The GROW Coaching Model


A Coaching Model By Anu Bhanot, Leadership Coach, INDIA

GROW – Goal, Reality, Options, and Will

The GROW coaching model is a widely used framework that can be incorporated into the shift from “Me” to “We” to support leaders, and employees in individual contributor roles and teams in their journey towards collaboration and collective success. The acronym stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will.

This model stands as a potent and adaptable framework that can be flexibly applied to accommodate a wide array of coaching scenarios. I decided to work with this model because of its structured approach that makes it easy to guide leaders, and employees in individual contributor roles and teams through goal setting, problem-solving, dealing with ambiguity, and personal growth journeys, leading to positive outcomes and lasting change.

The GROW Coaching Model

Let me share how the coaching model can be employed to foster this transition:

GROW Coaching Model - Anu Bhanot

  1. Goal:

  • Start by establishing collective goals for the team or organization. These goals should align with the “We” paradigm and promote collaboration, mutual support, and shared success.
  • Clearly define the desired outcomes and articulate why achieving these goals is essential for the team as a whole.
  • Involve team members in setting the goals collaboratively. Driving involvement and inclusivity creates a sense of ownership, purpose, belonging, and commitment to achieving the goals together.
  1. Reality:

  • Encourage open and honest discussions about the current state of the team or organization. Assess where you stand in terms of the “Me” vs. “We” mindset and the challenges faced in making the shift.
  • Explore the emotions and feelings that come up when weighing on the possibilities of transitioning from a “Me” to a “We” mindset. This is an ideal space to explore beliefs, priorities, and limiting beliefs to help them gain powerful insights about themselves.
  • Identify both individual and collective strengths and areas for improvement. Acknowledge the value of each team member’s unique contributions while highlighting the benefits of collective effort.
  • Address any conflicts or roadblocks that may be hindering the transition to the “We” paradigm.
  1. Options:

  • Brainstorm potential strategies and approaches that can help foster a collaborative environment. Encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Involve team members in generating ideas for how they can collectively support each other’s growth and success.
  • Explore different ways to enhance communication, build trust, and promote a sense of belonging within the team.
  1. Will:

  • Facilitate discussions to gain commitment from team members towards embracing the “we” mindset.
  • Encourage individuals to take ownership of their role in the collective success and commit to supporting each other’s growth and development.
  • Promote a “can do” approach that supports an adaptive and willing mindset to transition from a “Me” to a “We” mindset.
  • Create action plans that outline specific steps and responsibilities for each team member to contribute to the shift.

In the words of Nithya Shanti, “When we are interested, we do what is convenient. When we are committed, we do whatever it takes.”

However, throughout the coaching process, the leader must remember to:

  • Listen Actively: Actively listen to team members’ concerns, ideas, and feedback. Create a safe space for open communication and respect everyone’s perspectives. Inculcate generative listening skills by clearing the mental state, suspending bias and or personal judgments, but just stay curious and be able to understand what is being said from that person’s point of view.
  • Simply speaking: Listen with attention, curiosity, and empathy, listen for potential, not problems, let go of filters and perceptions, listen at a deeper level – beyond the words importantly, Reflect, Summarize, Clarify, and Reframe.
  • Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge and celebrate every step towards the “We” paradigm. Recognize and reward collaborative efforts and achievements. This approach will snowball to increased employee satisfaction, loyalty, and retention, as everyone feels heard and the collective thought acknowledged. 
  • Be Patient and Persistent: Shifting from “Me” to “We” is a process that takes time and effort. Be patient with the progress and persistent in driving the change.
  • Lead by Example: As a leader, model the behaviors and values aligned with the “We” paradigm. Your actions will have a significant impact on the team’s willingness to embrace the shift.

Through the integration of this coaching model, individuals and teams can be led towards embracing a collective mindset, establishing collaboration, shared objectives, and mutual support as the bedrock of their success.

Drawing from my experience as a Learning and Development Leader, I find that promoting Creative Leadership within the organization is a challenging endeavor. The prevailing mindset often adheres to conventional leadership approaches that prioritize short-term gains for the individual (“Self”) rather than considering the broader interests of the entire organization, encompassing its people and processes.

Albert Einstein’s renowned quote aptly highlights the need for a change in perspective: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

This coaching model helps leaders, individuals, and teams transition from and adapt to a growth mindset which is not about being in denial about their limitations; instead, it is about embracing them and knowing that in spite of these obstacles, they can still persevere and achieve the collective goal of the “We” mindset.

Embracing a Creative Leadership mindset involves breaking free from the constraints of traditional methodologies and embracing new, innovative approaches to address the organization’s challenges effectively.

Creative Leadership represents a seamless evolution from various established leadership theories, including Transformational Leadership, Authentic Leadership, and Servant Leadership. It goes beyond mere moral values and encompasses inspirational influence, delving further into areas of social impact, inter-enterprise collaboration, and a proactive commitment to safeguarding planet Earth and its valuable resources.

The essential factor in fostering a sense of purpose, belonging, and growth for both employees and the organization lies in transitioning from an individualistic “Me” perspective to a collective “We” mindset.

Leaders who embrace this shift from “Me” to “We” demonstrate a remarkable capacity to devise and actualize innovative solutions, particularly when confronted with intricate and evolving circumstances. They are the ones capable of providing a clear sense of purpose for their teams even in times of uncertainty and when novel approaches have yet to emerge. These leaders not only navigate through unpredictability but also harness it to their advantage.

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

Coaching for Performance: The Principles an… – Kindle (amazon. in)
Whitmore, J. (1988). Coaching for performance. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey
Creative Leaders Live In Paradox – THNK School of Creative Leadership

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