As a leader, one of your most important roles is to coach your people to do their best. My goal is that you develop your own style of high-performance leadership. 

Using this coaching model will help your people to make better decisions, solve problems that are holding them back, learn new skills, and otherwise progress their careers.

About the Model

GROW stands for:

  • Goal.
  • Reality.
  • Options (or Obstacles).
  • Will (or Way Forward).

First, you decide where you are going (the goal) and establish where you currently are (your current reality). You then explore various routes (the options) to your destination. In the final step, establishing the will, you ensure that you’re committed to making the journey. 

How to Use the Tool

To structure a session using the GROW Model, take the following steps:

1. Establish the Goal

First, you and your team member need to look at the behavior you want to change, and then structure this change as a goal they want to achieve.

Make sure that this is a SMART goal: one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

When doing this, it’s helpful to ask questions like:

  • How will you know that your team member has achieved this goal?
  • How will you know that the problem or issue is solved?
  • Does this goal fit with their overall career objectives? And does it fit with the team’s objectives?

2. Examine the Current Reality

Next, ask your team member to describe their current reality.

This is an important step. Too often, people try to solve a problem or reach a goal without fully considering their starting point. 

Useful coaching questions in this step include the following:

  • What is happening now (what, who, when, and how often)? What is the effect or result of this?
  • Have you already taken any steps toward your goal?
  • Does this goal conflict with any other goals or objectives?

3. Explore the Options

Once you and your team member have explored the current reality, it’s time to determine what is possible – meaning all of the possible options for reaching their objective.

Help your team members brainstorm as many good options as possible. Then, discuss these and help them decide on the best ones.

By all means, offer your own suggestions in this step. But let your team members provide suggestions first, and let them do most of the talking. It’s important to guide them in the right direction without actually making decisions for them.

Typical questions that you can use to explore options are as follows:

  • What else could you do?
  • What if this or that constraint were removed .. would that change things?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?
  • What factors or considerations will you use to weigh the options?
  • What do you need to stop doing in order to achieve this goal?
  • What obstacles stand in your way?

4. Establish the Will

The final step is to get your team member to commit to specific actions in order to move forward toward their goal. In doing this, you will help them establish their will and boost their motivation.

Useful questions to ask here include:

  • So, what will you do now, and when? What else will you do?
  • What could stop you from moving forward? How will you overcome this?
  • How can you keep yourself motivated?
  • When do you need to review progress? Daily, weekly, monthly?

Finally, decide on a date when you’ll both review their progress. This will provide some accountability and allow them to change their approach if the original plan isn’t working.

The GROW Model is a simple four-step process that helps you structure coaching and mentoring sessions with your team members. 

You can use the model to help team members improve performance and to help them plan for and reach their longer-term career objectives.

If you need some guidance with this model, get in touch

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