After my first session with my career coach, they immediately put me through the Highlands Ability Battery.  This process was a series of tests that looked at items like visual processing speed and accuracy, different types of reasoning, idea generation and deduction, 2d and 3d structures and even some musical items.  I found it quite interesting and the results were quite closer to highlighting my key abilities than I would have expected.  Once it has gathered all this information, it compiles and compares the abilities to areas where I could naturally excel.  The results and analysis are very deep, well beyond the scope of this blog, but I’ll highlight some key findings that I found interesting below:

Personal Style

I am considered a very strong Generalist (vs being a Specialist).  When you look at my skills and types of works I’ve done (and performed well at), this makes a lot of sense.  Here are some traits as a Generalist:

  • Share a common way of looking at the world and at the way in which others react and feel.
  • Need to insure that my work is diverse.
  • Will be more comfortable if my work includes other people.
  • Are a team player and pursue goals and solve problems best by working in groups and organizations.
  • Understand the need to work in and through the efforts of others
  • Are able to focus broadly on the overall operations and goals of the group or organization.
  • Can move easily from job to job as long as the group goals are being pursued.
  • Do not “live, breathe and think about” my job constantly, but see work tasks as tools to be picked up, used, then laid aside.
  • Succeed by means of teamwork and interpersonal competencies.
  • Find it easy to delegate and be delegated to and are willing to take responsibility for the work of others.
  • Work best at developing subordinates and bringing teams together.
  • Learn best by gathering information and solving problems in groups.

This really spoke to me as I feel very comfortable in many situations whether it be for building a product, building a company, updating processes, performing “business triage”, etc.  I also find it the most engaging to work with diverse people in these groups.  I find that ideas in diverse groups are wider ranging and more compelling and the group itself tends to be more open and engaged with each other.

Driving Abilities – Classification

I ended up having a very high Classification ability, which basically was that I see relationships between seemingly unrelated events, situations, or information. It also shows my ability to move from the specific to the general when solving the many problems I face every day.

  • Can easily and quickly see patterns and relationships among data and objects.
  • Will find that this ability demands use and will influence almost every aspect of my working life.
  • Need problem-solving as a foundation of my work
  • Are likely to get positive enjoyment from using this ability, and to be unhappy in positions that do not use it.
  • Love to solve new problems and to figure things out.
  • Are able to quickly summarize a set of points and jump to the end of an argument.
  • Can see pros and cons in any situation and the problems in a plan quickly and easily.
  • Must use education and self-discipline to channel this ability properly – just because something is learned quickly does not necessarily mean it has been learned well.
  • Can use this ability in any role where the major activity involves rapid-fire problem-solving, fixing, advice-giving or consulting.
  • May find it difficult to communicate my solutions to others. I found this point kind of strange as I feel that my ability to communicate at all levels in an organization one of my key skills.
  • Must find a steady means of applying this ability. I can become very dissatisfied if I amare not using it regularly.

I love using my head and solving problems of all sorts of types.  Preferably these types of problems are more suited to creating new things, processes, or business initiatives, but things do pop up that need immediate attention and I’m very good at addressing those as well.

There are 17 different summaries in the report.  This is just one report!  I’ll post some more results later from the Highlands Ability Battery as well as the Career Exploration pieces as they are quite cool as well.  Overall, this experience was quite good and I think I will be getting my two boys, Daxton and Chase, to be looking at this type of assessment as they get farther along in high school.  Daxton will be going into Grade 11 soon, so it may be time!