G is for The GROW Model

The GROW model was pioneered by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine and Sir John Whitmore. It is a simple but effective model that is used by coaches.

The video above was created by Mind Tools and provides an introduction to the approach.

Many practitioners see the acronym as standing for the following steps that they invite the coachee to follow on the route to achieving success.


What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? What are the real results you want to achieve? What is your picture of success? What will be happening that will show you have reached the goal?


What is your current reality? What is happening in your world?  Can you give specific examples, especially those that relate to the goal you want to achieve? Looking at this reality, what are the things you can control?


What can you do to reach the goal? What are the potential options? What are the consequences of each option? Are there any other creative solutions?


What will you do to reach the goal? Which is the route – or routes – you want to take towards achieving the goal?  On a scale 0 – 10, how committed are you to taking this route?

What is your action plan for moving forward? What are the specific measures that will show you have achieved the goal?

You can discover more about various uses of the GROW model via the following links to Sir John Whitmore, Alan Fine, Graham Alexander and Tim Gallwey.




Different interpretations
of the acronym GROW

As with all models, different people interpret GROW in different ways. Here are some examples of how it has been changed.

Options is changed to Obstacles.

After helping the person to clarify their goal, some coaches invite them to clarify the obstacles to achieving their target. They then focus on the person’s options for overcoming these obstacles.

Will is changed to Way Forward; Wrap-up or Who, What, Where, Why, When and How.

This interpretation maintains the spirit of action planning and clarifies the person’s commitment to achieving the goal.

Some elements of the GROW model were influenced by Tim Gallwey’s work on The Inner Game. His approach encouraged people to be fully focused – whether they were concentrating on a specific sport or an activity at work.

They could then set a goal, concentrate on the reality of what was happening, explore options and commit to applying their talents to reach the goal. You can discover more about Tim’s work via the following link.


Different people use the GROW model in different ways. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to use the model in your own way to help people.

Describe the specific benefits of using the GROW model to help people.

Slides The GROW Model.001

Slides The GROW Model.002

Slides The GROW Model.003

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