This morning I worked with a patient who unfortunately ended up in the hospital after a near fatal suicide attempt. Honestly when he first came in I didn’t think he was going to make it because his condition was so grim, but over the past several weeks he has made a miraculous recovery although he still faces a long uphill battle.
Today he was given some frustrating news that he is likely going to have to have another surgery after he thought he was done having surgeries. I could hear in his voice that he was upset that this will prolong his hospital stay (he is no longer suicidal, realizes how lucky he is and wants to be home with his family dearly), but also with each surgery there are risks of more complications and possibly even death.
I sat with him, listened to his concerns and offered words of encouragement and validated his feelings. I also reminded him of all the love and support he has of his wife and children. That’s when I decided it would be helpful for us to use the GROW coaching model to help get him through the feelings of hopelessness and negativity he was staring to express as he contemplated on goin through with the surgery or not.
What is the GROW Coaching Model?
GROW stands for goal, reality, options and way forward (or will do). It’s a simple and powerful tool that many business leaders, life coaches and therapist use, but with a little practice, anyone can use it at anytime to help them achieve their goals.
The fist thing is to figure out what is your goal. Your goal should be a SMART goal, meaning it should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
- This patient stated that his goal is to get well enough to return home with his family as soon as medically possible
- He acknowledged that while his goal is to get home to his family, the reality is that he is currently stuck in the hospital, still fighting to recover from what should have been an non-survivable injury.
Looking around the room that his family had decorated with beautifully handmade get well cards and family pictures, I actually told him that he had no other options but to get better, but of course in reality he does. and together we processed those
- He mentioned he could refuse to have surgery which would likely worsen his condition and possibly lead to death or more permanent brain damage
- He could talk to the medical team for a better understanding of what the surgery entails along with it’s risks and benefits so that he would feel more comfortable making a decision either way
- He could have the surgery, which while it comes with risks, has far more potential benefits of helping him recover
Lastly we came up with a plan based on his goal, the reality of his current situation and his options.
- He decided he would talk to the medical team and voice his concerns about the surgery
Personally, I wanted him to chose to have the surgery as I think it is the best option, but I’m not the one having the surgery and it’s not my job to give him my opinion. My job is to help guide him to make the best decision possible based on the information available and I think his choice to postpone the surgery until he has a clear understanding from the medical team is the best decision for him.
Once he has met with the medical team I’ll see what his decision is and help him through that as well.
The beauty about using the GROW model to help figure out goals is that you can use it everyday for small goals or use it as for major, life changing goals.
Recently using the GROW model helped me realize that a plan of action one of my clients had was really not going to help him achieve his goal and we were able to use the model for him to see it for himself without me having to directly point it out which was great. This not only helped him achieve his goal, but also saved us a lot of time in helping him to achieve it.
Try the GROW model out for yourself. I personally use it regularly and find it extremely helpful and efficient.