GROW Coaching Model

GROW Coaching Model – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the GROW Coaching Model

  • What is the GROW Coaching Model?
  • What does GROW stand for?
  • What are the Coaching Models?
  • What is the Coaching Method?
  • What are some examples of Coaching Questions?
  • Why use a Coach?

What is the GROW Coaching Model?

The GROW model is a method for goal setting and problem-solving that has been adopted as a Coaching methodology. The model has been used extensively in corporate coaching in the last twenty years.

There are several different versions of the GROW model. The following presents one view of the various steps, but there are others.

  • Goal: The Goal is the endpoint that the Coachee wants to achieve. A Coach can guide the Coachee with the goal-setting process to define a very clear and relevant Goal.
    • The gaols can be quite varied and can including performance goals, development goals, problem-solving goals, decision-making goals, work-life balance goals, and many more.
  • Reality: The Reality describes the current situation and focuses on the problem or challenge. A Coach can guide the Coachee to gain insights about how they are thinking and reframing of the situation.
  • Options and Obstacles: Different Coaching methodologies use this step as an exploration of the Options and the Obstacles for achieving the Goal. The Coach can help the Coachee explore the options and obstacles.
  • Way Forward and What Next: The Options from the previous step need to be converted into an action plan that will help the Coachee to achieve their goal. The action plan is the Way Forward, and the Coach will hold the Coachee accountable for the What Next elements of the Action Plan.

This model may appear simple, and straight forward, however, a Coach can apply specific skills and knowledge at each stage of the methodology to provide important insights, breakthroughs, and accountability. The skill of the coach is to know which questions to use and how much detail to uncover.

If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

– T.S. Eliot

What are some examples of Coaching Questions?

A professional Coach’s job is NOT to hand the Coachee all the answers to their life’s problems. The Coach’s role is to guide the Coachee towards their own solutions and to hold them accountable for their action plans.

The essential way coaches achieve this is to ask the right questions. The right provocative questions can help the Coachee to look at their situation from a different perspective, to encourage them to achieve the breakthrough they need to succeed.

Questions to help set the “Goal”?

  • What would you like to have achieved by the end of this session?
  • What do you want to change?
  • What’s important about that to you?
  • What is your most important performance goal?
  • What is your most important development goal?
  • What is your most important problem-solving goal?
  • What do you need to make a decision about?
  • What is your most important work-life balance goal?
  • What do you need to make a decision about?
  • Which goal do you want to focus on?
  • Why are you hoping to achieve this goal?
  • What would the benefits be if you achieved this goal?
  • What would you like to accomplish?
  • What result are you trying to achieve?
  • What outcome would be ideal?
  • What is the measure for this Goal?
  • When do you want to achieve this Goal?
  • What would the final result look like?
  • How will you feel after achieving this Goal?
  • How important is this Goal for you?

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

– Albert Einstein

Questions to help establish the “Reality”?

  • What is happening now?
  • Who is involved?
  • When does it happen?
  • How often does it happen?
  • What is the effect of this?
  • What is the result of this?
  • What’s standing in your way?
  • On a scale of one to ten where are you?
  • What have you done to try to solve the problem?
  • Can you tell me more?
  • If your main obstacle didn’t exist, how would your life look?
  • What are you doing to not achieve your goal?
  • Have you already taken any steps towards your goal?
  • Describe what you did?
  • Where are you now in relation to your goal?
  • What has contributed to your success so far?
  • What progress have you made?
  • What is working well for you?
  • Do other people have this goal?
  • Why haven’t you reached your goal already?
  • What do you think is stopping you?
  • What would be the impact on you and others if things don’t change?
  • What do you want?
  • What do you think was really happening?
  • What have you already tried?
  • What’s wrong with how you are right now?
  • Where are you already Awesome?
  • What motivates you?
  • What demotivates you?
  • What could you do better this time?
  • What thinking have you been doing about this situation?
  • What thinking do you still need to do about this reality?
  • On a scale of one to ten how urgent is this situation?
  • What will happen if you don’t take these steps?
  • What insights have you gained so far?

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”

– Jean Jacques Rousseau

Questions to help explore the “Options and Obstacles”?

  • What do you think are your options?
  • What could be the first step?
  • What can be done next?
  • What are the options to move forward?
  • What else could you do?
  • Who else might be able to help?
  • What would happen if you did nothing?
  • What has worked for you already?
  • How could you do more of that?
  • What would happen if you did that?
  • What is the most challenging part?
  • What would you gain by doing that?
  • What will happen if you don’t take action?
  • What are the pros and cons of this option?
  • Which option do you feel ready to act on?
  • How have you tacked this situation before?
  • What could you do differently?
  • If anything was possible, what would you do?
  • Anything else?
  • What do you not want me to ask you?
  • Have we made progress in identifying the options?
  • Have we made progress in identifying the obstacles?

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.”

– Michael Phelps

Questions to help develop the “Way Forward and What Next”?

  • How are you going to go about it?
  • What do you think you need to do right now?
  • How will you know when you have done it?
  • Is there anything else you can do?
  • What would it take to make it a perfect action plan?
  • What obstacles are going to get in the way of success?
  • What roadblocks do you expect?
  • What resources/time do you need?
  • What is one small step you can take now?
  • When are you going to start?
  • When will you finish?
  • What further training do you need?
  • How will you track your progress?
  • How will you know you have been successful?
  • What resources do you need for this action plan?
  • What will happen if you did not follow this plan?
  • You notice “x”, then what will be your “y”?
  • What are the risk factors?
  • What is the risk mitigation plan?
  • How will you track your progress?
  • What can you do to build confidence?
  • What do you need from other people to help you achieve this?
  • Is there anything missing from this plan?
  • What are three actions you can take this week?
  • How will you celebrate that?
  • On a scale of one to ten, what is the likelihood of achieving your plan?
  • On a scale of one to ten, how motivated are you by this plan?
  • What would it take to make it a ten?
  • What was your biggest win of the session today?
  • When should we check-in again?

A Coaching conversation should not include all these questions. These questions are a menu of possible coaching questions to guide the Coachee to self-awareness and insights. The questions have the objective of stretching the Coachee’s thinking and heling with their decision making and motivation.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

What is the History of the Grow Model?

According to Wikipedia, John Whitmore was the co-creator of the GROW model, and first published it in his 1992 book “Coaching for Performance.” Max Landsberg coined the name GROW and also published it in his 1997 book “The Tao of Coaching”. The GROW model was also influenced by the “Inner Game” method developed by Timothy Gallwey.

Are there other Models for Change?

Other models include:

  • Gabriele Oettingen’s WOOP model stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. WOOP can be used as a self-regulation tool to support people in mastering their everyday life and long-term development, across domains such as career achievement, health, and interpersonal domains.
  • The Transtheoretical Model is also known by the abbreviation “TTM” and sometimes by the term “stages of change.” This is a model aimed at health behavior change, that assesses an individual’s readiness to act on a new healthier behavior, and provides strategies, or processes of change to guide the individual.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

– Leo Tolstoy

What are the essential Elements of a Coaching Session?

  • CheckIn: Confirm the meeting, objectives, and expectations.
  • Goal: Use the SMART goal setting techniques.
  • Note Taking: Both parties should finish the meeting with the crucial points and insights written down plus the written commitment on Goals, Way Forward and What Next.
  • Questions: Open-ended questions which provide more information, including feelings, attitudes, and understanding of the subject.
  • Fully Present and Focused: Be fully present and focused are essential for building trust and a meaningful coaching relationship.
  • Action Plan: The Coachee’s commits and action plans should be write down and shared. The Action Plan becomes the commitment between the Coachee and the Coach and strengthens accountability.
  • Follow-Up: Follow-up to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the coaching sessions.
  • Reflection Journal: A Reflection Journal is not essential. However, it helps develop self-awareness. Writing down emotions, experiences, observations, thoughts, feelings, success, and challenges helps the Coachee gain self-awareness.

Interesting Facts and Insights about Coaching

  • There are over 50,000 professional coach practitioners worldwide
  • The majority of professional coaches are female
  • Coaches rates vary widely, ranging from $25 to $500+ per hour
  • In the top US cities, the median hourly cost is about $500 per hour
  • Top 3 Reasons Coaches are used:
    • To develop High Potential Employees for their next role
    • Act as a Sounding Board
    • Coach on Derailing Behaviors
  • Coaching is about learning not teaching
  • Two out of three large organizations use external coaches.
  • The most crucial factor in Coaching Effectiveness is the relationship between the Coachee and the Coach
  • The most challenging factor in Coaching Effectiveness is the Coachees availability to participate and follow-up
  • The 3 most common types of coaching in the workplace relate to Skills, Performance, and Developmental.
  • The top 3 qualities to look for in a coach are experience, methodology, and references.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

― Benjamin Franklin

Are these Coaching Tips on “GROW Coaching Model – FAQs” useful?

Explore the Coaching Information from some of the world’s top experts. Click the links below:

Books About Coaching

  • Coaching for Performance: GROWing Human Potential and Purpose: The Principles and Practice of Coaching and Leadership, by John Whitmore, 2009
  • Mastering Coaching: Practical Insights for Developing High Performance, by Max Landsberg, 2015
  • The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those Around by Max Landsberg, 2015
  • Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives, by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Laura Whitworth, and Phillip Sandahl, 2007
  • Coaching for Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose, by John Whitmore, 1992
  • Coaching for Leadership: Writings on Leadership from the World’s Greatest Coaches, by Laurence S. Lyons, Marshall Goldsmith, and Sarah McArthur, 2005
  • The Life Coaching Handbook: Everything You Need to Be an Effective Life Coach, by Curly Martin, 2001
  • Conscious Coaching: The Art and Science of Building Buy-In, by Brett Bartholomew, 2017
  • Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart: A Systems Approach to Engaging Leaders with Their Challenges, by Mary Beth A. O’ Neill, 2000
  • Masterful Coaching, by Robert Hargrove, 2000
  • 50 Top Tools for Coaching: A Complete Toolkit for Developing and Empowering People, by Gillian Jones and Ro Gorell, 2009
  • Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, by James Flaherty, 1998

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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