As a coach, you’re always looking for ways to improve your practice. You want to be able to help your clients as best as you can and grow along with them. But how do you do that? One great way is to use the GROW Model for Coaching.
It’s a simple, but effective tool that can help you focus on the right areas and get better results with your clients.
By the way, we’re Cass + Tee, the duo behind this blog. We’ve been working with coaches for years, helping them impact the world and get real results for their clients.
In this post, we’ll give you a basic overview of what the Grow Model is and how you can start using it in your own coaching practice. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is the GROW Model for Coaching?
The GROW model for coaching is a means of making your coaching more effective and powerful by helping your client get real results. Before you start, you will choose a topic with your client. You will then implement the following:
G: choose a Goal for the session (what you/the client want to achieve)
R: explore the Reality of where they are and what they need to do to achieve their goal
O: brainstorm the Options they have for moving forward and being successful in their goal
W: identify the actions they Will Do following the session to see this goal realized
The GROW method helps you to structure your coaching and ensures that every session has a purpose and feels like it is moving your client forward.
It implements a clear goal, a sense of where the client currently is, and then allows the situation to be explored before a plan of action is chosen. This ensures that plans are made in accordance with the client’s current position and that they are realistic.
The W step gives scope for making a plan of action so that coaching does not become static and theoretical. It encourages clients to keep growing and implementing change.
Why use the GROW Model for Coaching?
The GROW model for coaching is a great way to structure every session you offer to every client. It is flexible and can be implemented with any client in any circumstances. It will make sessions faster to plan, and ensure that they contain all the elements they need in order to be successful.
Without the GROW model for coaching, you may find that sessions lack structure and become directionless. It is easy to end up repeating material and covering ground that has already been covered.
GROW will give both you and your clients a framework to operate within, making your sessions more successful. Each step of the GROW model is a necessary aspect of the client making changes in their life.
The best part of the GROW model for coaching is that it helps both the client and the coach maintain focus and not get off topic during the session. It is easy to pull the client back on track and get them to tackle just one problem, rather than telling you lengthy stories about multiple issues – which will usually be too scattered and widespread to address.
GROW breaks things down and makes them manageable for you and your clients.
How to use the GROW Model in Coaching?
You can use the GROW model for coaching in flexible ways. At times, you will spend an approximately equal amount of a session on each of the letters. At other times, you will spend most of the session brainstorming or discussing reality.
Sometimes, a goal will stretch across more than one session, and sometimes (although rarely), you’ll have a couple of goals in a single session.
Use GROW in a way that works for you and your clients, but make sure you are using it to bring structure and focus to your coaching. It is fine to alter the approach and adapt it to suit your individual clients, but you should still plan sessions using these letters.
You can use the Goal section for anything, remember. Their goal may simply be to identify a problem or to set a goal for the future. That’s fine. All the G needs to do is represent what you want from the session (or following the session, as a result of the client’s actions).
The rest of the letters should tie in with the Goal. Keep them in mind always, and guide the client back to them. If they start discussing unrelated issues during the Reality part, draw them back to their focus on the Goal. If their Options or Will Do ideas don’t further the goal, gently guide them in the right direction.
Our Favorite GROW Model Tools
GROW Model for Coaching Questions
Often, coaching is all about asking the right questions at the right moments. This encourages your client to come up with the answers that are true to them and allows them to guide the session and feel in control. A good coach spends a lot of time listening, but you still need to prompt the client at times.
Here are some questions that you can use for each section of the GROW model for coaching.
- What is your aim for this session?
- What will happen if we don’t achieve this?
- What will success change for you?
- What will you feel if you succeed?
- How will your relationships change?
- What is currently holding you back?
- What weight are you carrying?
- How far from your ideal situation do you feel on a scale of 1-10?
- Who else is involved in this issue?
- What is the first thing you could do to create change?
- What else could you do?
- How can you start doing this? What’s the first step?
- Who could you ask for help?
- When can you start?
- Where do you need to go?
- Do you feel committed?
- How can you hold yourself accountable?
Grow Model for Coaching Examples
To use the GROW model with a client, use the career coaching example below.
Your client wants to become the manager of their workplace. This is their goal, but they have been trying for months and have not succeeded in anything. You should do the following with the client:
Step One: Set the Goal and a realistic timeframe:
- Become a manager within a year.
Step Two: Recognize the Reality of the client’s situation:
- No managerial experience. Only two years at the job.
- However, good at handling people and can prove this in a day-to-day working environment.
Step Three: Discuss the client’s Options:
- Discuss opportunity for promotion with HR/own manager and ask what is needed.
- Consider a different position, such as under-manager, first.
- Move to another company with better promotion opportunities.
Step Four: Discuss what the client Will Do.
- Talk to HR about what is needed for a promotion.
- Seek an under-manager role within the next year.
- Keep expanding managerial skills.
Your client now has a clear set of actions that they can implement both now and in the future. They also have an ongoing challenge to keep improving their skills so they can prove themselves and become more established in the company.
Grow Model for Coaching Book
If you want more information on the GROW model, you might find A Short Introduction to Coaching Skills and the GROW model helpful. This book will cover everything that you need to know about GROW and how to use it with your clients.
Digital: $5.00 (Kindle) | Physical: $5.99 | # of Pages: 91
Sample Buyer Review: If you want to read a short book, that gives you all the tools to know the GROW model, this is your option. A guide to keep at hand. 100% recommended.
It will provide you with foundation information about coaching to ensure that you have all the basics mastered, and then give you the tools necessary to start successfully coaching clients using the GROW model.
It is concise and packed with useful information to get you going, making it great to refer back to whenever necessary. Because it is short, it is a perfect resource to allow you to hit the ground running and start experiencing the power of using this method with your clients.
Sadly, it does not contain practical examples of the theory it explains, but it is nonetheless a great resource for any coach to have.
Final Thoughts: GROW Model for Coaching 101
The GROW model for coaching is a great way to improve your skills and grow as a coach with your clients. You might have already implemented it without even knowing what it was called!
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s all about what works best for you and your coaching clients. You know better than anyone else how to use this model in a way that suits both you and them so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ways until you find something that speaks to both parties.
We’re always here for support if needed!
Have any of our readers used GROW? Let us know in the comments below!