GROW: 4 Steps to an Effective Coaching Conversation

Mastering a step by step coaching conversation structure like GROW will help create a foundation for consistent coaching practices
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GROW Introduction

About This Strategy

This Strategy will help coaches structure their coaching conversations by using four basic steps:

  • G: Goal Setting
  • R: Reality Exploration
  • O: Options Selection
  • W: Way Forward

This cycle can be used to find or create teaching strategies aligned to specific goals and outcomes that teachers have in mind.  When practiced with effective student centered questioning techniques, this cycle can consistently lead to the selection and strengthening of a strategy that aligns with the goal, experience and skill set of teachers, as well as the specific needs of their students.

Implementation Steps

  1. Explore what the four phases of GROW mean and get a sense of the types of questions that can be asked during each of them and to pivot from one phase to another. In order to do this, follow this sequence:
  2. To practice, pair up with another coach or your BetterLesson coach and role play being the coachee and being the coach. Engage in the 4 phases of the GROW model.

    • At first, to make the complexity of the role play more accessible, do not pretend to be a teacher. Instead, bring a real professional goal or challenge of yours to the conversation.

    • Try to be the coachee first if you are working with an experienced coach. This way you can debrief afterwards, and reflect on the questions and pivots you noticed the coach using with you.

  3. After experiencing being coached with this 4 step process, switch roles and try to coach your partner through a goal or challenge of their own.

    • Use the note taking template to support you with sample questions and take notes if it helps you!

    • Debrief with your coach at the end. Start by reflecting on your experience then seek feedback.

    • Practice in coaching pairs or triads as often as you will feel necessary before testing it out with one of your teachers.

  4. Before practicing this process with teachers, it can be helpful to determine specific student centered questions to use in your GROW conversations. Try to stay focused on student centered goals. This graphic organizer can help you stay focused.

  5. After reviewing this graphic organizer, and possibly adding your own questions to it, organize another role play with a coaching partner but this time role play being one of your teachers. Similarly, ask your partner to role play one of their teachers. It will help you to use student centered questions in your own conversations.

  6. Now that you have role played how to use GROW and develop student centered questions, you are ready to try this process with one of your teachers! Prior to engaging in the conversation, anticipate where the conversation may go. This will help you better respond live.

  7. With your coach, determine what indicators of success you want to pay attention to in order to determine if the session is successful.

  8. Schedule a debrief with your coach for after the coaching session.

  9. Debrief with your coaching partner. Use a simple glows and grows protocol to help you reflect on what went well and what could be improved prior to next session. Bring these goals for improvement into your coaching cycle with your own coach. Discuss utilizing video for session number 2 if it can help with feedback.