Coaching 101 – GROW Model


This week I was involved in coaching on a leadership training course in Citi to Directors and Managing Directors in London. It was a privilege and honour to be able to coach these leaders and help them with their business problems or goals and help them create a plan to take action towards this.

One of the things that came up from a few of the sessions was around coaching and the benefit of this in the workplace and in bringing the potential out of individuals in these leaders’ teams.

One of the easiest ways to think about coaching is in the GROW model. This can give a structure to a coaching session. Each letter has a word associated and I think personally there’s a reason for the order of the letters and words which I’ll talk about below.

Each of the letters stand for – G = Goal, R = Reality, O = Options, W = Way forward.

The session starts off looking at what the person wants at the end of the session or the goal they want to pursue. Next we look at the reality of where we’re starting from. We look then at the things we can do to achieve the goal, and then we decide on the things we’re going to do by when and decide on a check-in session to see the progress.

So to summarise this – What do you want? Where are you now? What could you do? What are you going to do? GROW. Easy 🙂

I think the letters are in this order for a reason. I think if it was RGOW, we would spend time on the results we’re currently achieving and this would limit the goals we set for ourselves. If we set the goal first, this starts off in a no-limit thinking state and colours the reality with this new goal. I think this is really important and why I think that the model is GROW rather than RGOW.

The beauty of coaching versus mentoring is coaches don’t need to be experts in the areas they’re coaching, they just need to be exceptional at coaching whereas mentors are supposed to have the answers. It’s important to have this in mind when having these conversations with people you work with, have relationships with or know well and have invested interest in the goals that are being discussed in the sessions.

You can’t tell someone the answers you want them to use, you can’t tell someone what they should do next, you can’t tell them they’re silly for not doing things differently and it’s no wonder they are where they are – or you could – but you wouldn’t be coaching!

I think to go into these sessions with the intention of helping increase awareness and responsibility of your coachee towards their goals and actions this will increase the success for these conversations.

So in your coaching conversations with people you work with, people you manage, people you come in contact with anywhere in your life – use the GROW model to shape the conversation.

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