As managers we want to help employees reach their potential.

Coaching is arguably the most powerful way for achieving this goal.

Working within the parameters of a time-tested framework is one way to understand the coaching process. GROW, an effective model for coaching that’s been around since the 1980s, stands for:

Goal setting: define the short- and long-term goals

Reality: explore the current situation

Options: identify and evaluate different action strategies

Way forward: what will you do by when?

GROW has been described as a journey—deciding where you’re going (goal), knowing where you are now (reality), exploring the various routes to your destination (options), and committing to arriving there (way forward), while preparing to meet the obstacles along the way.

Here’s a breezy, easily digestible overview of GROW:

Questions are the most important ingredient of GROW. Leadership and management development expert Dan McCarthy says coaching isn’t telling the employee what to do – it’s helping the employee come up with his or her own answers by asking the right question at the right time.

In his post 70 Awesome Coaching Questions for Managers Using the GROW Model, he categorizes the important questions to ask within the GROW framework.

By matching powerful questioning skills with deep listening techniques, managers can help their employees improve performance, solve problems, make better decisions, learn new skills, and reach their career goals.


Interested in honing your coaching skills through a hands-on, interactive workshop? We’ve got one coming up next week! Check out Coaching Your Team: Maximize Potential.