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Outcome Alignment

This is a very simple but powerful tool adapted from a series of questions based on the Well Formed Outcome technique developed by the founders of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) John Grinder and Richard Bandler in the late 1970s. The questions in this technique help to align the expectations that you set with an outcome that you want to achieve and also look specifically at what you would need to do along the way to reach that outcome.

The technique is to facilitate a conversation with an individual by using the questions as prompts and lead them through the different stages in the process - download the infographic to see this - which can either be achieved in a static location (e.g. sitting in a work environment) or using a walk-and-talk approach where movement is incorporated into the activity. In a static situation, I would typically encourage the person to record their own comments and answers (usually on a flipchart) to create a visual representation of their thoughts, which will help them to recognise where there is any alignment and/or mis-alignment. In a moving situation, I encourage people to use audio recorders on their phone to capture the key points that can be revisited at a later stage.


Outcome Alignment (Expectations)

Another way to align expectations with outcomes is to encourage the leader to focus on the WHAT (process) along with the HOW (behaviour) and the WHY (purpose) of individual tasks.

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Outcome Alignment (Leading Upwards)

Sometimes it is necessary for a leader to be able to understand and align Expectations with Outcomes by leading upwards, e.g. a middle leader trying to align what is expected of them in relation to student work scrutiny, or analysis of student cohort data, with the outcomes required by a more senior leader in the school. The diagram shows how to use a simple 3-step question technique to get clarity, agreement and alignment.

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