The coaching industry has grown into a monster. Coaches come in 57 varieties, just like tinned food products from H.J. Heinz. In the average coach’s attempt to differentiate themselves from the crowd, some have come up with increasingly complex models and approaches in order to blind their clients with ‘pseudo-science’. That said, coaching is often mentioned as a critical component of much personal and corporate success. So, what wisdom lies beneath the hype? Although it may not be trendy, I reach for a classic approach which just works. Borrowing our blog title from Scandinavian glam popstars Abba, the GROW model articulates the essential things that any good coach will do for their clients. Simply stated, GROW stands for:
Goals – What does your customer really really want to achieve?
Reality – Where are they now?
Options – What innovative options may be considered?
Wrap up – What will happen next?
A great coach systematically moves their client from ‘might do’ through ‘can do’ to ‘will do’. Some coaches make the GROW model an explicit part of the process, following it in stages, others use it as a flexible template from which they operate with flair. My choice in these matters comes down to what the client wants / needs / expects rather than my own whims and preferences.
Over the next few months, I will briefly explore each stage of the GROW approach from the point of view of asking great questions that provoke movement on the client’s part. This ‘Socratic’ (question based) approach is just one style. In practice, I often mix a questioning approach with feedback and good old plain advice when there is a need for this, but we’ll stick to the question based approach here. So, when getting someone to focus on a goal, here’s some great starting questions to help frame the desired outcome:
• What do you really really want to achieve, as opposed to what you might just like to achieve?
• What’s essential versus nice to have in terms of improved performance?
• If you could have it all, describe a day in your life? Is that realistic?
• If you got your needs met, what would be the impact on you and the people you work with?
• What would have to happen for you to walk away feeling this time was well spent?
• If you had some outlandish wishes about your needs, what would they be? If you could only have one of these, what would it be?
• What would happen that is not happening now?
• What outcome would you like from this session? How will this be of real value to you, in the short, medium and longer term?
For more information on 1:1 and group coaching sessions to move people from innovative thought to profitable action check the HUMAN DYNAMICS COACHING WEBSITE out.