A Coaching Model Created by AbdulRahman Alharbi
(Career Coach, SAUDI ARABIA)
The GROW model (The GROW Model of Coaching and Mentoring, 2020) works as a framework or a guiding flow for any coaching session, it was originally developed in the 1980s by business coaches Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore. In its simplest description, it starts by agreeing on a goal identified by the coachee/ client, then exploring current reality around the goal and related options to achieve that goal and finally working with the coaches/ client on creating a plan of action for the way forward. The model on its own is a simple yet very robust framework to contain the requirements of various coaching sessions. When it comes to specific/ specialized coaching i.e. career or business coaching, it adds more value to adapt/ modify this model to serve the purpose of a specific career journey or a competency development. The idea is to complement this model with more phases to take place in advance.
The Current Model
The current model phases or steps are as follows:
- Goal: a specific outcome out of a specific session.
- Reality: current happenings and steps taken.
- Options: available ways and resources.
- Will (Way Forward): action plans and timelines.
Looking at the GROW model as is, it serves the purpose when the coachee/ client is ready with a specific issue to explore or resolve. It provides a very robust framework for a standalone session. But what if the coachee/ client is not aware of what is needed? Doesn’t know where to start? What if the coachee/ client is yet in need to explore life/ career purpose, yet in need to explore opportunities for possible moves? Required competencies to develop? In this case, there’s a need to take a step back and work with the coachee/ client to first explore more base attributes i.e. life/ career purpose, aspirations, and values. There’s also a need to explore opportunities for potential changes or moves. These back steps are to complement this model to be used as a framework to support the coachee/ client for an entire journey, not just a single session.
The Proposed Model
The proposed version, to serve specific purposes related to Career, Business, or Executive coaching, is as follows:
The main purpose of this step is to create self-awareness in terms of values, life purpose as well as career purpose. Useful assessments/ exercises to be used in this step are as follows (not necessarily all):
It might take more than one session to explore a coachee/ client’s values. During this session, the coach asks the coachee/ client about situations of joy, happiness, victory, or sadness…etc. and then asks about the details of those situations. Example questions are as follows:
- What happened? What was going on?
- Who was involved?
- What was challenging? Why?
- How did it end? How did you want it to end? Why?
- What did you feel? What did you want to feel instead?
Through these questions, the values of the coachee/ client are explored. Another way here to reconfirm explored values is to provide the coachee/ client with a list of values and ask to identify the most important ten or so, then to further narrow the selected ones down to five or so using techniques like Paired Comparison Analysis (What Are Your Values? 2020)
Life/ Career purpose exercise
It happens that many of us don’t know enough about life purpose, the same applies to career purpose. Why do we exist? Why do we work? We sometimes find ourselves dragged inflow of life questioning what and why. So, this step might be a good station to stop and touch base with the coachee/ client to explore life/ career purpose as discoveries of this step will affect the rest of the journey.
Interests & Motivators
Once the coachee/ client is somehow aware of life/ career purpose, it’s time to explore what is interesting and what keep him/ her motivated to do what he/ she does best every day.
Achievements & Abilities
The idea here is to ask the coachee/ client to list and describe five to eight life/ work achievements. Achievements are reliable sources for abilities, especially where there’s a pattern of repetitive achievements.
This step is to explore areas of focus for the coachee/ client. A good tool to be used here is Wheel of Life. Through this tool, the coachee/ client is asked to subjectively rate his/ her satisfaction, on a 1-to-10 scale, against different areas of life i.e. Health, Personal Growth, Career, Financial, Family, Friends…etc. Here’s a good opportunity for the coach to practice powerful questioning by challenging high and low ratings.
At this step, the assumption is that the coachee/ client is self-aware of values, life/ career purpose, interest and motivators, and abilities. There’s a solid ground to develop goals whether job or general life-related goals.
The goal is to be developed by the coachee/ client but it’s the coach role to challenge originality of this goal, making sure it’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bounded. It’s also the role of the coach to agree with the coachee/ client on what the success measures for that goal are.
Whatever the goal is, this step is to explore the current situation around this goal. It’s a good window to ask questions like “What’s going on?”, “What’s really challenging?”, “What’s stopping you?” and “Why now?”.
Providing that goal is developed, and the context of that goal is explored, it’s time to explore options to achieve that goal by questions like “What resources do you need/ have to achieve this goal” and “Who can help”?
Will (Way Forward)
This step is all-around actions and only actions. Throughout the sessions, the coachee/ client is supposed to come out with actions to move on. The coach’s role is to support the creation of the action plan and to hold the coachee/ client accountable for those actions by questioning resources, time, and willingness.
As mentioned previously, this proposed model is not something developed from scratch, the idea is to complement the already-working GROW model with more steps to support developing a context for a change. This proposed model is advised to be used for packaged coaching, not single sessions.
Mindtools.com. 2020. The GROW Model Of Coaching And Mentoring: A Simple Process For Developing Your People. [online] Available at: <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_89.htm> [Accessed 16 March 2020].
Mindtools.com. 2020. What Are Your Values?. [online] Available at: <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm> [Accessed 19 March 2020].