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What Is The GROW Model, And How Do I Use It When Coaching?

The Grow model

Introduction to the GROW Coaching Model

One of your most essential duties as a leader is to teach your colleagues to achieve their best work. You’ll be able to assist them in making better decisions, address difficulties that are holding them back, gain new skills, and advance their careers as a result of this.

Some people are lucky enough to receive formal coaching instruction. On the other hand, many others will have to learn this crucial skill on their own. This may be frightening, but you can become a great coach if you arm yourself with some established tactics, practise, and follow your intuition.

The GROW Model is a straightforward yet effective structure for organising your coaching or mentoring sessions. In this article, we’ll look at how to use it.

Why Use The GROW Coaching Model?

The acronym GROW stands for:



Opportunities or Obstacles.

Will or Way Forward.

Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore, business trainers, established the approach in the 1980s.

Consider how you’d plan a journey as an example of thinking about the GROW Model. You must first select where you want to go (the objective) and where you are now (your current reality). Then you look at several routes (options) to get to your goal. The final phase, building the will, ensures that you’re dedicated to completing the journey and that you’re prepared for whatever challenges you may encounter along the road.


The GROW Model presupposes that the coach is not an expert in the client’s circumstance in its typical implementation. This implies the coach must function as a facilitator, assisting the client in choosing the best solutions rather than giving advice or direction.

This may or may not be the case when leaders coach or mentor their team members. On the one hand, it is more powerful for individuals to form their own conclusions than having them forced upon them. On the other hand, as a team leader, you’ll frequently have specialist expertise to share. It’s also your responsibility to help team members make the greatest decisions for your company.

The 4 Steps of the GROW Coaching Process

Follow these steps to plan a coaching or mentoring session using the GROW Model:

1. Define your objective.

To begin, you and your team member must examine the behaviour you want to modify and then frame that change as a goal for them to attain.

Make sure it’s a SMART goal, meaning it’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

When doing so, it’s a good idea to ask yourself questions like:

How will you know if a member of your team has completed this task? How will you know when the issue or problem has been resolved?

Is this ambition in line with their long-term professional goals? Is it also in line with the team’s goals?

2. Examine the Current Reality

Next, have each member of your team describe their present situation.

This is a critical stage. Too often, individuals attempt to solve a problem or achieve a goal without properly examining their starting position. As a result, they frequently overlook crucial information required to achieve their goal efficiently.

As each team member describes their existing situation, the solution may begin to appear.

In this stage, consider the following coaching questions:

  • What is going on right now (what, who, when, and how frequently)?
  • What is the outcome or consequence of this?
  • Have you made any progress toward your goal?
  • Is there a contradiction between this aim and any other goals or objectives?

3. Investigate Your Options

After you and your team member have examined the current situation, it’s time to consider what is feasible – that is, all of the choices for achieving their goal.

Assist your team member in coming up with as many viable solutions as they can. Then talk about them and help them choose the finest ones.

Please feel free to make your own suggestions at this stage. Allow your team member to make the first suggestions and do the most of the talking. It’s critical to steer in the proper way without dictating their decisions for them.

The following are some examples of questions you can ask to learn more about your options:

  • What other options do you have?
  • What if this or that restriction was lifted? Would that make a difference?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of each choice?
  • What criteria or factors will you use to evaluate the options?
  • What must you give up in order to reach this goal?
  • What are the stumbling blocks in your path?

4. Make a Decision

Your team member will now have a decent concept of how they may reach their goal after assessing the existing situation and considering the possibilities.

That’s fantastic, but it might not be enough on its own. The final step is to persuade your team member to commit to specific actions that will help them achieve their goal. You will be assisting them in establishing their will and increasing their motivation by doing so.

Here are some good questions to ask:

  • So, what are you going to do now, and when will you do it? 
  • What else are you going to do?
  • What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t take action? 
  • How will you deal with this?
  • What methods do you use to stay motivated?
  • When should you evaluate your progress? 
  • Do you want to do it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?
  • Finally, choose a day for both of you to evaluate their development. 

This will hold them accountable and allow them to adjust their strategy if the original plan fails.

How to Get the Most Out of The GROW Coaching Process

Tip 1: Addressing your personal concerns and issues is a fantastic approach to practise using the model. You’ll learn how to ask the most beneficial questions by practising on your own and getting yourself “unstuck.” Then, as a starting point for future coaching sessions, put down some stock questions.

Tip 2: The capacity to ask appropriate questions and listen appropriately are the two most critical abilities for a coach.

Closed questions that require a yes or no answer (such as “Did that cause a problem?”) should be avoided. Ask open-ended questions instead, such as “What effect did that have?” Make a list of questions to ask at each level of the GROW process.

Allow your “customer” to do most of the talking by using active listening skills. Remember that silence allows you to think–you don’t have to fill it with questions all of the time.

In conclusion, the GROW model is a structured approach to goal setting and problem-solving, which helps individuals to achieve their objectives in a measurable and actionable way. By focusing on specific goals and outcomes, the model promotes self-awareness and accountability, and encourages exploration of different solutions and strategies.

One of the key reasons that the GROW model is so effective is that it provides a clear action plan, with defined steps and processes that individuals can follow to achieve their desired outcomes. This allows for greater clarity and direction, and helps to overcome obstacles and challenges along the way.

Moreover, the GROW model is highly adaptable, and can be applied to a wide range of different situations and contexts. This versatility has made it an invaluable tool for coaches, leaders, and individuals across a diverse range of sectors and industries.

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