Students and WIB members joined together at The University at Pittsburgh for the 3rd MAPs-U event of the year. The wheel of life is a coaching tool that can bring perspective, clarity and balance, and can be a significant help in raising the coachee’s awareness. It is often easy to focus only on those things that we like to do or those things that we are under urgent pressure to do.
The idea is a simple one and the figure below relates to a work–life balance application.
Once the segments are labelled, you explain that the centre of the wheel is 0 and the outside of the wheel is 10, where 0 means that you are not at all happy with this element and 10 means you are exactly where you need to be with it. The next step is to ask the coachee to pick two or three initial priorities (segments) and where they would like to be in relation to each segment in an agreed period of time. Th final stage is to focus on planning one or two actions that will proactively improve their balance in the chosen segments.

By way of example, an individual’s completed wheel might end up looking like this, where the filled-in area represents where they are. Steve Wendell, Director of the Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development at the University at Pittsburgh presented a great seminar designed to encourage everyone to consider their authentic career vision. The result can be that we do not achieve the other things that might be equally important to our success (in life or specifically at work).
The same tool can be applied to a number of different coaching areas and certainly to the different facets of a job. You ask the coachee to rate where they are now on each segment and to draw a line across that segment, and fill in the resulting triangle. Steve argued that knowing your true north compass setting will help keep you on the path to your career goals.
This provides a very visual indication of where the coachee is in terms of balance and what their priorities should be.

Steve walked participants through the Wheel of Life a tool helps determine satisfaction in various life domains. The Wheel of Life considers career as one aspect of a holistic life and reminds us that it is important to find balance in life. This topic really struck a chord with attendees who were engaged, asked great questions and shared feedback with the group.

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