Performance Management Coaching Using the PRO-GROW Model

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In this article, we look at performance management coaching using the PRO-GROW model. Performance management coaching is used when a team member is underperforming and a traditional coaching session has been used to try and rectify the performance.

For this particular conversation, we use an approach that used the PRO-GROW model, an extended version of the GROW Coaching model.

What is Performance Management?

We can classify performance management as simply managing someone’s performance. This means that they have targets, goals and objectives to be met. Our role as leaders or managers is to ensure that our team members meet these through effective leadership, motivation, coaching and providing the right level of support. We do this to ensure they meet the required performance standards and this is known as performance management.

When someone does not meet the standards that have been set, they can be classed as underperforming and this is where performance management coaching can be used to help get their performance back on track.

Performance Management Coaching

Performance management coaching is using coaching to help keep performance on track and to initially manage performance if the required standards have not been met. If our initial coaching approach does not work, we can use an extended version of a coaching conversation called PRO-GROW. This tends to be used when normal coaching hasn’t worked and we need to have a more severe conversation about performance with one of our team members.

coaching skills training course - performance management coaching

The PRO-GROW Model

The PRO-GROW model is an extended version of the GROW Coaching Model. It includes 3 additional steps at the beginning that are used when discussing underperformance and make the conversation appear a little more severe than a normal coaching session. It is incredibly effective in performance management coaching conversations.

You can learn more about the GROW coaching Model by reading our article the GROW Coaching Model.

PRO-GROW stands for:

  • Present the Problem
  • Response and Reality
  • Ownership
  • Goals
  • Reality
  • Options
  • Will/Way Forward

Present the Problem

The first stage of the PRO-GROW model is present the problem. Here, we need to state exactly what the issue is we are looking to address in this performance management coaching conversation. We need to be direct, clear and specific.

For example, you might start with something like:

“You have been late 4 times in the last 3 weeks”


“We have now had 3 conversations about you not hitting your sales target”

You might notice that, unlike traditional coaching, there are no questions here. We state this fact to them.

Response and Reality

The second stage of the PRO-GROW model is response and reality. Here, we want them to agree that this is a problem and to understand in more detail why it is a problem.

For the response, you could ask something like:

“Do you think that this is acceptable?”

The reality stage in PRO is slightly different to the reality stage in GROW in that we want them to realise why their underperformance is a problem. We do that by asking them some questions about the impact their performance is having.

For reality, you could ask something like”

“How do you think this impacts the rest of the team?”


“How do you think the business is impacted if you do not meet the standards that are set?”


“If this was your business and someone was performing like this, what would you do?”

This stage is designed to help them see that there is a real impact of their actions on themselves, their team, the business and you and this is what makes our performance management coaching conversation just that little bit more severe.


The second stage of the PRO-GROW model is ownership. Here, we want them to take accept that their performance is a problem and that it needs to improve. We then need them to agree to improve it.

You could ask something like:

“Do you now see what this is a problem?”


“Do you agree that this needs to improve?”

Now we have the commitment, we can move on to the next stage.


The remainder of the conversation follows the existing GROW Coaching Model. Their commitment to improving becomes the goal, and we then move on through the remainder of the GROW Coaching Model.

Further Learning

If you would like to learn more about performance management coaching and the PRO-GROW coaching model, take a look at our Coaching Skills Training Course for more details.

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