GROW - Structure career conversations

One of the most popular and effective ways to structure career conversations is the GROW model developed by Sir John Whitmore, Alan Fine and others.

Google too uses the GROW model.

GROW is an acronym for Goals, Reality, Options and Will. In order to structure career conversations, managers need to practice each of the 4 steps in this model.

  1. Goal - What does the employee want?

    Establish what does the employee truly wants to achieve with his or her career? Establish exactly what he wants to accomplish right now. Some of the questions that can help managers are:

    1. What motivates you?
    2. What is your dream role?
    3. If money or skills is not a constraint, what do you truly aspire for?
    4. Where do see yourself in next 5, 10 years?
    5. “What do you want when you walk out the door that you don’t have now?”
  2. Reality - What's the current status of the goals?

    Establish what is the current reality in terms team member's skills and current role. A manager can use the below questions. Ask questions rooted in what, when, where, and who, each of which forces people to focus on specific facts. This makes the conversation real and constructive. Do not address "why" as it requires employees to explore the motivations and reasons instead of the facts.

    1. What do you enjoy the most about your current role?
    2. What do you dislike the most about your current role?
    3. Is the current role not challenging for you?
    4. What appreciate and developmental feedback you have received from the colleagues?
  3. Options - What can the employee do?

    Options are the list of alternatives that can bridge the gap between goal and reality.

    1. What can you do right now in terms of acquiring new skills that will help you achieve your goals?
    2. What future experiences that you aspire for in order to achieve your goals?
    3. Is there a need for mentoring?
  4. Will - What will the employee do?

    Identify list of specific, achievable actions items that employee will do to bridge the gap between goal and reality.

    1. What will you do?
    2. When will you do?
    3. Do you have the necessary skills to achieve these action items?
    4. What resources you need to achieve these action items?
    5. As a manager, what I can do to help you?
Wait! Before you go!

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