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Filling the Gap

We’ve talked about teams and the various characters or roles we see in them in a myriad of situations. We’ve also discussed how we can each perform in those capacities - like what to do if being Perceptive Polly or Resilient Rhonda is something you want to try. We have responsibilities that come to us through our formal job roles, but those aren’t the only ways we can or should perform. 

What happens when someone is out sick? What do we do when someone goes on vacation or has extended time off? What about when there are sudden personnel changes and responsibilities are now not being completed? What if the organization is still growing and doesn’t have the hands to go all around? How do we ensure tasks aren’t forgotten or mismanaged? How can we fill in the gaps? 


First, fully understand your own role

We all have to start with an understanding of ourselves - our strengths and pain points, likes and dislikes, etc. This forms a solid foundation of self-awareness before we can move into developing other-awareness - a crucial step in Additionally, we have to have an understanding of what we already contribute. Maybe you need a refresher of your job description, or a conversation with your leader to reexamine expectations. 

We have to ask ourselves questions like, “Am I currently fulfilling all of my responsibilities?” “Am I noticing gaps within the responsibilities of those around me, or the organization as a whole?” “Do I have the bandwidth to fill those gaps?” 


Second, access the tools

YCNS uses CAMPER to teach what to look for when trying to increase engagement and motivation - two things that are required to fill gaps by being what’s missing. Let’s break it down: 
  • C: Communication - if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a  million times - communication is the wrapping of all interaction. Being an effective communicator is essential - familiarize yourself with the communication infographic, and keep the three principles in the back of your mind in all of your interactions. 
  • A: Autonomy - if we feel empowered to make decisions and take action, we’re more likely to do so. This practice increases investment since we feel more connected to the task, project, idea, etc., which in turn increases our investment towards the organization and mission as a whole. So, reflect on the decisions you make or actions you take on a daily basis, or those that are tied to your current role - where can you step up in your autonomy?
  • M: Mastery - gaining mastery means learning from mistakes and sharing the knowledge it takes to not make those same mistakes again. You train a new colleague on a process that’s been refined over and over - you don’t send them off to do things the way they used to be done. It’s all a part of continuous improvement - we can learn and grow together.
  • P: Purpose - we’re more engaged in and motivated for the “what” if we know the “why” behind it. We all need a mission or values to connect to. Do you know your organization’s mission, vision, and values? What about them do you connect to? If you don’t know, it may be time to find out so you can better align your work and feel more in tune with the big picture. 
  • E: Enthusiasm - we thrive in a positive environment, rather than feeling discouraged or frustrated from a negative one. This doesn’t mean we have to be happy all the time (because that’s unrealistic), but it does mean we look forward to what’s better, rather than stewing in what’s not so good. Take a moment to reflect on one positive thing you encountered this week. 
  • R: Relationships - no one wants to feel like they’re at it alone. Relationships drive us, whether it’s the relationship we have with people at work, family and friends, or even ourselves. They’re what motivate us in our continuous pursuit of even better. So, what relationships can you build with unconditional positive regard, compassion, humility, grace, and respect?


Third, hone your skills and intentions 

Now that we’ve developed our self-awareness, as well as increased engagement and motivation with CAMPER, we can grow and improve our skills required of the role gaps we’ve noticed. We can’t just step into a role without knowing what we’re doing, so we need to fill in the gaps of our skills to properly step into the new role.

Perhaps you can find a mentor who’s performed in a similar role or the tasks before. Talk with your leader about expectations or any tips they may have. Announce your intentions and talk it through with those it would affect, such as your own team members or those you anticipate getting involved. 


Last, test it out and troubleshoot

It’s unlikely it will all “click” or fit exactly right the first time, it will probably take practice, especially if performing that role is new or challenging for you. If you’ve made the courageous decision to take on something outside of your comfort zone, it’s likely it’ll take some work to feel confident in your performance. Be patient with yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

In our past blogs on teams and the various characters that come into play, we gave specific tips for filling those roles we discussed. Take a look at those tips again as they may prove useful on this journey! 


Teams are ever evolving: growing and shrinking, learning and unlearning. Adaptability has been a necessity in recent years, and we can use it to our advantage! Have you noticed things missing a crucial element, or a process that skips a step? What can you do about it? Fill the gap! 

Whatever role you’re trying to perform, or gap you’re trying to fill, Your Clear Next Step has the tools and resources to help along the way! Contact us to participate in the training: Be What’s Missing, for an in depth look at CAMPER and other tips for filling the gaps. Reach out to us for individual coaching that can help you improve your self-awareness and hone your skills! We’d be delighted to hear from you!



Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Communication & Collaboration, Leadership & Influence

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!








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