By Emma-Louise Elsey
Sometimes I think we coaches get so used to seeing “The Wheel of Life” that we forget it’s still new for most of our clients. Not only that, but the “Wheel of Life” may just be the most powerful and flexible coaching exercise in our coaching toolbox! So, as it’s one of my favourite tools I’m excited to share some new ideas below for how you can use “The Wheel of Life” in your coaching practices.
Here are 10 Fresh Ways for Using the Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice:
- The Wheel of Progress. When used on a regular basis The Wheel of Life is a great tool to measure progress. Use it monthly or quarterly with your clients, as both a check-in to see how they’re currently doing AND as a way for them to see how they’ve improved and grown. Improved scores demonstrate concrete value from coaching and create tangible progression. It’s like looking back over an old journal and seeing how far you’ve come!
- The Wheel of Stress (or Wheel of Frustration). Start with a blank wheel and ask your clients to list the top 8 areas that stress or frustrate them most. Then ask them to score each area out of 10 as to how much each area adds to the stress in their life. Then review and coach them around the scores. Tip: Ask, which area frustrates or stresses them out the most? Are there any surprises? How could they lower their scores? What actions could they take to lower their frustration or stress?
- The Wheel of Happiness, Fun or even Joy! Does your client need help to create more happiness, fun or joy in their life? Well, ask them to identify 8 areas or things that are fun or make them excited or happy. There are different ways to score this – you could ask them to score how satisfied they are with each area, or how MUCH each area excites them, or how much they WANT to ‘do’ or feel drawn to each area. Then ask your client for an action or commitment for each segment. Tip: Ask how could they bring more of each area into their lives? Help them find multiple wins – where one action raises their score across a number of areas.
- Going Deeper. Use the wheel to drill down into a single wheel segment and help your clients understand their lives and issues more deeply. Take one of the segments and then using a blank wheel ask them to write out a further 8 areas that make up that segment for them. Eg. a ‘Finance’ wheel could include saving for a house, budgeting, focusing on buying needs and not wants, saving for a rainy day, paying off debts, getting a pay-rise etc. Tip: This is great homework – to identify areas to bring to the session and work on.
- The “Skills and Knowledge Gap” Wheel. What are the Top 8 skills and knowledge gaps your client has that get in the way of that job, promotion or new career? Ask your client to identify their gaps and then score out of 10 where they are on the road to filling this gap. Then identify action steps for each ‘gap’. Tip: It helps to clarify whether each gap is a skill or knowledge gap. AND it’s also important to do a ‘sanity check’ that the gap is 1) fillable and 2) that it’s a skill they are able or want to fill!
- The Wheel of Compassion. There aren’t many of us who couldn’t do with more self-compassion. Ask your client to list 8 areas where they could be more kind or compassionate with themselves. Get them to score HOW compassionate they are currently – and to identify an action for the top 3 areas that need kindness or compassion most. Tip: Try this one on yourself – you may be surprised – where do YOU need to be kinder with yourself?
- Set MORE Meaningful Goals. The Wheel of Life is a great way to help a client who is struggling to identify goals. Low scores point to areas where a goal could be identified to raise their score. And high scores suggest areas where a goal could really give your clients a boost. When we work on where we’re already doing well – this spins off into other areas in our lives and lifts them too. Tip: This is a great exercise for business and career/executive coaches to ease clients into thinking about their personal lives – which of course will benefit their careers and businesses in the long run.
- The Wheel of Priorities. Ask your client to label their Top 8 priorities – across work, home, relationships – basically their priorities in life overall. Next ask them to review their wheel and identify their Top 3 priorities. Then, get them to score their satisfaction out of 10 for all the areas. You can use this approach to look at a specific area of life like their career or finances, or you could even use this exercise to prioritise their goals! Tip: Ask them how does their score for the Top 3 priorities compare to the lower priorities? Do they have their priorities ‘straight’ or do they need to shift their focus? What actions could they take?
- The Wheel of Sales (or Wheel of Marketing). A wheel can also be used to help identify actions rather than identify and score ‘areas’ to work on. So, take a blank wheel and ask your clients to identify sales or marketing actions to complete in the next month (or key actions to complete in the coming year). Tip: You could also pre-fill some of the wheel for them so a Marketing Wheel might include social media, networking, advertising, workshops, a newsletter and a Sales Wheel might include clarifying a sales process or funnel, writing a script for complimentary sessions, calling enquiries back, learning more about Sales. You might even like to try this one for your coaching practice…
- General Action Planning. The visual wheel format is also great to make action planning more fun and a great way to BREAK DOWN bigger actions into smaller more manageable chunks. So, using a blank wheel, write the goal or required outcome at the top of the page. Then ask your client to write out the next 8 actions or chunks of work that make up their goal. Tip: If you get them to put a date against each action – they can then use the segments to shade and record the % complete for each area!
And whatever you’ve used the wheel for I like to ask this question when complete, “So, if this wheel represented your life/relationship/career/marketing strategy, is it a bumpy ride?”
I hope this has given you some new ideas for using The Wheel of Life in your coaching practice. Why not give one a try – it’s wheely good!
And remember – we’d also love to hear how you use The Wheel of Life – just add a comment below.
Contributing Member: Emma-Louise Elsey
Emma-Louise is a professional life coach and founder of The Coaching Tools Company.com. Sign-up at www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com to receive 549 Powerful Coaching Questions FREE by email.
**Please credit the author with any use of or excerpt from this article in any form.