What is The Wheel of Life?
The wheel of life technique provides an instant overview of dimensions of your life in predefined categories like relationships, friends and family, finances and health to both the client and the coach.
The wheel of life is one of the most powerful tools used for coaching purposes. It is also referred to as the Life Balance Wheel or the Coaching Wheel. This life coaching exercise is considered an ultimate experience that can be adapted as per every available situation as it is versatile, simple, flexible and easy-to-use. The credit for the concept of the wheel of life exercise originally goes to Paul J Meyer in the 1960s.
This all-important tool is central to coaching practice as it helps in becoming motivated and creating self-awareness. Remember it is self-knowledge that empowers the client to gain direction and focus so that they can make necessary changes to create a fulfilling and balanced life.
What are the Key Categories on the Wheel of Life?
The wheel of life template by Paul J Meyer includes 8-10 categories that are considered important for leading a balanced life and in goal setting. These categories can be customized and changed as per individual client demand. The Key Categories on the Wheel of Life are-
1. Family and friends
This wheel of life category puts the focus on the relationship that belongs to family members as well as friends.
2. Significant other
This wheel of life category puts the focus on the relationship with life partner or with someone who you are dating
3. Career and Work
This wheel of life category puts the focus on professional activities related to business and work. It also includes volunteering activities
4. Money and Finances
This wheel of life category puts the focus on the activities that will help to manage money, invest, budget and save
5. Health and Fitness
This wheel of life category puts the focus on physical and emotional health as well as well-being.
6. Personal Growth and Learning
This wheel of life category puts the focus on different activities for personal development
7. Fun & Leisure
This wheel of life category puts the focus on different recreational activities
8. Home / Work Environment
This wheel of life category puts the focus on an environment that is related to both the home front and work front.
This wheel of life category puts the focus on different spiritual or religious communities along with other social group activities
This wheel of life category puts the focus on the driving force behind the individual’s focus areas.
Different Styles of the Life Balance Wheel
The key styles of the life balance wheel are
The “Pie” Style
The “Pie” Style of coaching wheel is named so as its look is similar to a slice of pie. It can be a hand-drawn diagram or a pre-designed template where the user will write the score in the appropriate segment and draw a line across them to rate each area.
The “Web Spider” Style
The “Web Spider” Style is easy to draw and often generated by online versions. The scores in this version are noted on actual lines meant for each segment and not across the segment like the “Pie” Style
7 Steps Involved in the Wheel of Life Exercise
Take the following steps in using the wheel of life exercise
1. Determine the focus areas of your life
Think about the different dimensions of your life by putting your focus on
- important areas of your life based on family and
friends, long term personal growth, business goals, health, satisfaction, positivity
- the roles you have to play in all the areas of your life like a team member, spouse, client, leader, friend
This step will act as success motivation institute and help the client to find his priorities and make changes accordingly
2. Introduce the wheel of life
Create and introduce a wheel of life to the client to find life balance. Now the client is aware of the focus areas of his life and this is the time to draw a diagram or take the aid of a template and accommodate the categories that he likes. It is up to the client whether he wants to add, remove or rename categories. The responsibility of the coach is to guide and not direct the client
3. Rank the categories in the wheel of life
This is the step where the coach asks the client to rank the categories in the wheel of life by giving it an appropriate score. One represents not at all satisfied and ten represents fully satisfied. This is the step that offers an overview of the satisfaction level in the life of the client
4. Review the whole wheel of life
When the wheel of life template is complete it is the time to look at the whole wheel and consider the total life balance. Connect all the dots and ask questions to open a discussion on life satisfaction. How do you feel when you look at the wheel, what has surprised you the most, what will score of a ten feel like and can a single step improve these areas are some important questions that can help you in goal setting and finding life balance.
5. Review each area of the whole wheel of life
This is the time to coach the client about how to review each area of the whole wheel of life. Start with the areas that the client will find interesting. Ask questions to open a discussion on personal satisfaction and understand what ideal level of success you are looking at. Why does this area need attention, how balanced are you in this specific area, why was this score given in this area is there something missing in this area and what is your ideal score are some important queries that can prove a help. This is the time when the client will have to discuss relationships between all the categories and understand the actions he will have to take based on the life balance exercise.
6. Identify actions for each category
Identify actions for each category so that after the activity is completed it will change the level of satisfaction of the client. Define a goal and make it SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Remember each action that has been completed must add to the overall goal, increase satisfaction level and improve the life balance of the client.
7. Revisit and review the wheel of life
The wheel of life exercise is not just for one-time use. A client needs to revisit and review the life exercise by re-scoring it at regular intervals. This demonstration will aid in understanding the changes that have taken place and the actions that still need to be taken. Revisiting and regular check-ins will tell the client about overall patterns of behaviour and the negative emotions that are blocking the ideal changes.
How to use the Wheel of life in Life Coaching Practices?
The different ways you can use the wheel of life in your coaching practice are-
With a prospective client
Potential clients might not be comfortable sharing personal information with the coach. Sometimes people do not even know about the many areas where they want the coach to help them. The life balance wheel exercise can use the wheel of life template or diagram to understand the various areas of your life and build trust in the coaching process.
Set and prioritize goals
The coach may use the wheel of life exercise and help clients to set and prioritize goals by looking at the satisfaction scores in all areas of your life.
Looking at all the areas of your life
It is about looking at all the areas of your life and find a life balance. Clients may use the wheel of life exercise and rate their satisfaction level on all areas and then map it into a wheel’s image. This image with its life wheel scoring system provides an immediate impression and help the clients to see the areas that need improvement and make adjustments.
Demonstrate the power of life coaching
The coach may use the life wheel to demonstrate the power of coaching in all areas of your life. It should be used at intervals like three months so that the client can know about the progress he has made in the meantime.
As a life check-in
Use the wheel of life as a check-in with how a person is doing in specific areas of your life. Once the client is comfortable with this tool he can complete the wheel, track his progress and know about the areas of life that need a change
As a diagnostic tool
Use the life wheel as a diagnostic tool that will aid in knowing about the source of dissatisfaction in every area of your life. The scores will prove very helpful in discovering the reason for the frustration and unhappiness of the clients.
Use it in workshops
Use the wheel of life in life coaching workshops. The clients with help of this tool can understand the reasons for their stress in stress management workshop and even about goal-settings in related workshops.
To test meaningful goals
Use the life wheel to test the goals which will prove meaningful for the client. The coach can customize the wheel and ask the clients to score each segment and see whether their goals are meaningful or not.
Coaching Questions to Boost Results
Some coaching questions to boost results and help clients with this tool are
1. How do you feel when you look at your wheel?
2. How do you spend time in each area?
3. How would you like to spend time in each area?
4. Which areas would you like to improve?
5. How can you make changes in each area of your life?
6. What are the steps you can take to get started?
7. What help and support will you need to make changes?
8. What is the ideal action that can bring life balance?
What are the areas of focus for a wheel of business?
Some people create a wheel for their business to identify areas that need a better understanding. It is important to use specific categories in the balance wheel that are necessary for the long-term growth and development of the business.
These are the focus areas in a business that may need constant managing and monitoring
- Team development
- Sales and Marketing
- Customer service
- Research and Development
- Product and service development
The wheel of life is a visual tool that helps clients to understand how fulfilled their life is at that particular moment. It is essential in coaching practice as clients can also use it to check-in, assess, review and clarify priorities. It is about looking at every area of your life and find life balance.