Every year since 1999, I have worked with the University of Georgia in a special leadership program. As part of that program, 30 students take the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB). The HAB is followed by a group debrief to discuss natural abilities and the interplay between them. Every so often, I meet a student during the program who connects with my style of facilitation and the concept of natural abilities. Kelly Mattox is one of those people and she continues to be a client of mine today.

“My Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) results are definitely something I’ve come back to over the years,” Kelly explained. “Especially as it pertains to my learning style. I’m always on the lookout to learn and grow.”

This is a wonderful example of how the Highlands Ability Battery can carry you through education and stages of your career. Since taking the HAB, Kelly has received her accounting degree, considered a PhD in Economics, changed positions a couple of times, and has gotten married and become a mom.

A Snapshot of Some of Kelly’s Abilities

“As someone in finance, you would think I’d be a detail person, but that is actually not a strength for me,” she said. “In the HAB worksample where you compare numbers and letters, I got a lot of them wrong. It’s not that I can’t be detailed; it’s that I have to slow down to compensate.”

“This shows up in how I study, too. My tendency is to scan the reading or jump ahead, but I really need to slow down and read it all, make flash cards, and refer back to my notes. This is exactly how I got through the CPA exam.”

In addition to taking the HAB and processing Kelly’s reports, we also work together in a career coaching arrangement. If Kelly has a challenge or a curiosity, we set up a time or multiple times to discuss the issues and create an actionable plan.

For instance, that PhD in Economics Kelly considered awhile back, well, after our work together, Kelly saw it wasn’t the best fit.

“I call Dori whenever I need something! When she talked me through the PhD program, she helped me realize it was a bad idea. The hours are long and competitive, which wouldn’t work when it was time to start a family. She helped me see what I knew but couldn’t articulate.”

Introducing the HAB to Kelly’s Family

Over the years, Kelly has been very generous to provide referrals to Turning Points. In fact, her husband also became a client! As a civil engineer who was frustrated by with the ups and downs in the economy, he is now on his way to becoming an actuary. He also took the HAB and his results guided him in this decision-making process providing useful insights into how study best during school.

“My husband and I talk about our HAB results all the time. For our relationship, it’s been especially helpful to understand our timeframe orientations. I have a long timeframe, where planning 25 years out is comfortable, and he has a short timeframe orientation and is concerned with immediate tasks. This has been a great insight to have in marriage.”

Thank you to Kelly (and her husband) for working with me for so long and for sharing their experiences for my blog. If you’re interested in learning more about the HAB or how career coaching could work for you, please contact me.