You probably use the GROW model (or T-GROW) without even realizing it:
T – Topic (Session Topic)
G – Goal (Session Goal)
R – Reality (Where they are and what’s going on for them)
O – Options (Ideas and brainstorming – what they COULD do to move forwards)
W – Will Do (Their actions – what they WILL do to move forwards)
In reality it’s probably more like ROTGOW or TROWG or TRORGWOW but these 5 key elements ALWAYS work and here’s why:
T – Topic:
While establishing the Topic often blends into the Goal and Reality parts of the model, getting a topic up front – even a loose one – is the start point for any coaching session. Sometimes the client will come with a clear topic and other times we may start by discussing their ‘Reality’ to find out what they want to work on. Questions like, “What would put a smile on your face?”, “What’s been working for you since the last session?”, “What hasn’t been working for you?” can help to clarify a session Topic.
G – Goal:
This is the client’s goal for the session – and while it doesn’t have to be specific or ‘SMART’ it does need to be enough to give the session a clear purpose understood by both the client and the coach. For example, a session goal might be to establish a bigger goal or to gain some clarity in their lives – it just has to be enough for you to keep the client on track.
One of the things that makes coaching different from many other therapies is our focus on action and change. A session goal helps us keep the client focused and when the session drifts it gives us the ability to say, “We seem to be heading in a different direction here, is this what you want?” Tip: This tactic can be especially helpful if you have a client that likes to tell long stories.
And no, the goal doesn’t have to be agreed right up front – although it’s helpful if you can. A session goal can be ‘evolved’ as the session unfolds. And occasionally the ‘real’ goal of the session may not come out until the end when we ask our clients what their biggest win of the session was. This is when the client realizes their ‘goal’ for the session was simply to feel heard, to commit to themselves or to feel challenged or supported.
When we ensure the client understands what they want to get out of the session – we ensure the client receives value from coaching – and that they continue to learn and grow.