Models for virtual mentoring


As a part of the VPLD Developing Virtual Mentors course, we have been looking at two models for virtual mentoring. The GROW model and the R-Ropraha model. This post is just my quick summary/reflection on the two models.

GROW model

Model developed by John Whitmore,  Graham Alexander, and Alan Fine.
The GROW model: A simple process for coaching and mentoring.


Reality (current)

Options or Obstacles

Will or Way forward

This model is simple and straightforward. It is starting with the goal, looking at where things are currently at, what can be done/what is in the way, and the next steps to achieving it.

For virtual mentoring (or perhaps any kind of mentoring) it doesn’t give the opportunity to get to know the mentee. That is, it doesn’t allow for building any sort of mentor/mentee relationship. The whakawhanaungatanga is missing. For some people this might not be an issue. They want to just get down to business, however for others this could be crucial in order for the mentee to feel safe to discuss issues/problems etc with the mentor.

The GROW model is very task focused and in my view not so person focused.

R-Ropraha model

Model developed by Dave Burton.




Preferred option





In my view, this model is similar to the GROW model except that it starts with whakawhanaungatanga (rapport), and then the Will from the GROW model is broken down further to create a bit more of an action plan (what resources are needed, what is the action, what help is required).

What would I use?

I prefer the GROW model over R-Ropraha just because it is simple. I would perhaps change it slightly to become W-GROW – including Whakawhanaungatanga at the beginning to help establish rapport/relationship between mentor and mentee.