What Is The GROW Coaching Model? (And How Can Managers Use It Effectively?)

Coach Coaching Skills TeachManagers are many things –  they are employees, employers, supervisors, teammates and coaches.

They answer to their superiors, partners and clients, but most of all, they are responsible for the productivity and loyalty of their team.

A true leader is a coach that is invested in their employees’ growth and success.

Following the GROW coaching model can give leaders a blue print on the best coaching strategies for their team.

What is the GROW Coaching Model?

Developed by business coaches Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore back in the 1980s; the acronym GROW stands for:

  • Goal
  • Current Reality
  • Options or Obstacles
  • Will or Way Forward

The GROW model is a type of blueprint akin to making plans for a trip.

The goal is the first step which allows you to plan; the second step, the reality, alerts you to your current situation; the third step, the options and obstacles, help you consider how to ultimately get where you are going promptly and easily; and the final step, the will, helps you prepare a course to stay on the journey no matter what comes your way.

Managers can help their employees utilise this model effectively with the following steps:

  1. Help the employee set a SMART Goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). The problem with goal setting is that many people set unrealistic or unachievable goals and then simply give up on them. Goals need to be realistic and create tasks that can be measured within a certain timeframe to keep the person on track.

  2. Discuss the current situation with your staff, such as how they got to their current position, what they think about their role and responsibilities. Many times, professionals are so set on moving up the corporate ladder that they forget to stop and truly evaluate if they want a higher title and more responsibility. It’s important to focus on the here and now before thinking of the future.

  3. Brainstorm together with your employee about the options available to them. Does this involve taking on more responsibilities, growing in the position, getting promoted, moving on, etc.? Consider the obstacles that can prevent the goal from becoming realised, such as finances, lack of free time, skills, etc.

  4. Create a strategy for moving forward, which can involve mentorship, taking courses, self study or simple dedication to working harder and smarter.

A good tip to remember for the manager when utilising the GROW Coaching Model is that they are simply there to help the employee realise their potential and future goals.

They are not there to instruct the individuals and tell them what they think is best for them, but to listen, ask open-ended questions and provide unbiased advice to truly benefit the employee.

Thanks again

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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