As a coach, you need to have a toolkit from which you can select the best technique or tool for a given coaching situation. One of the best approaches that you can have at your disposal is the GROW model for coaching. This model structures the coaching process into four distinct phases that follow each other to the logical conclusion desired by your client. This article describes those four phases of the GROW model.
Phase 1: Goal
This is the first step in this coaching process. It entails establishing a goal for that specific session or for the entire coaching process. Your task as a coach is to probe the client to reveal the outcome that he or she would like to attain in the end. For example, your client may wish to be promoted at work in the coming two years. Some helpful questions in identifying a goal are; what would you like to change? What do you stand to gain if you attain this goal? What do you really want? What result do you want to see?
Remember that the goal should be SMART, that is, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Ask probing questions that will enable your coaching client to gain clarity about what exactly they want. Once the goal has been identified, you can then proceed to the next phase of the coaching model.
Related: SMART Goals: Tips For Goal Setting
Phase 2: Reality
This second step looks at where your client is in relation to the stated goal. Think about a trip that you would like to make. The goal is your desired destination, while the reality is your present location.
As you may know, your client has come to you for help because he or she has so far been unable to get to the destination on his or her own. You therefore need to explore why the client hasn’t attained that desired goal. This involves finding out what the obstacles are. These may be internal (ways of thinking/mental blocks) or otherwise (lacking a necessary skill, etc.).
Identify all those obstacles to the attainment of the stated goal before moving forward with the coaching process. Desist from being sucked into an endless process of creating excuses for not doing better. Use your skills and experience to get to the core of what may be holding back your client from reaching his or her goal.
A few questions that may help you to grasp the current reality of your client include; on a scale of one to ten, where would you say you are in terms of attaining the goal? What steps have you taken so far to attain that goal? What has stopped you from reaching your goal?
Phase 3: Options
This third step centers on finding the different ways through which the obstacles stated above can be overcome in order to attain the goal. Think about the example of the trip referred to earlier. The options for that analogy would be the different ways through which you can travel to the destination. For example, you can take the train, fly or drive there. Each of those options may have pros and cons. Taking a plane may be expensive yet it takes the least amount of time, for example.
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In the same way, your client also needs help in finding and assessing the different options available in order to reach the goal. Remember, you are just a facilitator of the process, so you need to desist from offering the client solutions. However, you can offer some suggestions of possible alternatives during this third phase of the coaching process. Just do so after allowing the client to come up with possible solutions.
Probe the client to explore each of those options until some are eliminated and the most viable option remains. Helpful questions during this exercise may include; what advice would you give a friend who has this same problem? What risks does this solution entail? Have you ever used this solution before? Such questions can help the client to come to a conclusion about the best way to attain the stated goal.
Phase 4: Will (Way Forward)
Having identified the most viable approach to attaining the goal, your final step is to make the coaching client to commit to taking some action steps about the problem. Additionally, find out how motivated the client is and encourage them to stick with the plan.
Some helpful questions in this regard include; what is the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do anything? How will you measure progress towards the realization of your goal? How will you know that you have attained the goal? How will you feel when you attain the objective/goal? When do you plan to start doing what we have agreed upon? What do you think are your chances of succeeding? What can increase the odds of success in your favor?
One Last Thing…
There are two crucial skills that you need to implement when coaching your clients using the GROW model or any other approach. The first skill is asking the right questions at the right moment. The questions that you ask should be “deep” (open-ended) so that your coaching client can think and come up with personal responses. Avoid closed questions that would enlist a “yes” or “no” answer because such questions don’t reveal much.
The second skill is listening attentively. Your coaching client should do most of the talking while you listen and ask questions every now and then as you steer the coaching session towards the next step until the end.
As you practice listening and asking the right questions, you will help the client to understand his or her situation better and the resultant solution will be the best for the situation. Coaching is aimed at enabling clients to gain clarity and find their own solutions. It should be their solutions, not yours. That is the only way through which lasting results can be attained. So, how are you going to implement the GROW model of coaching in your business?
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To Your Success,
Jairek Robbins & Team PCU
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