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Coaching Using the G.R.O.W. Model

Written by College Park Church on


Small Group members, leaders, and Coaches can all coach others.  Whether you’re coaching a friend or another leader, coaching simply involves an intentional conversation that pushes someone toward the future that God wants for them.

Coaching others doesn’t mean you need to have the answer to every question.  In fact, you should be asking most of the questions and having the person you are coaching answer them! 

The G.R.O.W. model* is a question-based conversation framework for helping you coach others so that they can set their own goals and move toward achieving them.  These coaching conversations have four phases:


The starting point for any coaching conversation is finding out what goal the person you’re coaching has in mind (whether it’s a problem to fix or a goal to achieve). 

You can ask:

  • What would you like to see look different?
  • What’s a goal that you have right now?
  • What’s a problem that you feel needs fixed?

As they articulate their goal, you’ll need to help them refine it to one goal for the time being (the one that’s most pressing to them).  You will also need to help them sharpen it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal (or close to this) so that they can see clear results.


Why is this goal so important?  The person being coached should articulate their current reality and why a change is needed. 

You can ask:

  • What does the current situation look like?
  • How are you seeing this need pop up?
  • What’s making you sense that this goal is important right now?

Knowing the current reality helps uncover the amount of work that will be needed to change it.


Now that the coachee has a goal in mind, they should generate a bunch of options for how to reach the goal. 

It’s important that the person being coached comes up with these options. You don’t need to jump in; they are the best person to come up with action steps since they are closest to the situation. 

You can ask:

  • What are some options for how you can get there?
  • Let’s throw out five different ways you could move toward your goal.
  • That’s a creative option. Okay, now give me two more ideas.

Keep helping them come up with their own options.  Only after they provide a number of them should you share any other options; and even then, ask if you can share and find out what they think about your option.  Don’t insist on sharing. Most of the time, you don’t even need to chime in!


At the end of this process the person being coached must walk away with specific action steps that they are committed to doing.

As the Coach, help your coachee evaluate their options and then commit to one (or more) of them to get started.

You can ask:

  • Those are great options. Which one would be best to start with?
  • Of those options, which do you think would be most effective to begin with?

Once they’ve nailed down which option(s) they will take action on, make sure to solidify their commitment and be willing to circle back for accountability.

You can confirm:

  • How committed are you to making sure that happens? By when?
  • Can I circle back with you to see if you were able to do this?

By solidifying their commitment and adding your own support, they will be very likely to achieve the steps God has laid on their heart to move toward their goal.  And as the one who has coached them to this, you also have something to reconnect with them about at your next time together.



Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals by Bob Martin


*This concept is from Tony Stoltzfus’s helpful book Leadership Coaching and the CBMC Leadership Coach Training for this model.  They credit John Whitmore’s book Coaching for Performance as the origin of the model.

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