How to G.R.O.W.

Need to get something done but can’t find the motivation?  Do you want to know how to increase your, or someone you know, chances of fulfilling a goal?  Here’s a cracker of a tip…

A complimentary two day course at The Coaching Academy offered this nugget of wisdom regarding coaching.  It was surprising how your motivation to achieve a goal could grow from being zero i.e. completely non-committed, to being an enthusiastic ten by using the G.R.O.W. framework.

As you may know, coaching is using listening and questioning techniques to enable people to achieve their goals quicker than they could themselves.  The difficult part here is to hold back from giving advice. You need to let people find a solution that fits them.  When you give advice you move from coaching into mentoring, so you need to resist the urge. 

Use coaching when you, or someone you know:

  • Is stuck in a rut
  • Needs motivation
  • Has a goal/wants to achieve something
  • Considers an area of life – career, health, relationships, time management etc. – less than 10/10

Coaching is also a great management technique.  Asking employees what they think they could do to solve a problem, rather than telling them what to do, will empower them and support their development.

How it works

It’s G.R.O.W. – Goal, Reality, Options, Way forward – and it’s easy when you know how.  Below is an example of coaching Gavin to get a promotion:

Goal – what we aim for:
“Hi Gavin, what do you want to achieve?” Gavin: “I want to make more progress at work.”
“How will you know when you’ve achieved that?” Gavin: “When I’m promoted to Colorist.”
“Great, when do you want to achieve it by?” Gavin: “Before I go back to Brazil in June.”
“Ok, so you want to be promoted to Colorist before you go back to Brazil in June.  Can you write your goal down please?

Reality exploring the present reality:
“What have you done so far to achieve your goal?” Gavin: “I’ve done training at work.”
“What challenges have you met and overcome?” Gavin: “I needed more experience so I’ve started freelancing independent from work.”
“Great! What strengths do you have which may help?” Gavin: “Well, I’ve read a lot of books on the subject.”

Options – stretching beyond what has already been tried or thought before:
“What could you do to be promoted to Colorist before you go to Brazil in June? Gavin: “I could get more freelance work – I still need a bit more experience”
“Good.  What else can you do?” Gavin: “I could speak with the head of the department to let them know I’m really interested in the role and to see if there will be any openings.”
“Good.  What else can you do?” Gavin: “The role is really in demand, so I could explore other departments I could work in that will provide a side jump into the role in future.”
“Brilliant.  You’ve come up with three actions – please can you write these down?”

Way forward – gaining commitment towards taking action:
“Which of the options would be fastest/easiest/preferred?” Gavin: “The second option.”
“Ok, what might stop you?” Gavin: “Nothing could stop me from asking.”
“Great.  So when will you take action?” Gavin: “I will ask on Monday!”
“Ok! Which of the remaining options would you prefer to put into action next?”  Gavin: “The first one.” “So when will you take action?” … 
You get the idea.  

Committing goals, as well as the agreed actions and dates to paper increases the chance that they will be completed.   Also, rather than paraphrasing, repeat the words used by the person you are coaching so it resonates with them.  

It does take practice.  As you get more comfortable with the framework you can adapt your questioning, but this is a good start.

Test it out on friends or colleagues and notice how inspired they are to put goals into action.


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