Coaching Others to Improve Performance
Learn how to use the GROW Model, with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
One key role of any leader is to coach team members to achieve their best. As a “coach” or mentor, you will typically help your team members to solve problems, make better decisions, learn new skills or otherwise progress in their role or career. Whilst some leaders are fortunate enough to get formal training in coaching skills, many are not. They have to develop these for themselves.
Now this may sound daunting. But if you arm yourself with some proven techniques, find opportunities to practice and learn to trust your instincts, you can become a better coach, and so enhance your team’s performance. One proven approach that helps with this it the GROW model.
GROW is an acronym standing for Goal – Current Reality – Options – Will. The model is a simple yet powerful framework for structuring a coaching or mentoring session. A useful metaphor for the GROW model is the plan you might make for an important journey. First, you start with a map: With this, you help your team member decide where they are going (their Goal) and establish where they currently are (their Current Reality). Then you explore various ways (the Options) of making the journey. In the final step, establishing the Will, you ensure your team member is committed to making the journey and is prepared for the conditions and obstacles they may meet on their way.
Know Your Own Role In its traditional application, the GROW model assumes that the coach is not an expert in the “client’s” situation, and therefore must act as an objective facilitator, helping the client select the best options and not offering advice or direction. However, when a leader coaches his or her team members, or acts as a mentor to them, other dynamics are in play: As a leader you will usually have some expert knowledge to offer (see our article on expert power.) Also, it’s your job to guide the selection of options which are best for your organization, and veto options that are harmful.
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