Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership To GROW or not to GROW? Is the choice CLEAR?

To GROW or not to GROW? Is the choice CLEAR?

6 min read

It is important for managers to have simple models for structuring coaching conversations. Peter Hawkins

The GROW model is the best-known coaching model and the one most often taught to leaders. But is it the best? Or does a different model have a CLEAR advantage?


The GROW model is widely used by facilitators and teachers in the coaching skills space. Various derivations of the model have emerged, such as T-GROW, IGROW, REGROW etc … I like GROW-F when talking to leader/coaches because it i) includes a call to Follow-Up, and ii) it reminds me of when I used to live in East London. GROW gets its fair share of criticism, first from those who fear people will use it linearly. My favourite quote in this space is from David Clutterbuck:

One of my favourite ghastly examples is the coach, who corralled the client into articulating a goal, then ploughed relentlessly on into the R of GROW until the client stopped the conversation:

“Actually, my real issue is that I don’t feel I have a purpose in my life any more.”

The coach nodded sympathetically. “That’s really interesting. I wish we had time to explore that. But let’s park it and focus on the issue we started with …”

In his reflection notes, the coach was blissfully unaware that this might not have been the appropriate response – he had followed the model!

I don’t hear this as a criticism of the model however. It feels like more of a warning as to how to not use this model – or any other model for structuring a coaching conversation. As Antony Grant points out, effective conversations often dart about, such that the GROW model might be more accurately represented as GRGROGROOGROWOGORW.

Pages 1 2 3 4
Download Article 1K Club
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Paul Lawrence
Load More In Concepts of Leadership

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Early Reviews Are In: The Ark of Leadership

The first reviews of The Ark of Leadership are now in. They are positive and quite gratify…