Updated: Mar 13, 2021
You told them to do it. They know to do it. Why aren’t they doing it?
Well, clearly there is a gap. Elena Aguilar introduces how she uses these gaps in a post titled "A Coaching Framework For Thinking Before Acting". In this post, Aguilar outlines five gaps that could be playing into why outcomes aren’t being actualized with those you lead and coach.
While these gaps are not necessarily a reflection of what you have failed to do as a coach, considering the impact of the difference between what you expect to happen and how people are encountering that expectation allows you to provide the most effective and efficient support - to help those you coach/lead manifest the next steps or positive changes!
As a companion and extension to Aguilar’s original post, let’s expand on the what, why, and how.
What are the gaps and what needs to be clarified to address each gap?
The reason that people don’t do what you told them to do (or what they decided to do) typically fall into at least one of these categories. As these are not mutually exclusive, you might find that different people might encounter obstacles to doing the work in more than one of these ways. You should also expect that different people will have different gaps when asked to do the same thing - such as a school wide initiative.
In any case, asking questions about what difficulties they are facing and/or truly reflecting on their reactions to the initial task will help you identify which of these gaps are in play.
WILL: The desire and motivation to start and persevere through a task
Why am I doing this?
SKILL: The art of the act of teaching/leading
How do I do this?
KNOWLEDGE: A deep understanding of pedagogy/content
What am I doing?
CAPACITY: The mental, emotional, or physical ability to act
How do I manage this?
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The ability to be aware of, manage, and express one's emotions and to recognize the emotions of others based on actions of themselves or others
Who am I in this work?
You don’t have to include everything in every aspect of your support. This is not meant to be a structure to make your support more comprehensive. You want your support to be EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE, and SPECIFIC. There are only 24 hours in the day and people don’t need to hear what they don’t need to hear.
Based on the gap, what is the SPECIFIC, EFFECTIVE, & SPECIFIC support you can provide?
These supports don't represent an exhaustive list and neither are they only appropriate exclusively for the heading they are under. The idea here is that you can do a lot of different things to help without doing all of the work yourself, without alienating people from the coaching relationship, and without taking a lot of time standing in front of them boring them to death with soliloquies that might not address their gaps.
WILL: The desire and motivation to start and persevere through a task. Why am I doing this?
Explore the purpose and impact: Facilitate an exploration of how and why doing the thing helps move students forward and what this progress means for students in the future.