Coaching Quickstart – Part 2

Last month I introduced you to coaching, with the first of two key acronymns:  WAIT.  If you want to learn about WAIT, see this blog post:  Coaching Quickstart – Part 1.  This month I’m giving you the second acronym:  GROW.  I learned this from John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance. 

GROW is a template—a coaching guide—to tackle a coaching issue. It suggests the four phases involved when coaching someone: (1) Goal definition, (2) Reality assessment, (3) Options considered, and (4) what Will be done as a result. Keep saying those words: Goal, Reality, Options, Will. Think of the template as an arrow or a funnel, moving another toward the target or the resolution of an issue.

For example, say a person you’re coaching needs to discuss how to recruit more children’s workers for the Sunday school program. Ask, “What is your GOAL?” The answer may be simple: “To recruit six more Sunday school workers.” The situation, however, may be more complex than that.

So once the goal is defined, ask something such as, “What is the current REALITY? How have you recruited workers in the past? What’s worked? What’s not worked?”  This helps  define the current reality in context.

Understanding the context, you’re set to move on to considering OPTIONS. “What options do you have?” Keep probing for more and more options; you may add a few yourself. You could help the person discover a dozen options.

Finally, ask, “Considering these options, which options WILL you implement? What WILL you do?” The one you’re coaching will eventually agree to certain action steps. You may need to challenge the person to do more—or maybe less. You’re the coach.

Your job then is to help hold the person accountable. You may say, “May I call you next Wednesday to see how it’s coming?” Or, “Will you send me a copy of the letter you will be sending by next Tuesday?” Generally you won’t need to be hard on the person. Agreement to an action plan and willingness to be held accountable will produce enormous results.

There you have it:  WAIT, and GROW!

Photo by euthman