There are a number of versions of the ‘wheel of life‘ that I want to mention.
The first is the bhavacakra, an instructional figure in Buddhism. It is a symbolic representation of the cycle of existand found on the outside walls of Tibetan and Indian temples and monasteries.
The second is what cyberneticists call a self controlling loop, the idea that all living beings and ecosystems are self-controlling systems. And in every self-controlling system you can find some variation of what cyberneticists call a self-controlling loop whereby we watch, think, feel, choose and finally do before starting the loop again by watching etc.
And the third, and the subject of this blog, is tool widely used in coaching to help individuals focus on what matters to them, thereby enabling them to be better able to prioritise. It can be particularly helpful in a coaching setting at the Reality stage of GROW.
It can be used as “wheel of business” or “wheel of ‘whatever’”. Follow the simple instructions to use this intuitive tool to balance and prioritise your, or your clients, life.
The wheel consists of 3 circles and, typically, 8 segments as illustrated below.
Name each segment – what works for the client, but typically include some of the following:
- Personal Development
- Health and wellbeing
- Leisure and Fun
- Relationships (Partner, family and close friends)
- Wider world
- Any other subject important to you or your client
Give each segment a score (out of 10 where 1 is low and 10 is high) as to how the client rates that area of his life now and mark that in the inner circle. Join up the scores (eg spider diagram) to make visual how well balanced the client’s current life is from a satisfaction point of view
For each segment, identify some goals that describe what 10 out of 10 would look like.
Finally, taking into account aspects like what the client is good at, what his / her strengths etc, write down some specific actions that will move the client towards achieving their goals.
Consider possible barriers to success, both reasons and excuses, and the consequences of not achieving the goals.
Identify the benefits of achieving the goals.
Set priorities for areas to focus on and set specific timescales for achievement.
But as noted in an earlier blog (Stretch for Life), don’t ignore areas that have scored high or you will run the risk of shrinkage and dropping back over time in your levels of satisfaction without realising.