The GROW peer coaching model is an effective, yet simple, framework for structuring our coaching or mentoring sessions
Embedding a change in our behaviour and awareness takes some support and reflection. The GROW model of peer coaching questions (originally developed by Sir John Whitmore) can be used to help us and our colleagues make better decisions, solve problems, learn new skills, and progress in our careers. Though developing the skill of coaching can seem daunting it is an important skill to develop. With practice, and well developed guidelines, peer coaching becomes easier and helps build our management toolkit.
GROW stands for:
- Goal (where do you want to go?)
- Reality (Were are you now?)
- Options/Obstacles (What opportunities will help you overcome obstacles?)
- Way Forward (What steps do you need to take?)
The GROW model is about choosing a focus and planning our journey – reflecting on where we are, where we want to go and the steps we need to take to get there.
The best approach to the GROW model is to remember that as a peer coach we are not necessarily an expert in the other person’s challenges. The model requires us to act as a facilitator, helping the mentee/coachee reflect and select the best options for them. It is not about offering advice, unless asked. Integral to using the GROW model in peer coaching is active listening.
Change in behaviour and motivation are more powerful when we draw conclusions for ourselves, rather than having these conclusions thrust on us. As a team leader or member, we may have expert knowledge to offer, but it is more effective to guide team members to awareness and their own realisations. As adults we prefer support and guidance than having someone tell us what to do.
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