By Richard White
There is a coaching model that is very effective for coaching others but can actually be used to coach yourself if you are stuck with a problem and looking for a way forward. It’s called the GROW model and within the corporate environment it is often used to teach managers the basics of coaching.
The GROW model was developed in the UK by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore. I was actually trained by Sir John Whitmore in the GROW model back in 1993. He demonstrated by coaching someone to improve their golf swing even though he was not a golf player himself.
It’s actually a problem solving process that helps people think through their problems and come up with their own solutions. This article is about how to use the GROW process to help us think through our own problems.
If you have been trained then why not use it on yourself? It will make you a more effective sales coach if you do.
Each letter of GROW represents a stage in the process.
What is your outcome? What do you want to achieve?
Use the SMART criteria to ensure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound.
You need to get to a position where you are very clear of what you want. Write it down and read it back to yourself. Tweak it until it is clear enough that if you were to tell someone else in one sentence they would understand your goal.
If your goal is qualitative – for example, “I want to feel more confident about public speaking” then consider a scale of 0 to 10 – Where do you want to be on a scale of 0 to 10 and how would you know? What evidence will you have that you have achieved it? What would you be doing differently?
If you were on a journey, this would be your destination. The one you program into your Sat Nav system.
What is your current position in relation to your goal?
Articulate it with the same clarity as your goal. If your goal is qualitative with a scale of 1 to 10 then where are you now along that scale.
Goal: By the end on September 2010 I want to be feeling 8 out of 10 in terms of confidence with public speaking so that I am able to stand up and give a presentation in front of the board of directors.
Reality: I am currently feeling 5 out of 10 in terms of confidence with public speaking and racked with nerves even thinking about it!
In terms of a journey, the reality is your current position in relation to your journey. Where are you going? And How far have you got left to travel?
This is about finding your best course of action in achieving your goal and involves considering your options.
Simply ask yourself ‘What are my options?’
You are looking to list as many options as you can, no matter how silly they seem. Do not evaluate them at this stage. Just get them down on paper. I always start with ‘Do nothing’ to get me going.
Keep the ideas coming by asking yourself questions like ‘What else?’
For example, when considering improving your confidence in cold calling your options might include:
- Join a local public speaking club
- Go to the library and read books on public speaking
- Speak to people who have overcome their nerves and get tips from them
- Get some hypnotherapy
- Get a public speaking coach
- Attend a training course
- Etc etc
In terms of a journey its equivalent to considering all the different ways of getting there on time.
The final part of the grow model drives out the actions. It’s decision time!
Out of all the options listed, which of them are you going to do?
In order to decide on your actions you need to first evaluate the options and begin to eliminate them. In some cases you may end up with more than one action from your list.
In terms of a journey this is about deciding on your specific travel plans to get to your destination. It is your road map.
You may want to build in some milestones or check points along the way to ensure you are on the right path.
If you are looking to improve your sales coaching skills then why not give it a go – you could see your sales begin to GROW very quickly!