Structuring coaching sessions with GROW – Part 2: Reality, Options & the Will to move forward

Last time we checked out what the GROW Model is. We also discussed the importance of Goal Setting in helping both coach and coachee look beyond the current situation to establish a clear vision for the coaching intervention, as well as a focus for taking discussions forward.

Following on from that, this time we’ll be looking at the other three components of the GROW Model:GROW

  • checking out the Reality of the coachee’s current context and situation
  • generation of Options
  • ensuring the coachee has the Will to move forward with specific actions

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Structuring coaching sessions with GROW – Part 1: Introduction to the GROW Model & Goal Setting

Last time we looked at the reasons to contract in coaching – one of the five basic skills it’s necessary for any coach to master. This time I’m turning to another skill on that wishlist. The GROW Model – that easy-to-remember, simple, and perennially popular mechanism for structuring coaching sessions.

GROWDon’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that there are no other ways of structuring sessions. There are. Many. Some are simple whilst others are much more complicated. However, I’m highlighting the GROW Model here because of its almost universal acceptance and serviceability. It’s stood the test of time, been pulled around and discussed widely, and become a coaching staple used because of its effectiveness by a whole variety of coaches, including the most experienced.

Why is it important to have some kind of recognisable approach to structuring coaching sessions?

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Why contract in coaching?

In a previous post I discussed the five basic skills any coach needs to master if he or she wants to be effective. I said then I’d be discussing each of these in further posts, so here I’ll be looking into the first skill on that list by checking out the rationale for and characteristics of effective contracting.

man signing contractEffective contracting is crucial to the success of coaching relationships. Why? Well, the origins of any problems that occur as the relationships develop can usually be traced back to the contracting stage.

The term ‘contracting’ can refer to two things:

  1. the ongoing process whereby the coach helps the coachee define, refine and redefine clear outcomes for the coaching sessions;
  2. the negotiations and resulting document setting out the parameters of the relationship between coach, coachee and any other stakeholders with an interest in the coaching intervention.

I’ll be taking a look at both of these under the following headings:

  • Contracting in the coaching process
  • Contracting the coaching relationship

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Effective listening and ‘The 3 P’s of Coaching Agility’

I recently took part in a webinar called High Velocity Listening: Coaching Agility for the C-Suite.* Why? Well, anything that might deepen my insight into the art of listening grabs me, so you won’t be surprised I waited all agog to hear what  Andreas Bernhardt and Jeff Hull  had to say for themselves. I came away with lots to think about. And I’d like to share some of those thoughts with you…

A blog post can’t do full justice to everything that was covered, but here’s an introduction to Andreas and Jeff’s concept of  ‘The 3 P’s of Coaching Agility’, which are:

  • listening presence
  • listening perspectives
  • listening personas

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What if… mindfulness were a coaching tool?

It had been a taxing coaching session. Concentration on listening, feeding back, spotting limiting self-beliefs, challenging… Even, let it be said, dealing with a little voice of frustration whispering in my ear – a voice which faded away soon after it began…

Reflecting afterwards on the session it suddenly struck me. The voice of frustration had faded away so fast. Why? I puzzled over this and a realisation dawned… What if mindfulness were a coaching tool? It certainly looked like it had become so for me. How?

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Coaching tools and the 5 basic coaching skills – what do you REALLY need?

What skills does a coach REALLY need? Which tools are essential?

These are big questions. And many coaches secretly have them at the back of their minds, especially when they’re newly qualified.  Have you ever heard that little voice inside saying something like this: “Okay, you’re qualified… But are you good enough? What do you REALLY have to do? What do you REALLY have to know?”

stylised head and question marksIt takes time for a coach to gain confidence, and it takes practice. However, if there’s one myth I’d like to dispel which might help everyone relax, it’s this – the myth that to be a successful coach you need to be well-practised in a whole host of tools, without which you can’t call yourself a ‘proper coach’ at all.

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Davina Whitnall and her great big ‘Confidence Roadshow’

Confidence is one of those slippery concepts, isn’t it? Everyone’s looking for it, but no-one can put their finger on what it is…

Coloured spirals on head outlineThe number of times coachees present with an issue they relate to ‘confidence’ is phenomenal, especially given that it can be well-nigh impossible to pin down exactly what ‘confidence’ really means to them. It’s like a wet bar of soap – smelling lovely when it’s firmly held in our hands, but unsettlingly prone to slithering right out of our grasp…

The other day I had the good fortune to participate in Davina Whitnall’s ’60 Minute Confidence Roadshow’ along with what seemed like dozens of university-based Professional Support Staff (PSS). What an exhilarating experience! Having specialised in researcher development in Higher Education, Davina now runs her own consultancy and is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. She’s more than well placed to offer insights into tools that can help anyone (not just researchers) define aims regarding the kinds of confidence they need to acquire, and put practical plans in place which can take them towards generating the confidence they seek.

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Turbocharge Your Writing? Hugh Kearns and a dose of TNT

As a coach working in Higher Education, I’m conscious that academics, students and staff can obsess about their supposed lack of writing ability. A strange thing for highly educated, articulate, skilled professionals to obsess about? Not as strange as it seems. Welcome to the world of ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and chronic procrastination…

I recently attended a presentation-cum-workshop called  ‘Turbocharge Your Writing’. Given by Hugh Kearns, it was thought-provoking  –  not only for the insight it gave into what causes procrastination amongst writers, but also for how it brought together what seemed to be hundreds of eager researchers and academics keen to rid themselves of one of the cruellest banes of their lives.

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What coaching isn’t…

‘Coaching’… This word seems to be everywhere these days, a catch-all term amongst some organisations and individuals for anything that isn’t ‘training-in-a-classroom’.

pixabay-what-is-coaching-1248059_1280There’s increasing evidence that strategically rolled out, clearly defined coaching interventions produce significant benefits for organisations which impact employee engagement as well as the bottom line. Where coaching programmes are seen to be supported by top management, and leaders model ‘coaching style’ behaviours, results can be powerful. Coaching is taken seriously, and people buy into it.

But what happens if coaching is not so clearly defined?

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