Dancing with the GROW coaching model


The grow model is almost certainly the best known coaching model in the world today.  And there are good reasons for that.  It is effective, easy to learn, can be applied to virtually any situation and yet can be applied in a very simple and very sophisticated fashion.

So given this amazing tools is available how come it is not used more often.  Often as coaches become more sophisticated and well trained they will say ‘I used to use the grow model but now I have moved past it’.  There is nothing wrong with this.  But even coaches in companies who have a basic training in GROW often fail to make best use of it.

Part of the problem is that when individuals come off training courses where they have learned the grow model they tend to use it in a rather unsophisticated fashion.  Whenever anybody often a question they will immediately respond with ‘what is your goal?’

Unsurprisingly their colleagues soon get fed up with this.  Instead of being able to have a conversation about an issue the new coach turns every issue into a chance to practise coaching.  And their colleagues soon get fed up of this because they want to have a relationship as well as be on the receiving end of coaching.  So new coaches tend to lose their skills and not make best use of their training.

What is needed instead?  Individuals need to learn to dance between the grow model and having a normal conversation.  So instead of going immediately into defining the goal, the coach might ask ‘that’s interesting can you tell me some more?’ In this way the coach builds relationship as well as helping the person through their problem.  In later blogs I will be discussing the balance of relationship building to problem solving and why it is so important to focus on both the problem and the person.