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Are You Ready to G.R.O.W.? Part 3 - YOUR OBSTACLES AND OPTIONS


We often find ourselves stagnated - whether it is in our career or, sometimes, even in life. The G.R.O.W. method is an excellent tool that can be used for many areas of stagnation. The more that I use this method, the more I find that it can be used for so many areas of life. The main two areas that I use this tool is for coaching and for mentoring and can be easily mastered using these 4 principles to working through and solving any problem. This method has been used to help leaders become more effective coaches, to help mentors become more effective mentors and to help ANYONE improve their ability to solve any problem. It is not only a systematic method to solve a problem and put actions into place, but it is easy to remember and can be applied to any type of situation. The more you use these principles, the easier it becomes and it becomes “second nature” to getting the results you desire.

So, here it is, G.R.O.W. - G.R.O.W. stands for Goal, Reality, Obstacles/Options, and Way Forward. Today we will double-click on the OBSTACLES/OPTIONS and then discuss how to use this G.R.O.W. model in your mentoring and coaching conversations.

OBSTACLES: Identifying Barriers

There could be obstacles that are stopping you from accomplishing your goal. If there are no obstacles, you should be ready to move to options, however, you will need to agree that there are no obstacles but if some arise, they must be addressed.

OPTIONS: Generating Ideas

Generating ideas that can contribute ideas for the solution to the problem (or goal) is important. In fact, the key role of the mentor is to make sure that this is an interactive process where the mentee identifies the options and the mentor probes (or asks questions) related to those ideas. For example: If the mentee brainstorms an idea that the mentor may not be able to support, the first question from the mentor might be “WHY?”. Probe to get to an understanding of the idea/option and if it still does not align with what you believe the best path forward should be, continue asking the “WHY” question until the mentee realizes a different option or convinces you that it is an appropriate option to pursue.

In addition to facilitating the idea generation process, the mentor should encourage a creative brainstorming process without conditionality – in order to generate a list of options and then structure those options to actions. Only in a situation where there is total brain-lock, should be mentor add suggestions into the option gathering process. The mentee will be much more engaged in completing the goal when they have had the most input to the goal and the options for the solution. It gives them a sense of ownership to the goal and completing it.

So how do you use the G.R.O.W. method to determine your OBSTACLES and OPTIONS? By asking questions. This method does not work if you TELL, TELL, TELL! Through a combination of asking questions, you can determine your obstacle and options and begin to work through the final step in the process. Not sure where to start? Use some of the sample OBSTACLE and OPTIONS questions below.

Sample Obstacle Questions:

  • What obstacles are keeping you from meeting this goal?

  • Why is this an obstacle?

  • If this obstacle is not removed, what is the impact?

  • Are there any other barriers?

  • What barriers could pop up that will impact this project?

  • If a barrier is not addressed, how can this delay or impact the project?

Sample Options Questions:

  • What would you do if you had no obstacles?

  • What other ways could this be accomplished?

  • If barriers were removed what could you do?

  • What is the advantage/disadvantage of that option?

  • What order of priority would you give each option?

  • What criteria will you use to evaluate that option?

Stay tuned for PART 4 in this series when we discuss the WAY FORWARD. Missed the previous posts in the series? View them in the BLOG.


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