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Developing career resilience
Developing career resilience

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2.2 Achieving goals using the GROW model

How can you move from vague intentions to concrete goals with a clear plan of action? You looked in Week 2 at growing resilience (in maths) through coaching. You will now look at a coaching model that you can use independently, without the need for a qualified coach to help you.

Described image
Figure 4

The GROW model stands for:

  • Goal
  • Reality
  • Options
  • Way forward (‘will’)

This well-known coaching model was developed by Sir John Whitmore (1992), a pioneer in leadership and performance coaching in the workplace, to provide a simple, structured approach to setting goals effectively and to increasing the range of choices you consider. If you face a setback, this approach will help your adaptability.

In the next activity, you’ll try using the GROW model to set yourself a goal.

Activity 4 Goal-setting with GROW

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Watch this video of the GROW model in action:

Video 4 The GROW model in action
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The video showed someone who was struggling with his presentation skills. Think of something specific that you’d like to achieve in a workplace context, and make it your goal for this exercise. Perhaps it could be talking to someone with strong self-belief, as outlined in Activity 1 this week.

Access the toolkit using the link below. You might find it useful to open it in a new window or tab.

Click on ‘GROW’ and then use the GROW model to consider how you can develop your insight into the goal, and plan steps towards achieving it.

Interactive toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]


The key benefit of using a model such as GROW is that it provides structure. By thinking an issue through in stages, you can often identify and articulate the solution much more clearly.

How did you find it? At first it might take you more time to get used to the structure, but over time you’ll be able to run through it more quickly, noting progress and using it to spark new thinking if you feel blocked.