grow-coaching-modelThe GROW Coaching Model is one of the most popular and successful coaching models in the world. The core of great coaching is all about helping our clients to increase their awareness, find options and solutions and finally to take action.


The GROW Coaching Model is a framework you can use every session to accomplish that. This article contains more than 50 coaching questions for each stage of the model and in the end, you’ll find a GROW model template to create your own coaching tool.


The GROW Coaching Model: What is GROW?

GROW is an acronym for the four stages of this model

G: Goal – Defining short and long-term goals
R: Reality – Exploring the current situation
O: Options – Identify and evaluate possible options
W: Will – Define what you will be doing and by when


John Whitmore described these phases in his book „Performance Coaching“ as the four key elements of every coaching session. But the coaching doesn’t have to start with this exact order. Your client could describe his current problem (Reality) or that he has to decide between various options (Option) as well. But the four stages are a great framework to get the most out of each session. They increase your clients’ awareness and strengthens their commitment.

Stage 1 of the GROW Model: G for Goal


Every session and coaching has to have a specific goal or result the client wants to achieve. The goal should be as specific as possible and it needs to be measurable. A famous technique to define a goal is SMART. It means:

These steps ensure clarity instead of vagueness in your clients’ goals.


Grow Coaching Questions for the Goal stage:

What is your goal?
Why do you want to achieve this goal?
What would be the benefits once you accomplished this goal?
What do you want to achieve?
What do you really want?
What is your goal for this coaching session?
What do you want to change?
What does success look like?
Can we achieve your goal in the given time frame?
Is that outcome realistic?
How will you know you achieved your goal?
How much control do you have over your goal?
What would happen if you don’t achieve your goal?


Stage 2 of the GROW Model: R for Reality

This step is helping you and your clients to gain awareness of the current situation. It is important that your client tries to describe the situation as objectively as possible. This phase shouldn’t be about assumptions and thoughts but more about facts. The client describes their current reality and not the imagination of a situation. This is often a big „AHA“-moment where the next steps become obvious.

Grow Model Coaching Questions for the Reality stage:

What’s happening now?
Which steps have you already taken to achieve your goal?
What were the outcomes?
How would you describe what you did/tried?
What kept you from trying different things?
Where are you now in relation to your goal?
What is working well right now and what isn’t?
Who is involved?
What is missing towards your goal?
What do you think is stopping you?
How are things going today?


Step 3 of the GROW Coaching Model: O for Options

Once you and your client know where she is and where she wants to go it’s time to explore and evaluate the options. The next step is to find out which of the options is feasible and will have the highest possibility of being successful. Options could be behavior, actions or decisions that lead the client towards her goal. Let your client brainstorm and create a long list of ideas that come to mind.


This is also a great homework. Ask the client to sit down for exactly 15 minutes at a cozy place, grab a cup of coffee or tea and just write down any idea or possibility they get. They can create this list in CleverMemo and their results will visible in the shared coaching stream for both of you. It’s an amazing foundation for the next session where you’ll be working on step 4 (the Will-phase).


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Grow Coaching Questions for the Options phase:

What are possible options?
What has been working well in the past?
What could be the first step?
What else could you do?
Who might be able to support you?
What are the benefits of this option?
What are the costs of this option?
What alternatives do you have?
Which option do you feel ready to act on?
If anything is possible, what would you do?
What’s the risk of choosing this option?
How do you feel about this option?
Which options do you like most?


Step 4 of the GROW Model: W for Will

This is the final stage of the GROW model. After defining a goal, describing the situation and weighing the options it’s time to take action! No matter if the W stands for Will, Wrap-up, Way forward it all comes down to action and commitment of the client, because without that the three prior stages have no value. You and the client establish a clear plan for the next steps.

To ensure your client’s success and to help them stay motivated you’ll have to prepare them for upcoming obstacles. Some of them will be predictable and others won’t. You should use this stage to agree on the nature of support you provide along the way to their goal. CleverMemo gives you the chance to support every client individually and help them to get the most out of your coaching.


Grow Coaching Questions for the Will phase:

What are you willing to do?
What is the first step you need to do?
When are you going to start?
How will you know that you’ve achieved your goal?
What will it take to get moving forward towards your goal?
What options do you choose?
What will happen if you don’t do it?
What could prevent you from taking these steps?
What kind of support do you need and from whom?
What could I do to support you?
What resources can help you?




Create your own GROW Model Template in no time

The GROW Model is a great guideline for each session and the entire coaching process. It’s also a great technique for the first (discovery) coaching session with each client. You can assign your new client the homework to answer two questions of each of the 4 phases of the grow model. Depending on the client an example GROW Model template form could be:

What is your goal?
Why do you want to achieve this goal?
Which steps have you already taken to achieve your goal?
What is missing towards your goal?
What are possible options?
What could be the first step?
When are you going to start?
How will you know that you’ve achieved your goal?


Your client should share her answers before your next session. Even if your client answered some (or all) of this questions during your session you will be amazed at the value of the additional information clients share once they write down the answers.

It helps them to gain awareness, find clarity and strengthens the commitment that is essential for a successful coaching. It also makes sure you’re both on the same side before you take the next steps. Add your GROW Model intake form as a template in CleverMemo and share it with just one click with your clients. Your clients’ answers will immediately be visible to you in your shared coaching stream. Start your free CleverMemo trial now