Structuring the mentoring session: GROW

So, how do we actually structure a session with your mentee?

We suggest that you drown from the GROW model (**G**oal, **R**eality, **O**ptions, **W**rap up) model, which is one of the most common coaching tools.

The framework provides a simple four steps structure for a coaching session.

During the first step of a session [Goal], coach and coachee agree on a specific topic and objective for the discussion. During the second step [Reality], both coach and coachee invite self assessment and offer specific examples to illustrate their points. They then move into the third step [Options], where suggestions are offered and choices made. And finally [Wrap up], the coach and coachee commit to action, define a timeframe for their objectives and identify how to overcome possible obstacles.

Here are a few tips for using this model:

  • Use more ‘ask’ than ‘tell’; elicit useful ideas from your mentee
  • Think creatively – not just systematically, particularly in the Options and Wrap up steps
  • Illustrate, and check understanding, throughout by using specific examples – from the mentee’s and your own experiences
  • If you have a follow up session, you can obviously lengthen or shorten each of the four steps as needed

The Grow Model

  • Agree topic for discussion
  • Agree specific objective of session
  • Set long-term aim if appropriate
  • Invite self-assessment
  • Offer specific examples of feedback
  • Avoid or check assumptions
  • Discard irrelevant history
  • Commit to action
  • Identify possible obstacles
  • Make steps specific and define timing
  • Agree support
  • Cover the full range of options
  • Invite suggestions from the coachee
  • Offer suggestions carefully
  • Ensure choices are made

Each session could begin with a check in on what happen since the last meeting, what happen with decisions made, etc.

A template to support the meetings with your mentee can be found here and here you can find more detailed suggestions on how to carry out the meeting.


To reflect on what you have just learned, we ask you to write a short narrative reflecting on the learned material. The narrative shall be about your past/current experience on mentoring/coaching. You can find all necessary information about this at If you don’t want to write a narrative at this point, you can also write a bigger one at the end of all learning modules.

Credit: material is adapted from here.

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