Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Exploring career mentoring and coaching

3 The Grow Model

Described image
Figure 3 Growing upwards

Most effective coaches draw on a variety of frameworks to give structure to their coaching sessions.

A popular example is the GROW model (Whitmore, 2017). The coach may not always explain the model to the coachee, but you’ll explore it in more detail here to gain some insight into how coaches often focus their support during a session.

Each letter stands for a stage in the process:

G = Goal

R = Reality

O = Options

W = Way forward (or ‘will’)

When a coach uses the GROW model with you, there are often different levels to each stage. For example, when setting goals, they will start by exploring your main career goal, for example, to find a new job. They must then break that down into a goal for the session that will allow you to move forward.

In the reality part of the process, the coach helps you to really understand where you are right now, analysing what has happened to bring you to this point, how you are feeling about it etc. During this conversation, you might find that the main goal for the session changes.

In order to generate options, the coach wants you to do the work! You know best what your options are, and it is their job to help you articulate those options clearly, not to suggest options for you.

When it comes to determining the way forward, the coach will help you to narrow down your options and set a realistic timescale for each specific step you plan to take. Again, they won’t suggest actions for you as evidence shows that you are much more likely to take action if you own your action points. However, they will make sure that the actions are as specific as possible and suitably challenging. Action points that are too easy are unlikely to inspire and motivate.

Throughout the process, the coach will use a range of tools and techniques to encourage you to think about your situation and your goal – encouraging you to look from a different perspective, perhaps even tapping into your subconscious brain.

Activity 3 How can I GROW?

Allow about 15 minutes

Watch this video of the GROW model in action.

Download this video clip.Video player: The GROW model in action!
Skip transcript: The GROW model in action!

Transcript: The GROW model in action!

TEXT ON SCREEN
Watch the GROW model in action!
Hi, Pete. I was just trying to think how I can help Joe with his presentation.
Have you thought about the GROW model? Just remember: Agree a GOAL - what does a successful presentation look like? Explore REALITY - what happened? Explore the OPTIONS - what might be more successful next time? Commit to the WAY FORWARD - what are the first steps to success?
Hi Joe. Are you OK?
No. You saw my presentation this morning. What am I doing wrong? She switched off as soon as I started.
Joe, what do you think the CEO is looking for from your presentation?
Easy. She needs to know how my project is going. An overview.
So what’s your presentation goal?
Give her what she needs to keep the shareholders happy.
How many slides had you prepared this morning?
About 20 or so.
So what happened?
She cut me off. Told me to ‘Get on with it!’
What does the CEO most want to know?
Is the project on time? Are we hitting budget?
Did you tell her that?
I suppose not, I got lost in all the project detail.
So what presentation did she want you to give?
Hmmm. Shorter. Less detail, I guess.
How many slides?
5 or 6 slides.
And if she wanted more detail, what would she do?
You’re right: she’d soon ask!
So how do you feel now?
Hey, that’s been so helpful! I need to work on this before next week’s presentation.
And what will your first step be?
First decide what she really needs to know. What her big takeaway has to be.
Any help you need from me?
I’ll email the slides over to you for feedback.
Feeling better?
Much better Kate. Thanks!
Hi Kate. Just heard that Joe’s presentation went down well this morning.
Yeah, so well he was a hard act to follow!
The GROW model is such a great way to coach people.
Agree a GOAL - what does a successful presentation look like? Explore the REALITY - what happened? Explore the OPTIONS - what might be more successful next time? Commit to the WAY FORWARD - what are the first steps to success?

End transcript: The GROW model in action!
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
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 work context and make it your goal for this activity. You may have come up with something appropriate when you identified your career goals in Week 5, Activity 1. Fill in each of the boxes below.

My Goal

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The Reality of my current situation

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

My Options

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

A Plan for the way forward

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

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.

The added advantage of working through this structure with a coach is that they will encourage you to think in different ways, view things from a different perspective etc., allowing you to imagine and articulate solutions that you might not have come up with on your own.

Now you have a better idea of how a coach might support you, you can start to look at identifying the right coach to offer you that support.

MC_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus