The Wheel of Life is a personal development tool that late Paul J Meyer – a thought leader and coaching industry pioneer – conceptualised in the 1960s. Also called the Wellness Wheel, Life Wheel, or Balance Wheel, this is one of the tools most actively used especially by life coaches, so if you’re new to coaching and are looking to learn more about tools that you can add to your coaching process and methodology, then you’re in the right place!
What Is the Wheel of Life?
Simply put, The Wheel of Life provides a way for a person to get an estimate or bird’s eye understanding of where they are in their current lives. Additionally, it also helps them understand what areas of their life need their immediate attention by enabling them to rank them in order of importance.
It is called a ‘wheel’ in the sense that
a) it is dynamic and needs to be constantly moving and not be stagnant, and
b) for a wheel to function optimally, it needs to ‘roll’ in as friction-free manner as possible by having all facets of life functioning at a higher and equal level.
Employing this tool throws light on the areas that are causing ‘life’ to not run as smoothly as it potentially could.
Who Is It For?
Well, honestly, it is a tool that can be used by anyone and everyone, even by coaches themselves in their own lives. And not just once, this tool can be used at regular intervals to assess where one is at life at different times and phases.
In the coaching context, it is particularly useful if you find that your client is at a junction where they are not able to figure out or focus on what they need to address first among the multiple things they’d like to fix/solve in their lives.
For instance, when you ask a client what they would want to talk about/address during the coaching engagement or even a particular session and you find that they are all over the place and confused about how to proceed, the Wheel of Life can come to your rescue.
When Can It Be Used?
While there is no restriction or rule on when the Wheel of Life can or should be used during a coaching engagement, it proves to be rather helpful to employ it at the very beginning of the engagement – preferably even before the first official session.
It becomes a quick and simple tool to pick up during a discovery session – not only to help the client assess what area they need to immediately focus on, but also for the coach to figure out whether or not they can or are equipped to handle that segment of the client’s life.
It’s a win-win for everyone!
How Does It Work
So, the Wellness Wheel needs to be divided into equal number of segments. These are the areas that commonly feature in this tool:
- Career/ Business
- Personal Growth
Not all of these areas need to feature in the tool – you can omit/add categories depending on the basic information you have about your client and proceed from there. It is also important to remember that each client’s ‘wheel’ will look different and be unique in its own way.
After dividing the wheel into equal segments – let’s say a total of 8 – you present the same to your client and ask them to rate each area of their life on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how satisfied they are with it (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest). Having this represented on a visual scale particularly helps a client get a realistic understanding of where they stand in their life currently and why the ‘wheel’ feels wonky, and which area(s) they need to address to make this a smoother ride.
The numbers help the client identify which areas have the scope for maximum improvement and maximum satisfaction.
Administering this tool helps the client raise their self-awareness about various areas of improvement in their lives, what they can do to bring their life to balance, and attain greater satisfaction & contentment. It also makes it easier for you, as a coach, to explain how they can benefit from being coached by you once they are done with this assessment.
All in all, the Wheel of Life helps form a base for the coaching journey and sets the tone for the coaching process in the long run. From here, it becomes easier to set goals and action steps that will help the client get closer to attaining a ‘10’ on the segment of their life that they feel needs most work, thus bringing them closer to the life they wish to have!
1. What are the different components of the Wheel of Life coaching tool?
The Wheel of Life can include several components that feature commonly in one’s life that include:
- Career/ Business
- Personal Growth
This, however, is not an exhaustive list and it is up to the coach’s discretion to add/omit components based on the observation of their clients.
2. How does the Wellness Wheel help clients?
The Wellness Wheel is intended to give a real-picture understanding of where a person is in their current lives and brings their attention to the areas that need their immediate attention by having them rate different areas of their lives on a scale of 1 to 10. By these identifications and revelations, an individual is then able to zero in on the one (or few) area(s) that they need to prioritise & work towards to improve and draw up an objective action plan for so that they can get closer to the life they envision for themselves.