Executive Coaching

Find Out about GROW Model Coaching Effective Questions: 

The most famous of the models for coaching is the ‘GROW’ model. In particular, It is used by coach’s, businesses and sports people worldwide. Indeed, it is the Chicken Tikka Masala of the people development world; Popular, loved by most and you know exactly what you are going to get. In this post we discuss GROW Model Coaching Effective Questions.

To find out more Googling the model will provide many choices, it’s just then a case of choosing who you like best. We like Mindtools.com for their interpretation, or this image below from climategen is a simple one to follow.

GROW coaching model by MBM

GROW coaching model

The value we wish to add here is for those that have used the GROW model before, effective questions can be the difference between a good coaching session and a not so good coaching session. This is because it is all about the right questions to ask, not the knowledge that the coach has. As Adrian Moorhouse, the gold medal winner of the 100m breaststroke at the Seoul Olympics, said, “Brilliant coaches aren’t necessarily successful at doing what they are coaching you to do. My swimming coach couldn’t even swim!.”

GROW Model Effective Questions

For each of the 4 stages of the GROW Coaching model we have put together the most ‘Effective Questions You can Use with the GROW Coaching Model’:

‘G’ of the GROW Model is for ‘Goal Setting’

  • What do you want to achieve in the long-term?
  • What will it look like, feel like, sound like when you are there?
  • How specific is that goal?
  • How will you be able to measure its achievement?
  • Is it realistic, given your current activities and workload?
  • What time-scale are you going to set for its achievement?
  • What might be one or two of the mini-goals/steps you could achieve along the way to reaching this ideal outcome?
  • In the time we have now, which of your mini-goals would you like to explore to take you on your way?
  • By the time your hand hits the door-handle at the end of the meeting, what would you like to have achieved?
  • What would you like to be different when you leave this session?
  • What would you like to happen that is not happening now?…and/or what would you like not to happen that is happening now?
  • If I could grant you one wish for today’s discussion, what would it be?

‘R’ of the GROW Model is for ‘Reality Checking’

  • What is happening right now that makes you want to make this change/makes this an issue for you?
  • When/how often does it happen?
  • Who is involved or affected – directly? indirectly?
  • If things are not going well with regard to this issue, what happens to you? How do you feel?
  • Is the quality of any relationship affected – if so, how?
  • What about others involved, what happens to them?
  • What have you done about this issue/change so far? With what results?
  • If you have done nothing so far, what is stopping you?
  • What do you have, within you or within the situation, that you are not using?
  • What is holding you back? Are their personal, or external, constraints?

‘O’ of the GROW Model is for ‘Option Generation’

  • What options do you have for steps to resolve this issue? No matter how wild they are – any options at all – think of as many as possible.
  • What else might you try? Not necessarily what you will do, but what you could do.
  • Who do you know who handles this sort of thing really well? What do they do that you might try?
  • If you could get advice from anyone, anywhere, from whom would you seek it?
  • What if you had more time, what would you try?
  • What if you had less time – what would that force you to try?
  • If you had more energy or confidence – what might you try then?
  • What if you had total autonomy – what might you try then?
  • What if you had a fresh start – what might you do differently this time?
  • Suppose you had a magic wand to help you with this issue/change – what would you ask it to do?
  • If you could change one thing in this situation, what would it be?
  • Let’s imagine that you really knew the best way forward, what would it be?
  • Looking at your list of options, which ones could be made to work?

‘W’ of the GROW Model is for ‘Action Willingness’

  • What are you going to do?
  • How will this address your goal or move you closer to it?
  • When are you going to do it?
  • What could get in the way? How will you overcome any obstacles?
  • Who needs to know about your plan of action? Who can support you?
  • Rate on a scale of 1 – 10 your willingness to take this action.
Executive Coaching Pink Milk Carton by MBM

Executive Coaching

Our coach’s are from your industry and can provide coaching on any one of our products, from Negotiation Skills to Category Management to Time Management, using the GROW Model. Find out how we can help you be the very best version of yourself with Executive Coaching.

Where Next?

SlideShare of the Above Post

Find out more about OSKAR

A nice alternative to GROW is OSKAR, a further way to ensure you have solution based coaching. The OSKAR Coaching Model was developed by Andrew Gilbert & Karen Whittleworth. The model builds on the GROW model and is particularly useful for managers seeking to adopt a coaching style.

What does it stand for?

O – Outcome

S – Scaling

K – Know How

A – Affirm/Action

R – Review

Example questions


  • What is the objective of this coaching?
  • What do you want to achieve today?
  • Describe the future perfect?
  • How will you know this coaching has been useful?


  • On a scale of 0 – 10 with 10 representing the future perfect and 0 being the worst it has ever been, where are you on that scale today?
  • You are at n now, what did you do to get that far?
  • How would you know you had got to n+1?
  • Where would others put you on the scale?

Know How

  • What helps you perform at n on the scale and not 0?
  • Where does the outcome happen for you, even a little bit?
  • What do you currently do that works?
  • Who else does this well?
  • Who could support you?

Affirm/ action

  • How could you do more of what works well?
  • What will get you to n+1?
  • What’s the first thing you could do?
  • What is the easiest thing you could do?
  • What is the most impactful thing you could do?


  • What is working well?
  • How could you do more of this?
  • What’s better?
  • What benefits?
  • What else?

What’s your favourite coaching question? Please share your view by commenting below.

Feel free to get in touch. Simply fill out the form below or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to get back to you with further information.

Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets & Suppliers for over 25 years. He began his career as a buyer at big 4 UK supermarkets and after 13 years he decided to leave to set-up Making Business Matter because he wanted to help suppliers and supermarkets to work better together.

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