Coaching Questions With GROW

Chris Sims with a plant.My previous article covered the GROW coaching model. This article builds on that by adding coaching questions. Questions are a powerful tool a coach uses to help the client find their own way forward. While the coach can provide information and guidance, a key element of coaching is supporting the client in solving their own problem.

Some questions help the client see things in a new way, or consider things they hadn’t before. Much of coaching is deep listening. Questions are the invitations we give to our clients, asking them to share with us. They also allow the coach to gently guide the client’s examination of the situation, and ultimately move them into problem solving and action planning.

Here is a list of coaching questions that you might use in each of the stages of the GROW coaching framework. This isn’t a script! It’s more like a menu. You guide your client through the stages of the GROW model by choosing questions from this list.

(G) Goal Setting

If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be?
What is the desired outcome?
What exactly do you want to accomplish?
What do you want?
What do you really want?
How do you want it to be?
What would that look like?
How will you know you have reached it?
How will you know when the objective is accomplished?
When do you expect to see the outcomes?

(R) Understanding Current Reality

What do you make of it?
What is your assessment?
What do you know about it now?
What kind of picture do you have right now?
How would you describe this?
How would you boil it down to the real essence?
How would you summarize it?
What caused it?
What’s behind it?
What are the other angles?
What part of this have you not yet explored?
What is the bigger picture?
What parts can you control?

(O) Options

What are your options?
How could it be improved?
How do you suppose you could improve the situation?
What are the possibilities?
What are possible solutions?
Is there a ‘win-win’ possible?
What other options are there?
Is there another possibility?
How else could this be handled?
How many options can you think of?
What resources are available to you now?
What would make it possible?
Who could help?
Who could you ask about it?
How can you work around that?

(O) Obstacles

What seems to be the main obstacle?
What is the big challenge here?
What are the chances of success?
What is stopping you?
What is holding you back?
What concerns you the most about it?
What is the cost of that?

(W) Way Forward / Will

What will you do?
Where do you go from here?
What kind of plan do you need to create?
What is the action plan?
What is your game plan?
What do you plan to do about it?
Now what?
Is this the time for action?
What action will you take?
What is your first step?
What are your next steps?
When will you do it?


Using questions to help someone find their own answers is a skill that takes time and practice to master. Find someone, perhaps another aspiring coach, to practice with. Here are instructions to guide you through a practice session.

Further Reading

If you haven’t already, go back and read GROW coaching model.
Here are some sources where you can learn more about coaching questions for use with GROW.

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