The Daily Challenge: The GROW method


How to ask better questions.

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Time to Read: 4 Mins

As a manager, co-worker, peer, or friend you are likely asked for advice on a regular basis.

More often than not, the person seeking your counsel already has the answer -they just need help finding it.

Rather than telling others how or what to do, consider coaching them to a solution that aligns with their own values and motivators (which typically aren't going to be exactly the same as yours).

One way to do this is to ask questions. One approach, is the GROW coaching method. 

GROW stands for

  • G for Goal setting: define the short- and long-term goals

  • R for Reality: explore the current situation

  • O for Options: identify and evaluate different action strategies

  • W for Will: what will you do by when?

By asking the right questions (not necessarily in the order above the “coach” can help the “coachee” discover the answers to their own question. 

For example, if your friend or direct report wants to become an excellent public speaker but doesn't know how, you could ask...

  • How would you assess your current capabilities?

  • When would you like to achieve this goal? How will you know you achieved it? 

  • What barriers are holding you back from being a great public speaker?

  • What steps could you take to strengthen your skills?

Try it out on yourself and your goals.

Step 1: Define your goal by identifying something you have wanted to achieve.Whether it is a skill you would like to improve or a milestone you would like to hit.

Step 2:  Consider where you are now. How close are you to achieving success? What are your current barriers to success?

Step 3: Identify your options and define your plan.What options do you have for making progress forward? What actions can you take to help you achieve your goal? What specific actions will you need to take? When (exactly) will you take them? 

Pro Tip: Becoming good at asking the right questions both of yourself and others take time and practice. To help you find the right questions to ask, use a list like this one

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