The Highlands Company Blog

The Power of Feedback: Why the HAB Includes an In-depth Debrief Session with a Certified Highlands Consultant

Everyone is born with inherent abilities that make certain types of tasks preferable to others. For that reason, people are most fulfilled in their careers when they find an environment that allows them to work primarily from their gifts and their natural talents.

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is the gold standard for measuring natural abilities. Consisting of 19 timed work samples, the HAB objectively measures a wide range of natural abilities. Upon completion of the HAB, clients receive a variety of extensive, customized reports that incorporate their results. 

To thoroughly understand and connect personal experience to the knowledge gained from the results of the assessment and highly detailed reports, clients meet with a Highlands Certified Consultant (HCC) for a two-hour debrief session, either in person, by phone, or by video conference. This in-depth and personalized review sets the HAB apart from other assessments, ensuring consistent, quality feedback about the client’s scores along with a discussion of their practical, real-world applications.

In a world that demands faster and faster results, we have held firmly to the integrity of our process. A quick, ten-minute survey that you find online might be able to offer a glimpse into your abilities, interests or personality, but quick and easy surveys yield easily forgotten results. In addition, their results are rarely accurate or backed by research. The HAB is in-depth and highly personalized; anyone who invests in the process will reap a lifetime of practical and applicable self-knowledge. 

Think of it this way: you can read a psychology book and learn something about yourself. If there is a quiz at the end, you may even find that there’s a label or category that helps to explain who you are. But imagine the difference between just reading the book and having the opportunity to talk to the author; imagine having an extensive conversation during which the author applies the principles in the book to you and your life circumstances. Your understanding would improve exponentially.

There’s no question that personalized interpretation and feedback add tremendous value to an assessment. But what can you expect to gain from your personalized debrief with a Highlands Certified Consultant (HCC) after taking the HAB?

Content of the Debrief

Your HCC will show you how your natural abilities fit together to provide meaning for occupational and academic application, with implications for your life and career.

Highlands Certified Consultants undergo 25+ hours of intensive training on how to understand and interpret the results of the HAB. They are well-versed in all areas of the assessment, including Personal Style Measures, Driving Abilities, Specialized Abilities, and Vocabulary. They also understand how to interpret the results in light of the Highlands’ proprietary Ability Blends and Ability Patterns. 

A personalized feedback session with a highly-trained consultant means that you will not only have the results from the HAB, but you’ll also be able to ask questions, understand, and apply them—to your life today and ahead in the future as well. During the feedback session, you will gain a clear understanding in each of the following areas.

Scores Aren’t Inherently Good or Bad

The results from the HAB are displayed in three ranges along a continuum, with your score for each ability reported in relation to other test-takers.

Most people are conditioned to assume that a higher score is “good” and a lower score is “bad.” This interpretation does not apply to the HAB. Your HCC will take you through each result and explain the implications of a score in the low, mid or high range. For example, someone who scores high in Idea Productivity will be good at generating new ideas, while someone who scores low in this area will possess a greater capacity for focus and concentration.

No Right or Wrong Answers

If you’re the kind of person who loves to get good grades, you need to put those expectations aside for the HAB. There are no right or wrong answers. Each person’s individualized results help paint a picture of the types of careers and work settings that will allow him or her to thrive.

The results from the HAB are displayed on continuums, with your score marked in relation to other takers of the HAB. We are accustomed to looking at scores and assuming that a higher mark is “good” and a lower mark “bad.” Those typical ways of interpreting the results do not apply to the HAB, however, and your HCC will take you through each result and explain the implications of a low or a high score. For example, someone who scores high in Idea Productivity will be good at generating new ideas, while someone who scores low in this area will possess a greater capacity for focus and concentration.

Your Unique Ability Profile

Your ability profile provides a snapshot of your natural abilities based on the results of your HAB. The 18 abilities, plus 1 skill, vocabulary in your profile are divided into three categories: Personal Style, Driving Abilities and Specialized Abilities. During the debrief session, your HCC will explain how the abilities within each of these categories can inform how to best accomplish the responsibilities you currently have as well as decisions about your future.

In discussing the results of your HAB, your consultant will provide practical examples of how each ability can be used—at work, at school and in life—and help you explore ways to apply them to your academic and career goals.

To maximize the value of your Highlands Ability Battery, it’s imperative to understand your natural abilities in the context of your own life and career. By discussing the results of your HAB with a knowledgeable, highly trained, certified consultant, you’ll be able to weave them into your past experiences (“No wonder I enjoyed that role!”) and consider them as you make plans for your future.

For instance, let’s say your score along the Generalist/Specialist continuum reveals that you’re a strong Specialist. Great! But what does this personal style preference mean for you? For starters, you’ll likely feel most satisfied in a career that allows you to be a subject matter expert in a workplace environment that allows for greater autonomy and ownership of your work.

Your HCC will help you combine this personal style preference with your other natural abilities—as well as other factors such as interests, values and goals—to increase your overall level of self-awareness, which is foundational to career success.

Ability Blends and Patterns of Abilities

Your HCC may also walk you through the proprietary Ability Blends and Ability Patterns. Based on extensive research, these combinations of abilities are presented in terms of how they match up with careers, occupations, and work roles and responsibilities that draw on your natural abilities in a workplace environment that values and appreciates them.

Guidance to Reach Your Objectives

The results of the HAB are not meant to pin you down and confine you to one or two different careers. Rather, the results will open your eyes to the many implications of your natural abilities and how you can apply them to your career. Unlike some career assessments that claim to match you with an ideal career to pursue, the HAB provides you with reliable, validated data about yourself that you can apply to career decisions throughout your life.

The two-hour debrief session with an HCC serves to enrich your understanding of the results and empower you to apply that knowledge for years ahead. You’ll understand how to evaluate different work roles and environments with confidence, knowing that you can discern what situations play to your strengths from those that will be more challenging.

Work from Your Strengths

Your ability patterns affect more than just your career. There are multiple ways to apply your strengths to different areas of your life, and your HCC will explain to you during the debrief how to leverage your strengths in: 

  • Studying/Learning– Students benefit from understanding the channels through which they learn best, whether it’s by taking notes, listening to recordings of lectures, or moving around regularly while studying. And since learning doesn’t end with formal education, adults will also benefit from understanding how to take advantage of their strengths and learn more efficiently. 
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making– Several abilities come together to influence your approach to problem-solving and decision-making. Your HCC will help you understand how and why you are an effective problem solver, allowing you to seek out situations in which those strengths can be used to their fullest potential.
  • Communication Style– Communication impacts relationships both at and outside of work. Not surprisingly, people do not all share the same communication style, and many of the differences can be attributed to a person’s natural abilities and personal style preferences measured by the HAB. Whether it’s a low Spatial Relations Theory score that draws some people towards abstract versus tactical conversations over the task at hand, or a high degree of Introversion that makes some people prefer to process ideas internally before sharing their thoughts, learning about your own unique communication style can enhance the efficiency and quality of your interactions with others.

Articulate Your Strengths

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, applying to colleges or trying to land an internship, knowing how to articulate your strengths will put you at a clear advantage.

Your HCC will help you process your results and show you how to use your customized reports to find the right language to clearly and succinctly pitch your strengths to potential employers on paper and in interviews. Harnessing the data about yourself from the HAB will give you the added confidence that the strengths you’re presenting aren’t a result of self-diagnosis or based on the opinion of a friend or relative! The HAB results are unbiased, objective, and accurate. 

The Whole Person Method

The HAB produces a gold mine of information about what makes you tick and how you naturally approach your life and work. The two-hour debrief session that follows the assessment takes you even deeper into understanding and interpreting your results and applying them to your career, both now and in the future. 

Even with such a wealth of data, there is more for you to consider as you contemplate your options for school and work. Abilities are one of eight elements (e.g., skills, values, interests and others) in the Highlands Whole Person Model that also factor into your career decisions.

For a comprehensive, in-depth, and highly personalized program that will help you navigate your career and life with clarity, there’s no substitute for the Highlands Program. Contact one of our highly trained consultants today to get started!