GROW Model for Coaching: The Definitive Guide [2021]

Coaching models build the foundation of any coaching practice. Any aspiring coach directly or indirectly uses a coaching model.

Coaching models are processes or methods that bring transformation in the clients. There are different types of models. These models provide structure to the coaching process of the coach. The models help in establishing structure so that the coaching process is effective and transformation-oriented.

Coaching models streamline coaching conversations. These models represent a system with an implied process.

Amongst the different types of models, there is one that is extremely popular amongst the coaches. It is the GROW coaching model.

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GROW coaching model is widely used by different types of coaches today. Be it a life coach or a team coach, all types of coaches can apply the GROW coaching model to enhance their practice.

Do you want to know what is a GROW coaching model and how to use it?

Do you want to learn more about the different steps of the GROW coaching model?

Do you want to know what are the advantages of the GROW coaching model?

If your answer is a – ‘YES’, you are in the right place.

In this article, I have covered everything that you must know about the GROW coaching model. Before we dive into the depth, let’s first have a glance at different types of coaching models.

What are the Different Types of Coaching Models?

There are different types of coaching models that a coach can use. Now the question arises – ‘ Which model should you choose?’ This greatly depends on your coaching style and process. Before you make a choice, first understand the different types of coaching models and their underlying fundamentals.

The models that I have listed below are considered BEST as per their popularity during recent times. Let’s have a look at them.

GROW Coaching Model

The Grow coaching model was created by Sir John Whitmore. It is one of the most widely used coaching models. The GROW coaching model consists of four major stages.

G – Goal

This stage requires the coach and client to set up goals. Setting goals clarifies the purpose of the further coaching sessions.

R- Reality

After the goals are set, this stage allows the client to understand their reality. This involves letting the client know of their strengths, weaknesses current situation, etc.

O – Option

In this stage, the coach tells the client about the various options they have to face the situation. This leads to the development of ideas and discovering new ways.

W – Will/Way Forward

At this stage, the client chooses one amongst the various options available. The coach builds an action plan for the client and ensures that the client sticks to the plan.

OSKAR Coaching Model

The next coaching model which is widely popular amongst the coaches today is the OSKAR coaching model. This model focuses on the solutions rather than the problems. It consists of five major stages. Let’s understand more about the OSKAR coaching model.

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O – Outcome

In the first stage, the coach asks the clients about the outcomes that they want to achieve. This includes asking coaching questions to understand what the client wants to achieve from the coaching sessions. This way the client can visualize and gain clarity on the desired results.

S – Scaling

After the clients know what goals they desire, they can utilize the scaling technique (which is on a scale from 1 -10). This technique helps the clients to understand where do they stand in relation to their current goals.

K – Know-How

At this stage, the coach helps the clients to gain the skills and the knowledge to establish resources. This is a vital stage that demands great coaching skills, time, and efforts.

A – Affirm and Action

Here the coach asks the clients to take actions by providing positive comments.

R – Review

At this stage, the coach reviews the entire process. The coach evaluates and decides what is going good and where there is a need for a change.

CLEAR Coaching model

The person who developed this model was Peter Hawkins. CLEAR coaching model consists of the following stages:

C – Contracting

At this stage, the coach will help the clients to understand their goals clearly. With open discussions and meaningful coaching sessions, the coach tries to make the clients clear about their desires and goals.

L – Listening

Listening is an important coaching skill. The CLEAR model considers listening as an important part of the coaching practice. It helps both the coach and the client to understand the situation better. Through active listening, the coach tries to analyze the situation, the strengths, and weakness of the clients.

E – Exploring

At this stage, the coach will help the clients to explore the options around them. The coach guides the clients to consider better possibilities for the future.

A – Action

At this stage, the coach builds an effective action plan for the client. The clients commit to the action plans and give their best to achieve the end transformation. Meanwhile, the coach takes care that the clients are held accountable for the action steps. Coaches evaluate and track the performance of the clients and guide them to perform their best.

R – Review

This is the last step when the coach reviews the performance of the clients. The coach provides constructive feedback to the clients. This helps the client to understand how the coaching sessions are benefiting them and what aspects can be made better.

Apart from these, there are some other coaching models that you may come across.

Shift coaching model

This coaching model comes into play when a person can’t determine how to achieve the set goals. In such cases, a shift in thinking can help. The coach can help the clients to step back, shift, and then move forward.

Block Removal coaching model

This coaching model is useful when clients are resistant to growth. The block can be a result of limiting belief or hidden fear.

Innovation coaching model

This coaching model has innovation and creativity as its foundational principles.

Bigger Thinking model

This coaching model helps in challenging the clients’ assumptions and expand their thinking. The main focus is to break the person out of their comfort zones.

What is the GROW Coaching Model?

GROW coaching model assumes that the coach is not an expert in the client’s situation. So, rather than offering advice and opinion, the coach tries to understand the objectives and then look for the best options to achieve the end results.

GROW stands for:


Current Reality

Options (or obstacles)

Will (or Way Forward)

GROW model focuses on thinking how are you going to plan your journey. First, you will determine the goal that you want to achieve i.e. the end results. Next, you will examine the current reality. The current situations and their analysis in detail. Then you discover various routes that can lead to the destination, which are also called the options. In the last step, you establish the will to ensure that you are committed to the action plan. This means that you will try hard to overcome all the obstacles to reach the much-needed transformation.

To apply the GROW coaching model effectively, first, you must understand its steps in detail. Let’s have a look at each of the steps in detail.

Steps of GROW coaching model

Establish the Goal

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First, the coach needs to look at what behavior do the clients want to change. This change is then structured into a goal.

As a coach, you must ensure that the goal is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

The goals must be set both for a longer-term and for the coaching session.

While setting the goals for the clients, the coach musk ask questions like:

  1. What do you want to achieve? (Goal or Objective)
  2. How will you understand that the situation is satisfactory?
  3. When do you want to achieve the goal?
  4. Can the goal be measured?
  5. Does this goal fit with your career objective?

Examine the current Reality

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This is an important step in the GROW coaching model. Here, the coach asks the client to dig more into the present situation. Often clients are unaware of their starting points. They may also neglect some important information that might be useful for the achievement of the goal.

Analyzing the dynamics of the current situation and creating self-awareness is the prime aim of this step.

The coach helps the coachee to engage in self-evaluation and analyzing concrete examples. With the help of constructive feedback, the coach is able to clear the core problem.

Some useful questions during this step are:

  1. What is happening now and what is the result of it?
  2. Have you taken any steps towards your goal? If yes, then what are they?
  3. Does the goal conflict with any other goal?
  4. Who all are involved in the current situation?

Exploring the options

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The motive of this step of the GROW coaching model is to create free ideas. Free brainstorming and open discussion are key components of this step. The coachee encourages creative thought processes in the coachee. This helps in identifying various paths that can lead to the desired results.

Questions that are useful during this step are:

  1. What would be the list of possible options look like?
  2. What if x or y constraint was removed? How will it change things?
  3. What else can be done in this scenario?
  4. What parameters will you consider to weigh the options?
  5. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of option x?
  6. What obstacles stand in your way?

Establishing the will

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After setting the goal and clarifying the options, the coachee will have a clear idea of the coaching process. But, this is not enough. To achieve the desired transformation the coachee must commit to a certain action plan.

Committing to the action steps demands determination and patience. It is not easy to bring a transformation. This might need a change in behavior, habits, and ways of dealing. Everyone is not comfortable with change. Commitment demands a strong will power and solid support of the coach to achieve success.

The coach’s action plan will determine how well the coaching process would benefit the clients. To create a robust action plan a coach should have an amazing coaching philosophy.

Here are some useful questions while building the action plan:

  1. What will you do now?
  2. When will you do this?
  3. What obstacles do you think that you will encounter? How do you think you will overcome them?
  4. How will you keep yourself motivated?
  5. If you need help, who will you approach and how?
  6. How do you wish to review your progress? Daily, weekly, monthly?

Where and How You Can Use the GROW Coaching Model

A coach can use the GROW Coaching model in a variety of settings. Let’s have a look at where and how you can use the GROW coaching model.


GROW coaching model helps to build the growth potential of the employees. It guides the managers to realize the end goals of their employees and to build a robust company structure. Workplace coaches can apply the GROW coaching model to enhance the work culture of the company. It helps the employees to be more connected towards a common goal. People who are connected to a common goal move towards the goal with better results.


GROW coaching model can help in any area of personal development. This can include business, health, or any other area where obstacles need to be overcome. With the help of the GROW coaching model, an individual can gain clarity on the goals and available options. GROW coaching model provides a safe place for the individual towards growth concerning goals.


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Team coaching can use the GROW coaching model to clarify goals. It helps in initiating the team-motivation towards the common goal. Group coaching via the GROW coaching model will help to bring all the team members on the same page. This will further help in defining roles and responsibilities towards team goals.


Family coaches can use the GROW coaching model. Parenting challenges can be overcome via the GROW coaching model. The model will help the parents and children to realize their true values and principles and put them to practice. Discovering and examining current family challenges will become easy. With the GROW model, any coach can help in improving the family dynamics of the clients.

Money management

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Wealth coaches or budget coaches can use the GROW coaching model to deal with clients who are aiming at better money management. This area demands great clarity and focus. Including the GROW coaching model in the coaching practice, the coach can bring both to the clients. Debt management can become easy with clear options and string will power. The GROW coaching model provides proper structure to the coach and coachee for the best coaching process.

GROW Coaching Model Exercises

During different steps of the GROW coaching model, coaches can use different coaching exercises. Let’s have a look at some of these exercises.


In Goal framework, helping the client to realize their strengths and aligning them in balance with the goals is a helpful exercise. The goal is the anchor for hope. The more the clients are aligned with the core values better would be their movement towards the goal.

You can include a few goal-setting exercises in your coaching practice.


During the Reality framework of the GROW coaching model, it is important to see how perspective works. Include reframing and growth mindset conversations in your coaching sessions.

You can use many theories like the Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions. Circulation of positive emotions keeps the brains more open. This will further allow the clients to explore their personal perspectives. By such an exercise, information, and ways that were earlier hidden can be discovered.


The options framework of the GROW model can be the most impactful. It allows the clients to explore possibilities and choose which of them would be the best for the future. Implications wheel can be a good tool that can help in the options framework of the GROW model.

Way Forward

This step should include clarifying the steps and preparing an action plan. A coach should have meaningful conversations with the clients to help them with their action steps. This step of the GROW coaching model must include constructive feedback from the coach. Tracking the performance of the clients and evaluating them from time to time is vital. The coach must also include motivational exercises to ensure that the clients are committed and determined.

Creately offers some great GROW coaching model templates that can be extremely useful.

Top Coaching Questions During Different Phases of the GROW Coaching Model


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  1. What do you wish to achieve?
  2. What holds importance for you in the current situation?
  3. What do you like to happen with ___?
  4. What should be the ideal outcome?
  5. What do you want to change?
  6. How would you describe your perfect world?
  7. What do you want to achieve by the end of this session?
  8. What would be the benefits if you achieve this goal?
  9. What are your true desires?
  10. What will make you feel the time in the coaching session was worth spending?


  1. Where are you at present as per your goal?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, where do you see yourself?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  4. What skills are you confident about?
  5. What is required of you?
  6. Why haven’t you reached the goal till now?
  7. What do you think is working well right now?
  8. What do you think is the main cause of your problems?
  9. What is required of you?
  10. What do you think is stopping you?
  11. What did you learn from ____?
  12. If you ask ______, what would they say about you?


  1. What are the possible options available for you right now?
  2. What could you do differently?
  3. Do you know of anyone who had faced similar conditions?
  4. Give me 5 options that you see around you to deal with the problem?
  5. What would your mother suggest?
  6. If anything was possible what would you do?
  7. What would happen if you do that?
  8. What would be the most challenging part of option x?
  9. Which option do you think is the best as per now?
  10. What do you think is the best/worst part of that option?
  11. What else?

Way Forward

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  1. When are you going to start?
  2. What options will you take?
  3. What one small step will you take now?
  4. How would you know that you are successful?
  5. How would you ensure that you are on the right track?
  6. What roadblocks do you think requires planning?
  7. What support do you need to get that done?
  8. Who will you approach for help and how?
  9. What help do you think you need from me to achieve this?
  10. On a scale of 10, how committed or motivated are you to doing this?
  11. What would it take to make it a 10?

Why Choose the GROW Coaching Model over Others?

The GROW coaching model is the simplest and most famous coaching model. Many coaches have greatly benefitted from this coaching model. The reason that most of the coaches use this model is that it is extremely simple. Unlike the OSKAR coaching model which is solution-oriented, the GROW coaching model focuses more on discovering and exploring. Also, it can be applied to a variety of settings unlike the Block Removal coaching model or Shift coaching model.

If you are looking for a simple, dynamic, and flexible coaching model, GROW is the best choice!

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