3 min read - 16 jun 2023
Marjan Geerts from UX Coach has been coaching many experienced and novice UX/UI designers in the past 4 years. She coaches other designers to help them improve their hard skills and soft skills, to support them to find a job in the IT sector, or to help them grow in UX leadership. She loves to have 1-on-1 conversations that bring coachees to new insights about themselves, and help them to reach their goals. The coaching model that she uses is called GROW, it is developed in the UK, about 40 years ago by Graham Alexander. How can this model help you as a UX designer?
What does GROW stand for?
The 4 letters of the word GROW all represent a phase in a coaching conversation: although they are not mentioned explicitly by the coach, they are like a coat rack, that help the coach to guide the conversation, and make sure that the investment to have a conversation is not wasted.
Your role as a coach
Don't give advise too quickly. As a coach it is so easy to give advice to your coachee, because you have "been there", you know what the options are, you know what works best in most cases. But the challenge for you as a coach is to practice Active listening: this means you need to ask the right questions, to let the coachee speak, listen carefully, and summarise what (s)he said at the end.
Don't judge. Also, it is important not to judge your coachee. It can be easy to have an opinion about her/his work ethics, about how the coachee ended up in the current reality or to speak as a corrective mom or dad to your coachee. But try to keep your opinion to yourself, try to analyse the reality (phase 2) and ask the best follow-up question you can think of.
Take time for the coaching conversation. Schedule at least 1 hour or more for the conversation, especially when it is the first time you talk to each other. You need to set the topic or boundaries of the conversation, to explain what your role is, and to set a date for a follow-up session.
How does GROW help you as a coachee?
When your coach is using the GROW model, you need to do most of the talking. Don't hesitate to give your opinion, be honest about your current situation. Come up with your own answers and ideas for proceeding, and make the most of your coaching session by taking the next steps that you thought of in the phase WILL.
When is GROW not useful?
GROW is not always a good model to follow, there are exceptions: