Coaching - The Critical Value of Goal and Reality

The Critical Value of Goal and Reality Many will know the GROW model as a valuable asset when coaching others to their development. What is less clear is just why you need to understand the value of the Goal and Reality elements of GROW as you begin to seek progress...

When you work with your people on projects of all sorts of shapes and sizes, it's always best to have a clear outcome for the end-point. This outcome is the Goal that is the target result that is desired.

An example of a goal could be anything, from an increase in sales, to improved attendance at work, to projects as large as ‘build a new bridge over the river'!

There's a much better way of defining goals by SMARTening them up, which ensures that a Goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timescaled. That really starts to get things buzzing and progressing at pace! (SMART is great!).

We get clarity on the ‘Goal' they desire by asking questions and listening carefully; framing a conversation that helps them discover, rather than us tell. In those moments of coaching, the real work gets done - and it's usually by them, not you!

Once they have an understanding of where they want to get to, it's vital that there is absolute clarity about where they are starting from, otherwise, how would they know the direction to start them off on their quest!

After all, when on a journey, even when clear on where you want to go, you need to know the starting point or you don't have a clue about what direction to start off on!

Reality is an honest assessment of where they are right now in their closeness to the Goal.

It important to know where they stand in relation to the outcome, so that they can design the steps between Reality and Goal with you as their manager-coach simply facilitating them for this.

Coaching is all about ‘working the gap'. By finding out the details of what's wanted as a result, as well as where they are starting from, the size of the challenge can be recognized and appropriate steps developed to make progress.

That gap is all the more clear when you and your employee understand better what that gap actually is.

In fact it can be very valuable to create an arbitrary 1 to 10 measure on the 'distance' between where they are right now and where they want to be, just so that the steps taken can be given some sort of value along that line as well.

This can be hugely motivating for people who need some sort of encouragement to even make a start, because the length of that gap is often less than they might have appreciated to start with.

GROW is a valuable coaching model and getting to know where they are going as well as where they are starting from is a great beginning, to a fruitful coaching outcome.


© 2013 Martin Haworth is a business and management coach and trainer, working worldwide with SMEs & corporates and based in the UK. He has extensive experience in the delivery of one- and two-day training programs on a whole range of tactical management skills to be found at the workshops we do as well...

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