The GROW Model, devised by Sir John Whitmore, provides a framework both for individual coaching sessions and for the whole process. The acronym stands for Goals, Reality, Options and Will, also known as Wrap-up.
Goals – coach and client agree on specific objectives. This is vital in coaching – if you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else! The coach asks specific questions to make sure the goal is in the best interests of the client and those closest to them.
Reality – the client needs to have a realistic grasp of where they are now, where they are starting from. Is the desired objective a realistic goal – what are the chances of achieving it? Do they know someone else who has achieved this already?
Options – the coach guides the client in thinking of a number of ways of achieving the goal and the client decides which way to pursue. As the coach, you are not there to lead people, you are there to help them explore possibilities so they can decide which option is best for them.
Will/Wrap-up – the client will only be motivated to go for the goal if they are excited and motivated by it. Coach and client look at the possible obstacles and how these can be overcome. Is there a secondary gain in the client not achieving the goal? For instance, it may be more comfortable to remain in the current position than make the effort it takes to achieve the goal.
The GROW Model works because it ensures that there is nothing at the unconscious level which might prevent the client from going for the goal. It checks whether the goal fits in with the client’s capabilities and purpose in life, and establishes whether the client needs to change any current behaviours or get new skills in order to be successful.
Andy Britnell is an executive coach who works with high achievers in both the private and public sectors who wish to fulfil more of their potential by thinking and behaving more effectively.
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