Graham Alexander developed a simple but effective model (or mental map) for sequencing good questions. It is called The GROW model and it was first published by John Whitmore.

The Grow Model


  • GOAL – “What do you want? What are you trying to achieve?”
  • REALITY – “What is happening? What action have you taken so far and what were the effects?”
  • OPTIONS – “What could you do? What are the alternatives?” Seek possibilities, not one solution.
  • WILL – “What will you do? When will you do it? What obstacles will there be? How can I help?”

This requires active listening so as to gain clarity on the issues. The coaching cycle is ongoing and includes celebrating progress and ‘wins’ along the way. Encourage small steps towards a person’s goal.

This coaching model is very powerful and can be used informally in any conversation, including with family members, friends and even with ourselves as we reflect on our own lives. The power is in the questions. They help to raise awareness and then build responsibility, both of which are the key to life change and significant achievement.


Through effective coaching, we can help to develop the potential of the people around us, achieve our goals, and enjoy the journey together. You can be a coach! Try it today and reap the rewards of helping others reach their goals and their potential.