Clear model

The clear model of coaching developed by Peter Hawkins is very widely used probably because it takes you through each stage in the process, a kind of step by step guide that helps you develop an effective coaching experience.

The clear model guides a coach through five stages. The stages are:


The main objective of the contract stage is to reach an agreement on how the coach and the client will work together and the set goals they are going to work towards. This stage also involves discussing and deciding on the desired results and outcomes with the client.


This stage involves actually prompting the client to share all information about their situation. This will give the coach all the tools he/she may require. The role of a coach is to draw out all the necessary information by actively listening and asking questions to help the client understands his or her situation. The coach needs to see things from the client’s point of view a sort of being in the client shoes.

There are four levels of listening and it is important for a coach to have a working knowledge of these levels.


This involves the coaches’ full and undivided attention. No distractions are allowed.


The code should be able to paraphrase what the client discussed and should as much as possible use the same language as the client.


The coach should show that he or she understands the factual situation as well as the emotions involved.


The coach should be able to express beyond what the client actually said.


The explore stage involves encouraging your client to experience a kind of epiphany moment and see the advantages of a change and behavior.

The behavior of the coach should be more about reviewing conversations and interactions and understanding how the client receives them. The goal of this is for the client to realize what they need or what is order them back and consequently change their mindset about their current situation.



At the action stage the client’s needs to agree with the coach on what actions they need to take in order to achieve their goals and strictly commit to taking those actions. The client needs to formulate a specific plan of action fully intending to carry it out.

The client might not always want to consider taking actions yet especially if the action formulated does not sound too convincing to them. It may then be necessary to go back in order to listen and explore issues a bit further.



This stage involves looking over the whole coaching journey. Coaches can ask for feedback at this stage in order to evaluate themselves and improve their coaching tactics in order to give a better experience in the future. The clients can discuss what they found useful and how they reached that pivotal moment that prompted a change in them. The coach can also learn about the effectiveness of any plans of action and what they could have done differently.


Though the model appears linear and unidirectional, due to the way the individual stages were listed, the actual coaching experience may not be as straightforward as just following the steps. In a practical coaching session, the circumstances of the conversation may have you moving from stage to stage according to what fits best to the particular scenario.