Motivating Your Team with The GROW Model

Having the skills to motivate your team is not as easy as many new mangers think it will be. Do you find that you can easily motivate some employees and not others, even when you are using the same approach? Why is that? Because we all have different personality types and while two people’s personalities may work well together, other personalities will not, it often down to how the individual filters the information you give them.

If you had a motivational tool that worked with all staff members, how would you implement this technique in your place of work? Today’s article will teach you how to use the GROW model (a coaching technique) to motivate your team.

GROW – Goal, Reality, Options and Will

The GROW model is a set of coaching questions to help your team achieve their goals, by asking a set of questions to move your teams thinking into a positive direction you can start to motivate your team and improve their performance.

First, you need to agree a Goal and Outcome with your team. What is your team goal? You can ask this question to your team; make the goal specific, measurable and realistic. You have to believe in your goal if you want your employees to believe in it, also be consistent don’t have a goal that conflicts with another company goal or you will lose motivation in an instant. 

Under each GROW heading you will find an explanation for the section and a list of potential questions you can use/ask to help your team achieve their goals. Each question is designed to move your employee’s way of thinking to a solution focus outcome.

Questions can be asked to a team or on an individual basis. You do not need to use all questions, rather use the questions as a reference or pick and choice questions that suit your goal or job sector.  

Goal Questions:

The Goal – what do I/We want to achieve? Keep this as simple as possible! The goal questions will support your team to understand the goal and when it will be achieved.  

  • What is the aim of this discussion?
  • What is the long term goal?
  • What is the short term goal?
  • Who is it for? Who are your end customers?
  • What do they really want? What is the benefit for your customers and you? What would make your customers/managers happy?
  • What do you need to deliver so your customer/line managers get what they want?
  • How long might it take to deliver? Is this feasible?
  • What would you consider as a milestone?
  • If everything went as well as possible, what would be the best possible outcome?
  • What does success look like to you?
  • How will you know that you have achieved your goal?
  • What is your budget? Is this feasible?
  • What will you look for when you deliver it? What would make the team unhappy? What would motivate them?
  • How will you measure your goal?
  • How can your passed experience help you achieve this goal?
  • What can you personally do to achieve your goal?
  • How much control does each of the team members have over the goal?


Reality Questions:


To achieve your goal you need to understand the Reality of your team’s current situation, skills, time constraints, attitudes, process and how far or near you are to achieving your goal.

  • What is happening now? – Who, what, where, how and when?
  • What is the effect or result of that?
  • How busy are you?
  • When things aren’t going well, who else can be brought in?
  • What is the current situation like?
  • Who is involved? What are they like? What can they add?
  • What’s working and not working?
  • Do you have enough time to achieve your gaol?
  • What is missing?
  • What is holding you back?
  • What can get you started?
  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • How easy is it to get things done?
  • How often have you tried?
  • Who is involved?
  • What is your part in the team?
  • What has already been started?


Option Questions:

First look at the overall big picture and the break this down in to smaller details, in NLP we call this chunking down. Remember that all your team members are all different and have different experiences and knowledge, this experience and knowledge will open new possibilities and options.

  • What are the two main options?
  • What else could you do?
  • What other options do you have?
    What if all constraints were removed?
  • What are the benefits and negatives of each option?
  • What factors will you use to weigh up the options?
  • If you had more time, what would you do?
  • If money was not an issue, what resources would you have?
  • If you had complete power what would you try?
  • How could you go about doing this?
  • How else could you go about doing it?
  • What could go wrong with that approach?
  • What would work well?
  • How long would it take to achieve each option?
  • What resource and expenditure would be needed?
  • What are the risks in each option?
  • What criteria will you use to select the main option?
  • What should you do first, next, last?
  • What are the cost and benefits of each of these ideas?
  • If you had more confidence, what would you try?
  • What could you sue as a back up plan?


Will Questions:

Once the team understands and believes in the goal and can see that this goal is achievable and realistic, they will have chosen their options and in most cases made a backup plan, your team will be ready to start moving towards their goal. The Will questions are designed to get the team thinking about starting their task.

  • So what will you do now?
  • What options will you choice?
  • To what extent does this meet all of your objectives?
  • What will you start first?
  • When will start (each step)?
  • What could stop you moving forward?
  • And how will you overcome it?
  • Will this address your goal?
  • How likely is this option to succeed?
  • What else will you do?
  • When will you know you are ready for this? How does it light your fire?
  • What will light your fire?
  • Is there anything stopping you from committing whole-heartedly to this?
  • Who else needs to buy in to it?
  • Who needs to know about the goal or action plan?
  • What needs to happen to make people enthusiastic?
  • What rewards for completion would help?
  • What additional help do you need?
  • What could I do to support you?
  • What can get you real excited about starting this project?
  • Is there anything thing else you need to before we start?


From a mangers point of view, you will agree that a list of questions does not always create the desired outcome, plan your questions in-advance and add them in the form of a discussion. You would have already noticed that none of the questions can be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer, the question are designed to form a discussion with your team.

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