I’ve been writing about why more managers don’t use coaching skills to guide and develop their people. Some managers don’t have clear framework for initiating coaching conversations. Here are two popular models that are easy to follow.

The GROW Model for Managers Who Coach

One of the original coaching frameworks is the GROW model, created by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine and Sir John Whitmore:

G Goal The Goal is where the client wants to be. It must be clearly defined so people know when they’ve achieved it.
R Reality The Current Reality is where the client is now. What are the issues and challenges? How far away is Goal achievement?
O Obstacles What Obstacles are stopping the client from reaching the Goal?
Options Once Obstacles are identified, the client finds Options to deal with them and make progress.
W Way Forward The Options are converted into the Way Forward—action steps that map the way to reach the Goal.


The FUEL Model of Coaching Conversations

Zenger and Stinnett suggest using the FUEL model in The Extraordinary Coach:

  • F = Frame the Conversation. Set the context by agreeing on the discussion’s purpose, process and desired outcomes.
  • U = Understand the Current State. Explore the current state from the coachee’s point of view. Expand the coachee’s awareness of the situation to determine the real coaching issue.
  • E = Explore the Desired State. Articulate your vision of success in this scenario. Explore multiple alternative paths before prioritizing methods of achieving this vision.
  • L = Lay Out a Success Plan. Identify the specific, time-bounded action steps to be taken to achieve the desired results. Determine milestones for follow-up and accountability.

All coaching conversations proceed from setting the stage, defining desired outcomes, exploring alternatives and barriers, deciding an action plan and setting milestones for feedback and accountability. It’s important to follow a framework for coaching skills so that you can pay attention to the person you are coaching and not have to worry about leaving out a key element.

If you’ve had training in coaching skills, what framework did you learn? I’d love to hear from you. Until then, you can contact me here or on LinkedIn.