I thought I should do one more posting on my experiences with the Highlands Ability Battery.  This post is about how Highlands grouped my highest aptitudes into what they call “Ability Patterns”, which detail my natural approach to completing roles and responsibilities and are not tied to a single occupation.  There are over 60 of these and they detailed 10 for me.  One of the big inferences I made from these is that I fit into a variety of situations and roles and are best suited to an environment that lets me use more of my skills and abilities.  All of these patterns were something that I have done in my past working life.

Problem Solving – Hands on Consultative

This pattern combines the Consultative Problem Solving abilities (Classification and Concept Organization) and a rich flow of ideas (Idea Productivity) within the structural world (Spatial Relations Visualization). The combination of several strong driving abilities means that people with this pattern have very powerful abilities in many diverse areas of functioning. A potential problem with this is that it is nearly impossible for any one job to use all of these talents. It is generally true that we experience dissatisfaction on the job, not because of abilities we do not have, but because of abilities we do have that we are not using. The wide variety of strong abilities in this pattern suggests the need to seek outlets off the job as well as on. Think of your career in terms of expansion. At any given step, think of how you can use the experience and expertise you are gaining now to move to a wider area of influence. You may wish to develop one or more themes to your career, so that when you move from one area to another, you move along a related path of jobs or careers.

Spatial Relations Visualization is at the foundation of this pattern and is the first ability to take into account. Strength in this ability means greater satisfaction when involved in and with the three dimensional world. You will experience more satisfaction in any activity, whether as an avocation or as part of your work, that has a `hands on’ feel to it, and brings you in contact with the real world.

With strong Classification and Concept Organization, you are able to solve problems quickly and well, and can communicate your ideas to other people in a way that they can easily understand. People with this particular combination of abilities often enjoy functioning in a consultative role. They are able to deal with problems quickly and help others understand the solution. They can combine more rapid non logical problem solving with more rigorous, logical and linear problem solving.

Idea Productivity can help with problem solving, since it allows you to come up with many possibilities, and also with communicating, since you are more easily able to think of different ways to express your ideas so that people will understand them. This can help in situations in which you are teaching or convincing others of the rightness of your ideas.

Planning – Hands On

This pattern utilizes Analytical Problem Solving (Concept Organization) within the structural world. Spatial Relations Visualization is at the foundation of this pattern and is the first ability to take into account. Strength in this ability means greater satisfaction when involved in and with the three dimensional world. You will experience more satisfaction in any activity, whether as an avocation or as part of your work, that has a `hands on’ feel to it, and brings you in contact with the real world.

With strong Concept Organization, people with this pattern are able to solve problems most easily by projecting logical consequences into the future. This ability also enables them to communicate ideas to other people in a way that they can easily understand. People with this particular combination of abilities often enjoy functioning in a planning role. They are able to deal with problems in a rigorous, logical and linear manner that lends itself easily to projections and forecasting the future.

With your combination of strong abilities, you will in all likelihood be most satisfied and happy when you are using them regularly. This combination of driving abilities is seen quite often in work roles requiring the anticipation of consequences in the 3-D world. Responsibilities can include planning, communicating/explaining, analyzing, and creating processes. Use your knowledge of your personal style such as your Generalist/Specialist and Extrovert/Introvert nature to guide you to your specific work roles.

Troubleshooting – Hands On

This pattern utilizes Diagnostic Problem Solving (Classification) within the structural world. Spatial Relations Visualization is at the foundation of this pattern and is the first ability to take into account. Strength in this ability means greater satisfaction when involved in and with the three dimensional world. You will experience more satisfaction in any activity, whether as an avocation or as part of your work, that has a `hands on’ feel to it, and brings you in contact with the real world.

Classification drives people with this pattern to solve problems quickly and well; communicating rationales or ideas to other people may present more of a problem. They often enjoy functioning in a problem solving, or troubleshooting role and thrive on having different types of problems to work on. People with this pattern often `see’ the answer much more quickly than others, and can feel impatient at times unless they consciously make allowances for other people’s problem solving styles. With your combination of strong abilities, you will in all likelihood be most satisfied and happy when you are using them regularly.

This combination of driving abilities is seen quite often in people who operate in environments that require on-the-spot decisions, and a sense of certainty. People who are involved in direct, hands-on problem solving, and technicians who do frequent troubleshooting all use this pattern of abilities. In addition, it is often seen in people who must come into a troubled situation and ‘take over’ for a time.

Structural Generalist

People with this pattern have strong Spatial Relations scores, often in both Theory and Visualization and are also Generalists. These basic technical abilities can be utilized in either abstract tasks such as computer programming, or concrete tasks such as engineering mechanics. You will be happiest and will use your abilities most effectively when you can perform a variety of functions and roles. Many Structural Generalists know they are natural mechanics because they have been tinkering with machines all of their lives.

Most people who are involved in science, technology or engineering normally become highly involved in one particular area and become an expert in their chosen field. A Generalist, in these same fields, might find greater satisfaction in conducting research as a team member over working individually. The combination of Generalist and high scores in Spatial Relations will pull you in two opposite directions; working with people versus working with things. You will discover that you must manage your own career to ensure a balance of these two. This can be achieved by working with a team within a “hands-on” company or by working in a small technical organization where teamwork is expected.