Why the GROW Model is Groaning

Let's say you're a Manager in one of these environments;

  • 24/7 logistics hub
  • Just-in-time manufacturing
  • City centre restaurant
  • High-street department store
  • International customer contact centre
  • Event management
  • Major engineering project

Now let's say your company set up a coaching programme and you were offered training to help you coach others. You signed up because it seemed like a good idea and the training certainly gave you plenty to think about.

But back on the job, reality hits. You were determined to be an effective coach. You really planned to stick to the two hours of regular one-on-one time promised to each of your direct reports. But right here, right now, there are 10 people waiting for answers from you, several looming operational crises and 20 conversations you absolutely must have before you can even think about going home.

Tomorrow won't be much different. Nor will the day after. Soon the excitement and the determination to use the tools you learned begin to fade.

There was massive interest in coaching in UK Plc up until 2009/10, but it tailed off after that and many enviable corporate coaching programmes have withered from lack of internal demand.

It's no coincidence that business itself changed dramatically during this time. To survive, companies trimmed every ounce of fat from their payrolls while straining every sinew not only to keep customers but also to get new ones. Gone were the days when key staff could spend hours away from critical operations.

Many companies survived, but far fewer coaching programmes did. Why? One reason is the way coaching training is delivered: the GROW model. It's the basis for pretty much all coaching training in the UK, and it's worn out.

For those who don't know it, GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will, and it's the basis for a structured conversation that the coach navigates to help the coachee find solutions to issues and take action. GROW is a great model. In certain environments it works. But it's also very time hungry. It relies on the coach and the coachee being clear-headed, tucked away in a room somewhere, free of distractions, frequently and for appreciable chunks of time.

Here at Notion we're asked by a lot of corporates to advise them on establishing a “coaching culture”. When they say that what they’re really asking is: why in blazes can’t we get coaching to stick? Well, put yourself in the shoes of a manager in one of the fast-paced environments described above. What do they need? What sort of tools could help them get more from people and engage more and contribute more to the business, all at the same time?

How about a mode of coaching that reflects the way people actually work: in the moment and on the fly? Maybe what this manager needs most is for coaching to get itself out of the quiet meeting rooms and into the operational heart of the business.

Contact us today and let's discuss how we can give your Managers an operational coaching model so they can coach 'in the moment' and 'on the fly' to ensure your coach training programme is sustainable and doesn't fade away.  Call us on 01926 889885 or complete our contact us form and we'll call you back.

Kind regards

Laura Ashley-Timms - Director of Coaching