Using the Coaching GROW model

I’ve been running a coaching skills workshop this week and it has reminded me of the simplicity and power of this simple coaching model. A word of wanring, this is not for the control freaks!

The model is GROW, probably one of most widely known coaching models.

GROW stands for GOAL, REALITY, OPTIONS and WILL

It is not appropriate for every situation, but can be used to great effect to tap into people’s potential. It is based on the principle that the coach asks questions and draws the answer from the coachee or employee. This leads to increased awareness, better buy in and commitment, increases confidence and  good development.

Goal

Setting the overall coaching objectives and the goals for the coaching session. Goals need to be SMART* There may two types of goal – one long term goal, then a short term goal for the session. Goals need to focus on what will be observed or happening once t is achieved.

Reality

Checking and raising awareness of the situation right now. This brings out the coachee’s perception of the situarion which can sometimes be very different from the manager’s. It is important that the manager does not make assumptions about what is happening, even if they think they already know! It is important to get a full a picture as possible about what is happening to get to the root of the problem.

Options

Finding alternative strategies, solutions, answers. This is usually the hardest part for the manager acting as coach, as it is all too easy to give the answers or make suggestions. This means the employee will continue to be dependent on the manager to come up with solutions and not have to think for themselves. It is far more rewarding for the employee to come up with their own solutions.

Will

Testing commitment to the goal, making concrete, realistic plans to reach it. We’ve all been to meetings when there has been a lot of talk and ideas and then you meet again a few weeks later and nothing has happened. The same will happen following a coaching session if there is no summing up of the course of action, and commitment from the coachee to take action.

This format works well for for day to day discussions in supporting your team in their work, as well as more formal one to one discussions on performance, objective setting, and development planning. It also gives a structure to use in team meetings for group problem solving.

So next time one of your team comes to you with a problem, before you just tell them what to do, stop and condsider if they could come up with the solution themselves by exploring each of these 4 questions.

This and other topics will be covered in my new online leadership coaching programme is being launched in September.

* See full article on setting SMART goals

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