PPI #65: The GROW Coaching Model

Oct 14, 2020


  • In this episode, I am going to teach you a simple coaching framework that will get your team performing at the level that they need to be playing at. How do you approach the conversation with your team when they are not making the progress needed for a project? How will you frame the conversation and have actionable plans at the end of it? The GROW coaching model is a simple yet effective way of making sure that everyone achieves a higher level of performance. What does GROW stand for?
  • The G in GROW stands for goal. When sitting down with a team member or with your team, you want to ask them what the goal is. What are your objectives for this particular project? What are you trying to achieve by doing the plans you’re currently on? If a team member has a slightly different answer to what the goal is, make sure that you correct them in what the goal is. This simple question makes sure that everyone is aligned, which makes working easier and more focused.
  • The R stands for reality. What is the landscape the team is currently on? Where is the team today? What are the present problems that we have? Since you have already laid out and aligned the goal, this next question is to make sure that everyone knows where they currently stand in terms of achieving the goal.
  • The O is for options. After identifying the goal and the current reality, the idea with O is to get your team members to present solutions to the problems you are facing. What are the things we need to do next? You want them to generate at least three options on how they can continue achieving the goal. You need to pause and listen to their options and ask them what else they think is needed to move forward.
  • The W in GROW stands for way forward, but some people may call it will. Your team member has laid out the goal, the reality, and the options, the next thing you will ask them is which of these options are you going to pursue moving forward? Which of these options that you presented is the best one to make sure that we are closer to our goal? When will it be done? You want to ask these questions and have them express their answers on that day. This is the simple GROW coaching model that will help you and your team’s performance improve.


If you've been on a team, or if you're running a team, you've probably experienced a situation where you're hoping your team was performing at a higher level. Well, the truth is, unless you master this simple coaching framework that I'm going to teach you today, you will never get your team performing at the level that they need to be playing at.

Hi, I'm Eric Partaker, and I help entrepreneurs and leaders scale up, not just their companies, but also themselves so that they can holistically become all that they're capable of becoming, not just on the work front, but also on the health and the home fronts.

And today, we're going to be talking about the GROW coaching model. Now GROW is super simple. Each of the letters, it's an acronym, stands for something that you should be doing in a conversation with a team member to help them reach a higher level of performance. So let's say, for example, a team member comes to you and says, maybe in your one-to-one meeting, “I'm really frustrated. I'm not making progress with whatever this project is.” Or maybe you've noticed that they haven't noticed that themselves, and you say, “Hey, what's going on here? We're not progressing as fast as we should be.” And the conversation, you use the GROW coaching model as a guide to your conversation with them.

So the G stands for goal. And all you're doing with the person is getting them to restate, well, what is the goal? What is the objective? And it's just simple questions like, what is the goal here? What is it that we're trying to achieve? Get them to restate. It's very, very important because if you're not aligned on what the proper objective is, there's no point in having the rest of the conversation. So make any corrections to the objective-based on their answer and make sure we're all in the same place in terms of what it is we're trying to achieve. That's the G for goal.

The next is the R. The R stands for reality. And all you're doing here is trying to get the person that you're coaching, or the team member, to just paint the present landscape. So what is the current reality? So the questions here are: Where are we today? What are the obstacles that we're facing? What challenges have we discovered? You're trying to understand where we are at this moment in time.

The next letter in the acronym, the GROW coaching model, is O. And O stands for options. And it's at this point that you're just trying to get the person to generate a lot of solutions themselves to the current reality. So they have the goal that they're trying to achieve. They have the reality for where they are. And now we want them to generate options. Well, what is it that we could do next? And the key question here is, after you've asked them, well, what's one thing that we could do to progress things further, the key question is, and what else? Pause. Listen. And then what else? And ask that at least twice, because you want them to generate at least three options for how they can continue taking whatever it is, the project, or the goal that they're trying to achieve, forward. How they can progress whatever that project may be.

And then the last W. The W stands for, some people refer to it as will, I like to think of it as a way forward. Now, the person has generated a few different options for what they can be doing to take things forward. And now we just want them to zero in on what is it that you're exactly going to do? And how are we going to take this forward? What is the way forward? So you may say to them something like, well, which of the options would you like to pursue? And then another key question is, what resources might you need or assistance to pursue that option? And then also, when will it be done? And you want them to express that day.

So use the GROW coaching framework in your discussions with team members to help everyone reach a higher level of performance. Get them to restate the goal, go through the present reality, have them generate some options, and then choose amongst those options, the way forward. And you will see your team's performance steadily increase.