What Is The GROW Coaching Model About?

by Jean-Paul Cortes

Do you want to get things done? Of course, we all do.

And we all know that we all struggle at times at this task. So here's a coaching model that you can use with your clients to provide them with structure and a process for helping them achieve results.

G.R.O.W is actually an acronym that stands for:





As a coach you're using this framework to help your clients discover new ways of solving problems.

It consists of the following four steps:

Grow Coaching Model

Goals: breaking things up, your way to mastery

We all recognize the importance of having goals. But, that's not as important as having a way of achieving those goals.

Frequently, what stops us from even starting to work on our goals is how we see the inevitable obstacles in the path towards achieving the goals we've set.

The way to solve the big, complex challenges is by breaking it up into achievable mini goals.

Knowing how to create goals is a key part to achieving them. Here's a good way how: by creating SMART goals

  • Specific: few people understand how setting specific goals works. It's very easy to be vague, we try to improve our "focus" for example when this can mean many things. It's much more effective to work on specific actions e.g. tossing the ball correctly if we're looking to improve our free throw
  • Measurable: how do you know that you're making progress? If you can't measure and receive clear feedback against your established goals, improvement is at best good luck.
  • Attainable: part of breaking things down into mini goals, is that it makes it easier to complete much bigger goals. When we work and complete many attainable goals, our success builds up and our ability to solve more complex problems improves.
  • Relevant: goals should be established to improve behaviors or processes rather than outcomes. We can't really control the outcome, but we can continually learn a great deal about new and vital behaviors that improve our outcomes.
  • Time-bound: goals have a habit of not getting done if there's no time-frame behind them. If we're not accountable to getting things done in a certain time, we tend to put things off; search for ways for keeping yourself accountable.

Reality: the second step is figuring out where you are...

When you created your goals, you established them to be realistic based on the SMART formula.

This second step in the GROW coaching model, consists in determining where you are in respect to your goals.

In other words, you evaluate how you've progressed in your abilities, motivation, skills and knowledge taking your goals as a rule of measurement.

Here's where working with a coach can help, why? Because it's hard to have an outside, or even different, perspective of where you stand in regards to your goals. A coach can help by keeping you accountable to yourself.

We frequently need another point of view to get a good idea of where you may need to improve.

Ask yourself or your clients the following questions:

  • Are there any roadblocks? Is anything slowing you down?
  • What have you tried so far, that you could try differently?
  • What resources do you have at your disposal, are there other people that can help you?
  • What is the situation that you are currently in?
  • What other things can you learn?

Options: the third step is about figuring out what to do

What are the many possible options you have for solving a problem? Among the many options possible, which one would you choose?

It helps if you begin by understanding what your unique strengths are. When you understand what your strengths are, it makes choosing your options simpler.

You're more likely to achieve growth and do better by learning how to use your strengths and you'll probably feel happier as well.


  • What makes you feel strong?
  • What do you love to do?
  • How can you have more of this?

Will: the final step is the driving force of the process

Anything that needs to get done, requires some sort of action. It also needs energy to keep things moving.

The final step in this model is to get your client to commit to specific action. In so doing, your client can establish his or her motivation.


What will keep you motivated in the long run?

You can figure this out by asking:

  • What would reaching your goals do for you?
  • What actions can you take right away?
  • What will move you along when things are slow?

That's it, in a nutshell.

Keep in mind, that these steps aren't sequential, they're not meant to be followed one after the other rather, the key is to remain flexible, so you can review your perceptions, make adjustments, course correct, and tune things up a little if needed.

This way, you make it a constant process of improvement. One that's grounded on your values, uniqueness and wants.

In essence, the GROW coaching model is a very simple, powerful and effective tool to have in your coaching toolbox.

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