Addressing the Gaps in Your Life

by on October 30, 2013

Addressing the Gaps in Your Life

Definition of GAPS – Every situation where you realize that there is a difference between your perception of something and another person’s, or your own perspective and true reality is a gap. GAPS are the greatest source of all frustration, stress, anxiety and even anger.


Types of Gaps

Reconciled or “Good” Gaps – These gaps don’t create a problem because we don’t mind that there is a gap. We see the gap as an opportunity and are motivated to see it improve the quality of our life and that of another person. The reason is that the “gap” has all the properties it needs for us to judge it to be “good” for ourselves and another. Example: I prefer steak while another prefers fish but we find a restaurant where we can both get what we want to eat.
Non-Reconciled Gaps – These are accompanied by negative emotions. They are the primary source of all stress, trouble, confusion, conflict, contention, suffering, distrust and failure in our lives and in the world.

Bad Gaps – These are non-reconciled gaps that we experience as a result of our own confusion. We look at a        situation and can’t get clear on what the issue/problem really is. We get stuck from a lack of information, insight or  lack of willingness to consider other views.

 Bad gaps can also be the result of errors, misperceptions and differences in the judgment of the relative value of  things. This can be a problem when we insist we are “right” even in face of evidence to the contrary.

Ugly Gaps – When we overvalue our own ideas, to the point we undervalue other people’s ideas and as a result  disvalue them as human beings in the process.


• Be highly observant of emotions (yours and others). Any stress or anxiety is a sign that you may be dealing with a gap.

• Pay very close attention to words and language – yours and theirs.

• Listen for mindset

• Listen in “3-D” (with your mind – systemic, ears – extrinsic, and heart – intrinsic): the most powerful of which is heart.

• We are so busy “listening” to our own thoughts that we miss important clues in what others are saying/feeling.

• Question and/or validate your assumption to see if there is something you’re missing.

• Ask questions that clarify understanding (not necessarily agreement) of your perception and the other person’s perceptions.

• Work to find out if there is anything important that you don’t know (blind spots and/or false assumptions).

• Avoid “why” questions.

• Focus on “what”, “how”, “where”, and “when” questions.

• Use language that expresses genuine empathy and curiosity.

• Get to the truth of what has happened or what is – think accountability – the facts and details.

• Focus on creating value than defending or placing blame.

• Ultimately, it’s about resolving the issues that limit trust. In the space of trust, almost all other gaps can more easily be reconciled.

• Be willing to change your perceptions, perspectives, opinions.

• Seek common ground. Invite agreement where you have common ground.

• Remember, some gaps are or may be OK/acceptable (at least “for now”)

• Ask open-ended questions that foster an intrinsic or extrinsic response.

• Think about your responses, only after you have heard and considered all of their response.

• PUT PEOPLE FIRST; Nothing Matters More.

• You as a person and your quality of life are of equal importance to any others. However, the path to success is usually in giving first, then receiving.

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