The GROW Model

The GROW Model can help you define your goals, reach your potential for a given goal and develop your own capabilities.

As a leader it can help you develop the capabilities of your team.

Starting a development plan or coaching or mentoring team members can be daunting if you have not done it before.

Of course, there are lots of frameworks and resources to help you. We have chosen to use the GROW model as it provides a simple framework which can be implemented over a short period of time as an individual or during one to one sessions.

GROW is an acronym standing for Goal Setting, Current Reality, Options, and Way Forward.

Let’s examine each of the stages in more detail.

1. Goal Setting

The first stage of The GROW Model is to decide or if you are supporting the process as a leader; agree with your team member what goal they want to achieve.

Select goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Ask probing questions about what will be achieved or improved about career, job, work-life balance, personal satisfaction etc to guide towards selecting a goal.


2. Current Reality

Once the goal has been selected and agreed, the next step of The Grow Model is to reality check the current situation.

This step is important as without understanding the now, it will be difficult to assess progress.

Useful questions to ask during this stage include:

What action have you already taken to achieve this goal?

If no action has been taken, then explore why not.

How confident are you in achieving this goal?

Is there anything that scares you, or evokes an emotive response, about the steps which need to be taken to achieve this goal?

Is there anything that can stop you from achieving this goal?


Try to understand what barriers might from prevent achieving the goal, or if you have assumptions in place that are not helpful.

Think of any colleague feedback and examples of previous situations in advance of the Reality check if you think it could be useful.


3. Options

Once the goal and current reality is set, it’s time to explore all the different options that are open and will lead to reaching the goal.

List all options to evaluate and rank each of the options in turn.

Some useful questions to ask are:

What are the advantages/disadvantages of that option?

What is the biggest barrier to choosing that option?

Try to find a way to work around barriers ask what difference it would make if that constraint didn’t exist? Work to remove the constraint. Often the constraints will be imagined rather than real; see if someone can help test the options with you. Or if you are a leader you can work with your team member to help them reset their beliefs around what is and isn’t possible.


4. Will

In the final step of The GROW Model, check the Will, or level of commitment to achieving your goal.

At this stage, you will know what needs to be done but this stage is all about getting commitment.

Is there complete buy-in to both the goal and the actions necessary to achieve it?

What is the level of confidence to achieve it?

If not 100% confident, then why not?

Playback the plan, highlight the milestones along the way. Ask lots of questions:

When will that be done?

Will this action help you reach your goal?

What support is required?

Who needs to be informed of the steps that will be taken?