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Structure of coaching

The four-step plan is a tried and tested model for structuring a coaching conversation . It includes: Goal, Current situation, Options and Conclusion. In English it is called GROW ( G oal, R eality, O ptions, W rap up).


Step one is setting the goal , both for the longer term (theme or themes that the coached person brings in as a central theme for the coaching process) and for the meeting itself (what should the coaching session concretely deliver?).


A goal in the long term can be: effectively conducting bad news interviews. The goal for a specific meeting is, for example: finding a good conversation structure.

Current situation

Step two: exploring the current situation. Why is the inserted subject a problem? What are concrete examples? What went wrong? What went well? Is it always a problem or are there situations in which it went well or better? What are important factors? What has the coached already undertaken to deal with the problem?

In this phase, it is all about understanding and sharpening the discussion theme. The role of the coach is to encourage the coachee to self-evaluate and analyze concrete examples. It is important to keep the red line and to close irrelevant side paths in time. The coach can contribute with specific feedback to clarify the core problem.


The aim of step three is to generate ideas that can contribute to the solution of the problem. The trick is to initiate a creative thinking process and - without being hindered by censorship or conditions for practicability - to brainstorm freely. The coach promotes the creative thinking process of the coachee, structures the output (for example by writing down things) and possibly also contributes ideas himself.


The fourth and final step is to arrive at a final conclusion . Which of the aforementioned ideas will the coached perform? What are the next steps? What are possible obstacles? What does the coach need to put the ideas into practice? How can the coach help?

The fourth step is concluded with a clear agreement about who will do what within what timeframe.

The strength of the step-by-step plan is that it leads to a clear end result in four clear steps. Because the coachee himself is active in clarifying the problem and generating ideas, the output stays better. The coachee comes to solutions himself, as it were. In a follow-up session, the coach and coachee look at whether the appointment has led to the desired result.

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