a wonderful gift to him or her-or to yourself.
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on December 22, 2003
In "Powered by Instinct" Kathy Kolbe brings together years of research into a cohesive test that examines "innate talents" instead of learned abilities. She takes the view that while there are many learned behaviors that change over time and the personality itself may change over time, there are basic innate abilities that do not change. The Kolbe system examines methods of problem solving that she considers instinctual and therefore unchanging. Each one of these methods is not better or worse than another but are just the ones that a particular person may use. Once you know the methods that various people use you can ensure that you have the right mix of people when pursuing creative problem solving. Group interaction and problem solving is not the only use for the Kolbe Index. Once you know your innate abilities and problem solving methods you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses. From this information you can determine the best profession for you to enter and other important life decisions. The Kolbe System is gaining momentum as an accurate method of forecasting how people will react under various circumstances and becoming more popular as a psychological evaluation tool. "Powered by Instinct" brings the basic tenets of this system to the average reader from the original developer of the system. "Powered by Instinct" is a recommended read.
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on December 16, 2003
Would you like to reduce your stress, get more accomplished in less time, and with less effort, and learn to better prioritize your activities? If so, you need this book.
I've never been a fan of the'self-help'genre. I assumed that stress was a necessary by-product of modern life, and that those who claimed to be "stress-free" were probably on medication. Powered By Instinct gave me a whole new perspective. With easy-to-follow dialogue and simple hands-on excercises, Kolbe demonstrates how to tap into what may be our best untapped resource -- our own instincts. Major companies like IBM, universities such as Stanford, and even professional sports teams have been using Kolbe's wisdom for years to solve problems and improve performance. This book makes her research available to the 'average person' and shows how it can be applied to daily life in areas like finance, relationships, career, education, and parenting. I honestly can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from this book -- I only wish I'd read it sooner.
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on October 23, 2003
If you want to:
1) accomplish more in less time, and with less effort
2) learn to better prioritize your activities
3) reduce your stress, without reducing your productivity
...then this book is for you.
I must admit I'm not a big fan of "self-help" books, but Powered By Instinct is far more substantial than the genre (and the title) suggest. If you're interesed in the subject of "instincts", you might already know that places like IBM, Stanford University, the US Army, etc. having been using Kolbe's research and applying it to solve problems and improve productivity for years (even professional sports teams have used her program).
This book allows the "average person" to apply this research to daily life in areas such as finances, relationships, career, parenting, and education.
Several (high powered professional) friends who have read this book say that it gave them a whole new perspective on their professional and personal lives, and led them to make key decisions with excellent results.
Still, I was skeptical. Not being a big fan of "rules", I doubted that Kolbe's "5 Rules for Trusting Your Guts" would appeal to me. All I can say is that I was completely wrong. Powered by Instinct demonstrates (through Socratic dialogue and hands-on exercises) how to trust your instincts in an intelligent way.
I've always believed that everyone already possesses what they need to succeed (not just financially, but emotionally)-- this book teaches you how to tap your own resources and maximize not only your output, but your sense of well-being. I highly recommend this one.
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Powered by Instinct was designed by the author to help you:
"Make better decisions in a crisis";
"Never have to worry about someone else controlling your mind";
"Reduce conflicts and improve communication in relationships";
"Increase your effectiveness at work and make better career choices";
"Improve awareness of your personal needs and health considerations";
"Focus on your own and others' natural strengths . . . ."; and
"Discover how to harness the power of your instincts to get more done . . . ."
Five rules are proposed:
1. Act -- before you think.
2. Self-provoke (goad yourself to initiate the action you desire)
3. Commit -- but to very little (to stay focused on what's important)
4. Be obstinate -- in over coming obstacles (never, never give up)
5. Do nothing -- when nothing works (remove mental clutter to reenergize your instincts).
Each rule is followed by extensive exercises to help you understand how to apply it. That's helpful because only the first rule seems to draw on instinct.
The book is framed around the perspective of Ms. Kolbe's proprietary research into the patterns of instinctive thinking and action.
Ever since I was a young consultant, I have run into people who told me that they wanted to do no analysis . . . just trust their gut instincts. I had always wondered how that approach, so strong in so many people, could be sharpened to achieve better results. Ms. Kolbe's book provides many ways that those who want to rely on gut instincts can consider their effectiveness. For example, in doing the exercises, I was struck that in making financial decisions I almost always make the wrong decision when I trust my instincts. I was aware of that before reading this book, but I'm really sure that I won't do that again.
The book's format is developed around a Socratic dialogue with a hypothetical seat companion on an airplane. Having seen that was the format, I waited until my next airline flight to read the book. For me, though, the format didn't work very well. I couldn't understand most of the points the author was making because of language ambiguities without reading the notes in the back. The notes mostly referred to her own research so I got more of the same language issues. It also broke the spell of the Socratic dialogue. Then the book dived into a detailed discussion of the Kolbe Indexes. Naturally, I couldn't look that up on-line while on the airplane. When I landed, I immediately did . . . and found that it would cost about double the price of the book to have my instinct pattern profiled. I decided not to do it. The discussion of Ms. Kolbe's pattern and those of her seat companion left me unenlightened. Perhaps that is because I both prefer to both start with research and to launch off into uncharted territory . . . depending on the nature of the problem.
Of the five rules, the last four seem consistent with most self-help books I have read. It was only the first rule that was new to me. My own work with the exercises made me realize that instinct has only worked reliably for me when I have been in crisis situations (such as a hotel fire). So I don't think I'll be following that rule for most situations. I will, however, listen to my instincts to think about what they are trying to tell me when time allows.
Actually, I understood this book's premise better after reading another book, How Customers Think, which relates how the unconscious mind dominates decisions and actions . . . and functions much faster than the conscious, rational mind. If you want to understand the underpinnings of this book, I suggest that you read that one as well.
Having not found the book to be very relevant personally, I graded it as a three star. I do think that people who like to always go with their gut instinct without reflection will think this is a five star book. I also think that people who operate that way will be helped by the exercises. Be sure to do them.
As for the writing style, you will want to consider that you will be learning a lot of new terms. Conation is the most important one. Here's the definition: "Action derived from instinct; purposeful mode of striving, volition." I was immediately puzzled why it wasn't appropriate to just say "instinctive action" or "instinctive behavior." Conation and the many other terms introduced in the book just made the material less instinctive for me.
After you finish this book, I suggest that you pick out an area where you are having trouble making decisions . . . and fast action is required. How can you get in touch with your instincts to help you clear away some of the bad choices . . . and make better ones?
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on September 29, 2003
I was skeptical about this book when I first picked it up; after all, trusting your instincts sounds so counter intuitive to what most of us are taught to do. But after the first few pages, I was hooked. These concepts make so much sense! How many times have you had "that feeling" about something, but then took action that went against your initial inclination and later regretted it? Kathy Kolbe teaches you how to listen to your guts and act on those instincts with confidence by following a few simple rules.
This is not some self-help book that expects you to conform to a strict set of rules the author followed to acheive success; instead, it teaches you to look inside yourself to act on impulses that are uniquely yours. Following Kolbe's rules will help lift the weight of the world off your shoulders as you begin to act less like the world expects you to act and more like yourself.
From students to parents to business professionals, everyone can benefit from this book's unique insights into human action.
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on September 24, 2003
WOW - Kathy Kolbe has done it again - this being her best work yet! Powered by Instinct is a powerful book that captures you from the moment you sit down with Kathy and Ev on their plane ride across country and keeps you hooked until the flight lands! The style in which the book is written makes for a super easy read - from the variety of colors, paragraph and section blocking, the font types and styles to the dialog between Kathy and Ev - it's a book that you can easily read back to back or skim through when wanting to get an overview. It's not surprising that the person who developed 5 Rules for Trusting Your Guts would trust her own gut and break the rules of traditional book publishing! Kolbe has also broken the rules with her untraditional way of thinking - where else can you get permission to Act BEFORE you think, Commit but to very little and DO NOTHING - when nothing works?! If you think it sounds too good to be true - it is - it's very true and VERY GOOD! I have discovered so much about myself with her practical guidelines - and was challenged to look deeper into myself with the Think-ercises that have been placed throughout the book. Whether you are looking for a little more joy in your life, making a career move or contemplating marriage, this book is a must-read!
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on September 26, 2003
As I read the first few chapters of this book I began to feel stress lifting from my body. Kolbe has certainly tapped into an uncharted area of the self. I have never been one of those people that are constantly trying new ways to better their life -- i.e. self-improvement books have never held my interest. But, Kolbe's philosophy is smart from the get go. Her five rules for trusting your guts can be applied to the entire scope of your life from business - to relationships. You want to read more because you can shake you head in agreement with her throughout the book. If you only read one self-improvment book in your life make it this one!!
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on October 4, 2003
Andrew: "Kathy Kolbe's penetrating insights into our instinctual inclinations are nothing less than revolutionary. Her passion for her remarkable system is clear on every page."
Karen: "Kathy Kolbe's groundbreaking system for identifying instinctive drive is extraordinary. I can't think of a better investment to make in understanding yourself than to buy POWERED BY INSTINCT and to start putting its insights to work for you."
--Andrew Dornenburg & Karen Page, James Beard Award-winning authors of BECOMING A CHEF and THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF
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