As we continue to flow with the client/coachee, having discovered their purpose, their needs & drivers, their focus, it’s time to put thoughts, intents and visualizations into action. This is the moment for the client/coachee to create their reality, to create their new story! To show up, to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
The entire journey of coaching is to enable and empower the client to move forward. The contrast and the conflict from where they are today, to a possible destination of their future selves is in the action, persistence and consistency. Tony Robbins once said, “We are the creators of our lives, not the manager of our circumstances”, hence, with the GROW model, coaches want to empower the client to create what is relevant for their lives, unlocking their client’s potential for maximum growth.
The GROW model originally developed by Sir John Whitmore in 1992, is a simple, structured and effective framework used in coaching and even mentoring. It is a model that I have seen practiced by various coaches and facilitators, it simply creates new possibilities, generate new ideas and call for action. I’ve also caught many coachees, who technically progresses really well so far, and faced their biggest challenges at this stage. Why? This is where s*** starts to get real!
Essentially, the GROW Model addresses the below scenarios and MOST IMPORTANTLY, at the heart of it, is the FOCUS of the entire session.
- What is your GOAL?
- What is happening NOW?
- What OPTIONS do you have?
- What is your WAY FORWARD?
We all know this righteously, it is a simple problem solving archetype. The difference versus problem solving techniques, is the accountability, the ownership all lies with the individual aka the client/coachee. All fingers are pointed back at self, and there is no one to blame but self, for the lack of success, or progress.
There are many sources to which a variety of questions can be posed for each of the step of G-R-O-W. Some of my personal favourites are as below:
G = Goals & aspirations
- What are you looking to achieve?
- What do you want to change?
- What does success look like to you?
- How is this related to your purpose & needs?
R = Reality, obstacles, current / relevant situations
- What are some challenges you may encounter?
- How will these challenges affect your goal?
- What is stopping you?
- How much are you willing to do to achieve your goal?
- What will happen if you change?
O = Opportunities, possibilities, options, resources
- What could you do if you had no limitations?
- How will this change your life?
- What kind of support would you need?
- How would you like to be supported?
- What are you willing to let go of?
W = Will, way forward, action, accountability, commitment
- What will you start today? This week?
- Which will your prioritize?
- How will you manage if you find that something is not working?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your commitment for this?
- How will you keep track of your progress?
Recently, I had the opportunity to coach a dear friend who was always superseded at work, at different times in her career, she’s always near the top, but when the opportunity was at hand, she was always overlooked, deemed not there yet. Her perceived success wasn’t something she was looking to achieve. Her idea of success was when she was able to complete her projects well, successfully presented to stakeholders and was always on demand for important decisions, though never acknowledged in the forefront. We had to question her needs, her desires, her purpose. Due to this gap, it was causing her frustration based on the rules of society. After establishing her purpose, needs and finally goals, we worked on several her challenges at hand due to the current work scenario which offsets her work-life balance, frustration points, her new boss, and fatigue. Some options proposed by her was to discuss workscope with the new boss, having a different mindset to view the value of work for her personal growth and even building a network outside of work to grow her contribution. Clear timelines to prioritize is pivotal for her as already she felt that she had much to do, in a way forcing her to make some decisions on her priorities, on what would matter to her.
What I like about the GROW model is that with each success, there is the change trajectory that could spin the client closer to their maximum potential. I also start to see that as coaches, we are helping clients to see their complex issues / challenges as simple steps towards a better future. As coaches, we are there to ensure validation and affirmation for that breakthrough when they breakdown. As coaches, we are to enable clients/coachees to see their clues of their success so that they can build that momentum.
The GROW model allows for deeper conversation with the client, as it provides direction, flow, structure, and strategy towards the next steps. Each effort of changing the trajectory away from the current, will be one step closer to their goals, their needs, their purpose. In the book, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, he talks about HOW to do the HOWs. It isn’t that the GOALS or actions are wrong, it’s the consistency, the attitude, doing the uncomfortable that will give you that trajectory towards the results, that dream, that lifestyle.
For sustainable change, add Tactic (T) and Habit (H) to expand GROW to GROWTH. I believe this is the key to transformation where change will be long term, and intrinsic. Finding the tactical bit/strategy to grow and how to create success habits that work for oneself.
In conclusion, the GROW model provides a structured coaching model to bring the client forward in creating actions for their focus, purpose, needs. Coupled with an optimistic attitude and persistence, the GROW model creates steps towards their purpose, their dream.
So, let’s get s*** done, NOW!