The Highlands Company Blog

Specialized Reports and Targeted Workshops: Empowering Individuals and Organizations

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is a powerful and flexible tool. In a recent post, we explored the ways in which the debrief session that follows the HAB enhances its impact, adding value and timely, practical tips to everyone who takes the assessment. Our highly-trained Highlands Certified Consultants (HCCs) are responsible for conducting the debrief sessions; their knowledge and experience are critical to helping clients apply the HAB results to their lives and affecting positive change. 

While feedback comes standard with the HAB, not every feedback session looks the same. Beyond career exploration and development with individuals, HCCs also provide guidance through workshops and programs that target a variety of professions and life stages, including college selection, leadership development, team building, and other niches. This range of options is designed to benefit students, adults, professionals, organizations, and their workforce. 

In this post, we’d like to look in more detail at the different types of reports that HCCs use during feedback sessions, as well as some of the different workshops and programs that they have developed. 


Highlands Assessment Reports: From General to Specialized

The standard HAB report has two versions: one for students and one for adults. These are the original, foundational reports that cover over 30 pages of customized information. In order to specifically meet the needs of other groups, the Highlands Company has also developed specialized or supplemental reports. Keep reading to learn more about each type of report and what sets them apart. 

Standard for AdultsThe Standard Report explains each ability, the worksample that measured it, and an interpretation of your score. Abilities are organized relating to Personal Style, Driving Abilities and Specialized Abilities and concludes with a customized application of how you can use select abilities to inform Four Key Dimensions (aspects) of work life; your Work Environment, Learning Strategies, your natural Problem Solving approach, and Communication tendencies. This report is ideal for adults seeking to understand the difference between their specific natural abilities and the skills they have acquired in order to make intentional work/life choices.

Standard for Students – The Standard Report for Students is identical to the Adult Report in most regards, but has features that make it more valuable to students, including a student­-specific Learning Strategies section. 

Career Exploration for AdultsThe career report considers how abilities blend or work together. Starting with blends of personal style, driving and specialized abilities and ending with how abilities across the categories can be used in multiple job families, this report is specifically for adults who are exploring careers, either for the first time or as part of a transition from one career to another. A detailed and interactive guide, the Adult Career Report is an excellent resource to fuel career exploration efforts.

Career Exploration for Students – The Career Exploration Reports, both student and adult versions, offer a list of career recommendations aligned with patterns of abilities. Each career listed is linked to the ONET Online, a valuable resource of occupational information for career explorers, published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Student Career Report is an excellent starting place to launch career exploration efforts.

Student Learning Strategies – The Learning Strategies Report for Students extracts information from the standard report and the career exploration supplement pertaining to how we take in and retrieve information. The LSR looks at learning as it relates to the natural abilities assessed in the HAB and especially as it relates to those abilities we identify as learning channels. 

Leader Report – The Leader Report provides leaders with a solid foundation of their own objectively measured talents, a comprehensive understanding of others’ talents, and tips on how to work together productively. The Leader Report incorporates an explanation of each ability, an interpretation of each score, and the ability blends related to Personal Style, Problem Solving, Spatial Reasoning, and Specialized Abilities. Unique to this report are customized tips based on a person’s natural tendencies, a must-have for current and potential leaders who face a special set of challenges in the workplace. It’s important for anyone to know their natural abilities, but leaders especially benefit from team members understand their strengths and how they differ from others on their team. Their ability to release those strengths and empower team members can make a tremendous difference in the effectiveness of their company or organization.

Lawyer Report – The Lawyer Report* is designed to reflect the uniqueness of current lawyers and law students, those who work in law firms, serve corporations, government agencies, public interest organizations, and those who work in other ways than in service to clients. This report affirms and supports your original decision to pursue the practice of law by pointing out connections between your natural abilities and areas of law you are likely to excel in and enjoy, how to manage your practice, and your reactions to people and events you meet in your work. *If you are wondering about law as a potential career, the Standard Report for Adults is better suited to help with that decision. 

WorkTypes – The term “WorkTypes” is Highlands’ proprietary name for generic roles/responsibilities that occur in any occupation. Because WorkTypes are defined according to natural abilities and do not take into account the skills you have learned, this self-management tool is not an evaluation of your performance. Instead, the WorkTypes Report can help you prioritize roles or responsibilities to eliminate or avoid (refine your work) or identify new roles/responsibilities to add (refresh your work) by providing a rank order of our 35 WorkTypes based on your unique ability profile. 

Four Key Dimensions – The Four Key Dimensions are extracted from the Standard Adult or Standard Student report and present a customized application of how you can use select abilities to inform four key dimensions (aspects) of work life: 1) your Work Environment; 2) how you acquire/Learn new information; 3) your natural Problem Solving approach; and 4) Communication tendencies. 

Your HCC will recommend which report is best for you and will guide you in getting the most benefit out of every page. 


Highlands Workshops and Programs

In addition to supplemental and specialized reports, Highlands also offers a variety of workshops and programs. Participants take the HAB on their own, but there are various ways to incorporate the feedback within a group setting. This can be particularly effective for high schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions, learning support centers, and organizations that are looking to enhance professional development for individuals, teamwork within their staff, or to cultivate great leaders.

Student Workshop 

For a young person who is on the cusp of selecting a college or major, and beginning to ask herself what career she would like to pursue, the Student program delivers everything she needs. Starting with the HAB, students will learn about their natural abilities and how they fit into the larger picture of who they are. 

Equipped with this knowledge, students are likely to excel and find satisfaction in a course of study or job that taps into both their abilities and interests. Best of all, the personal vision that students create during the workshop can be used as a blueprint for the rest of their lives—not as a rigid map telling them where to go and what to do next, but rather as a living document that is both flexible and practical as they navigate all the Turning Points throughout their lives. 

Leadership Workshop

Leaders face a special set of challenges in the workplace, which is why we created the Leader Report. In addition, we also have a one- or two-day workshop that is tailored to the unique challenges and dynamics affecting leaders. 

During the program, a trained Highlands Certified Consultant leads the group through a series of exercises that educate them about all eight factors of the Highlands Whole Person Model. The aim is to build self-awareness, to learn how to get along with others, and to clarify life and career objectives. 

Personal and Professional Development Program

This one-day, results-driven program is designed to maximize individual and collective work performance. We know from experience that people who know and understand their natural abilities and can integrate them into a career plan are more likely to lead satisfying and productive lives. 

Participants in the Personal and Professional Development Program will gain a clear understanding of how they solve problems best, how they take in and communicate new information, and what work environments suit them best. This highly personalized and applicable knowledge empowers employees to bring their highest and best every day to the office, resulting in more productive and engaged teams. 

Team Building Workshop

Anyone who has worked as part of a team understands the potential challenges that come about when people from different walks of life are all collaborating together in pursuit of a common goal. The objective of this program is to identify a work team, integrate its members into a cohesive unit, and overcome team challenges. 

Team development is a sophisticated process, and the Team Building Workshop focuses on such tools as problem-solving, mutual understanding and appreciation, leadership, communication styles, risk-taking, decision-making, trust, diversity, and conflict management. At the end of the program, the team members define the team’s goals as they relate to team development and create a Team Vision. 


Real-life Examples of Workshops and Programs

College Major and Career Bootcamp – HCC Mary Feduccia, PhD, CareerWorks360

Making a good choice about a college major and career is hard. Making the right choice is not an intuitive process. We aren’t born knowing how to do it. So many students spend unnecessary time, money, and effort trying to make the right choice. I’m offering two programs this summer designed to lead students to confident decisions about their career directions. I’ve used this approach with hundreds of students over the years and it works!

In these programs, I start with the Highlands Ability Battery, a phenomenal assessment of abilities that is incredibly helpful in career decision-making. Interests, personality, and values also need to be aligned with abilities for the choice to be the best. Assessments in these areas are excellent tools to lead to a well-developed decision about one’s career. As a result, certain careers rise to the top of best possibilities and these are explored for the most effective choice of college major and career.


Student Development Program – HCC Amy Tietjen, M.S.Ed and Susan Seel, M.S.

Stony Brook’s motto is “Character Before Career.” Consequently, it places great weight on investing in the students as people, global citizens, and contributing leaders both present and future. Because there are a myriad of choices to be made regarding college, students need to spend time exploring questions as fundamental and foundational as Who am I? What brings me joy? What does the world need that I have to offer? and Where do I best fit?

One of my tasks as a Highlands consultant has been to partner with the college counselors at Stony Brook to examine each student profile and begin to explore the answers to these questions alongside the student and his or her parents. We strive to minimize anxiety surrounding the process and to facilitate a sharpened focus for future direction. We want to empower students to make educated decisions and to grow in confidence as they anticipate the road ahead.


High School Student Workshop – HCC Robert and Tracy Wall, Natural Ability

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is the foundational testing tool they use. In the high schools, they run a two part, three-hour workshop that is interactive and educates the student on what abilities mean, what their abilities are, and how their abilities fit the working world. In addition, they do a one-hour session with parents to explain the process, abilities, the importance of the process, and to demonstrate how the reports can assist their child in planning their future.

“We sincerely believe the HAB is one of the best tools for aptitude,” Robert said. “Most of our clients give glowing comments on the process.”


Authentic Leadership Workshop – HCC Dori Stiles, PhD, Turning Points  

The focus of the leadership workshop was on integrating the eight critical factors—abilities, skills, interests, personal style, values, family influences, goals and stage of career—as the participants consider future roles and responsibilities. Unlike most career or leadership assessments, the Highlands Whole Person Model takes into consideration all the various aspects that make up a person.

For leaders, that means understanding ways to leverage their strengths to work more productively with all different stakeholders. Every participant left the workshop equipped with an objective language to describe talents, a tool to identify blind spots, and a method to assess fit with job responsibilities.


Invest in Yourself Workshop – HCC Dr. Tom N. Tavantzis and Martha T. Tavantzis, MSW

Companies still get it wrong when they focus their efforts on dollars and end goals. This is what Daniel Pink calls “if-then” thinking. Externalized targets are short-lived motivators. Instead, people are driven by purpose and a desire to be competent and to use their talents. The keys are for people to really know their hard-wired strengths, work on a vision in a safe setting, and connect that vision to work roles available in the organization. The companies that do this unleash employee energy and maximize productivity and innovation.


The Calling Workshop – HCC Chip Roper, PhD, 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.’”


hc group leslie martinLeadership Workshops – HCC Leslie Martin, Highlands Consulting Group, Inc.

Through that first big contract, Leslie says she learned three things. “I learned I can do this. I learned leadership skills. I learned that the beauty of Highlands is that it really nails it for people. They discover what they are good at. Plus, it’s objective and provides lots of data points. Business people love statistics!”

Along the way Leslie has partnered with many other companies including a large management consulting firm for the engineering and construction industry. She helped this particular company develop their leadership development program of which The Highlands Ability Battery is a key component.


marla brady highlands consultantPersonal Development Program – HCC Marla Brady, MBC

After the first year where she did a sample study with one individual, the Dolphins hired her to come back each year to work with all incoming rookies. Her week-long portion of the Rookie Success Program incorporates the HAB and also includes resume writing, networking skills, and lessons in how to build a portfolio.

“It’s been an enlightening experience,” she said. “A lot of these players do not have degrees or chose areas of study that allowed them to play football during college. They are not always interested in what they studied. With Highlands, they can discover different matches and hopefully come back to that when they move on from the NFL.”

Discover more programs and partnerships that have developed with the Highlands Company and its consultants over the years. We are proud to have worked with exceptional organizations, both in the educational and corporate spheres. Click to learn more: Educational Partners, Corporate Partners.