~ By Duncan Haughey
In my article, Why Project Managers Should Coach - I outline the benefits of coaching your project team to produce better results. In this article, I look at a coaching technique that will help you become a better coach. First, let's understand why you should coach.
Coaching helps people develop and become better at what they do. The coach and coachee should look at what needs to change to help the coachee improve their performance. Do this by examining the current reality and understanding the starting point. Are they missing anything? What will they benefit from in terms of skills and training?
There are many definitions of coaching, one I particularly like comes from Eric Parslow who describes coaching as,
a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be successful, a coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which coaching takes place. 
Coaching is not just for poor performance, it can be used to help project team members develop and achieve their goals, while producing better results on your projects.
In the 1980s, Sir John Whitmore and his team of Performance Consultants developed the GROW model; now firmly embedded in the world of business coaching. GROW stands for:
The model is designed to help the coachee think things through for themselves and drive towards improved performance. Let's take each area in turn and explore how we use it during a coaching conversation:
Goal: what is the objective or desired outcome? It must be specific and measurable, think SMART. Ask the coachee, "How will you know when you have achieved that goal?"
Reality: what is the current situation? What is stopping the goal from being reached? Check any assumptions with the coachee, "Why do you think that might happen?"
Options: what choices do they have? What different journeys can they choose to reach the goal? This is also known as 'Obstacles Exploration.' Avoid making suggestions on the coachee's behalf.
Way Forward: what will they do next? This is also known as 'Will' or 'Wrap-Up.' Gain commitment to an action and a follow-up if required.
Once you are ready to start coaching your team member, hold a coaching conversation to explore the options available; asking what is possible? This may take the form of a brainstorming session following the GROW model, taking each area in turn. During the conversation, ask the coachee to commit to specific actions to achieve their goals. If possible, try to find actions that boost motivation. As coach, identify any risks or barriers and remove them.
Here are some questions to get you started, adapted from Sir John Whitmore's book, Coaching for Performance: 
Consider opportunities for frequent and regular coaching conversations with your project team members. The best way to become good at something is to practice. The same applies to the GROW model and coaching in general. The more you practice, the better you will become.
 The Manager as Coach and Mentor, page 8, Parsloe, Eric, 1999.
 Coaching for Performance, pages 174-176, Whitmore, Sir John, 2002.