GROW: 4 Steps to an Effective Coaching Conversation

Mastering a step by step coaching conversation structure like GROW will help creating a foundation for consistent coaching practices
52 teachers like this strategy
GROW Introduction
0:09

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 teachers have in mind.  When practiced with effective student centered questioning techniques, this cycle can lead consistently to the selection and strengthening of a strategy in alignment 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 a phase to another. In order to do this, try to follow this sequence:
  2. Pair up with another coach or your BL coach and role play being the coachee and being the coach, while engaging 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 to the conversation a real professional goal or challenge of yours. 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 his or her 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 with teachers, it can be really helpful to think about specific student centered questions that can help supporting the conversation during each of the phases of GROW. Indeed it could be easy without much experience to let the questioning drift too far away from student centered goals, in favor of more teacher or coach centered goals. This graphic organizer could help you with this focus.

  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 his teachers. It will help you bring the student centered questions more easily into the practice session.

  6. You are ready to try with one of your teachers! Prior to doing it, you can prepare with your coach by role playing the 4 steps and trying to anticipate a little bit where this could go. This would help you better respond live. Determine with your coach what indicators of success you want to pay attention to to help you know if the session is successful. Schedule a debrief for after the coaching session.

  7. 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 the feedback piece.