GROW in Scouting

Why is it needed

Helping and supporting leaders to perform well in their functions is one of the most important roles that any team leader played is also one pillar of the AiS Life Cycle. Many tools are available for that. The GROW Model could be an excellent tool to unlock an adult’s potential. The model was created by Sir John Whitmore and his colleagues at the end of the eighties (see link below).

What is it

The GROW model is a four-step structure allowing both the adult and his or her leader to go through the support process. GROW, mean:

  • Goal (the concrete expectations of the job);
  • Reality (the current situation);
  • Options (to improve the performance or obstacles to remove);
  • Way Forward (a will and the action plan for the next steps).

It’s possible of course to add to this model a “Performance wheel” as the driver of the GROW model. The Performance wheel is based on three elements according to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle (see link below). The author explains why performers who focus on the big picture, what he calls “the why”, can achieve better results than others. He uses the terms “what,” “how,” and “why.” By focusing on the “why,” people can improve their performance. For us, within the Scout Movement, all our adults must keep in mind the core values because they will be more focused.

The Grow Model

Being in focus helps people to reduce their self-interference, interference is something against the high performance of everyone. According to Tim Gallwey, the author of the Inner Game Model (see link below), “There are many ways of allowing your thinking to get in the way of your performance and learning, but they all amount to conversations you are having with yourself within your own head.”

The How (to deliver) and the What (to deliver) are related to the task and the behaviour, another way to express that could be the competencies level of the leader, competencies that we can improve through the training system for example.

How is it Used

To support adults in Scouting GROW process can be used in various ways:

  1. Helping the adult to define the goal (or objective) that you both want to achieve. Keep in mind the objective must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound). The leader can ask questions like:
  • Does your goal still align with your Term of Reference or the Mutual agreement?
  • How will you measure the achievement of your goal?
  • How will you assess your contribution within your structure?
  1. Inviting the adult to describe their current reality. Doing that a clear and big picture shows-up at least from the adult’s perspective. The leader can ask questions like:
  • What is your current situation? The 5 W’s fit perfectly for this case.
  • What are the results of the current situation?
  • What are the hurdles you are facing today?
  • Does your goals/tasks conflict with any other goals/requests?
  1. Exploring with the adult what are the options. The leader can help the adult in a brainstorm, to have as many good options as possible. The leader can ask questions like:
  • What issues stand in the way to achieve a goal or to deliver a task?
  • What could be done differently?
  • What constraint needs to be removed?
  • What help needs to be provided?

The leader can make the final decision but let the adult offer suggestions first. When adults are involved in this final decision then they will do their best to achieve the defined goals and objectives.

  1. At this stage, the adult with the leader’s support will have a clear idea of how he or she will achieve his or her goal or to deliver his or her task (way forward). The leader can inspire and motivate the adult with the questions like:
  • What will you do now? And how will you move forward?
  • How will you manage new constraints? And what constraint could stop you moving forward?
  • How can you be more committed?
  • On which basis you need to review your progress?

This GROW model could be used frequently in the AiS Life Cycle. This is a good tool to review team member progress and to provide personal support regularly. Leaders can use this tool also for recognising the achievement and to pass a compliment for encouraging his or her team member. This will reinforce the adults’ retention.

See also:



The GROW Model

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle

Inner Game Model

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