Are you a leader who wants to help your team improve performance but don't know how? 

Are you a coach training an athlete? 

Are you a teacher who wants students to achieve more?

Help someone achieve a goal through the GROW model, a structured, clearly defined approach to coaching.

Blonde woman motivating saying

What is GROW?

It's a simple and powerful framework that helps you structure your coaching/mentoring sessions.

GROW stands for:

Goal.

•Current Reality.

Options/Obstacles

Way Forward

4 column progressive bar graph - Man standing on the first column

Understanding GROW

Here's a simple example. Think of it like planning for a trip.

First, you decide where you want to go (Goal) from where you are now (Reality).

Globe Icon showing pointing out 2 locations

Colourful house Icon

Next, you plan your trip considering factors like flight, train, drive (Options), costs, visa, and traffic (Obstacles).

Blue Car with love balloons Icon

Coins Calculator Bill Icon

Blue aeroplane amidst blue clouds Icon

Passport Flight ticket  Icon

After this, you do everything needed to make the trip such as book tickets, apply for vacation, and buy travel gear (Way forward).

Man hiking upwards  Icon

So How Can You Coach Others Using This Model?

By asking the right questions!

Consider this scenario.

Annie wants to manage her time better and accomplish more tasks per day at work. She seeks help from her boss, Samira.

Woman wearing a blazer in discussion with another smiling woman taking notes

Let's see how Samira uses open-ended questions to coach Annie using the GROW model.

Step 1: Goal

Annie has to set a goal which is specific, measurable, realistic, and time-bound.

Samira helps her do this by asking questions like:

  • What do you want to achieve?

  • When do you want to achieve this?

  • Why do you want to do this?

  • How do you know you have achieved it?

  • What do you think would happen if you don't achieve it?

Joey from Friends pointing to his head saying

Outcome

Annie has now set a specific goal.

Woman screaming Yes

Quiz

Which goal did Annie set for herself based on the scenario above?

Step 2: Reality

Annie has to understand the current reality.

Samira helps her by asking questions like:

  • What is happening at the moment?

  • On a scale of 1–10, if an ideal situation is 10, what number are you at now?

  • What number would you like to be at?

  • Why do you think you have not achieved this goal by now?

The office gif Michael Scott saying

Outcome:

Annie understands the reality. She is currently completing 4 tasks per day.

Step 3: Options/Obstacles

Samira and Annie explore the options available. They do some brainstorming here.

Samira asks Annie questions like:

  • What options do you have?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

  • What do you need to stop doing in order to achieve this goal?

  • What else could you do?

Season 1 Beth GIF by Rick and Morty saying so many possibilities!

Outcome:

Annie has analyzed her options and found some ways to achieve her goal.

Quiz

Which options would help Annie overcome obstacles?

Step 4: Way Forward

Samira asks Annie questions which prompt her to take action such as:

  • What exactly will you do to reach your goal, and when?

  • Which of these options will you take?

  • How committed are you to taking that action?

  • What could stop you from moving forward? How will you overcome this?

Image showing the question

Outcome

Annie starts tracking the average time for completing a task.

Gif of A judge saying

She begins the journey towards her goal.

What Are The Dos And Don'ts Of Using The GROW Model?

  • The Office Gif of Jim  saying Listen with attention and curiosity

  • Let the mentee do most of the talking

  • Be empathetic and offer suggestions

  • Woman saying Don’t ask closed-ended questions

  • Don’t be leading or judgmental

  • Don’t make decisions for the mentee

Take Action

Are you ready to coach others? Here's what you can do first!

Boy pressing a glowing Start sign with a confused expression GIF by memecandy

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This Byte has been authored by

SG

Sowmya Gangadharan

Biotechnologist/PMP/Volunteer Learning Designer