I will have the distinct honor and pleasure to present with John Woolf (on Twitter as @JuanLoboPT) at the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in San Antonio, Texas next week. Our topic centers on how clinic owners and managers can leverage the GROW coaching model, already used in professional sports and the business world, to improve their overall practice performance.

While I don’t want to give everything away, here are some tips regarding the model and how you can leverage it. And, if you’ll be at CSM 2017 next week, stop by our session on Saturday at 8:00am to learn exactly how to apply this coaching method.

CSM 2017 is almost here! Stop by the Clinicient booth #1519 at the show the say hi and enter to win some fun giveaways. Hoping to chat with a team member? Schedule a session before spots fill up.

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Good Coaching follows a methodology.

Like anything else, you will achieve better and more consistent results when you follow a process. GROW provides a framework and methodology to coach and make decisions effectively. GROW was developed by Sir John Whitmore, Alan Fine, and Graham Alexander, and provides a framework of questions that elicit meaningful responses that help provide a better understanding of the current situation.

GROW consists of four phases – Goal, Reality, Options and Way Forward.  Regardless of whether you use GROW or another coaching methodology, the important thing is to pick one and use it consistently.

When posed with a goal (or problem to solve) most people jump immediately from the initial goal or problem statement to a solution. When we do this, which is the most common approach, we are less likely to identify the most optimal solution.


When is a person more likely to achieve a goal? When they set it for themselves and formally commit to achieving that goal. In setting a goal, it is imperative for the goal to be SMART (learn more about formulating a SMART goal at our CSM session!).


The Reality phase of GROW coaching is focused on creating full awareness of the current state. The three main aspects of clearly articulating the current realities are determined by understanding the following things:

  • What could help you achieve the goal?
  • What could impede success?
  • Are there any unstated truths?

These questions and several others help determine the root cause of why the goal has not already been accomplished and whether the goal is realistic and attainable. The third question is intended to make sure there aren’t any “elephants in the room”. To ensure you can truly achieve a goal, you want to make sure you are being honest with yourself.


Options is another name for “Brainstorming”. Similar to the rules of improv, the important thing is going with the flow and throwing anything and everything at the wall. The main intention here is to identify as many potential solutions and options as possible. Go crazy, throw any idea that comes to mind on the list. Sometimes the craziest ideas spark the best solutions. Oh yes, I almost forgot. As much as possible let the person you are coaching come up with the options. Why????

“When insights are generated from within through self-discovery, new brain circuits are created, adrenaline-like and dopamine-like substances are released, and sudden bursts of high energy brain activity are created.” –

 Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and David Rock

Remember the last time you were in a meeting and someone provided a suggestion or solution to a problem that elicited this response – “That won’t work” or “that’s a bad idea”. How many more suggestions were thrown out there? I will take a guess and say most likely not many more.

Now think about the inverse. Take yourself back to the last time you offered an idea to a group and the group thought it was a great idea. Did your confidence and excitement raise? Were you ready to run out of the room and put that solution into action?


The main difference between Options and Way Forward is the following. Options are what you could do, Way Forward is what you are going to do… and when. The Way Forward is intended to outline the specific steps that will be taken in order to ensure the goal is achieved. What will you do? When will you do it? If the goal is not accomplished what will you do?

When you become effective in utilizing the GROW Coaching Model, the entire process can be completed in a few minutes. Is it worth the investment? Absolutely. This tried and true method has been leveraged by professional athletes and business leaders for several decades. Like most good things, the process itself is simple, yet effective.

I hope to see you all at CSM! Connect with me on Twitter (@doug_schumann) before and at the show – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the GROW method.


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