The GROW model and FACTS coaching

How does FACTS coaching relate to the GROW model? We have often been asked this question. Following a great creative session with colleagues at Illustra Research to develop a leader as coach workshop, we have a new way of looking at the GROW model and FACTS. So how do Goals, Reality, Options, and Will of the GROW model relate to Feedback, Accountability, Courageous Goals, Tension, and Systems thinking of FACTS?

I have always thought of the GROW model as a great foundation for coaching. I remember learning about the GROW model when starting out on my coaching journey many years ago, and still have it alive in the back of my mind. I even used it two weeks ago as a problem solving process when facilitating an ad hoc session during a leadership workshop. The beauty of the GROW model is that it is very simple, easy to learn, useful and sequential; it works.

GROW model

FACTS is a non-sequential approach with five equal cornerstones.  Initially, we had explained the relationship by saying that FACTS was more advanced for experienced coaches, and can be used to build on the foundation established by the GROW model. However, we now realise this is a rather linear view of the relationship and we are excited by a new way that connects the GROW model and FACTS that has been revealed by our collaboration with Illustra Research. FACTS is a way to approach the GROW model, and from this perspective we can see that for every stage of GROW we can use FACTS to add depth, as shown in the table below. You can see that there are certain elements of FACTS that have a stronger relationship with the different stages of the GROW model.

F

A

C

T

S

G

xx

x

xx

x

x

R

xx

x

x

x

xx

O

xx

x

x

xx

x

W

xx

xx

x

x

x

 

  • When working with a coachee to set a goal (G of GROW) we can move beyond a typical rational SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) and stretch to a step changing courageous goal (C of FACTS).
  • We can examine the reality (R of GROW) from a system thinking (S of FACTS) perspective and include a much broader view of stakeholders, colleagues, wider team, organisation as a whole, customer, competitors, society and short and long term time frames.
  • We can use tension (T of FACTS) to create a list of options (O of GROW) with greater depth and originality. By asking simple questions such as “what else?” and “what else?” to continually increase the tension to provoke more creative options.
  • Once we have worked through willingness to act (W of GROW) we can hold coachees accountable (A of FACTS) to the actions they have agreed to undertake, to the coaching contract and to the organisational system.
  • Feedback (F of FACTS) has an overarching part to play and is crucial at all stages of the GROW process as the coach holds the mirror up to help coachees increase their level of awareness.

As I have used the GROW mode for so long, I like the feeling that there is a synergistic interconnection with FACTS. Rather than the GROW model ending and FACTS starting in a linear way, the two weave together to create a strong two dimensional approach to coaching.

What models/approaches of coaching do you use that interconnect?

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