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Achieve your goals with the GROW model

Ever heard of the GROW model? 

The GROW model is a popular approach for coaches starting out, because it provides a structured approach, it’s easy to use and it’s effective! 

Created by John Whitmore in the 1980s, the GROW model provides coaches with a  framework for their sessions, giving them clear steps to follow to help their clients figure out their goals and achieve them. 

Because anybody can follow the steps, you can even use the GROW model yourself as a self-coaching tool. So, if you aren’t yet coaching, don’t worry. You can take yourself through the steps below and benefit from the approach yourself. Why not be your own client and test it out?

First thing you need to know? There are FOUR aspects of the GROW model. These are: 

Goal 

Reality 

Options 

Way forward 

In coaching, you ask your client key questions under each section to help with goal-setting and to encourage action. 

Step 1: Determine the GOAL your client wants to achieve 

During this stage, you need to know what your client actually wants to achieve. What are they expecting to get from the session? How do they want to be different? 

To help them figure out what their goal is, ask clients questions such as: 

  • What do you want? What is your aim for this discussion/session?
  • How would you like things to be? 
  • What does success look like for this session? 
  • What will you have by the end of this session that you don’t have now?

Step 2: Pinpoint their REALITY in relation to their goal

The next step is to help them uncover where they are right now in relation to where they want to be. This will also help you figure out if their goal is realistic. If they want to earn £10,000 a month, for example, and they’re currently making £1,000, you can help them set more realistic expectations.

To figure out where your client is, ask them questions like: 

  • What’s happening right now that makes you want to focus on this goal?
  • How much progress have you made towards achieving this goal?
  • How do you feel about achieving this goal? 
  • What’s stopped you from achieving this goal before? 
  • What have you already tried? 

Step 3: Help them see their options 

There’s usually more than one way to achieve a goal. Help your client see the different options available to them. Is there anything they may not have considered doing before? Highlight all the roads available. 

  • What could you do?
  • What steps can you take?
  • Do you have any ideas on how you’ll achieve your goal?
  • Who could you ask for help? 

Step 4: Agree on the way forward

Now, it’s action time. Ask your client what they’re going to do. Come up with a solid plan. Ask them if they’re committed and get them to decide on a time they’ll complete the task – whatever it is. 

Ask questions like: 

  • What are you going to do next? 
  • When will you do this? 
  • How committed are you to doing this? 
  • What obstacles can come in your way?
  • What will you do to get rid of these obstacles? 

None of the questions above are ‘better’ than the others. What you ask your client will depend on their unique situations and the previous answers they gave you. The GROW model provides a layout to follow, while still giving you the freedom to ask whatever questions feel right in the moment. 

You can move fluidly between sections. The GROW model doesn’t need to be a rigid framework, nor do you need to stick to it religiously. 

The GROW model is great to use if:

  • If your clients are new to coaching and personal development 
  • You’re a new coach and you’d like help structuring your coaching sessions
  • If your clients want structure
  • Useful if the client wants to focus on taking action 
  • A great and practical model in business and sports coaching 

Will you be using the GROW model? 

This is just one of many coaching approaches. And it’s usually the one we teach first to our students. 

The GROW model is a key module on our Professional Coaching Diploma If you want to give yourself the best start to coaching and build an unbreakable foundation, have a look at our Professional Coaching Diploma course here




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