GROW model for Coaching

The GROW model for coaching for high-performance is taken from Alan Fine’s book “You already know how to become great”. It’s a very simple framework that can be used for coaching sessions lasting from half to one hour. I have included a short extract of questions you can use when you use this model. For more information, do find a copy of the book. GROW is a simple linear process of thinking through an issue. It looks like this:

Goal = What do you want to achieve? Make sure it is a SMART goal.

Reality = What is your current Reality in relation to your goal?

Options = Brainstorm all possible Options to reach your Goal.

Way Forward = Out of all the Options, what action are you going to take?

After you have coached a person and come up with action steps, accountability is needed to make sure the person is on track. I hope this is helpful for your own personal life and for those you work with.

Questions to Use in Breakthrough Conversations

The questions below are helpful in conducting a breakthrough (or performer-driven) conversation when the person you’re trying to help is aware of the issue and willing to engage in a conversation about it. The purpose is to help the performer achieve breakthrough on his/her issue (see pages 87-97).


What topic do you want to discuss?

What do you want from this discussion? (What’s your S.M.A.R.T. Goal?)

What are the consequences if you do not reach this Goal?


Briefly, what’s been happening?

What have you tried so far?

What were the results?

What’s your sense of the obstacles for you? For others (if others are involved)?

Is the Goal still realistic?


Describe fantasyland—if you could do anything, what might you do?

If you were the other person/people, what would you have to hear/see to get your attention (assuming others are involved)?

If you were watching this conversation, what would you recommend?

Would you like suggestions from me?

Do any of these ideas interest you enough to explore further?

If you were to do this, how might you go about it?


Does this Option interest you enough to take action?

How will you go about it?

What might get in the way?

How might you overcome that?

What and when is the next step?

Questions to Use in Engagement Conversations

The questions below are helpful in conducting an engagement (or coach-driven) conversation when the person you’re trying to help is unaware of the issue and/or unwilling to engage in a conversation about it. The purpose is to engage the person in a breakthrough conversation.


Explain your Goal

“I have something I’d really like your help with. Can we discuss it now? If not, when?

“My problem involves my perception of . . . Is it still okay to discuss this now?

Share your intentions

“I’d like to tell you how this appears to me, and I want to understand how it appears to you. If I’m accurate, I want to work with you to change things. If I’m not accurate, I want to understand what is happening.”


Share your Reality

“This is my perception.”

Demonstrate your understanding

“So what you’re saying is …”

“What you’re feeling is …”

“Have I understood you correctly?”


Describe choices

“I am trying to resolve this in the most positive way possible for both of us, and if you choose not to work with me on this, I will have no choice but to …”


If the person agrees to engage . . .

Move to a performance discussion to resolve the issue.

If the person refuses to engage . . .

Carry out your predetermined alternative.

Feedback Questions

Below are three questions you can ask in giving feedback that will help remove interference and keep accountability with the person you’re trying to help.

What worked?

Where did you get stuck?

What would you do differently next time?

Tell me what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.