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GROW Your People

(April 24, 2023 Newsletter)

If you want to integrate more coaching into your management style, GROW is a great place to start. This model has an intuitive structure:

  • Goal setting

  • Reality assessment

  • Options analysis

  • Will (or way forward)

Let's take a closer look at each of these components:

Goal setting: This is where you help your direct report define a clear and specific goal that they want to achieve. The more specific the goal, the better. This allows them to focus their efforts and energy towards achieving it.

Reality assessment: In this step, you encourage your direct report to evaluate their current situation and identify any obstacles that might be preventing them from achieving their goal. This helps them to gain a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Options analysis: Here, you work with your direct report to identify different strategies and options that they can use to overcome the obstacles they identified in the reality assessment step. This encourages creativity and problem-solving skills.

Will: Finally, you help your direct report develop a concrete plan of action that will help them achieve their goal. This includes identifying specific steps, timelines, and resources needed to achieve the goal.

Now that we've covered the GROW coaching model, let's talk how coaching conversations can empower your direct reports -

Building trust and rapport: Coaching conversations are an opportunity to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect with your direct reports. This creates a safe space for them to discuss their goals, challenges, and aspirations.

Encouraging self-reflection: Coaching conversations encourage your direct reports to reflect on their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for development. This helps them to gain self-awareness and identify areas where they can improve.

Developing problem-solving skills: Through coaching conversations, you can help your direct reports develop critical thinking skills and identify creative solutions to the challenges they face.

Enhancing motivation and engagement: Coaching conversations can boost your direct reports' motivation and engagement by helping them to identify their purpose and values. This creates a sense of meaning and fulfillment in their work.

If you’re looking to gain back some of your time, the GROW coaching model is a powerful tool that can help you empower your direct reports to achieve their goals. By having coaching conversations with your team members, you can build trust, encourage self-reflection, develop problem-solving skills, and enhance motivation and engagement.

With time, you’ll see that the complexity of the issues that come your way will rise, as will their confidence, problem solving skills, independence. So why not give it a try and see how it can benefit your team?


The Coaching Corner

Encourage between questions.

When I observe managers simuting coaching conversations, they often jump from question to question. This is understandable, as the manager is typically planning their follow up question as they learn to adopt coaching skills into their leadership style. But it can leave the person on the other side of the zoom room feeling like they're being interrogated instead of supported.

Compare the following two interactions:

Manager: What's the real challenge here for you?

Employee: I just think that if I push back, she'll derail the whole process.

Manager: Yeah, but what could happen if you don't raise your concerns?

Manager: What's the real challenge here for you?

Employee: I just think that if I push back, she'll derail the whole process.

Manager: I know how important it is to you to keep the project moving. What could happen if you don't raise your concerns?

In the first, the employee can interpret the follow up question as dismissive. In the second, the one line of encouragement repositions the same question as a more inviting "devil's advocate."

So instead of jumping from question to question, acknowledge what was just said. Reflecting on what you just heard in an encouraging way fuels trust building by letting the person know you were really listening and reminds them that you're on the same team.


Fresh from today’s NYTimes: “What Young Workers Miss Without the ‘Power of Proximity’” - a new study was just published on supervision and remote work.

  • TL;DR - “They found that remote work enhanced the productivity of senior engineers, but it also reduced the amount of feedback that junior engineers received (in the form of comments on their code), and some of the junior engineers were more likely to quit the firm. The effects of remote work, in terms of declining feedback, were especially pronounced for female engineers.”

Listen to this podcast episode, “Here’s How to Plan for Difficult Conversations” on the Anxious Achiever. If you procrastinate confronting "difficult" personalities at work, this podcast episode can help you with the mental prep to get yourself unstuck and ready to broach the subject.


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