The GROW model is a coaching model that describes a very simply process that can be followed to help you work towards and to achieve your goals.
The first step is to understand what your goal is. Understanding your goal gives you a concrete objective towards which you can work, and the freedom to start doing so.
Make your goals SMART – goals that are Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. This removes the pie-in-the- sky aspect of goal setting, and turns them into something that you can actually achieve. Having a goal such as ?I would like to lose weight? is difficult to measure and hence difficult to achieve. How about changing it to ?I would like to lose 5 kg by December 2007??
Without goals comes a lack of focus, and with no focus it is very easy to drift through life – just living from day to day, wondering why you are not achieving anything in life. How much harder is it to move forward without understanding where you are going?
The next step is to look at the current reality. Where are you in relation to your goal? Have you almost achieved your goal? Are you a long way away? Do you need to break the goal into smaller, more achievable goals?
It may require a detailed and honest analysis of where you are, But having a deep understanding of where you are provides a very solid foundation of understanding what needs to happen.
Once you understand your goal and your reality, the task is to find out how to start to move the reality towards the goal. At this stage in the process, you examine what options are available to you. This is where the planning takes place.
There may be a single course of action, or there may be multiple options from which to choose. This is a good opportunity to go into some creative brainstorming, or to perform a SWOT analysis on the various options that are available to you.
Remember that at this stage you are not deciding which are the best options – that is for later. You are simply deciding on what the possible options are.
At this stage, we have examined the goal, we know where we are in respect to the goal, and we have examined the various options that we can follow to reach the goal.
The final step is to examine the options, and to decide what the best option is to reach your goal. Note that you are not looking at the easiest option, but the best option. IE: which option is going to move you closest towards your goal?
WORKING THE PLAN
Working throught the GROW model provides a very simple yet powerful framework to support you in achieving your goals. However, the work really happens not in the planning, but in the working of your plan.
While working your plan, keep in mind how you are progressing towards your goal. Keeping examining what is and is not working in your plan. What might have seemed as a great option (the WHAT) might not have been the best choice . So try to have the flexibility to make adjustments when it becomes necessary.
WHERE TO USE GROW
The GROW model can be used in almost any aspect of your personal or business life, including health, wealth, team goals and career aspirations. Basically, GROW will work anywhere in your life that you are working towards a goal.
Good luck, and continue to GROW.
Historical note: There is a lot of uncertainty as to the origins of the GROW model. Several sources cite several different authors. To the best of my knowledge, it was created by Graham Alexander and brought to the fore by Sir John Whitmore.