04 May The wheel of life & a 4 step guide on how to do it with your team
One of the first exercises I do with my coaching clients is the Wheel of Life. Although I am not a life coach, nor a therapist, It is a great way to start getting to know some one and to create a channel of communication. As an executive coach I spend more time exploring their Professional lives. Maybe as a leader that is what you can do, too. This is one of the few exercises we do that covers their whole person.
No matter the person´s culture, it is important to be careful and make it clear that it is just an invitation. There should be no obligation in doing this exercise. Since most of my coaching clients are leaders managing a team, I do it with them and then invite them to then try it with their direct reports and they often come back surprised with the results and with how much they learned from each other.
This is an example of how you can do it in 4 simple steps:
1–explain why you are inviting them do to this exercise. It is very important to remind them ¨I am not a therapist and this is just an invitation for us to create some space to know each other as humans (there are enough AIs in the world), we only share what we feel comfortable with.¨
2-show your wheel of life first, be vulnerable and honest.
-First show them your numbers for each area.
-Second, briefly explain WHY you chose those numbers for your areas.
-Third, you can also share WHAT you are doing that is under your control to make each area better.
3-now its their turn. Its fine if they ask to take it home to think about it and fill it out. This can actually be a great exercise to do with family, too.
4-Listen deeply. If you dont, the whole purpose of the exercise is gone . Thank them for sharing. You might ask if there is anything under your control that you can or the company can do for them. Be careful not to create any false expectations, but do try to help if possible.
Most people don´t have someone to listen to them. ¨Just listening¨ and caring already means a lot to most people. Again, remember you are not their therapist and you do not have the obligation nor should be asking or trying to fix their lives. The one area you can ask more around is the Professional life of course. Because that one you are directly related to.
I wish I had a leader who was curious about my life balance and who would actually listen, don´t you? If you don´t… then maybe this is not a good exercise for you. Maybe you are a bit introverted? Or feel safer building a wall between your personal and professional life? It is ok. In any case you should only do with your team what you would like your leader to do with you.
By engaging with team members through the Wheel of Life exercise, leaders can gain a deeper understanding of their team members’ needs and help them achieve greater balance and fulfilment in their lives. This can lead to a more motivated and productive team overall.
I am adding a list of the 11 areas below because the image only shows 7 of them.
Have fun and let me know how it goes for you and your team?
List of Life Areas for the Wheel of Life Exercise:
-Learning -Intellectual (some people like to divide personal learning from professional learning, that is fine=
-Spiritual (whatever that means to you, how you bring good ¨spirits¨ into your life)
-Self-care (goes beyond health and physical, for example having time to get a massage or to go out shopping for clothes)
-Emotional (baggage for therapy, human and family drama, traumas, stress, anxiety, etc)
-Love (with your partner)
-Creative Life (not only arts and crafts, but creativity at work, too, with solution focus, innovation, writing articles, doing podcasts, etc)