Kolbe® Creative Process

What your Kolbe® Packet from Whatever You Do, Inc. includes

About Kathy Kolbe

Instincts & Crisis by Kathy Kolbe

Kolbe® "Quote of the Month" and "Recommended Reading"

Impulsive? Distracted? Quick Start? Experts say you suffer from ADD. by Kathy Kolbe

Books by Kathy Kolbe:
For book reviews and ordering information, click on the titles below.
The Conative Connection by Kathy Kolbe
Pure Instinct Business' Untapped Resource by Kathy Kolbe

Impulsive? Distracted? Quick Start? Experts say you suffer from ADD
By Kathy Kolbe

Are you easily distracted, highly intuitive and spontaneous? If so, are you a person insistent in Quick Start who acts on instinct? According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, it means you suffer from a "disorder". Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a hot topic in publications like Time, The Wall Street Journal, and newspapers across the U.S.

Are you intolerant of routine? Do you have difficulty getting organized? You may be labeled ADD. Combine the hands-on explanations of initiative in Implementor with initiating Quick Start, plus the avoidance of orderly approaches due to Follow Thru prevention and your instincts would set you up for yet another negative stereotype.

The Dayton Daily News reports the following as common characteristics of adults with ADD. Are these behaviors necessarily negative?

  • tend to start many projects but have trouble following through
  • say whatever comes to mind, regardless of timing or consequences
  • have difficulty following rules and proper procedures
  • easily distracted and frequently tune out or drift away in conversation

Although the Kolbe index validates these behaviors as the individual's instinctive strengths, psychologists diagnose people with this profile as having an "affliction". ADD gives a negative label to these positive attributes. Kolbe's theory is that we all have control over our instinctive behaviors. So, even though this type of MO comes naturally to some people, they also have the willpower to decide when and where to use them. An easily distracted person can also be called highly-flexible when the individual is in a situation that rewards who he or she is. Certainly there are people who have ADD - they are the people who have no control over these behaviors.

Other characteristics of ADD like "chronic low self-esteem, insecurity and a sense of underachievement" may be psychological problems coming into play. Or, the individual could be working in a situation that goes against his natural grain. The stress alone would cause feelings of insecurity, particularly if the person's MO is in contrast to those around him.

Possible misdiagnoses of ADD are tragic. The person's greatest talents are being labeled a disorder. While tips for coping with the affliction may help people manage themselves the way others want them to, they will surely be pushed right into conative crisis -- more stress and failure will follow. Our culture is biased in favor of people who are insistent in Fact Finder and Follow Thru. Schools and corporate training programs ask students to "choose the best answer" and "fill in the blanks". These tasks don't allow for innovation and hands-on implementation, yet we need those talents in our society.

Employers may soon face greater problems with ADD as there is a real risk that it may come under the American Disability Act. People with ADD already qualify for lengthy extensions in timed tests. The questions this law raises are obvious. "If a medical student requires extra time to pass an examination on cardiac arrhythmias, for example, who will give this physician extra time in a real-life cardiac crisis?" asks Richard Vatz in The Wall Street Journal.

What can be done? The more researchers study ADD, the less certain they are as to what it is, or whether it is a thousand different medical and non-medical situations all called by the same name. Do your own research. If an employee, client, friend or family member is diagnosed with ADD, give them the Kolbe A index. Validate their strengths and give them positive reinforcement instead of a negative label.