The GROW and PLOW Models for Coaching

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for Google Slides (PPTX), for Keynote (KEY), for PowerPoint (PPTX)



The GROW and PLOW coaching models are frameworks designed to facilitate personal and professional development. The GROW model stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will, guiding individuals from identifying objectives to determining actionable steps. On the other hand, the PLOW model emphasizes Purpose, Listen, Options, and Way forward, placing a greater emphasis on understanding one’s motivation and active listening before diving into solution generation. Both models serve as roadmaps for coaches and individuals alike, aiming to unlock potential and drive results.

The GROW and PLOW Models for Coaching: A Comprehensive Guide

GROW and PLOW are popular coaching tools utilized by mentors, managers, and executive coaches worldwide. Developed primarily by Sir John Whitmore and inspired by the insights of Graham Alexander and Gallwey, the GROW coaching model offers a structured four-step framework that aids effective coaching and encourages a coaching mindset.

Unpacking the Acronyms:

  • GROW stands for:
    • Goal: What does the team member want to achieve?
    • Reality: What is the current situation?
    • Options: Brainstorming possible strategies and actions.
    • Will: Crafting a clear action plan to move forward.
  • PLOW encapsulates:
    • Purpose: Establishing a deep sense of purpose in their work.
    • Listen: Active engagement in the coaching conversation.
    • Options: Again, brainstorming possibilities.
    • Way forward: Setting an achievable path based on the options discussed.

Utilizing the Models in Coaching Sessions:

  • How to use the GROW model:
    1. Start with goal setting: Understand what your coachee wants to achieve.
    2. Assess the current reality: Analyze their current situation.
    3. Brainstorm and discuss the options available.
    4. Finalize an action plan that is clear, measurable, and achievable.
    5. Revisit the goal periodically for performance improvement.
  • For those wanting to put the GROW model into practice, or use the GROW, there are many set of questions that can be used to probe deeper at each stage. Examples include: “If you would already have reached your goal, what would that look like?” or “What steps do you need to take to reach that vision?”

Benefits of the Models:

  • The GROW and PLOW models offer a solid coaching framework, enriching the coaching skills of the mentor.
  • They serve as an actionable roadmap for a coaching session, ensuring all aspects of the coachee’s needs are addressed.
  • Emphasizing the art of asking questions, they foster a sense of self-discovery in the individual being coached.
  • The models can be applied in both individual and group settings, making them versatile coaching tools.

Integration into Digital Presentations:

For those who wish to teach or present these models, templates are available for PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote.

  • Aspect ratios: Available in 16:9 for widescreen displays and 4:3 for standard screens.
  • Editable Features: Full editable vector shape ensures you can customize the slides to suit your needs.

GROW and PLOW, developed in the 1980s by business thinkers like Sir John Whitmore, stand as a testament to their effectiveness as they continue to be used by executive coaches, managers, and leaders around the world. They offer a performance coaching approach that goes beyond just solving problems, enabling individuals to learn new skills, achieve their goals, and imbibe a sense of purpose in their work. Incorporate these models into your coaching and leadership repertoire, and watch employees improve, achieve, and thrive.

Remember, as a coach, your aim isn’t just to solve a problem but to guide the individual or team to improve performance, establish a clear and actionable plan, and ultimately, achieve the goal they’ve set out for themselves.


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