This is Leadership: Using the GAPS Analysis as a Personal Development Tool


…it helps you see the end from the beginning

GAPS- Goals. Abilities. Perceptions. Standards- analysis is an excellent coaching tool used for and by serious employees who intend to advance their journeys within clear timelines. Career and executive coaches may overhype the tool, sometimes.

Honestly, nonetheless, the tool works like magic. You just have to press the right button and choose the right steps responsibly. Although clarity is always important, I personally advise users of GAPS analysis to match reality to expectations.  Good companies work tirelessly to evolve into institutions by adopting simple GAPS analysis principles.

For companies to become institutions, they need to invest in people and systems. GAPS analysis fundamentally seeks to engineer and guide employee development planning process. In most of my corporate training programmes and engagements, I mention as straightforward as I could that, GAPS analysis are reserved for serious people who intend to invest in themselves to grow.

Although some companies provide support to grow employees, self-development and personal growth is an individual responsibility. GAPS analysis helps you to change a situation you are not happy about and it also shapes the end picture of your journey. It guides Goals, assess Abilities, forms the right Perceptions of your future self and it fits you into the acceptable Standards of your future role.

To use the tool, you have to first define your journey and see the end from the beginning, so to bring the possible future outcome closer.  Your goals must have timelines. Your abilities must clearly be distinct from your desires. Lastly, perceptions and standards must be known. To use the analysis, think of your future state from the current situation. Analyze your current situation and define a clear path.

With me, I always start with a diagram as a starting point where I say; this is where I am and this is where I want to go. In effect, the unwritten question is; what do I do to bridge the GAPS? What situation am I in? Who are the people to guide me on the journey? As a matter of fact, the roadmap should be designed and it must be personal and attainable yet stretching. If the timelines within your goals using the GAPS analysis are wide, you have to bring it closer by identifying the gaps and proposing newer ways of bridging the gap.

Ask same questions relating to Abilities, Perceptions and Standards. When this is duly done and action plans developed, move one-step up to assess the gaps within the GAPS or the gaps of the GAPS. Do this repeatedly and be honest to yourself and the process.  This is the surest way to prioritize personal development needs.

There are however 7 quick steps to developing a very high impact plan within the GAPS analysis. Identify your personal growth and development objectives. Define your criteria for success. Create your action steps. Involve a coach or a mentor with clear timelines to measure milestones. Stretch your deliverables. Gather your resources and do well to reflect with your partner. If your GAPS analysis tool fails to stretch you, look out for the gaps within the GAPS.

This is Leadership!

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