Widening the uses of GROW


The introduction of GROW into coaching conversations has provided a clear, structured process that pretty much anyone can follow with a bit of guidance.


The coaching conversation using GROW has 4 components:


  • Goal – What is it you want to achieve? For your objective to have real impact this should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. The goal of simply being rich isn’t any of these things, but the goal of earning an additional £10,000 by earning commission through your existing role by the end of next September is.
  • Reality – What is the current situation and how likely is it that the goal can be achieved. For example, if the level of sales required to make the additional £10,000 of commission is exceptionally high then it may not be possible to achieve this goal. At the reality stage it is good to understand what barriers may exist to the goal being met.
  • Options – There may be several ways to achieve a goal, so the person being coached needs to evaluate all of the routes available and the likelihood of each giving the outcome required. From there, they must decide which option to go with and take ownership of that decision. So getting back to the example, the additional commission could be earnt by selling more to existing clients or by generating more new business from those who haven’t been customers to date, the coachee must evaluate these options.
  • Will – How committed is the person being coached to taking this action and achieving this goal? What are the consequences of not making it happen and what are the benefits of making it successful? The effective coach will ask probing questions at this point to ensure that buy-in has been gained.


So this is the basic premise of GROW. It is a powerful tool that can really motivate individuals and allows them to focus on achieving a goal, but where else can it be used?


Recently I saw it effectively used by a client in a group situation where they were trying to come up with a policy of creating a fair policy to ensure employees could provide enough cover in a critical service during the festive period.


The group were effectively being coached to come up with the goal of creating a fair policy that could be implemented to provide a clear rostering system for the time of year when people want to be with their families.


They then explored the reality of the situation and what had happened on previous years, identified the options, evaluated each of these, agreed a way forward and then finally determined how much will there was in both the group and wider organisation to put this policy into effect.


Using GROW in this way turns it into a potentially effective decision making tool and takes it out of the coaching box and widens its uses. The key to this is getting the questioning elements of the tool right, allowing the coachee to identify the vital elements of all four stages.


As well as having an interactive module on Coaching using the GROW Model, Maguire Training also offer a number of in-house coaching programmes including The Manager as a Coach. Our facilitators are all experienced business coaches in their own right, but can also pass on their knowledge and experience to others.

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