GPAR – A Simple Accountability Formula
“People don’t do what you expect but what you inspect.”– Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Among the biggest challenges of leading a team is the gap between what you say and what they hear. Somedays the gap feels narrow. Others it can seem like a chasm. You did what? That’s one reason we recommend weekly accountability meetings with staff. Whether you botched the delivery or they fumbled the reception, it’s hard to get too far off course in 7 days. These weekly meetings serve as weekly course corrections, coaching opportunities, and celebrations.
With a plan, these sessions can involve a minimal time investment. Just 30 minutes a week. The key is approaching it with a plan. Hopefully, your people track their goals on a 411. Ask them to share their 411 or their goals by 8am on Monday. When you hold their accountability session, frame the conversation around four simple questions you can remember with the acronym “GPAR.”
1. What was your GOAL?
Most of the time, this is straightforward. I want to have 25 real estate conversations this week. Great goal. You know exactly where the finish line is and when they have to cross it. It’s an “accountable goal” in our vernacular.
Unfortunately, many start with unclear goals. I want to talk to more people about buying a home. That’s not an “accountable goal.” Unless you know their baseline, you have no way to determine what “more people” means. It’s also not timebound. A great clarifying question would be: “How will I know you’re successful?” With a little coaching, they will start showing up with “accountable goals.”
2. What was your PLAN?
A lot of leading is teaching people how to think. In fact, that’s how Gary Keller defined leadership. By asking how they planned to achieve their goal, you get insights and coaching opportunities.
3. What ACTIONS did you take?
When individuals start with an accountable goal and a solid plan, actions tend to follow. This is often where obstacles and challenges show up. Maybe they had planned to knock on doors to generate those 25 real estate conversations only to discover the neighborhood association discourages doorknocking. The conversation gets tactical.
4. What were your RESULTS?
There are lots of ways this part of the conversation can turn. If they fell short, did they just get unlucky? Or do they lack skills or resources you can help them with? Maybe they set the goal too high and need to crawl before they walk. If they hit the goal, is it celebration time or did they get lucky? Maybe they set the bar too low and can raise their sights.
The GPAR questions can drive valuable coaching conversations and discovery. If there was a bonus question, it would be: “How do you FEEL about your results?” Now you can dig into motivation or lack thereof. But this one has to be the bonus question because GPARF sounds very unappealing.
Over time, individuals can earn the right to meet less frequently by delivering consistently exceptional results. Top performers often prosper with bi-weekly sessions. In my experience, bi-weekly sessions take longer because there is more ground to cover. So you end up making roughly the same time investment. Figure out what works for you and time-block it on your calendar.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: Am I investing the right amount of time in my people?
Make an Impact!