Structuring the coaching session: GROW

So, how do we actually structure a coaching session? The GROW (**G**oal, **R**eality, **O**ptions, **W**rap up) model is one of the most common coaching tools, widely used by many great coaches.

The framework provides a simple four step 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 coachee – don’t just try to prove you are smart
  • Think creatively – not just systematically, particularly in the Options and Wrap up steps
  • Illustrate, and check understanding, throughout by using specific examples – from the coachee’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.


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 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.