My favorite Coaching Technique

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A Goal without plan is just a wish

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This time I am sharing one of my most favorite and most successful coaching techniques. The technique can be used in one-on-one sessions, in groups or for self-reflection.

Why? I think this technique is so simple that anyone can apply it to move forward and grow. This on both a personal or a professional level.

There are so many good techniques to set goals, make plans and to implement them. Just think of the SMART technique or the SWOT analysis. The power of the exercise below is that you can find in a relative short time what you can (or should not do) in order to achieve your goal.

It is the GROW technique and in this article I explain how I apply this existing technique that, among other sources, comes from the book “How to book for the coach” (in Dutch) by Joost Crasborn and Ellis Buis. You can use it for your own goals and in conversations with clients or colleagues.


First, write down your goal. What do you think is important and what do you want to achieve? Write down your goal as specific as possible (or speak it out aloud). And write it down as if it already achieved. Many people have goals such as: I would like to have a promotion, I want to know what my next step in my career, I want to take a course or I want to earn more money. If you write as if you already achieved goals then you can they better imagine them. This helps you actually achieve them. So, write your goals down like this:

  • “I know what my next career step is”
  • “I have a loving relationship”
  • “I have sufficient energy and joy in my life”
  • “I have successfully completed a course accounting”
  • “Next year, I earn € 100 k “


Secondly, you describe the current situation. This helps to explain why you want to achieve your goals and a why you want to change. Write down what is going on and why you have not yet achieved your goals (because of somebody or something). Also write what now goes well, what successes you now have. Examples can be:

  • “I’m exhausted when I get home from work and then I also have to take care of the things at home”
  • “I don’t earn enough to do the things that I would like to do such as travel, eating out and to buy beautiful clothing”
  • “I am good at my work but I have no satisfaction in my work, it looks like I run on autopilot”
  • “I don’t quite know how to do my accounting and I am unsure of my tax returns”


Then write down your options (alternatives). It’s basically a download of what you can do to achieve your goal, or not . You can also find out what you can or should not do. So, write down the advantages and disadvantages of you options. This step is essential for the last step because here it becomes clear what you need to do to achieve your goal. In the area of your career question, you can write down:

  • “I can just carry on what I do now because I just get paid”
  • “I can take some time off (sabbatical) to figure out what I want to do”
  • “I can resign so that I have the time and freedom to think but then I have no income”

In area of generating more income you could write down:

  • “I can ask for a pay rise”
  • “I’m going to see if I can find an extra income (a side-hustle)”
  • “I can look if there are any other jobs in my field of work that pay better”

Work plan

Finally, make a work plan (a will or wrap up) and start with small actions that easy to do. Often, goals fail mainly because you do not write down what you exactly you are going to do and when and why. Who or what do you need and what is the effect of the action on your environment?

So, make an appointment with your manager to have a talk about the pay raise or tell him/her what the added value is for the company, for the course you wish to follow. Find a good accountant in your network who can help you with your tax return, find a (career) coach or a maid service for at home. Think of multiple actions to achieve your goal and sometimes it can be just a very small action. What matters is that you move to achieve your goals. Otherwise, your goals are just a wish …

The goals and the work plan should be in line with what you want in life. You can figure this out by, for example, make your lifeline and by doing this exercise. Also, it is useful to use your own character strenghts with your actions and goals. Some time ago, I got a wonderful job offer with a large company. The income was great and I would travel a lot. Unfortunately I would rarely see my family and that would make me and my family sad. Because I was aware of this, I could easily make a choice not to take this job.

What goal would you like to achieve this year? How will you do that and what are you going to do? Let me know in the comment box below. I look forward reading from you!

Would you like to experience the GROW technique for yourself? Are you looking for a coach who can help you to move forward? Please feel free to contact me!

Feel free to look on my page with referrals to specialists in my network who can help you in other areas to reach your goals.

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