Episode #58: The Everyday Leadership Script: How to Discuss Gaps and Adapt Your Plan

Leadership is Calling Episode #58
Heather McGonigal

The Everyday Leadership Script: How to Discuss Gaps and Adapt Your Plan

Is your business struggling to adapt to change?  Learn how Agreement #6 from the People Part book by Annie Hyman Pratt and it’s powerful GAPA Script can help your team navigate change and achieve better results.

In this video, Coach Heather will walk you through:

  • How to identify gaps that threaten your desired outcomes
  • Using the Gapa Script to discuss and solve problems with your team
  • The importance of forming new agreements to keep everyone on track

This video is perfect for leaders and business owners who want toL:

  • Improve communication and collaboration within their teams
  • Become more adaptable and proactive in a changing business environment
  • Achieve their goals and objectives more consistently
Key Points
  •    Recognizing change and anticipating impacts on business outcomes
  •    Using the “gapa script” to address gaps and adapt plans
  •    Importance of noticing when things go off track
  •    Proposing solutions and considering different perspectives
  •    Forming new or modified agreements and next steps
Related Resources

Leadership Skills: The People Part
Leadership Development Articles: Moving through Change As a Team  |  Renegotiating Expectations in a New Reality
Download the Book: The People Part by Annie Hyman Pratt

Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

The Everyday Leadership Script: How to Discuss Gaps and Adapt Your Plan


Hi everyone. Coach Heather here and welcome back to our walk through The People Part book. This video is all about Agreement number six, which is dedicated to helping you learn how to use agreements to navigate change, which is ongoing in life and in business.

In this chapter, you get a very powerful script. It’s called the gap script, and it’s all about closing those gaps that arise in business – the most important gaps, the gaps that are going to have an impact on our business outcomes if we don’t address them. So in this chapter, you get the gap script. And I’m going to tell you a little bit about that, and then you can dive into the book here.

But I call the gap script, in my year-long program where I’m coaching leaders, what we teach, I refer to this script now as the Everyday Leadership script, because once you learn it and once you and your team learn to use it together, this is really a great and supportive framework for the conversations you need to have every day with one another.

All right, so let me tell you a little bit about this agreement first. So agreement number six is a team agreement that we recognize change. We anticipate impacts. And we proactively adapt our agreements. All right? So you can’t solve for negative business impacts if you don’t notice that things went off track in the first place, right? So number one is you have to notice when things are going off track.

And I love what’s in this chapter here in the book. It says that, you know, you’re off track when achieving the intended outcome isn’t possible without a significant change. And that’s why we care. That’s why we’re raising it. That’s why we’re adapting our plan, because we’re noticing, “Oh no, the business outcome that we’re really doing this project for, that we’re going for here, it’s not going to work with the plan we have. We have to come together, put our good thinking together to make adjustments to our plan and hopefully get us back on track to achieve the outcome.” Right?

So first you have to notice when it goes off track. Now this is hopefully why you always are fine-tuning and up-leveling the infrastructure in your business, because things like how you operate together in Project management software, the reports you look at together, how your meetings are functioning, how your cross-functional communication happens – all of these things help you to be more in tune to how is it really going, achieving our big business goals and our big intended outcomes, right? If our infrastructure is working correctly and supporting us in the ways that it should, it will help us notice when things go off track.

Okay, and it gives you another really helpful tip in this chapter, which is that business is an ongoing story and things are always shifting and changing, and a great way to really start a conversation in business that you have to have is to start with what’s changed. You can always start with what’s changed, and it immediately brings the person or people you are talking to, on the team, into alignment with your thinking. They’re right there with you. If you start with what’s changed, we know why this conversation is even happening, right? So then you have them more actively listening from the outset.

All right, so that is a great thing – a great little tip. Always, you can start with what’s changed. Now I’m going to walk you through this gap script. And you have it here in this chapter in the book. All right, a gap happened and you notice the gap. And the gap is between what we thought was going to be the performance at this point versus what it is, and the impact it’s going to have on the desired outcome if things continue this way.

So sometimes we gotta play it forward right – this hopefully we catch the gaps early, the gaps that matter that have a business impact and we play them forward. So we’re like, “Okay, we’ve got to this. We have to solve this because if it keeps going in this direction, we’re really going to miss our goal,” right? Can you see it?

So in the gap script, the first step is describing the gap. But the most important part of this step, and it’s highlighted in the book in the teaching, is the impact on the desired outcome. Starting with what’s changed, and framing up with the gap, is just really like why we’re here, why this conversation is happening now. You’re linked in with me, but what I’m really trying to bring forward, if I’m bringing something forward with this script, is that there may be an impact on our desired business outcome. And so I think that we may need to adjust things, or myself and the team think we may need to adjust things.

Next, we share some things, potential adjustments or solutions that we have sort of considered, and then the one we like best, right? We should always – it’s a great leadership habit – never just raise problems. You always want to bring solutions along with your problems, okay? And that’s sort of built into this script that you’re raising an issue, it has a business impact, and you’re going to fill the bubble of who you’re raising it to by talking about the things you’ve considered and where you’ve landed with a potential solution.

And then you’re going to invite their perspective and you’re going to consider together the various perspectives and alternatives, right? And what you’re looking for is what’s going to most help you get back on track for that business outcome, right?

And most importantly, and this is the last step of the gap script, is that you form a new modified agreement, right? You’ve decided on the chosen solution and you’ve agreed upon the next steps from here. And I really want to emphasize this, because sometimes in the middle of a gap conversation when we’re talking about all of the different solutions that are different perspectives, we can talk about a lot of things. And it is really, really important to remember at the very end, we need to confirm the new or modified agreement and the solution we’re going for, and we have to talk about the next steps outside of this conversation. Who’s going to do what? Who’s going to tell the team outside of here about the update? What are the next steps in our plan? And we have to confirm that agreement because hopefully you’re getting it by now – in the People Part book, agreements are the main mechanism of teamwork.

And I hope that you love diving into Agreement Number Six and using the gap script. Let me know how it goes. I’ll be happy to support you in the comments here if you need any coaching or have any questions. But I think you’re going to love this – what I call the Everyday Leadership script, the gap script. And when you can navigate change, when you can notice things have gotten off track and get them back on track, right, it gives you a competitive advantage in a business world that is always changing. In fact, the rate of change seems only to be increasing, right?

So the lessons in the chapter on Agreement Number Six in The People Part book, you need them. I hope that you dive in here, apply the tools and let me know how it goes. Thank you for being here.

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