What is the GROW model of coaching?

grow model in coaching

Asking the right questions to a client for their growth is the overall goal of efficient coaching. Such thought-provoking questions are incredibly useful. And the GROW model is one of the most widely used and accepted models for structured coaching and mentoring.

A wide variety of coaching modalities can be used using the GROW model. Hence, it is one of the most widely-utilized goal-setting and problem-solving models so far. The GROW model provides a straightforward and methodical, yet powerful framework of a coaching session. Here is a detailed overview of the GROW Model.

What is GROW Model?

The acronym G.R.O.W stands for Goal, Reality, Opportunity, and Will or Way forward. Coaches Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore developed the GROW model in coaching. The model has been used extensively in corporate coaching since the late 1980s and 1990s.

In its conventional application, the GROW model assumes that trained coaches aren’t experts in the client’s situation. This invariably and implicitly means that the coach must play the facilitator’s role, hence helping the client select the best option and not offer any advice or direction. You can say that the model is more potent for people who want to draw a conclusion for themselves, rather than asking for directions and thrusting upon them.

When to use the GROW Model?

The GROW model is used in diverse situations where coaches need to tap into the client’s potential. For example, for a team leader who wants to coach a team without any advice or forceful statements, the GROW model can be a great option. It is the best coaching model to get started, especially to gain a comprehensive insight to connect to the client on a more personal level.

Steps in GROW Model

The steps in the GROW model are a clear-cut outcome of the acronym. To structure and develop a coaching session using the GROW model, you follow the below-mentioned steps:

1. Establish a meaningful GOAL

The GROW model’s first step is finding an attainable goal, where the client wants to be. Ensure that the goal is defined in such a way that it appears very clear to the client when they achieve it. It should be specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound.

For instance, a client wants to make a career switch. In this case, the end goal of the client is to make an informed decision. So, as a coach, what can you ask? For starters, you can ask:

  • Does this plan fit with your overall career goals?
  • How would you describe your ideal choice?
  • What will be the benefits of achieving this career switch?

Such questions help you to clarify and even reshape your goal. As a coach, you can even use the SMART technique to define a goal:

  • Specific – Keep it simple and clear
  • Measurable – To keep track of your progress
  • Attainable – It should expand your skills yet remains achievable
  • Relevant – Keep them aligned with your goals
  • Time-bound – Deadlines help to prevent overlapping goals

2. Analyze the current REALITY

In this step, the coach should help the client become self-aware of the current situation. Let the client realize the magnitude of the situation. Help the client to be contemplative and reflective – encouraging the solution to slowly emerge. This can be their ‘AHA’ moment where they can make informed decisions. Some helpful questions to ask at this stage:

  • What steps you took towards the goal?
  • How would you describe whatever you did/tried?
  • What is missing towards your goal?
  • How are things going now?

3. Explore and Discover the OPTIONS

Once the obstacles are identified, and the client realizes where they want to be, it’s time to explore how to reach that endpoint. These are called Options. These options could be behavior, decisions, or actions that lead the client towards his/her goal. Let your client brainstorm and create a list of options for self. Help them to be open to challenging any false perceptions that may be holding them back. Reframe the questions to:

  • What could be the first step?
  • Do you have any other alternatives?
  • What if you did nothing?
  • Which obstacle you find most exciting?

4. Establish the WILL

It’s time to take action – commit to self, commit to the goal. The acquired options now should be converted into actionable steps to take the clients towards their goals. Accountability is the key to help the client stay motivated and take action. Some options might not work out. Then take time to reflect and devise a new plan. Here’s how to do it:

  • How will you know that you’ve achieved your goal?
  • What options did you choose?
  • Why this option did not work?
  • Will you review progress daily, weekly, or monthly?

Develop your potential with Coach Transformation

Whether you’re coaching your employees or following your own action plan, it can be challenging to get the best out of the GROW model without proper coach training. Coach Transformation Academy provides coach certification training courses that are full of such simple-yet-powerful coaching tools. Even if you don’t intend to be a coach, such coaching models are functional and useful for career and life. Contact us to know more about our personalized coaching approaches.

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