KISS and GRRABB

Following on from a previous 'KISS and the F-Factor’ article, I would like to mention another model for change: GRRAB. For many years this has been successfully used this with a wide range of people.

Goal, Reward, Resources, Actors, Barriers.

It is important to use GRRAB for a single goal only, as other factors may change for each goal. It is also important to work with the client to ensure the discussion sticks with that single goal. The goal may be a complete end point or may be a milestone target. It does not matter as long as the coach and client have a transparent shared understanding of the goal.

Rewards are extremely important, but I would argue to use the singular rather than the plural - single goal, single reward. If the client feels there are multiple rewards, what would these be called if bundled under one name? It is also important to be specific about the reward. Feeling happier is great, but, as part of that, will the reward on this occasion be something tangible and specific? If not, why not?

What non-human resources are available to assist? This could be a gym membership, a library or various other possibilities. 

Actors are the people involved: client, coach, baby sitter, employer and so on. 

Barriers are anything that might need to be overcome to achieve the goal. This is an opportunity to look again at resources and actors. They may impose limitations. 

If we look at GRRAB in a case example it may help. A 64 year old male client wanted to lose weight. He has long term goals but wanted to lose one stone (6.4kg) in one month to kick start his long term implementation. After receiving the assurance of the client that he had considered carefully the health issues regarding losing one stone in one month, and that he was happy that there were no concerns, the coach proceeded to GRRAB. The goal was straightforward and has been stated. It was SMART. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound. Of these, relevance is the only one that needs explanation. The client’s BMI was 36, which is considered obese. He has heart issues and diabetes and felt that he was fit enough now to exercise and needed to couple that with diet to lose weight. He suggested that if he left things he would just get heavier and felt his health would get worse. Therefore, the issue of weight loss was particularly relevant and timely.

Initially the client did not feel a specific reward was necessary but after a short discussion said he would be delighted if, as a result of the weight loss and exercise, his blood glucose levels reduced consistently. The client is a well-educated person and needed no additional resources. He was able to manage his own diet and exercise. With no children and no commitments (he is retired), the only actors were coach and client. He wanted the external validation and reference of the coach and wanted a weekly session to report what he had done and discuss ways forward if he had not achieved what he had hoped.

The only barriers the client faced were to do with his own will power.

The outcome was a great success and the client is now 1.5 stones (9.5 kg) lighter, with blood glucose levels of 6 – 5 mmol/L each morning.

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