Coaching with the GROW model

Coaching with the GROW model 2017-08-08T04:29:50+00:00

Coaching to grow and develop others

“True leaders don’t create followers, they develop more leaders” (Nelson Mandela)

When you’re in a leadership role, one of your key responsibilities is the development of others. The whole concept of leader as steward is based on the principle of the leader caring for, protecting and nurturing the resources of the organisation. In developing the people around them, the true leader is helping to ensure the sustainability of their organisation.coaching with GROW

If you are looking for a coaching model, then the GROW model is a popular and respected one that is successfully applied in both business and sport.

It offers a framework that you can use to guide the way that you approach helping others. It’s development is usually attributed to Sir John Whitmore, who is regarded as a thought leader in the field of coaching for peak performance.

For more than a decade, many organisations have been training their managers to adopt this method to help engage and guide their staff with their capability development as well as their career planning.

Coaching skills

The GROW coaching model emphasises an approach in which the coach applies the coaching skills of listening, questioning, probing, encouraging, clarifying, paraphrasing, challenging and suggesting.coaching with GROW

The model is more about helping and enabling the “coachee” to find some answers for themselves, as opposed to the coach playing the role of expert and telling the coachee what they should do. The guiding rather than telling approach thereby enables the coachee to potentially develop a greater sense of self-reliance and confidence in their own decision making and problem solving.

The GROW process relies on the coaching skills of asking the right questions, listening carefully and guiding the person to reflect more deeply on their goals and what they need to do to overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from goal achievement.

The four coaching stages

The GROW coaching model offers you a structured approach to helping guide someone through a reflective process of considering how to bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be in the future.

It is a method any leader can apply to help guide, empower and mentor others in their growth and development. But the shift away from being the expert telling their team member what they should do and instead guide and encourage them to explore the answer for themselves, is not always an easy adjustment for some managers. The four stages of the approach are –

  1. Goals – What is the goal of the person? What are they wanting to achieve? What will be the benefits of achieving the goal?
  2. Reality now – What is the current situation? What’s working and what isn’t? What exactly are the obstacles that are preventing the person from achieving their goal? What would need to change for the goal to become achievable?
  3. Options – What is needed for the person to move from where they are now to where they want to be? What are some possible ways of overcoming the obstacles that exist? What are the pros and cons of each of the options? What seems to be the best option?
  4. Way forward, wrap up. Developing an action plan. Summarising what the coachee has decided and what they are going to do

Workplace coaching

In the workplace, a manager who is seen by employees as being willing to invest time in coaching their staff is one who will more likely win loyalty and respect. It is commonly held by HR professionals that staff don’t leave companies, they leave their manager. And staff who do leave, according to exit surveys, do so because they don’t feel appreciated.

So cultivating a workplace culture that embraces coaching will likely deliver benefits in increased employee retention.

A short video clip helps to illustrate the application of this coaching model and the power in asking the right questions to stimulate deeper thinking and reflection by the coachee.


“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by lighting a fire within.”   Bob Nelson

Coaching is sometimes about helping people identify self-defeating thoughts

The following short video clip offers a great insight into the role of coaching in helping others to develop greater self-awareness.. It also explains how our thoughts influence our emotions – and in order to change how we feel it can help to change our thinking and mind-set

  • Coaching Tips with Marshall Goldsmith

Here’s a short ideo clip that features one of the top leadership coaches in the world. He offers some great tips on coaching for behaviour change – and the use of what he terms “feed-forward”. Some useful tips on both giving as well as receiving ideas and suggestions for performance improvement.

For many more management tips and resources, check out Management Skills Development