When managing people in a hyper-growth environment, managers often have the tendency to focus more on results and the tasks at hand. This is completely understandable.
Traditionally, managing is showing someone what to do and how to do it. Conversely, coaching emphasizes showing someone why they should do something. It inspires them to take matters into their own hands to make a difference. Asking the right coaching questions allows us to give them the tools to arrive at answers not just right now, but in the long term.
GROW is a coaching model that helps individuals achieve their goals. It was developed by Sir John Whitmore in the 1980s and has since been widely used in coaching and performance management since then.
The framework helps the coach progress the conversation through four key stages, finishing importantly on the future action to be taken.
- Goal: establish what the goal was, and what the coachee had set out to achieve.
- Reality: help the coachee gain a clear understanding of their current reality and identify any gaps between the current state and the desired future state.
- Options: encourage the coachee to think creatively and consider different perspectives and approaches. Expand the coachee's possibilities and help them explore alternative paths forward.
- Way forward: create a concrete plan and setting clear milestones or targets.
This set of questions can be used to coach someone after some action has been taken, regardless of a "good" or "bad" outcome of the action.
It's easy to remember once you build a repertoire of questions for each stage.