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Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring
Workplace learning with coaching and mentoring

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5.2.2 GROW: Reality

The second stage of the GROW framework involves questioning the coachee about their understanding of the reality of the situation or the context, and issues or problems they wish to address. At this point, the coach will be asking questions to establish the facts and feelings involved.

Here are some possible opening questions that the coach could use:

  • What is happening now? (Use the ‘5 Ws and H’ questions: What, when, why, who, where, how?)
  • What actions have you already taken? What happened?
  • What have you learned from the experience?
  • What is keeping you from finding a solution?
  • What is really going on, do you think?

The following video illustrates some examples of good questioning. Notice how the questions are framed. Note the importance of ‘open’ questions (questions without a direct, one-word answer) to elicit fuller answers.

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Examples of good questioning
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A complementary skill to effective questioning is active listening – using language and gestures to signal to the coachee that you are following their description of the issues or explanation of the background. (While specifically referred to here, questioning and active listening are key skills to use throughout the whole process.)