Using GROW Model and Situational Leadership Models for Executive Clients in Global Companies


A Coaching Model By  Ann-Marie Purvis, Executive Coach, SWITZERLAND

Using Grow Model

Executives in Global Companies:  Managing Upwards

[1] Using a model is useful when working with a client to help optimize the session to have an effective outcome. It helps to establish a clear focus at the beginning, to differentiate it from a general and broad conversation with no clear purpose and approach.

It can also be a guide to ensure that the session stays ‘on track’ which is a risk that needs to be considered when clients have so many areas of concern. The skill of the coach is in knowing what your client needs at a particular moment, so being able to have access to a toolkit that includes different models is always helpful to draw upon, to be able to select and use when needed. There are a number of coaching models, frameworks, and theories to choose from, and carefully selected from these to meet each client’s specific needs is essential. In this case, I have decided to focus my coaching model on the Situational Leadership Model and the GROW[2] model for Executive clients from Global companies.


GROW represents four stages in the coaching conversation:

  • Goal
  • Reality
  • Options/Obstacles
  • Way Forward



The Goal is the endpoint, where the client wants to be. The goal has to be defined in such a way that it is obvious to the client when they have achieved it.



The current Reality is where the client is now. What are the issues, the challenges, and how far are they away from their goal?



There will be Obstacles stopping the client from where they are now to where they want to go. If there were no Obstacles the client would already have reached their goal.


Once Obstacles have been identified, the client needs to find ways of dealing with them if they are to make progress. These are the Options.


Way Forward

The Options then need to be converted into action steps that will take the client to their goal. These are the Way Forward. The “W” of GROW can also include When and by Whom and the Will (or intention or commitment) to do it.

When approaching discussions with my Executive Coaching clients I find having an agreed approach helps them to feel most comfortable. As no coaching session is the same it is helpful to keep the framework simple and it acts as a flexible guide for the various directions the conversation can go, hence why I use the GROW model.

When working with my clients I have an initial exploration session to confirm if there is a good fit between us and if we can work together. Once it is agreed, we then discuss whether a 6-session or 10-session program would fit their needs at this stage. This can be extended if they wish at any time. Once this has been completed then the coaching agreement is put into place. This is to inform the client what is expected from them and what they can expect from the coach, to ensure there is clarity about the process.

Once this is agreed upon then in the first session we also outline the initial range of goals the client has for the program with the understanding that these goals can be revisited at each coaching session and changed by the client if needed. Clear communication, credibility, and trust are important for the sessions to be a safe place for the client. The number of sessions is dependent solely on the client, the coach is purely there to support the client reach their own conclusions, without being judgmental or pushing them into what they think the client should do. Again, the coach is solely there for the client to answer their own questions, to build the path towards their goals, to highlight any areas to explore with the client through powerful questions, active listening, and aid them in using different tools like Situation Leadership [3]to bring to them the awareness they need for moving forward.

For this Coaching Model essay, I have chosen the GROW model and Situation Leadership Model to apply to a topic that commonly is raised by Executive Clients which is the upward managing of their Directors and how the Executive would prefer to be managed and supported.

Executives in Global companies face many pressures and as they develop in their capabilities it is a common issue that their Leaders have not adapted their leadership style to the new level of competence and confidence of the Executive. This causes stress and concern for the Executives who often feel this undermines their personal brand within the organization, and their own confidence and potentially damages their relationship with their Leader.

 For example, a woman executive was faced with a situation where she felt she was being undermined by her Leader in front of his peers in meetings where she presented her findings and recommendations for review. She was unclear what she could do to influence this situation as it involved her Leader and his peers. She felt stressed as she had a strong relationship with her Leader and was unclear why he was seemingly undermining her in front of his peers by taking over the presentation and restating everything she was saying and then encouraging his peers to ask questions of him. During the 6 sessions that we had, she realized her goal was to have a discussion with her Leader on a shift in the way he was managing her, personally and in front of others. She was unclear of his understanding of what the shift needed to be and how it would happen and if he had any awareness of the impact this was having on her. She reached the conclusion that she needed to have a better understanding of Situation Leadership, and the current understanding of her Leader’s knowledge of what and how to change his leadership approach with her. She then was able to set in place actions to meet with her Leader to have the discussion to put a new agreed approach for his management of her into action.

Goal – to have a change in leadership approach of her Leader with her

Reality – was unclear about her Leader’s understanding of his current Leadership style with her and its impact on her

Options – Have a meeting with her Leader to discuss changing his Leadership style with her

Obstacle – Not known if the Leader was willing to change his Leadership Style with her

Way Forward/Action – set up a meeting with her Leader, have a clear understanding of what changes she wanted from him, able to reduce her stress.

The Grow Model and Situational Leadership Model

In conclusion, the Grow model and Situational Leadership Model were useful for the client to be able to reflect on themselves what they needed, how they wanted to move forward, and when the client wanted to achieve this. It is important to be able to listen to clients, suspend judgment, and allow them the space and time to explore their choices without any pressure and to ensure they know they have the coach with them on their journey.

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
Read more about creating your coaching model


A Guide to Coaching and Being Coached,
Tools for Team Leadership, Gregory E Huszczo
Behavioral Coaching, Susanne Skiffington and Perry Zeus
Executive Coaching: Practices and Perspectives, Catherine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Garvey Berger
[1] Effective Coaching Models To Structure Your Coaching Sessions
[2] Wikipedia – GROW Model
[3]Wikipedia – Situational Leadership

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

How Healthy Is Peanut Butter, Really?
‘Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse’s Lord & Miller On Sequel’s “Down To The Wire” Journey To $209M WW Opening – Crew Call Podcast
Did You Miss POPSUGAR Play/Ground? Relive the Perfect Day Off Here
Tupac’s Father Not a Fan of ‘Dear Mama’ or Hulu Docuseries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *