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The CLEAR Model

In the early 1980s, Peter Hawkins developed the CLEAR model, and thus slightly pre-dates the GROW model. CLEAR is, in many ways, like the GROW model, but weaves a couple of other elements into a coaching session.

The components of the CLEAR model are:

Contracting: This involves opening the discussion, setting the scope, establishing the desired outcomes, and agreeing upon the ground rules.

Listening: Using active listening and listening with empathy, the coach helps the coachee develop his or her understanding of the situation and generate personal insight.

Exploring: This has two stages—helping the coachee to understand the personal impact the situation is having on him or her, and challenging the coachee to think through possibilities for future actions that can resolve the situation.

Action: This involves supporting the coachee in choosing a way ahead and deciding on the next step.

Review: This means closing the session while reinforcing the ground covered, decisions made, and value added. The coach should also encourage feedback from the client on what was helpful about the coaching process, what was difficult, and what the coachee would like to change in future coaching sessions.

Differences from the GROW model

This model differs from the GROW model in a couple of ways that can benefit your coachee and your coaching. First, it makes explicit the importance not just of having a goal but also of the broader contracting issues, encouraging questions like “How would you like me to coach you today?”, “What helps you learn?” and “What blocks your learning?”

Secondly, the CLEAR model emphasises the importance of reviewing a coaching session. This is one of the most influential tools we have for tuning our coaching to the evolving needs of our clients. It is easy when using the GROW model to feel that once we have done the wrap-up, we are finished. Making a review of a coaching session’s effectiveness one of a coach’s necessary steps, as the CLEAR model does, reinforces the value and importance of this stage.