Understanding GROW framework and its importance

Understanding GROW framework and its importance

A successful leader is someone who tells their employees what they don’t want to hear, makes them see what they don’t want to see so that they can become who they always wanted to be.

Understanding GROW framework and its importance

When organizational teams excel at their roles and achieve their goals, organizations thrive. However, being a top performer isn’t always something that is innate for the employees. In fact, almost every employee is likely to experience some setbacks on their paths to success. However, the employees have to understand that every setback is a setup for a comeback in order to become a top performer. 

No matter if you are leading a well-established fortune 500 corporation or a promising startup, what’s one thing that will separate your high achievers and average performers? It boils down to desire – the desire to put one’s best foot forward, the desire to surmount weaknesses, and the desire to augment one’s skillset in the pursuit of their goals and those of the organization. The GROW framework stimulates confidence and self-motivation, resulting in enriching productivity and personal satisfaction. If you seek to transform such desires into action for your employees, then look no further than the GROW framework. 

What is the GROW framework? 

GROW is a leadership tool and one of the world’s most preeminent coaching models that are used by organizations for problem-solving, goal setting, and performance improvement. It facilitates you to unlock the potential and possibilities for your organization and help your employees achieve personal and collaborative success. Representing the four components of purposeful decision making, the acronym stands for :

G: For the goals and aspirations you wish to attain

R: For the realities that have to be taken into consideration for the decision process

O: For the options(possibilities, strengths, and resources) open to you as the decision-maker

W: For the will(action and accountability) for your specific action plan to maximize the effectiveness of the GROW framework

Organizations generally rely on the GROW framework to make their employees become better at solving problems, taking key decisions, and realizing goals. Owing to its unique inside-out development approach, the GROW framework will also serve as a substantial change agent for your employees and teams. 

To blur out any room for confusion, we’ll take a specific glance at the elements of the GROW model. 

The break down of the GROW framework


The goal aspect of GROW is addressed at the initial stages of each session and is referred to again from time to time to ensure that your employees and teams remain focused. This elucidates thinking and expands employee engagement. Determining what your organization wants to achieve will put it on the path of accomplishing it by making your employees and teams focus on the solutions rather than the problems. 

a) What do you want to work on?

b) Over what time frame? 

c) What are the benefits of achieving this goal?

d) How will I know if this goal has been achieved? 


This is an exploration of the organization’s environment at that point in time. Time earmarked here helps your employees to have a clear understanding of what is happening and how it affects them and the organization. Have a dialogue about the current standing of the organization and what barriers currently stand presently between you and achieve of the goal. Your motive should be on assisting your employees or teams in finding their strength. 

a) What is the present situation in relation to the goal?

b) What steps have been taken towards the goal?

c) What qualities and resources do you have that are helping you?

d) What are the internal and external obstacles that you are tackling?


As the reality gets clear, the leaders naturally shift towards the options stage. It involves you exploring the possibilities, strengths, resources, and other such options moving forward. The more engaging and open your questions are going to be, the more likely your employees and teams will be to have a breakthrough insight. 

a) What option appears to be the most appealing for you at present?

b) What are the pros and cons of the options?

c) What has worked the most for you in the past?

d) Who do you think can help you the best in the present circumstances? 


As opposed to the options stage which brings all the possibilities to light, the will stage involves discovering the actions your employee or team is willing to commit. The element of will serves as the barometer of success as it converts the initial intention and desire into successful actions. The reason this stage exists is that if you ask your employee what will they do about a certain goal, there is a high risk that they will make a never-ending list of options instead of picking a pathway that suits their skills, talent, and behavior. For example, a man commits to joining a gym for reducing his weight. However, as he hates going to the gym he might never visit the gym in the first place. For him, it would be more fruitful to commit to something that he relishes like taking his dog for a walk each morning. 

a) Which option are you looking to act on?

b) When are you going to start each action?

c) On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to taking on each of these actions?

d) If it is not a 10, what do you need to make it a 10?

How to use the GROW framework for my organization?

1. Determine a meaningful goal

It is imperative that the goal(s) established by you are measurable, specific, and realistic to acquire within an expedient stretch of time. The goals should be focused on augmenting employee performance, taking a critical decision, and solving a problem faced by your organization. In order to outline your goal from its conception to its finish, create a timeline. This will ascertain that you stay on track towards attaining the goal and acquiring the desired results. As your teams achieve milestones, use recognition or incentives to glorify them. 

2. Examine the present reality

It’s significant for you to take the totality of the reality of the present scenario – what is taking place at the moment, the context of what is going on, and the magnitude of the circumstances. Why? More often than not, the human temperament compels us to solve a crisis without taking all the information into account. The need is to be reflective and contemplative – promoting the solutions to gradually emerge. Exploring the present reality is one of the practices that discerns a conversation under the GROW framework from a general conversation. 

3. Explore the possible options

One of the most critical parts of the GROW process – the options stage is intended to generate myriad paths or iterative strategies for overcoming the perceived barriers to the desired result. When you are exploring the options, make sure to remain open to challenging any false perception that may be holding your employee or the organization back. The objective has to be pursued in such a way that it allows your employee or team to approach the concern with creativity, curiosity, and spontaneity. Towards the end of this step, peg down the options to one – the one that links it to the desired result. Stay conservative about what needs to be acted upon. 

4. Plan the route forward 

Once the will is established, you have to commit your employee or team to a specific course of action. Doing so hands them the motivation needed to move forward. Accountability is a key facet of this step. Set a particular date to monitor the progress that has been made. If you find the original plan not going as was anticipated, give your workforce time to adapt the plan and make the modifications in approach as needed. Evaluate the level of sacrifice and effort that still has to be made to progress towards the goal – soaking all the learnings that have come your way till now. 

Whether you’re using the GROW framework for your employees, teams, or for your own self, keeping track of the goals can be quite tough often. Contact us for competence goal setting, performance management, and employee engagement requirements of your organization. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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