Nisha is the design head of her organization. She is managing a four-member team, overseeing their work on a weekly basis.

She notices that one of her associates is struggling with client communication. Nisha schedules a catch-up with them to find a solution. Instead of giving advice, she asks questions that help them figure out what they need to do to improve their skills.

Nisha approached the situation like a coach and a mentor. Often managers and leaders make the mistake of telling people what to do. But the more effective strategy is to lead them to self-developed solutions. This is where you can rely on the GROW model of coaching and mentoring.


  1. What Is The GROW Model?

  2. Unpacking The Grow Framework

What Is The GROW Model?

The GROW method stands for Goals, Reality, Options (Obstacles) and Way Forward (Will). It’s a coaching model developed in the 1980s by industry experts and researchers.

If you’re a manager or a leader, you’re well aware of the benefits of coaching and mentoring. Even in a high-powered work environment, learning and development adds value.

Adopting the GROW model of mentoring will help you streamline this process even more. From goal setting to identifying the journey your mentees will take, you can play an instrumental role in their professional and personal development.

Unpacking The Grow Framework

New techniques and methods such as the GROW framework can bring a certain excitement to your daily chores. Say you’ve been mentoring an intern at work for a couple of months. You’re a little frustrated because you’re not really getting anywhere with them. Eventually, you start to blame it on their inability to keep up. But it’s possible that it’s your method that’s flawed.

Here’s a look at the GROW model with each of its steps:

  1. Setting The Right Goals

Instead of setting goals for them, ask your mentees what they want to achieve. Goal setting is as much a collaborative exercise as it is individual. You can discuss what behavior, action or skill your mentee wants to change or improve. Then, you can set the right goals with them. Think about how you can help them achieve their goals—possibly with training, practice or by giving them more responsibilities. Be as specific as possible so you can measure their progress against each metric as they go.

  1. Evaluating The Reality

A critical, and often overlooked, step in the process is to determine the current state of things. You may have set goals for the future, but you need to ask what pushed them to want to change their behavior in the first place. Assessing the reality of an employee will help you make sense of their motivations, intentions and thoughts. This way, you’ll have a clearer idea about what you can do to help them.

  1. Considering Options And Identifying Obstacles

Build your awareness by asking your employees relevant questions about their situation. This will help you develop ways to achieve their goals. Coming up with options or possibilities that lead to their destination is a two-way process. Think about it as a brainstorming session. Give them the chance to shoot down some of your ideas instead of imposing your opinion on them. In the process, you’ll recognize obstacles that are perhaps holding them back.

  1. Establishing The Way Forward

Identifying obstacles leads to problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions. Once you’ve figured the way out, you can encourage your employees to start their journey. This requires a commitment to goals, willpower and determination on an employee’s part.

A mentor or coach is a cheerleader, supporter and confidante. A professional setting, where stakes are high, is an environment where goals are clearly defined. It’s one of the best places for the GROW model to thrive. An example of GROW model in the workplace is a performance appraisal. Even managers have to go through this process with their seniors. In a performance appraisal,

  • You set goals for the next quarter like increasing your targets or improving the quality of your work

  • You identify your current reality with your manager and identify what needs to be changed

  • You evaluate options to bring about a change in your performance—it may be learning and development or off-the-job training—and identify ways to overcome obstacles

  • You commit to the way forward for your professional and personal development

Use the GROW model in your organization to build better and stronger teams. Listening to your employees will even help you identify possible conflicts you were unaware of. They may be finding it difficult to get along with someone or communicate their expectations.

Harappa’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you how to influence others and resolve conflicts. Performance is measured at each stage in your career—even if you’re the CEO. Invest in your success—and theirs—with the right tools, frameworks and core concepts like Power Structures and the Thomas Kilmann Model. You can help your employees be better at what they do and learn from them in the process.

Explore topics such as Organizational Behavior, What is Mentoring and the Role of a Mentor from Harappa Diaries to learn about mentoring at work.

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