I have a handy coaching tool called G.R.O.W.
Per the usual when working with a tool and growing a life, there is some assembly required.
(I worked for an organization that spoke in the Acronym language. Foreign at the outset, if one studied well and long enough, you too could become proficient in Acronym-speak. I became fluent and could seamlessly read a document AND comprehend it. That lasted until the Board required all acronyms be fully typed out for those still in Acronym 101. But I digress…)
One day I was working at the classroom table with a coaching client using the G.R.O.W. acronym to provide some flow.
O. Obstacles & Options
W. When By?
After our session I typed up some notes as a result of their G.R.O.W. synopsis. Not for them, but for me to glean some further coaching fodder to write about down the road. What I gleaned then I share here now:
Assembly Required – recognize that often what looks so good on paper doesn’t flow as easily.
That thought never fails to remind me of a conversation held more than once with my husband. As one who was holding the tool on the other end of the blueprint and being told to ‘make it happen’, he proved the assembly required theory time and again. Drawings on flat paper did not miraculously become multi-dimensional without at times necessary modifications and sometimes, trips back to the drawing board.
Before he became a counselor he spent 28 years as a mechanic/weldor/works repairman and eventually head steward in an aluminum smelter, before the plant was closed and he retired out fourteen years ago.* Those years of discipline, hard work, showing up, problem-solving, and completing one work ticket after another for nearly three decades served and prepared him well for what he does now with people instead of equipment. He’s now had 13* years of private practice. Time sweeps on and assembly required remains part of growing a life.
Goal – whether it’s an aim, objective, purpose, target or aspiration…a goal provides direction.
Without a goal (even if it’s a mini goal on the way to the big one), it’s kind of like trying to put a puzzle together without the benefit of the picture on the box top. When growing a life, it’s not just what we do but who we are that influences what becomes of our goal – and us.
Reality – a fair portion of coaching utilizing the G.R.O.W. tool is spent on naming life’s reality.
I’ve yet to meet a puzzler who hasn’t begun by finding all the straight edges and constructing the framework. Call them boundaries or margins, the framework helps determine what goes into the picture and what is excess or doesn’t belong.
Sometimes the reality is that we don’t like the reality. But that’s when keeping the goal in sight is especially crucial to not abandoning the developing picture and leaving the puzzle gathering dust for the next year, or ten.
Obstacles & Options – two sides of the same coin, we do not grow a life without encountering both.
Naming the realities of life at present typically leads right into the obstacles conversation. I best describe it as the ‘oh-oh’ dialogue. It is also the place in the G.R.O.W. exercise (and the exercise of growing!) that the obstacles about the obstacles can abound. Nonetheless, staying with it yields the reward of breakthrough.
The other side of the O&O chat has to do with options. Or as I best describe it, the ‘oh! oh!’ exchange of ideas. Sometimes this part of the discussion yields a veritable smorgasbord arrayed on my classroom coaching table. The caveat is that the options we see before us are most likely to become part of our successful growth when run through the R. tool for a reality check. When it all comes together, it is exciting indeed!
When By? – life is not to be lived in a puzzle box with a never-ending list of to-do’s.
However, there are periods in life where we give more focus to something until it becomes learned and more easily engaged; as it begins to flow we can enjoy its rhythm. Then another growth opportunity comes along and we repeat the pattern. It’s how we grow. It’s also how we move toward our goal, when by when by when. With G. R. and O. in sync.
The growing season is upon us. If you’re in the market for some assembly required, I welcome your contact!
*written in 2017
Photo Credit: NB original with PicMonkey enhancements