GROW Model Questions: 60 Questions To Ask Your Coachees

GROW Model Questions: 60 Questions To Ask Your Coachees

At its core, coaching is a conversation between a coach and a coachee. Sometimes, though, coaches need a hand navigating the conversation and producing fruitful results. Luckily, the GROW model was created to be that guide.

Here’s what you need to know about the GROW model and my 60 GROW model questions you can use in your next coaching session.

What is the GROW model?

The GROW model was created in the 1980s by business coach Sir John Whitmore, along with Graham Alexander and Alan Fine. Today, it’s the most common coaching method used by managers, executives, and industry leaders, including Google.

GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. Each of these words represents a step in the coaching process. Coaches typically use the GROW framework to help coachees improve their work performance, solve a problem, identify and learn a new skill, or help them set and achieve a goal.

What are the benefits of the GROW model?

While the framework is highly beneficial to coachees, it’s also a great leadership tool. It helps leaders improve their coaching abilities and develop better coaching mindsets and behaviours by following a well-defined process.

The four steps to GROW

The GROW model includes four steps that the coach leading the session should follow:

GoalIdentify the coachee’s goal.
RealityEstablishing present conditions.
OptionsDetermining what can be done.
WillHow a coachee can move forward.
60 examples of GROW model questions

At each step of the process — Goal, Reality, Options, Will — the coach will ask the coachee a set of related GROW model questions. These questions help them gather the insights they need from the coachee and develop an action plan to achieve their goal or overcome an obstacle.

Here are some examples of helpful GROW model questions to use in your next session:

Goal Questions
  • How have you been?
  • What has improved or worsened since your last coaching session?
  • What would you like to discuss?
  • What is your number one goal for this session?
  • Why do you want to achieve it?
  • What are the benefits of achieving it?
  • How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal?
  • Is the goal realistic?
  • Do you have enough time and resources to achieve your goal?
  • What do you want to change the most?
  • What’s your ideal outcome for this situation?
  • What will happen if you don’t achieve your goal?
  • What’s the most helpful takeaway you could gain from this session?
  • How do you think I can help?
Reality Questions
  • What is your current situation (AKA what brought you here)?
  • Can you provide examples?
  • Who is involved?
  • How does this impact you and your work?
  • How important is it to you?
  • How urgent is the situation on a scale of one to ten?
  • What obstacles are stopping you?
  • How often do you face obstacles?
  • What have you tried to do to fix it?
  • What is the perception of other people involved?
  • How are you currently being supported in your role?
  • What behaviours, attitudes, or skills can you improve to help your situation?
  • Describe your typical day in relation to your goal/obstacle.
  • How close or far are you from achieving your goal/overcoming your obstacle?
  • What is your intuition telling you?
  • What would happen if you didn’t meet your goal or overcome your obstacle?
Options Questions
  • What can you do to solve it?
  • What has worked in the past?
  • What hasn’t worked in the past?
  • What are some alternatives?
  • Would you like a suggestion?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option?
  • Who can help you in that scenario?
  • Do you have sufficient time and resources to achieve your goal?
  • If time or resources were no issue, how would you achieve your goal?
  • What obstacles might you face if you chose that option?
  • What resources do you need to achieve your goal?
  • Who do you need support from to achieve your goal?
  • What might get you off-track, and how will you correct yourself?
Will Questions
  • On a scale of one to ten, how motivated are you to achieve your goal?
  • How can you increase your motivation level?
  • What can I or leadership do to help you achieve your goal?
  • Explain the next steps to me.
  • What actions do you need to take?
  • What actions do you want to take the most?
  • What actions are you least excited to take?
  • How will we measure success?
  • What will happen once you achieve your goal?
  • What will your first step be?
  • How long will it take to achieve your goal?
  • How will you stay committed?
  • Who will hold you accountable?
  • How will you log or report your progress, and to whom?
  • What would make the experience more enjoyable for you?
  • How do you feel about your goal/obstacle now?
  • When should we touch base again?

One of the most important things to remember when applying the GROW model is that it must be a collaborative experience. Whether you’re coaching coachees one-on-one or in a group setting, there needs to be a sense of partnership between the coach and the coaches.

Save the GROW model questions outlined above, and customize them to your company’s needs. Following that, share the documentation with the coaches on your team.

Then, with the right application and support, watch as this framework improves leadership’s coaching abilities, boosts employee performance, and gets your team on track to achieving its goals.

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