Have you ever managed a meeting that seems to go absolutely nowhere? Most of us have at some time or another. There are a variety of frameworks to help you to manage meetings, but my favourite is GROW.

Grow is a structure often used in coaching, but it can also be used for a wide range of other conversations such as meetings and negotiations.
So next time you are managing a meeting give this a go!

GOAL
First establish the goal. What outcome is required as a result of the meeting? Individuals involved may have different outcomes in mind so these need to be established at the outset to allow for any compromise.

Make sure the goal is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Time-bound) and that it is Positive (ie what you DO want, not what you don’t want!)
Write the goal/desired outcome down and make sure everyone agrees.

REALITY
Establish where you are now in relation to the goal. What progress has been made to date? What resources do you already have? What resources are you lacking? What are the obstacles? How much control or influence do you have over the desired outcome? Who are the stakeholders?

OPTIONS
There are always many ways you can move from the current position to reach the goal. Try brainstorming as many ideas as possible and don’t filter or reject at this stage. Write them all down – good, bad and funny.

WAY FORWARD
Decide on which of the options and ideas from the previous stage will achieve the desired outcome. Agree what actions need to be taken, who will be responsible and by when.

Of course, don’t forget to set up a timetable for evaluation and monitoring to keep the actions on track!