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Mine the GAP: Extracting the Strength in Group Action Planning

By: Anthony President

In the world of social service and other helping professions, the tireless heroes who dedicate their lives to making a difference often find themselves facing daunting challenges. Understaffed and under-resourced, they work tirelessly to bring hope and support to those in need. But what if there was a way to amplify their impact, harnessing the power of collaboration, and maximizing the value of diversity? That's where Group Action Planning (GAP) sessions come in.

Understanding the Value of GAP Sessions

GAP sessions are more than just meetings; they're transformational spaces designed to foster collaboration, problem-solving, and innovation. GAP sessions bring together individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expertise to collectively brainstorm, strategize, and plan for success. These sessions offer a unique opportunity to unlock the true potential of teams, breathing new life into their work. In the helping profession, where every resource counts, these sessions can be a game-changer.

The Pressure of Being Understaffed and Under-Resourced

Helping professionals understand the weight of the responsibility they carry. Often operating in resource-constrained environments, the pressure can be overwhelming. But here's where GAP sessions shine. By strategically utilizing the available workforce and resources, these sessions allow professionals to achieve more with less. They provide a platform to align goals, identify gaps, and optimize the utilization of limited resources.

Maximizing the Value of Diversity

In the helping profession, diversity isn't just a buzzword – it's a powerful tool. GAP sessions create an environment where diverse voices are not only heard but celebrated. This inclusivity fosters creativity, innovation, and empathy. When professionals from various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives come together, they bring a rich tapestry of ideas, solutions, and insights. By amplifying the value of diversity, GAP sessions can lead to breakthroughs that wouldn't be possible in isolation.

Best Practices for Getting the Most Out of a GAP Session

To fully capitalize on the value of GAP sessions, here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Prepare with Purpose: Come to the session with a clear understanding of your objectives, challenges, and desired outcomes. Be prepared to actively engage and contribute to the discussion.

  2. Create a Safe and Inclusive Environment: Foster an atmosphere of trust, respect, and openness where all participants feel comfortable sharing their ideas and perspectives without fear of judgment.

  3. Listen Actively and Empathetically: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to others, seeking to understand their viewpoints, and showing empathy towards their experiences and opinions.

  4. Be Constructively Critical: Offer constructive feedback and suggestions in a respectful and tactful manner. Focus on the merits of ideas rather than personal preferences and be open to receiving feedback from others.

  5. Stay Focused and Results-Oriented: Keep the discussions focused on the agenda and the objectives of the session. Maintain a sense of urgency and commitment towards achieving tangible results and actionable next steps.

  6. Follow Up and Follow Through: After the session, take ownership of your action items, follow up on commitments, and track progress towards goals. Hold yourself and others accountable for delivering on agreed-upon tasks and timelines.

Imagine a world where helping professionals have access to the resources they need, where the power of collaboration and diversity is unleashed, and where monumental challenges are confronted with resilience and ingenuity. With Group Action Planning (GAP) sessions, this vision becomes a reality.

By leveraging the collective intelligence of the group and adhering to best practices for success, participants can unlock their full potential, drive meaningful change, and pave the way for success in their personal and professional endeavors. Embrace the opportunity to participate in GAP sessions and create a future where no helping professional is alone in their mission to make the world a better place.


Master Trainer, International Speaker and author of the book “Invincible Social Worker”, Anthony President has empowered and inspired more than 100,000 professionals to perform, produce and partner better at their places of work.  Thousands of companies and organizations have been transformed as a result of Anthony’s work.  

As Founder and CEO of Presidential Consultants, LLC, Anthony leads a team of more than two dozen experienced learning development and coaching professionals who together serve more than 16,000 helping professionals each year in the areas of leadership, inclusion, and workplace wellness. As a thought leader in the field, Anthony continues to research, innovate, and drive positive change in the realm of professional development and organizational transformation.

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