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Hope everyone is well today.

I've a question on coaching, which I think I have an answer to, but wanted to check myself with you clever people first to make sure I'm on the right track.

For me, the best coaching model I've warmed to and used over the years is the GROW model.  Many of us will have come across and used this, so I'll spare you the detail.  But if you haven't come across this before, or you want a reminder, there's a couple of useful links below.

The GROW model is great in terms of helping people to establish their own goals, establish where they are in relation to those goals and the options available to moving closer to achieving those goals.  It's very empowering and helps the coachee to take responsiblity for their own thoughts and actions. 

What I tend to find though, is in certain circumstances this doesn't seem to work well.  One that commonly comes up is where you are working with someone who lacks experience, perhaps a new start, or someone new to role.  Whilst you do want to encourage them to think things through for themselves, it can sometimes be challenging where their limited knowledge and experience prevents them from being able to even consider what options are available let alone evaluate which is best.  This can often lead to those frustrating times for both when as a coach, you're asking "What do you think you could do to achieve xyz" when in their mind, they're looking at you thinking "I haven't got a clue, just tell me so that I can get on with it!"

So for me, whilst our ideal is to use coaching to empower people, encourage them to think, weigh up options and decide their next course of action, sometimes, you just need to give them the steer that they need.

So my question to you is, whilst GROW is a good model for most coaching, what models would you personally recommend for situations where sometimes, you just need to give the answer or direction?

Links to the GROW model of coaching:






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Ady Howes - Community Manager, DPG

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  • Here are some additional links to some other coaching models out there that might be useful to review

    How To Create Your Coaching Model Using A What Works Matrix  The truth about coaching models is that not one model will fit for every situation that you're challenged with when working with your clients. What's a better approach? A multi-model approach. Here's how.

    What-IS-Coaching Model - An effective and simple model that I personally developed when I started coaching. I've developed other approaches since. But this model while simple, remains powerful and effective. Almost as if my intuition guided me to finding this approach.

    Motivational Interviewing - People are ambivalent. We have mixed feeling about, just about anything. And this sometimes gets us in trouble. Because it's hard for us to really understand what our true motivations are at times. Here's where this coaching model can help your clients.

    The G.R.O.W Coaching Model  - A widely used way for helping people achieve their goals. When it comes to coaching, simple often is more effective. Folks tend to lose motivation and get stuck when overwhelmed with tasks you give them, or that they give themselves. G.R.O.W will help you give clarity to your clients by giving them a simple framework to succeed in their goals.

    SUCCESS - How do you spell SUCCESS? I'll bet that you're not expecting it's spelt like this (it's not what you're thinking...)

    STEPPPA - Clearly, if you're a human being, you are an emotional creature. We all have emotions. We all can learn from our emotions. This model focuses on the different aspects of the emotions involved in achieving goals.

    WHAT - Asking good questions is a coach's bread and butter. People will ramble on when you ask them about what they want and often are blind to see the real reasons behind their behaviors. This model allows you to ask the right questions, it's a simple yet effective strategy towards helping your clients find a solution.

  • Hi Alison,

    Great views and most certainly not too controversial!  If you were, I'd say do it more!  It's what keeps the change wheels oiled!

    I think this is right too.  Training and mentoring is the key isn't it for these newbies.  And the great news is when we're great coaches, we're great trainers and mentors too and vice versa.  After all the same skills come into play in varying forms in all arenas for us.  It's like a mini-coaching session in our training events, or a mini-training session in our mentoring.  A nice blend.

  • Adding to what I just said, we do get our "trained assessors" on the factory floor to consider coaching individuals when they are being assessed on standard operating procedures, but this is coaching in a slightly different context.

    It is coaching to help build confidence and to help to determine level of competence.

  • I am not sure that a coach is needed for an inexperienced staff member or new starter. Training and mentoring is more relevant at this stage, along with opportunities to learn on the job, to develop and to gain experience.

    I think the benefit of coaching arises at a later stage when a person has a nice solid foundation upon which to build or grow, or from which to jump, and they either have some degree of clarity regarding where they hope to be and their objectives/goals, or they recognise the need for help to gain this clarity. Then they can generate for themselves, faciitated by the coach, their options and identify any obstacles that need to be overcome in order to move down their chosen path.

    The GROW model is fine then in that context, or perhaps a cut down version of the GROW model.

    (Hope I am not being too controversial.)

  • Happy Christmas too!

  • Happy Christmas! You've got me thinking......!

  • Thanks Helen.

    Let's brainstorm those ideas together!  Here's some...

    Cancel Christmas and go away on holiday instead, make a donation to chartity in lieu of gifts for others etc etc!






  • Yes, our discussion means that I am now even more behind with my Christmas tasks! :-) Perhaps a project plan for Christmas is needed! I see you have asked an open question so here is my reply :-)

    I agree that would put the ownership back on the coachee as they have to think about the implications of taking certain action, so it sound good. Sometimes as well I say something like 'how about we brainstorm this together and just flip lots of options down' - I try and make it fun so anything can go down as a suggestion, including mine and things that may not be followed though - its amazing how many times people come up with a really good suggestion they hadn't considered before!

    Think I need some suggestions for getting all my Christmas jobs done....


  • Hi Helen.

    I totally concur with these conversations you have with our other halves!  Last night, me and my wife were discussing the barriers to using technology in learning.  It's all helped with me planning a particular project I'm working on and also helped me to side the step the "Presents still left to get for Christmas, when are we shopping etc" dicussion!

    Thanks for sharing your views on this topic.  I agree that we have to be careful not to guide the coachee too much and allow them to own their own solutions.  I like the idea of asking if it's okay to offer suggestions.  Perhaps, "I can see that you're struggling to see the options available to you, if you were to do xyz, how do you see that working?"

    This way, the suggestion is there from the coach, but immediately the question "How do you see that working" places the ownership of whether this is the right thing to do and whether it would work firmly back in the coachee's court.

    ...."How does everyone see that working?" :-)



  • Hi Ady

    Well would you believe that my husband came home from a coaching training day this week (as part of a leadership training course at work) and asked me my view on this very topic! Needless to say a fairly animated discussion followed, but after various drawings of diagrams including a Venn diagram (Tony is an Engineer, I am a Coach :-) ) we came to an agreement! The trainer on my husband's course felt that coaching should never become 'directive' or offer suggestions. My husband challenged this for situations where coaching just isn't working or the coachee is genuinely stuck, in terms of using an alternative approach or offering suggestions.

    As a coach, I think 'one' has to be careful not to guide the coachee, whether intentional or not, but I think there are certainly situations as others have commented that mentoring can be used as an alternative or the coach can ask if it is OK to offer suggestions.

    I won't draw the Venn diagram we came up with here (you really wil think I'm sad) but after quite some time of going round in circles, we agreed that you can't change the nature of coaching so need to be sure you are asking the right questions, but it is fine to change your approach if it simply isn't working or the situation requires mentoring! See what happens when a coach and an Engineer work on something together! Hope that's useful :-).


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