The GROW Model – Designing Magic and Designing Life

I love doing magic tricks, and I love working as a magician. Sometimes I want to design a new trick. For example, what if I wanted to turn an apple into an orange? How would I go about that?

As well as being a magician, I work as a life and work coach, working with people to pinpoint their goals and then achieve them.


A popular coaching model that I love to use in my coaching is the GROW Model, originally developed by Sir John Whitmore. GROW stands for:

– Goal
– Reality
– Options, and
– Will

You can use it in many different situations. Here I describe how I would apply it to creating my magic trick. However, you could apply it to any goal in your life, big or small, and I work with clients to apply it to their lives and work.

So, taking the example of my magic trick…

Where Am I Going?

The Goal: to design a magic trick to turn an apple into an orange. When defining any goal, you have to decide if it is short or long term; this one is a medium-term goal. You could have a dream to change your career, or it could be just to decide what you want to get out of your next meeting. That’s G for goal.

Where Am I Now?

Next, R for Reality. Where are you now? What obstacles are in your way? Maybe there are practical barriers? Perhaps you have skill or knowledge deficiencies that you need to fix by learning or reading or practising, possibly some limiting assumptions? Maybe there are financial obstacles?

I have to convince myself that I am actually the sort of person that could design a trick like this. I have to acknowledge that I have limited time and money, and that I may have to learn some new skills to build any necessary props. Also, I must realise that other people might think I am crazy for even attempting it. On the other side of the reality question,  what resources do you already have? These might be material resources such as equipment or technology, or emotional and intellectual qualities you possess in terms of knowledge and skills. 

With my magic trick, I can think about what sleight of hand skills and magical knowledge I have. Then I could consider my magic library of books and videos and that I have the magic community. I’m a member of The Magic Circle, so I can ask my colleagues for advice. These are all resources that form part of my current Reality.

What Could I Do?

Next is O – Options. What possibilities are there for me to reach my goal? Well, I could decide to do it alone. That’s one option. Or I could choose to work with a team – that’s another option. I could create a whole new, utterly original method. Or I could combine and adapt existing methods. These are all options.

What Will I Do?

The fourth letter is W for Will. What Will I do now? What will I commit to doing next? I could decide to read more magic books to find existing methods. I could commit to contacting magic friends to talk through possibilities. I could allocate some money, or maybe decide to save up if I need more. I can diarise time for development and practice.

That’s the GROW model.

GROW and Change

Now, I haven’t designed the trick to turn an apple into an orange. I may or may not do it. I might not be able to turn an apple into an orange yet, but I have seen clients lives change from using this model in my coaching sessions.

If you would like to know more about my coaching or get a free trial to give this method a go, please get in touch. You can book a free discovery call here:

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