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Are STRIDE and GROW redundant coaching models?

By July 21, 2016Uncategorized

For many years now, the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) and STRIDE (Strengths, Target, Real Situation, Ideas, Decision and Evaluate) have been standard frameworks for coaching conversations.

They’ve been championed and vilified by critics, but often misunderstood.  In both cases they were never meant as rigid sequential steps in a coaching conversation, but instead a menu of elements which can be visited in different orders and to varying degrees.


Both approaches are based on a solutions-focussed paradigm of defining a positive outcome which in itself reframes a problematic or unclear situation and building towards a range of options, by challenging limiting beliefs and focusing in on the strengths and talents of the person being coached.

There are other models too!

Robert Dilts’ Logical levels is a beautiful alternative framework and provides a layered approach to exploring issues.  It lends itself much more to an intuitive exploration of a person’s situation and is often branded as an Intuitive  Change Framework. Arguably, a truly intuitive process, should lack a framework at all! However, if we accept this loose structure as part of an intuitive approach to coaching, it provides some interesting levels of enquiry.

Here is an outline of Dilt’s Levels and some questions that accompany it.

You can use it sequentially beginning at the top or the bottom or more as a checklist of options.

Dilts argues that in line with Einstein’s notion that a problem cannot be solved at the same level at which it was created, this model provides levels of questioning that will loosen particular mindsets and through questioning, offer fresh perspectives on the circumstance being explored.


STRIDE and GROW are not redundant, they are just different approaches to changing perspectives on a situation.

If you want a process-based framework, they are great ways of structuring a session. You can also include Dilts’ questioning within STRIDE or GROW.  Who says you have to use one model?  Who says you have to use any model?  Over to you.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. To what extent are you using some or all aspects of Dilts’ model in your coaching and support practice?
  2. Controversially for some, Dilts substitutes the “Purpose” level for the “Spiritual” level in some versions of his model. To what extent does spiritual belief and practice have a place in the coaching of professionals for you? Is this the same for everyone you coach?
  3. What are you learning from your thinking on Dilt’s logical levels model? What actions arise from this thinking?

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