The Highlands Company Blog

Consultant Highlights: Transforming Lives Through the HAB

What makes the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) so powerful? In recent posts, we’ve explored the role that feedback, or the debrief session, plays in taking the results of the HAB and applying them specifically to individuals. We’ve also looked at some of the specialized reports that provide industry-specific feedback, and examples of programs and workshops that utilize group feedback.

In this post, we’re excited to highlight some of the transformations that our Consultants have experienced—both personally and in the lives of their clients. From high school students to seasoned professionals, the gift of the HAB is that it provides objective data about a person’s natural abilities. The gift of our Highlands Certified Consultants (HCCs) is their ability to take that data and explain it in such a way that people gain confidence, clarity, and direction about their educational and career decisions.  

Below you’ll find several examples of HAB success stories. We’ve provided an excerpt from a longer blog post to give you a taste of what each story is about. Click on the HCCs name to read the full story. Be sure to visit the directory of Highlands Certified Consultants if you’re ready to experience career transformation in your own life!

Highlands Certified Consultants Share Their Stories

HCC Kene Iloenyosi, Talent Revolution

As we talked through the implications of each result, Aaron had many “aha” moments. His high Specialist score made the strongest impression on him. When Aaron is interested in something, he will learn all he can about it. “On several occasions, while watching a show or movie, I’ll hear about something that piques my interest. I’ll pause the program if I’m watching alone, open up a browser on my phone and do multiple searches on the topic. Remember when we moved into our house and the yard was a wreck? I spent all summer learning about lawn care.”

Aaron continued, “In my last job, I wasn’t very fulfilled. I wore many hats and got to learn different skills, but I couldn’t dive deep into the things I wanted. I knew a lot but did not feel I was exceptional at anything. I got bored easily. Now I know why.”

By the end of our first session, Aaron could identify why some parts of his past jobs were not satisfying, the critical elements that must be part of any job he takes, and most importantly, the value he brings to any organization. 

HCC Jennifer Landis Santos, Career Wellness Checkup

This summer I began working with Barbara (name changed to respect her confidentiality) who has worked in a large international finance organization for five years. She reached out for career guidance because she felt boxed into her current role and didn’t know how she could do something different outside of her industry. Armed with objective feedback from our results interpretation session, she became more confident about her contributions in the workplace. She now understands how to communicate and leverage her skills, experience, and strengths in other contexts.

HCC Mary Feduccia, CareerWorks360

Another example of the benefit of exploring abilities to make an effective career choice is a twenty-year-old young man who is sitting out of college until he decides what he wants to do. His major was Computer Science and he had planned to do programming, but he found the courses unbearably difficult. After taking the Highlands Ability Battery and understanding his unique patterns of abilities, it became clear to him that programming was not a good fit. The decision he ultimately made allowed him to incorporate his keen interest in computer systems with his abilities and personality as well. As a strong extrovert, he learned that sitting at a computer all day would drain his energy and that the spatial reasoning abilities required in programming made his major in Computer Science a very poor choice. He decided on Information Sciences in the College of Business and is now focused on a career that will allow him to use his strengths, personality, and interests in a computer networking career.

HCC Dr. Chip Roper, The VOCA Center

The objective evaluation provided by the HAB is crucial for helping people overcome what’s known as the “imposter syndrome.” Dr. Roper regularly sees people in his workshops who project an image of success and capability, and yet, in a safe setting, quickly reveal their insecurities. Many don’t feel they have a right to be there—that they shouldn’t be doing the job they are doing.

After taking the HAB and realizing how their natural abilities align with their current job responsibilities, people find new confidence. Says Dr. Roper, “It’s powerful to use the HAB to show them ‘Yes, you do have a right to be doing the job that you’re doing. You’re really on the right path, it fits with who you are.’”

In addition to confidence, people always come away from the HAB with new insights—things about themselves that they never knew. One of Dr. Roper’s favorite parts about holding workshops is to witness the“aha!” moments people experience once they start to unpack the HAB results. Laughter always ensues as light bulbs go off. It’s a relief for people to understand why some tasks can be so draining while others are fun and don’t require much effort.

HCC Melri Wright, Ledge Leadership

Most of the participants completed all four stages, and everyone reported that the program gave them a clearer picture of their futures. Those who had been uncertain about past school decisions expressed understanding as to why those programs were not the right fit. They expressed increased knowledge about their abilities, strengths, challenges, and learning styles, as well as appreciation for having richer language to describe themselves to employers, family, and peers.

Ledge has found that youth who understand their natural abilities are able to express their strengths and challenges to employers, have clear direction about post secondary education, and lead more effectively in their communities.

HCCs Adele Dubin and Natasha Srulowitz, WayFind

The workshop was very lively and interactive. The girls walked out feeling invigorated and excited. Each girl received an extensive, customized report about themselves that they can share with their parents and reference for many years to come.

One student shared, “Thank you so much for the workshop we had today! Now that I know what I am good at, what I enjoy doing, and how I work best, I feel a lot more confident and sure of what I am going to be looking into as possible job options for my career; and it will be a lot easier for me to research, being that I have all this information about myself.”

diane foster highlands consultantHCC Diane Foster, Diane Foster & Associates

Diane Foster has a passion for career development. It’s apparent today in her work as a leadership coach, but also in her impressive work history.

“How does an individual who is seeking transition of any kind identify his/her competencies? They need true assessments with great feedback. We’ve taken quality assessments and resources, starting with the Highlands Whole Person Method, to understanding key competencies and distilling them.”

HCC Maura Koutoujian, Coaching Through Conversation

My big aha moment was at age 51 when I took the HAB! Within the two problem solving abilities I saw that my Classification (ability to see relationships between seemingly unrelated things; a more diagnostic approach) was high and my Concept Organization (the ability to problem solve in a linear and analytical way) was not quite as strong. This was nothing new—what was new was that I now had the language to articulate my abilities. What I once considered my “weird and quirky” way of looking at the world was actually a strength. I could see exactly why I do what I do and the manner in which I do it. I had permission to be me.

This has been one of my most exciting discoveries in my journey of self awareness. I now enjoy creating talks, presentations, and workshops because I use my strengths to organize my thoughts and I am having fun. I don’t have to create order initially; I keep the ideas flowing—I see the relationships visually. My entire view of what I am capable of has opened up. I have a sense of pride in my way of being in the world.

HCC Amy Tietjen, The Stony Brook School

One of the most practical applications of the HAB at Stony Brook has been to meet with students to discuss their learning styles early on in their high school careers. The Highlands Company has provided individual Learning Strategies Reports for Stony Brook, compiling data from the various HAB reports in an effort to help students work smarter, not harder. Located on the school’s password-protected student portal, LSRs are easy to locate for students, parents, teachers, and the Learning Support Office. 

This past year I not only met with each of the 95 sophomores for individual consultations, but also met with their advisory groups for follow-up group feedback. The group settings were invaluable as the students were able to view bar graphs and learn some of the implications of how their similarities and differences might play out. Implementing the HAB in these ways fit amazingly well into the student life theme of the year, which encouraged students to develop a “posture of understanding.” The students came away with an appreciation for themselves and others, acknowledging an area of diversity that might otherwise have gone unseen, and this helped Stony Brook to build its community upon the foundation of mutual respect and understanding.

HCC Sue Seel, Personal & Professional Potential, Inc.

Twenty years ago, in 1999, I was introduced to the paper-and-pencil version of The Highlands Ability Battery. My 18-year-old son was looking for direction as he approached his first year of college, so we decided to explore the HAB as a potential tool. 

I walked away from the experience excited for both of us. My son benefited from clear and objective feedback that helped him focus his studies, and I was motivated to pursue certification from Highlands as a complement to my practice as a Personal and Professional Coach. When I completed certification in 2000, I chose the tagline Maximize Your Talent. My vision was to help and guide others, and the HAB was the perfect tool!

HCC Kim Turner, Strong Girls

 Since 2013, I have been helping students and adults become the best version of themselves and create visions for their careers and personal lives. A wise professor of mine, Dr. Spencer Niles, would always say “we actively master what we passively suffer.” I find great joy in helping people realize what they are remarkable at because it was such a pivotal moment for me in my life. When a young person or adult discovers that they have immense abilities and can channel them in the right setting, then they are on the path to satisfaction and success. My definition of career success is helping my clients find that fit and congruence with who they are and what they do every day.

HCC Charlotte Hayes, Charlotte Hayes Careers

Following the assessment and initial feedback sessions, the team has continued to explore results with monthly lunch and learns and an anticipated year-end debrief with Charlotte to review progress, which she says has been notable so far.

“One manager uncovered that he had the most energy when he taught, so now he does more staff training. Another was surprised by his talents for rhythm memory, which has inspired him to run more often. Finally, one of the managers came to understand what it really meant to be an introvert. Now she closes her office door at lunch to re-fuel.”

The examples Charlotte provides here only prove that the HAB is not a test to stress over. Instead, it’s an assessment that reveals truths about you. When you apply these truths to the Highlands Method, you’ll see how to make your strengths shine.

Start Your Career Transformation Today!

We hope that these stories about transformation have inspired you, whether it’s to take the HAB yourself or to become a Highlands Certified Consultant. To connect with an HCC and start exploring your options, visit our Get Started page. To learn more about becoming an HCC, check out Become a Consultant.