How to Use the GROW® Model Outside the Workplace

Using the GROW® Coaching Model Outside of the Workplace

The GROW® model, created by InsideOut Development, does a lot to improve performance in the workplace — from increased productivity to higher levels of ownership and accountability to a smoother operation within and among teams, just to name a few.

But have you considered the potential benefits of GROW® outside of workplace settings?

We get examples every day of how our clients have taken the fundamentals of the GROW® model and applied them outside of their professional lives, bringing value to areas of their personal lives.

Explore the following examples for tangible instances of applying GROW® principles in settings and scenarios that extend well beyond the conventional workplace environment.


Coaching Children

The GROW® model offers a structured and adaptable framework for coaching children, providing a clear path for goal setting, understanding obstacles, generating options, and establishing committed actions.

By simplifying complex concepts and fostering a goal-oriented approach, the GROW® model helps children develop problem-solving skills, boost self-confidence, and navigate challenges effectively.

“While working with my son this weekend on baseball, I decided to change my Outside-In approach of constantly correcting him when he was not performing a task properly to periodically asking him how he felt throughout the session.


“We were working on hitting, so I asked him to explain how he felt when he hit a ball well, along with [how he felt] when he miss-hit a ball.


“The workout session was much less stressful. Asking him how he felt when he hit a ball correctly, to the level of describing it to me, and then telling him to focus on just that one thing (in this case, keeping his backside tight) really made a difference in how he worked through the practice session, [as he] thought about the mechanics of hitting a baseball, versus always hearing what he was doing wrong.


“I used this approach on both good and not-so-good swings. We also discussed prior to the session what he wanted to accomplish that day, which was keeping his hands inside the ball and working to hit it up the middle to right center.


“[Even though] I struggled to maintain the InsideOut approach throughout the entire workout...this was a much more relaxed experience.”


Discover more about the InsideOut Mindset and when it's appropriate to use an Outside-In Approach in both personal and professional settings here.


Improving Parent/Child Communication

As children get older, it becomes more and more difficult to engage with them, particularly as they reach the pre-teen and teen years. This parent was able to take GROW® fundamentals to another level in their personal life and use them to build a deeper, more meaningful connection with their pre-teen.


“I had a Breakthroughs conversation with one of my children yesterday... [the] process was much smoother than I thought and I got more info out of my pre-teen than I have with traditional questions! I'm even more on board than I was in the training.


“I had to stop myself multiple times from asking additional questions — I realized the questions in my head were for my curiosity only. It was great experiencing this; the more I use the process, the more comfortable I will feel. Going forward I'll use the process more.”


Supporting Spouses

Child-parent relationships aren't the only relationships that can benefit from executive/leadership coaching. When one of your personal goals is to be a loving and supportive spouse, the principles found in GROW® can become another set of tools to have successful, fulfilling partnerships. Utilizing the GROW® model in supporting your spouse enhances mutual understanding, promotes collaborative decision-making, and fosters a supportive environment, ultimately, strengthening the bond between partners.


“I did the Coaching for Breakthroughs [program] with my wife... She manages the clerks at the city court system. The clerks are constantly giving out misinformation, which discredits the clerks and constantly makes their jobs harder.


“Using [the methods from] GROW® Coaching for Breakthroughs, my wife came up with the idea of a script and also role-playing during their monthly staff meetings.”


“I used the Check-In Questions of "What's working," "Where are you stuck," and "What might you do differently" in checking in with my husband today on a new business venture he has been focused on over several recent weeks.


“The three questions along with the use of "what else" provided so much insight and allowed him to have my undivided attention too.”


Forging Forward With Friends

As adults, some of our most fulfilling relationships come from the family members we get to choose: our friends. Friendship doesn't just consist of having individuals we know will be there for us. The most important component of friendship is that we get to be there for others as well. 

Many people have found that the basics contained in the GROW® model have enabled them to reach new levels of knowledge and capacity to help their friends reach their goals.


“I conducted a GROW® for Breakthroughs conversation this weekend with a woman who is a gifted fiction writer who would like to publish her first novel. Her goal was centered on carving out time in her daily routine for editing her near-final draft in preparation for a review with a trusted adviser in about three weeks.


“Meanwhile, she is challenged by the huge responsibility of being a caregiver to a spouse with Alzheimer's and being crippled by self-doubt.


“In 20 minutes, we were able to walk through the GROW® model and define a Way Forward, which will allow her to focus for 4 hours per day on editing her novel. We discussed specific strategies for making sure she can break away from distractions (spouse, kids, and an aging parent who all need her) and focus on her goal.


“For accountability, she asked me to follow up with her to make sure that she's making the time. We also discussed what she'll do if she misses a day, which we don't want her to register as [a] failure. Instead, she'll resume the plan the next day and keep moving forward.


[ROPS] There’s a Life Outside the Workplace_Graphic 2


“I also want to note that she entered the conversation with her "skepticals" on (pun intended). She was amazed at how simple and effective the GROW® tool was.”


In the following example, not only does the individual recount their positive experience using Breakthroughs when talking to a friend — but they also leverage an InsideOut mindset to assess their own communication performance.


“I had a GROW® for Breakthroughs conversation with my best friend this weekend.


What worked? The GROW® process and asking questions! For the first time, I was able to really focus on asking questions, rather than giving my opinion or just commenting on whatever the issue was.


“One of my coaching weaknesses is that I talk too much, and GROW® really helped that. Having the framework helped me stay focused... It also helped me reflect back [on] what was said and to check for understanding.


Where did I get stuck? In Reality and Options. Her issue was somewhat complex, and I did get off track of the scripted questions trying to understand the whole situation. Also, in Options, I did not follow the script exactly, but I did frequently ask "What else?" 


“While I went off script, I did focus on asking questions, not making statements or opinions.


What could I do differently? Stick to the script! I'm planning another GROW® for Breakthroughs conversation and will be disciplined in sticking to the script next time. I'm sure it will speed up the conversation.


[ROPS] There’s a Life Outside the Workplace_Graphic  1


“I'm excited to use the GROW® tool again and am eager to share it with colleagues at [work]. I liked how GROW® gets to specific options and next steps, and I have a check-in call scheduled with my friend... after she implements her Way Forward."



There’s a Life Outside the Workplace

Coaching is a marvelous tool for enhancing relationships both in and out of work.

Your employees will thank you for giving them the ability to be successful in all aspects of their lives, and your organization will reap untold benefits and value from having happier employees.

Want to see how GROW® can improve your relationships — both personal and professional? Get a sneak peek at what this acclaimed coaching model is all about in our GROW® Coaching Program Guide.

Let’s Discuss your Coaching Needs

Our team of experts will contact you to better understand your goals, answer any questions you may have and provide an overview of our portfolio of solutions to better assess how we can help.