The Highlands Company Blog

HAB Group Reviews: When Shared Experiences Can Offer New Perspectives

There are three basic steps to the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) experience: taking the assessment, reading the reports, and reviewing the results with a Highlands Certified Consultant (HCC). The last step, often referred to as the debrief, is when the results from the assessment and reports are reviewed and explained. The objective of this last step is to ensure the HAB-taker understands the results and how to use the reports and tools and to provide an opportunity to ask questions. During a 1.5-2 hour one-to-one session, or Individual Debrief, HCCs personalize the information in the reports in a way that often leads to “Aha!” moments, and suggestions related to practical uses of newfound knowledge.

The HAB with an Individual Debrief is a very customized experience somewhat analogous to a coaching session. (Click here to learn more about the debrief process and what makes it so important.)

But that’s not the only way to review your results with a Highlands Certified Consultant. A relatively more affordable option is to take the HAB (always completed individually) and then participate in a Group Review. Group Review participants refer to their personalized reports as the HCC explains and interprets the results to a small group at the same time. Think of the Group Review as an overview somewhat analogous to a class; the focus is on understanding natural abilities, interpreting the results, and learning how to use the tools and reports as you explore next steps. While there are opportunities to ask clarifying questions, individualized application of the results is left to each participant. Of course, HCCs offer individual follow-up sessions to the Group Review.

Group Reviews are an excellent choice for people who enjoy learning in a group setting, are willing to read and explore ample materials on their own, may need less assistance with applying their results to make decisions, or want to experience the HAB and are uncertain about their need for one-to-one follow up. There can be additional side-benefits of the Group Review approach, too!

For decades, Highlands Director of Training and founder and CEO of Turning Points Coaching and Consulting Dr. Dori Stiles has conducted HAB review sessions with groups. In settings ranging from corporate to educational, from in-person to remote, Dr. Stiles has held group HAB Review sessions with hundreds of clients. From her experience, and from participant feedback, the group debrief can be powerful!

Advantages of Collaborative Learning

The success of Group Reviews can be better understood with the context of collaborative learning theory, a process whereby a group of individuals learn from each other by working together to solve a problem, complete a task, create a product, or share one’s thinking. Numerous studies have demonstrated that collaborative learning yields tremendous benefits, including better understanding, new perspectives, and helpful feedback. According to one study, collaborative learning even enhances critical thinking skills.

These advantages are apparent to Dr. Stiles during the Group Reviews. The HAB comprises 19 worksamples measuring different attributes; during the reviews, the HCC provides an explanation of each worksample and an interpretation of the strengths and challenges of scores falling in the low-, mid-, and high-ranges. When participants share their results and reactions with a partner or in small groups, they get to hear from others who scored very differently; or, as Dr. Stiles calls it, “Learning what it’s like not to be you.”

“Even though most of us know intellectually that people are different from each other, we still often expect for people to experience and react to things like we do,” Dr. Stiles explains. “For an extrovert to hear from an introvert that being around people drains their energy can be powerful; rather than misattributing the introvert’s pass on a group lunch as snobbishness, the extrovert can understand the introvert’s need to recharge energy by being alone for a spell. Likewise, the introvert hears from an extrovert the need to talk things through before making a final decision and learns not to misattribute that talking for changing their mind.”

There are also opportunities to ask questions in the larger group. Often those questions are shared by others who are curious and simply don’t ask, while other questions reveal new information that others had not considered.

Sharing Experiences Offers New Perspectives

Another advantage to group debriefs is the simple act of sharing the experience with others in the group—what Dr. Stiles calls “living examples.”

“Group Reviews are a wonderful way for participants to see live examples of others that are different from themselves. For example, it’s one thing to say that generalists naturally take a broad-brush approach to information and that specialists take an in-depth approach. But it’s another thing to experience the difference between the types of questions asked by the generalists and those by the specialists in the group!”

Participants bring their own knowledge and experience to the group review, which in turn benefits the others in the group. Whether it is a concrete example of a score interpretation, an idea about how to build a skill, or a connection that someone has, participants have a lot to share that reinforces and aids the learning experience of others in the group.

No Such Thing as “Good” or “Bad” Results

Sometimes groups consist of people who know each other or work together. Frequently, however, they do not. In groups where participants know each other in advance there can be some reticence to share results. After all, it feels vulnerable to share “test” results – especially when those scores don’t all look “good.” And even when group participants do not know each other, there can still be that nagging worry about how each person compares to others.

Whether or not participants know each other in advance, what becomes evident very quickly during a Group Review is that the HAB is not a “test” (it is referred to as an assessment) and that there are not “good” or “bad” results. There are strengths and challenges associated with every type of score, whether it’s low-, mid-, or high-range. Although people are conditioned to expect the high score to be the better one, the reality becomes apparent as the HCC reveals the strengths and challenges associated with all of the ranges.

For example, a person who scores in the low range on the Idea Productivity worksample might appear to be at a disadvantage. Doesn’t this indicate that she isn’t strong at generating lots of ideas? Yes, however the flip side of this is that she is better able to focus on one thing at a time, for longer periods of time, than someone with a high score in Idea Productivity.

Throughout the review, participants come to understand how this same principle applies to all 19 worksamples. The point is brought home more forcibly when they compare their results to someone else with opposite results, and see how opposing strengths and weaknesses make for an overall stronger team.

While Group Reviews do not allow for the same level of individual focus that a one-to-one session provides, we’ve seen that there are many benefits to group debriefs that outweigh the disadvantages. What’s more, a significant advantage to a Group review is that the price for individual participants is lower than for one-to-one debriefs. Saving money is something we can all get behind!

Contact us today to learn more about opportunities for Group Reviews. Whether it’s for you, a friend, a colleague, or a family member, this could be the first step on a path to greater self-knowledge and career satisfaction.