build Tool: Structure career conversations with GROW

To help managers structure career conversations with their teams, Google uses the GROW model (developed by Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore) as one tool to guide the process.

Goal: What do you want? Establish what the team member really wants to achieve with their career.

  • “Where do you see yourself in one, five, and ten years?”
  • “If money or your current skills weren’t an issue, what would be your dream role?”
  • “What are your interests, values, and motivations?”

Reality: What’s happening now? Establish the team member's understanding of their current role and skills.

  • “What are the most rewarding or frustrating aspects of your current role?”
  • “Do you feel challenged or stretched in your current role? What would make it more challenging? What isn’t challenging you?"
  • “What feedback have you received from other people on your strengths and weaknesses?”

Options: What could you do? Generate multiple options for closing the gap from goal to reality.

  • “What can you do right now to further develop skills that would be useful in reaching that goal we talked about earlier?”
  • “What stretch assignments, big projects, or experiences could you pursue?”
  • “What networking or mentorship options are there?”

Will: What will you do? Identify achievable steps to move from reality to goal.

  • “What will you do? By when?”
  • “What resources would be useful? What skills will help you get there?”
  • “What advocacy would help? How can I or our team leader provide more support towards your development?”

Make it your own: customize the tool below.

Career conversation worksheet

Print this worksheet and use it to structure your career conversations with your team members.

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