The GROW coaching model is a popular model used in corporate coaching, life coaching, psychotherapy and other forms of therapy (such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming). No one person holds particular claim to this coaching model. There have been a number people that have contributed to the model over the years, and it was largely popularised by Sir John Whitmore.
The essence of the GROW coaching model is to take a goal-focused and action-oriented approach to solving problems. It is an excellent life coaching model, as it focuses the user’s attention on their goals.
GROW Coaching Model Structure
The Goal of the GROW coaching model is the endpoint of what the individual wants to achieve. If you have more than one goal, you should address them separately and later to see if the way forward for one can achieve the way forward for another. The goal should be defined very clearly and specifically. Take a look at my post on Setting Clear Goals and Objectives.
Goal Questions to Ask:
- What is your goal for this coaching session ?
- What is your personal goal ? What do you want to achieve ?
- Why is this important to you ?
- How will you know when you have reached your goal ?
- If this is a long term goal, how can it be chunked down into short-term or mid-term goals ?
The current reality should be understood as it pertains to the goal. In this part of the GROW coaching model, you need to know where you are in order to get to where you want to be, so that a journey plan can be plotted out.
Reality Questions to Ask:
- What has happened previously ?
- What is the current situation ?
- What is fact vs. assumption about the current reality ?
- What impact does the current reality have on you ?
- What have you tried so far and what was the outcome ?
Obstacles and Options
In this part of the GROW coaching model, it is important to understand the obstacles that are, or that could, prevent you from getting from where you are to where you want to be. If there were no obstacles, the goal should be achieved. With an understanding of the obstacles, you need to consider the options available for dealing with the obstacles, and the options for getting where you are to where you want to be.
Obstacles Questions to Ask:
- What prevents you from achieving your goal ?
- What is hindering you ?
- What aspect of this obstacle can you take ownership for ?
Options Questions to Ask:
- What options do you have to deal with the obstacles ?
- What options do you have to get you from where you are to where you want to be ?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages for each option ?
- Is there an option that will give you a “quick win”?
- Can you break down complex options into less complex options ?
- What is/are your preferred option/s and why ?
The GROW coaching model moves from problem evaluation, to solution generation, to action planning. Evaluate the options and choose the one/s that are most likely to help you achieve your goal. For each of the options, develop a targeted and focused action plan for the way forward. Ensure your action plan is achievable and not too overwhelming.
Way Forward Questions to Ask:
- Which options do you prefer and why ?
- What is your action plan ?
- How will you endure that you take these actions ?
- How will you know that these actions will contribute towards achieving your goal ?
- What support do you need and how can you get it ?
- What resources do you need and how can you get these resources ? Resources include time, money, tools, training, etc.
- How will you/we track and review progress ?
- What is the very next action you will take ?
GROW Coaching Model Summary
The GROW coaching model is a great tool for facilitated coaching or self-assessment and reflection. If you are disciplined, you can use the GROW coaching model to achieve the outcomes you want by following the structure it provides. However, you need to take the action. If you are disciplined, then progress on the actions will be motivational and you are likely to succeed. If you are the sort of person that thrives more with support, then a Coach will be beneficial to you in assisting you in the process.
GROW Coaching Model Application: Intentional Change
GROW Coaching Model Can be Used by: Managers and Mentors, Life Coaches, Corporate Coaches, Self
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