Alan Fine and the History of the GROW Model
InsideOut Development founder, Alan Fine, began his career as a tennis coach working with up-and-coming tennis professionals. As he worked with athletes, he realized that the biggest performance challenge wasn’t that people didn’t know what to do, but rather that they didn’t do what they know. In other words, performance breakthroughs come from the inside out.
From these experiences, in mid- to late-1980, Fine and two other collaborators, Graham Alexander and Sir John Whitmore, developed the GROW Model–one of the world’s most recognized and influential coaching models today.
GROW is an acronym representing the four core components in any significant decision-making process. The meanings of the first three letters are shared by all major iterations of the model. “G” represents the “Goal” the individual seeks to achieve; “R“, the “Realities” a person should consider in the context of the decision process; and “O“, the “Options” open to the decision-maker. “W” has been interpreted in a variety of ways. But Fine defined it as “Way Forward”–a specific action plan that he feels maximizes the precision and proactivity of the GROW Model.
The GROW Model is constructed upon a deceptively simple insight–that breakthrough performance comes more often, not from acquiring additional knowledge, but from removing internal interference that allows the person to act on what they already know. Good decisions lead to effective actions which lead to productive results. Fine calls this phenomenon “Decision Velocity”–the speed and accuracy of decisions that drive individual and organizational performance.
Written by Jacques Bazinet, Director of Marketing at InsideOut Development