The Highlands Company Blog

SMART Union Leaders Explore the HAB and Natural Abilities

chris carlough - smart

Chris Carlough may have just become a Highlands Certified Consultant in May 2015, but he is no stranger to the Highlands Whole Person Method. He has worked with others at the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) to conduct the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) and group debriefs as part of the organization’s chapter leadership workshops for the last eight years.

Meet Chris.

Chris’s official title is the Director of Education at SMART in Washington, DC. He has worked for the union for nearly 30 years in various roles including international organizer and assistant to the director. Chris received a BA in Political Economy from National Labor College.

Why SMART chooses Highlands?

chris carlough - smartThe HAB is only one component of the leadership program that Chris leads at SMART. The training focuses on strategic planning, identifying mission statements, identifying core values and vision and their importance to the organization.

“The program is about self-discovery,” Chris said. “Our local union leaders are building teams, and therefore, need to understand others, especially where some communication gaps may be. Also, it’s important for an organization to discover not only where the individual’s strengths lie but also where they do not. In other words, the HAB helps us match our team members to tasks that suit their natural abilities. ”

Chris went on to explain that there are quite a few introverts at both his national office and in their local unions.

“I walk down the halls, and I see a lot of people in their office mumbling to their computers by themselves. This isn’t all bad, but sometimes you need to knock down those walls, and the HAB helps you do that by providing insight into how your co-workers process information which leads to improved communication.”

What the SMART chapter leaders say about the HAB

“I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback from those who have taken the HAB,” he said. “There is some trepidation beforehand, because people fear getting tested, but we go to great lengths to say this is only a self-discovery process and that they’re going to have plenty of ‘aha’ moments. It’s not about positives or negatives.”

smart-unionChris also says that SMART has only scratched the surface with how they might use the HAB within their trainings. The leaderships trainings described here are only one of the many that they hold.

Visit SMART’s website to learn more.