How to use a Wheel of Life? As coach, a Wheel of Life is a powerful tool available to you to help clients see where they are and where to go from there.
We are listing 5 best practices to follow when using a Wheel of Life.
1. Focus on happiness, not desire
Often when individuals rate themselves, they tend to think in terms of “how much” they have. Instead remind them that it’s about how satisfied they are. For example, they may not be the CEO of their company, but if they are happy with what they do and the time they spend, then that’s how they should rate themselves.
It is also tempting to rate for desire which can be a folly. It is human nature to want more. Instead, remind clients that while rating themselves for happiness, it’s important to rate as per their current happiness. And that you will help them solve for desire later. For example, if earning more means having to travel 5 days a week away from their family, but they are happy not traveling then that’s how their current happiness is to be rated. The tradeoffs and sacrifices of more money is to be discussed as a goal and together with other aspects, not independently. Otherwise the assessment of balance in their lives will be skewed.
2. Rate each category independently
Often people derive co-relations that affects their ratings. Remind your clients to rate each facet independently in terms of satisfaction. Just because they are too busy at work to spend more time with family, doesn’t mean they rate their “career” facet as unhappy.
The actions to achieve balance will come later. Don’t let them jump to conclusions.
3. Ask probing questions
As a coach, the questions to ask are often the best help you can give. For example, you can ask if anything surprises them in their Wheel of Life, what a score of 10 looks like, why do they think a rating (high or low) is appropriate, which dimension is to be prioritized right now and why.
It is expected that the right questions may alter their current assessment of balance. That is perfectly fine. Its important that the baseline for coaching is well grounded in reality.
4. Set meaningful goals
Goals are what you brainstorm with your clients to get them to make a change. A meaningful goal is based on self-introspection and prioritization. It’s not just to increase their score but to increase their overall happiness and sense of control. A goal should also be easily measurable and achievable.
Examples of goals could be to begin taking the kids to the park every weekend, or begin to have dinner alone with their spouse once every week, or begin to dress more formally at their job, or open each work meeting with a confident “How’s everyone doing today”? These are not suggestions of course, just examples of what a measurable and achievable goal looks like.
You could consider these examples as activities towards achieving a goal. That’s fine too. Just keep your definitions consistent.
5. Check in periodically
For a coach, it is important to “be there”. And nothing says that better than following up periodically or even sending words of encouragement by email. A check-in should not feel like pressure, but it’s just meant to ask if your client is comfortable meeting their goals, if they would like to report something, and if you can help them in anyway. If you are using a digital wheel of life on Evalinator, this periodic check in very easy to do, as clients can report their progress, and you can guide them remotely without having to send emails and risk missing something.
Whether you are using a paper wheel of life or a digital one, we hope these best practices help you help your clients.
If you’d like to use a digital wheel of life, read more here before you make up your mind. It’s a risk free 21 day free trial and we know you’ll love it!