Kolb’s learning style inventory
Why did my learning style develop as it did?
Your learning style is shaped by many factors.
- Your personality type or disposition: if you naturally tend toward introversion or extroversion, you will likely tend toward reflection, or action respectively.
- Your academic training: an early, potent influence on your learning style, because in school you not only learn facts, you also learn how to learn. Traces of this early influence may manifest itself in your adult learning style.
- Your career choice: shapes your learning style in two important ways – through exposure to a specialized learning environment in which you acquire habits of behavior, and through the influence on your behavior of ’norms’ or standards of conduct peculiar to your career field.
- Your current job: practicing the task demands of your job causes you to become more skilled in your application. Also, because we tend to choose experiences at which we have been successful before, so that we become good at what we do, and choose to do that which we are good at; we continue to match ourselves with things at which we have become skilled, and in the process become more skilled. This dynamic is known as ’accentuation’.
- Your current task: each time you meet the demands of a problem or task with corresponding skills, you develop those skills and strengthen your orientation in that direction.
Do self-descriptive inventories like the LSI have any validity?
We believe when the instrument is used for its intended purpose – an individual’s self-development – rather than as a tool for someone else to make decisions about him or her, we automatically eliminate the motivations that tend to distort self-report instruments.
Research evidence shows that people are fairly accurate self-perceivers. Assuming the person wants an accurate picture of him or herself (as we can in self-development applications) we feel self-description is one of the most powerful perspectives on behavior.
Self-descriptions can be more valid for some activities than other descriptions; what people think about themselves may be a better predictor of the choices they will make than how they actually behave. We generally decide what career to pursue based on our self-perceptions, our self-description.
It is important not to mystify the LSI. It is as simple as it looks: you’re describing your relative preferences for ways of learning. To that extent, when interpreting your results, pay attention to your frame of mind when you took the LSI. Did you try to do it quickly, or were you trying to be accurate? Were you being as honest as you could be, or were you concerned about the impact/impression your results would have on someone else?
We recommend that in using the LSI data, you consider your profile an hypothesis about how you learn. You will validate through other sources of data, such as how others see you, how you make decisions on the job, and the kinds of situations in which you are most effective. The results of any psychological test, including the LSI, need to be cross-validated; that is, validated from other perspectives. The LSI should not be used as an arbitrary measurement of personality, but as a tool for self-inquiry.
What has the LSI been used for?
The LSI has been used widely in many occupational and professional settings, ranging in use from physicians to dietitians, from managers to computer programmers, from medical technicians to production managers and planners. It has been used most widely in educational, management training, and medical settings.
The LSI has been used for many different purposes, among them to understand the unique learning needs of specific, specialized, professional groups, and to design and organize activities to meet those needs. It has been used to help learners understand the learning process and their preferences for kinds of educational experiences, and to help teachers explore their preferences in designing them.
The LSI has been especially useful when used by teachers and learners to develop a shared understanding of the educational venture and the contributions to it of both parties. The LSI has been used in career counseling, to help people understand their strengths and weaknesses and to match those profiles with jobs or career paths they might choose. In work settings, the LSI has been used to help people gain insight into the functions of their team in a non-evaluative, non-judgmental way. It has been used successfully to uncover and creatively manage differences among people, differences that initially masquerade as ’personality conflicts’ but may represent differences in learning and coping styles, or differences in problem-solving styles. Finally, the LSI has been used to understand interpersonal relationships outside the work setting; for example, in understanding marriage as a learning system with its unique strengths and weaknesses, and with its problems and potential for growth.
What other instruments can be used in conjunction with the learning style inventory?
The learning style exercise (LSE) – also known as stuck truck – is an experiential exercise for groups. We recommend it is used with the LSI as it illustrates some aspects of the experiential learning model (ELM). Besides increasing people's interest in, and ability to learn from one another, the LSE shows the connection between learning and problem-solving.
Boyatzis-Kolb adaptive style inventory
Why are my LSI and ASI kites different shapes?
While these two kites (ASI and LSI) will typically be similar in shape, they may be distinct. You may approach things very differently depending on the situation. For instance, at home you may be very focused on contemplating feelings and relationships, while at work you may focus on facts and figures. Your two kites may also be different if a significant amount of time separates your completion of the two inventories. It is important to reflect on, and discuss with people who know you, the similarities or differences you found and whether or not they make sense to you.
Is there one style that is best in all situations?
No one style or approach is appropriate/effective in all situations. This is one reason why it is so important to have an understanding of your learning style, an appreciation for flexibility, and an understanding of how different situations will require different approaches.
Is balance or flexibility always best?
Not necessarily, in decisions or careers that require technical expertise, for example, it would be better to be more specialized in your style or approach. Again, the key is to be aware of the situation and conscious of your reactions and actions in the situation.
How can I use the ASI?
If you’ve taken the LSI and have concerns that your LSI results/scores were unduly impacted by the fact that you were thinking about work (or home) when you completed the inventory, the ASI allows you to specify the situation. This provides a reality check of sorts. If you are changing jobs, roles, or organizations, the ASI allows you the opportunity to assess your flexibility. Are you ready to make the change? Will it be a good fit? Do you need to develop skills in a particular area? For organizations going through major changes; mergers, acquisitions reengineering, the ASI is an intro to the need for flexibility. Can the people within the organization make the change? What training and development is required? What changes to roles, structures, procedures may be necessary?
Kolb’s learning style exercise: stuck truck
Is the learning style exercise a realistic and challenging exercise?
Yes, the LSE is challenging as the situation involves several problems. However all problems are not equally clear or equally important to all members of a group or team. Group members usually have varying opinions on how to solve the problem. Therefore, different learning styles become apparent. In this regard the ‘stuck truck’ is similar to many problems or situations that people in organizations work on each day.
Do different learning styles sometimes result in conflict within a group?
Every situation has four sides, each representing an opportunity or problem, that is, urgent, human, important, technical. These problems/opportunities exist in every situation. However, each of us is biased toward one side, because of our learning style. This helps explain some of the fundamental tensions and conflicts that occur between people representing different functions in an organization.
Kolb’s team learning experience
Who should use the Kolb team learning experience?
Kolb’s team learning experience can be used by any team – newly formed or existing – that wants to make the most of the individual and collective potential of its team members. Student teams and work teams alike will benefit from the experience. While the team learning experience is designed to be used by a team of up to five people, it can accommodate larger teams.
Each package contains:
- 5 team member workbooks
- 1 re-usable learning space wall chart
- 1 stack of team member cards
- 1 stack of team task cards
Individual items can be purchased separately.
Does the Kolb team learning experience require a facilitator?
Kolb’s team learning experience can be used by the team without a facilitator. If you choose to forgo a facilitator, we recommend that the team appoint a person who will be responsible for (1) keeping the team true to the module timelines and (2) compiling and distributing any important information captured on flip charts throughout the exercise.
Some of our team members completed the LSI years ago; do they need to complete it again?
Yes. If it was more than a few years ago, or they don't have their actual scores handy, these members should complete a new LSI. All team members will be asked to plot their score on the learning space in order to create the team learning profile.
How many times will our team use the Kolb team learning experience?
Your team may go through the experience just once or perhaps many times. It really depends on what type of team you are. For example, if you are a project-specific team, one time may be sufficient. However, if you are a more long term team, with an ever-changing list of projects, you may want to go through it on a project-by-project basis.
What will our team gain by going through the team learning experience?
Your team will gain: a clear and unanimous understanding of its purpose, a greater appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses associated with the learning styles, preferences and skills of your members, a greater understanding of the demands and obstacles that your team may face, and an action plan for accomplishing your goals.
Managerial style workbook
How is Hay Group’s managerial style workbook (MSW) used?
The MSW is used in management development and organizational performance improvement interventions. It is used within organizations across industry sectors for personal development or to introduce managers to the six styles of leadership: affiliative, authoritative, coaching, coercive, democratic, and pacesetting – styles that effective managers use, at just the right time and in the right measure, to create positive energizing work climates for their teams. The workbook has two self-assessment questionnaires, one measuring the styles you think you use, and the other the styles you think your work situation requires, and includes development tips and exercises.
With what other instruments is the MSW most often used?
While the MSW is used with a variety of our management and organizational development products, the organizational climate workbook (OCW) is by far the most popular companion piece. The OCW measures the climate you experience and the one you believe you create. Climate looks at how ’it feels to work here’ and impacts discretionary effort and performance. It is measured by six critical dimensions and employee perception of these dimensions (how well informed, rewarded, empowered, developed, and committed they feel) has everything to do with their manager's style. Research shows that there is a direct and measurable link between climate and organizational performance, and that 70 per cent of employee job satisfaction is attributed to a manager's style, so the relationship between style and climate is a powerful one.
The MSW is also used with the tower building exercise. This exercise allows managers to experience first-hand the impact their style has on employee performance. Managers help (and sometimes hinder) their blindfolded employees' efforts to build a free-standing tower of blocks. Through three rounds of play, this exercise has it all; goal setting, competition, and surprises along the way. It's fun and enlightening!
Is the MSW a normed instrument?
No, it is simply an exercise to introduce the concepts. However, for a true assessment of managerial/leadership style, you should use Hay Group’s inventory of leadership styles (ILS). This is a normed, 180 degree assessment tool, and feedback is normally provided by an accredited Hay Group consultant.
Organizational climate workbook
How is the organizational climate workbook (OCW) used?
The OCW is a self-assessment exercise used to introduce the concept of organizational climate. The workbook provides an understanding of the six climate dimensions and how they impact on discretionary effort, as well as suggestions for improving each dimension. As a positive climate motivates employees to improve performance, organizations across industry sectors use it on an ongoing basis, and during periods of change (reorganization, mergers, layoffs). They use it because they know that climate impacts the bottom line. The OCW can be used as a stand-alone piece or in conjunction with some of our other management and organizational development products. The workbook is based on the work of Litwin and Stringer and includes two self-assessment questionnaires which help you think about the climate you experience versus the climate you believe you create for your team.
With what other instruments is the OCW most often used?
While the OCW is used with a variety of our management and organizational development products, the managerial style workbook (MSW) is by far the most popular companion piece. The MSW allows managers to self-assess how often they think they use the six most effective management styles. It also provides valuable insights as to the situations in which certain styles are most (and least) effective. Research shows that 70 per cent of employee job satisfaction is attributed to the manager's style so the relationship between style & climate is a powerful one. The style and climate reference card is a handy, slide-rule card that reminds managers how they directly impact employee and organizational performance. It provides definitions of the managerial styles and climate dimensions, and reminders about the situations in which particular styles are most (and least) effective.
The OCW is also used with the tower building exercise. The exercise allows managers to experience first-hand the impact employee satisfaction has on performance. This is especially true for the critical ‘clarity’ dimension (how clear employees are about the overall mission and their roles in it). In tower building, the managers help (and sometimes hinder) their blindfolded employees' efforts to build a free-standing tower of blocks. Through three rounds of play, this exercise has it all; goal setting, competition, and surprises along the way. It's fun and enlightening!
Is the OCW a normed instrument?
No, it is simply an exercise to introduce the concepts. For a true assessment of organizational climate, you should use Hay Group’s organizational climate survey (OCS). This is a normed, 180 degree assessment tool. Feedback for the OCS is provided by an accredited Hay Group consultant.
Managerial style questionnaire and organizational climate exercise
I would like to place an order for these tools but cannot find them on your website – how can I order these?
These tools are no longer available. They have been replaced by the managerial style workbook and organizational climate workbook. The MSW looks at the managerial styles you believe you use versus the ones you believe your situation requires. The OCW looks at the climate you experience and the climate you believe you create for your team. These tools are looking at your perceptions, which may or may not mirror reality. For a true assessment of managerial/leadership style, and/or organizational climate, it is important to get feedback from the people you lead. Click here for more information on Hay Group’s inventory of leadership styles, and the organizational climate survey. Both of these tools are 180 degree internet-administered diagnostic surveys.
Influence strategies exercise
How is the influence strategies exercise (ISE) used?
It's not just for managers! The ISE can be used at all levels, and within all organizations. Our clients use the ISE with customer service and sales people, individuals who have to interface with numerous departments/functions, in-house, and with managers. The ISE is a quick, easy-to-use tool for identifying and developing influencing techniques. It helps individuals identify the strategies they tend to use, evaluate their effectiveness and stretch their ability to impact others by stepping out of their 'comfort zone'.
With what other instruments is the ISE most often used?
The ISE is most often used with the personal values questionnaire (PVQ) and the Kolb learning style inventory (LSI). The PVQ, based on David McClelland's social motive research, assesses the extent to which an individual values achievement, affiliation, and power. It also explores the impact of personal values on job (and life) performance and satisfaction. The LSI, developed by David A. Kolb, is based on experiential learning theory. It assesses learning preferences (concrete, reflective, abstract, and active) and their impact on such things as decision-making, communicating, and resolving conflict.
What is the ISE based on?
The ISE is based on the 1959 French and Raven study of managerial power and subsequent Hay Group research (initiated and carried out by McBer and Company). It is an assessment – self-assessment and 360 degree – and development exercise.
Coaching process questionnaire
How is the coaching process questionnaire (CPQ) used?
The CPQ is used by organizations that recognize the effectiveness of the coaching style of management. They want to help managers improve the skills associated with effective coaching. The CPQ assesses – self-assessment and 360 degree – skills associated with accurately diagnosing the development need, addressing the need in a non-threatening way, and following up with and supporting the individual through the development process.
With what other instruments is the CPQ most often used?
The CPQ is most often used with the managerial style workbook (MSW). Recognized as one of the most effective of the managerial styles, coaching is also one of the most difficult to develop. The CPQ is a practical, skill assessment for managers interested in developing in this area. A number of our clients also use it in conjunction with the influence strategies exercise and Kolb’s learning style inventory.
Tower building exercise
What is the purpose of the tower building exercise?
The purpose of the tower building exercise is to give participants a concrete experience of the impact of management behavior on employee motivation and performance. It demonstrates the unique value of having a manager. A manager’s intent can be completely different from what employees experience. This becomes apparent in the tower building exercise, and it is important to make the point that ’what you intend, is not always what comes across’.
What is the recommended number of people that should be involved in this exercise?
We recommend anywhere from 8–24 people for a good size workshop.
How long does the exercise take?
Allow at least two hours from start to finish.
When is the exercise most effective?
The tower building exercise has proven effective with all levels of management as an awareness and development tool. When using this exercise in conjunction with other tools, such as the managerial style workbook, or the organizational climate workbook, it is most effective for the participants who have direct managerial responsibility. This gives participants context for processing the exercise, and a place in their job to apply the lessons learned.
Personal values questionnaire
How do values differ from motives?
Values are conscious drivers whereas motives are unconscious. Values are adaptable, they are developed from experiences throughout one’s life. Motives are unconscious basic drivers of behavior, influenced by early emotional experiences and are much more difficult to change than values.
How do values affect my job?
If your job requirements meet what you value, there will be no conflict. For example, if you have a high value for power and the job requires influencing behaviors, there is no conflict. Conflict and tension may arise when high value meets low job requirements. If you feel the need to influence others in a job that has a low job requirement for power, you will find your efforts counterproductive.
Can I change my values?
Common catalysts for changing values are a change in or escalation of personal or material desires, the recognition of current values, exposure to new influences, and immersion in a new environment. Changing values often involves recognizing and understanding the reasons why the behavior associated with the value is important. Whether or not your values remain unchanged over time depends on the degree of mismatch between the value and the job or activity requirements, and how you resolve the mismatch.
Is there a way to measure motives?
Yes, with Hay Group’s picture story exercise. Click here for more information.
Optimizing team development
What is the purpose of Hay Group’s optimizing team development (OTD)?
Based on Beckhard's model of team effectiveness, the optimizing team development exercise is designed to help teams determine the core purpose and focus of their efforts to improve performance. One of the easiest ways to increase effectiveness of your team is to decide which dimension needs attention first in order to reduce the barriers to development. It has been shown that teams should first assess and then, if needed, further develop clarity of goals, followed by roles, then processes, and finally, the relationship dimension. This detailed and specific examination needs also to consider the context in which the team operates – the forces outside the team, the external demands of the environment. Teams that effectively manage these four dimensions will function better than those that do not. The result is a team that is able to identify and then develop solutions to work problems to give a more collaborative and effective performance.
Do you need to be accredited to use the EI workbook?
No, accreditation is not required to use this product. If you would like a full assessment of your emotional intelligence then you would need to use the emotional and social competency inventory (ESCI). This tool can only be administered by an accredited user. Click here for more information on accreditation.
I still use the ECI – is there a workbook designed for use with the ECI model?
Yes, we have two versions of the workbook available – an ESCI version and an ECI version. Please specify which version you would like when you add the product to your shopping cart.
Emotional and social competency inventory (ESCI)
Why is accreditation required to use this tool?
The ESCI is a competency-based, 360° feedback tool, designed by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Hay Group expressly for the purpose of assessment and development. Feedback from others, particularly in the form of verbatim comments (especially negative comments) can be difficult for an individual to process on his/her own. Our two-day programme gives you a thorough grounding in our Emotional and Social Competency Inventory and also covers our Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI). Accreditation means you, as an already skilled coach, will be able to deliver detailed and powerful feedback – to bring out the best in your organization’s leaders and professionals. Click here for more information on accreditation.