The Highlands Company Blog

The Highlands Ability Battery: A Comprehensive Tool for Customized Professional Development

“This is the first in a series of posts to share specific examples of how the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is used to create customized professional development experiences. Since 1995, I’ve focused on the development of individuals to create lasting change by developing awareness, clarifying information, initiating action and ensuring accountability. A colleague pointed out I was creating customized professional development—the description stuck!” – Dori Stiles, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist is the Director of Training and Research for the Highlands Company and founder of Turning Points Coaching and Consulting.

The foundation

It’s fair to say that we all wish to lead lives full of meaning and purpose. Some people move through their days making the best of them. Others have a clear, concrete understanding of themselves and their paths—and pursue opportunities with intention and enjoy fulfillment in their choices. What is the difference between these people? Some reap the benefits of self-awareness gained through taking the HAB. The others have yet to discover this empowering tool.

The HAB assessment is the gold standard for people seeking a clear understanding of their inherent strengths (and blindspots). Results from this career aptitude assessment are derived from performance rather than one’s perception, and they deliver truly impactful information. Professionals and students use these powerful insights to inform their career decisions and bolster their careers through self-generated professional development opportunities. Program designers and managers use the information to effectively support and nurture participants and employees through in-house professional development programs.

Who benefits from taking the HAB?

Since the HAB measures and identifies people’s natural abilities and talents, its results are of benefit to all who take it, no matter their current career paths or occupations. Here is a sampling of those who can benefit from customized professional development using personalized results from the HAB:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Medical professionals
  • Education professionals
  • Nonprofit employees
  • Artists and creatives
  • And more!

Gaining self-awareness from the HAB’s personalized results and discovering opportunities for professional development serves people in a variety of career stages, such as:

  • Students
  • Career professionals
  • Leaders
  • Those pivoting to new career paths
  • Encore career professionals

Why pursue professional development?

Imagine living every day with the knowledge of what you truly excel at—your unique gifts that take little effort but provide limitless satisfaction. Combine this with a clear picture of what you want out of life and you’ve got a road map for successfully navigating life’s opportunities. With this information, you can not only confidently flex into best-fit career options but also learn new skills through effective professional development to further enhance your career.

Benefit from the HAB: For professionals

Do any of the following sentiments hit close to home?

  • You like your job, but when you leave at the end of the day, it’s a relief to head home.
  • You don’t like your job and you want to make a change, but you feel aimless in the next step and don’t think you have the skills to branch out.
  • You know there must be more to life.

The HAB undoubtedly helps in these situations and more. By assessing your natural abilities and taking into account your interests, experiences, values, and vision, no matter the decision you face, you will have evidence to guide you toward the choice that will bring you the most fulfillment. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge you gain from this assessment helps you capitalize on your strengths, paving the way for a more rewarding, satisfying career.

Benefit from the HAB: For program designers & managers

How do each of your employees or participants best learn? What motivates them? How can you support them to reach their potential? Knowing the answers to these questions lays the foundation for success—theirs and yours!—enhancing a program’s effectiveness for participants and ultimately benefiting a company’s bottom line. Employing HAB takeaways to aid in effective professional development—that is, discovering natural abilities, learning new skills, and aligning these with measurable goals—is a win-win for all involved.

A customized approach for a successful future

Every person is unique—we all learn differently, possess different natural abilities, and have different life goals. Discovering and embracing these unique aspects guides effective, impactful decision-making that translates into successful careers and personal lives. Learn more about the Highlands Ability Battery today and take charge of your future. Careers are built on a combination of the person and circumstances. While you can’t control all of your circumstances, you can manage yourself!


Dori Stiles, Ph.D.

Dr. Stiles, Industrial/Organizational Psychologist is the Director of Training and Research for the Highlands Company and founder of Turning Points Coaching and Consulting.

“My 30 years of experience of serving both individual career professionals and organizations includes 20 years with UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the Terry Business School’s Institute for Leadership Development, the Georgia School Superintendents Association, and private businesses such as IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Manheim Automotive and Kaiser Permanente.”


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Become a Highlands Consultant– Complete the Highlands Certification Training program to provide clients with a core foundation for sustainable transformation with the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB). The Certification program reviews the intricacies of our proprietary HAB technology, the philosophies behind the Highlands Whole Person Method, and best practices for providing the HAB with individual and group feedback for clients. Read more about the Highlands Certification Training Program.

The Highlands Certification Training Program is accredited by the International Coach Federation for 32 hours of continuing education credits in the following areas: Core Competencies 14 hours, Resource Development 18 hours.