Tackling a Tough Challenge? Know your Conative Style (and Find a Friend)

New Dentist ReceptionWhether you are tackling a new year’s resolution, juggling a change in your home or work life, or facing another challenge, you probably have a preferred conation.

Conation is a concept developed by Kathy Kolbe, a specialist in learning strategies, and it refers to the way you like to tackle a task. Kolbe identified four conative styles:

  • “Quick starters” swing into action, using trial and error.
  • “Fact finders” need information and research
  • “Follow through-ers” use methodical systems
  • “Implementers” figure things out by building models or using tools.

It’s easy to see how a conative strength could also be a weakness — for instance a fact finder could become stuck in “analysis paralysis.”

Author and blogger Martha Beck suggests that we often have friends who share our own conative styles, so the solution is to find a friend (or a group) with a different conative style. For instance, if you are a fact finder, you might benefit from chatting with a quick starter in order to get your project off the ground. Beck asserts that she never starts a new project without building a team of friends with different conative strengths.

If you are looking for a group of dentist friends it’s a good idea to attend a local meeting. And it’s a great idea to attend the 28th Annual New Dentist Conference  July 17-19, 2014, where you can get to know colleagues from across the country who are tackling the same challenges you may be facing.

What’s your conative style? Leave your answer in the comments.

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