How to G.R.O.W. the Brilliance of your Marketing Team


For many marketers, late Summer is the time when personal development plans (PDP) are set or given a half-year review. With that in mind, I thought it would be timely to re-share a tried and tested model that ensures PDP sessions go well, both for the Manager and Team Members.

“Coaching focuses on future possibilities, not past mistakes”

John Whitmore

The G.R.O.W. model gives a guide to the four key parts of a PDP session, where the Manager operates as a coach, encouraging the Team Member to work out their own solutions to their development needs.

  • Goal: where does the Team Member want to get to?
  • Reality: where is the team member today?
  • Obstacles: what is stopping the Team Member reaching their goal and what are the Options for clearing a path through them?
  • Way Forward: what specific, time-bound options are selected for action?

Often the hardest part of the PDP G.R.O.W discussion is agreeing on the Reality. Team Members tend to under-estimate what they’re good at and over-rate their skills in areas for personal improvement.

This is where evidence based, objective skills assessment is really helpful, especially if it’s anchored to a comprehensive Competency Framework, describing all the skills required to excel in the role, with externally bench-marked levels of competency for each (do refer to the Flock Capability Assessment Service for more information about this).

As a rule, in a 1 hour PDP session you should expect to spend roughly 5 minutes on Grow, 20 minutes each on Reality and Obstacles and 10 minutes on the Way Forward. With 5 minutes left for pleasantries. Not forgetting that like any effective meeting, you should spend at least as long preparing for the meeting as you do in it.

If you and your team members use the G.R.O.W. model, you and they will find that PDP sessions become a pleasure and not a chore. And given time, you and they will see the benefits as their skills develop, roles become more fulfilling and key performance measures zoom upwards.

If you want to read more about the G.R.O.W. model click here for a link to a useful infographic. If you want to discuss how you can assess skills using the Flock Capability Assessment Service and Tool, or to just have a like-minded chat about Capability Building, do message me or connect with me via LinkedIn.