The Wheel of Life
When starting with a new coaching partner, coaches may introduce a versatile little tool called The Wheel of Life. This allows coaches to make a quick assessment of where the coaching partner stands in various aspects of life. It’s so simple, you can quickly do it over one session and start a whole new focus for the coaching partner. Jennifer Anderson, our founder and CEO, did this over a podcast with KC Armstrong and you can listen here.
The process starts simply by having the coaching partner draw a large circle and divide it into wedges. Then, label each wedge with an aspect of life. This could be work, family, finances, personal health, or whatever the coaching partner chooses. Next, the coaching partner rates each wedge on a zero to ten scale with ten being the most satisfying.
The Wheel and its Wedges
A key factor in this method is allowing the coaching partner to lead the charge. (Isn’t that what coaching is all about after all?) There are set worksheets of course, but not all sections work for every coaching partner. For example, the coaching partner may not have a significant other, or family and friends may need to be divided into separate categories. By letting the coaching partner decide the labels on the wedges, coaches are able to get a proper picture of what’s happening specific to this person.
Once the coaching partner decides the wheel is complete, ratings and all, the coach can start asking questions. When diving in, it’s helpful to start with the positive, “Where are you a ten or close to ten?” This establishes positivity and strengths and gets the conversation rolling. Remember, coaching is a conversation!
Next, the coach will find out what needs work or what’s getting a low rating by the coaching partner. This can help to determine values and areas that need improvement or may be a tender spot for the coaching partner. Maybe family gets a low rating because the coaching partner doesn’t value family, or maybe it’s because something else is going on that he/she isn’t happy about. We dive in because we need to be curious.
As coaches ask questions and stay curious, coaching partners start to look at aspects of their lives more carefully. They start thinking more deeply and figuring out if they’re truly satisfied with something and what they can actively do about it. As in the podcast example with Jen and KC linked above, it doesn’t take long to get a quick assessment from The Wheel of Life. In this short exercise, coaching partners and coaches get the ball rolling and dive into conversation pretty quickly.
Would you try it right now? Draw a circle and make some wedges. Label them with areas of your life. Rate them zero through ten and see your highs and lows. What’s doing great? What needs work? Where could coaching help you today?