Neil’s Wheel FAQs
Q: Where is the Wheel being used?
A: The Wheel is being used very internationally. We explicitly know of its use in Canada, the US, Ireland, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Morocco, India, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. The Wheel is publicly available on the web and has been presented to professionals and international communities, so the full list is likely to be much longer.
Q: Can only coaches use the Wheel?
A: No, the Wheel can be used by anyone.
Q: Can I change the shape/colour/design of the Wheel?
A: Part of the power of the Wheel is in enabling people to understand the way that they link the various topics suggested by the Wheel, plus whatever they wish to bring to the blank segment. So total freedom of expression should be encouraged, including adaptation of the Wheel if that helps someone express themselves. Some people want to separate the segments and take it to pieces, some want there to be a hub, and of course there’s free choice for colours and any drawings or annotations you may wish to add.
HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE INTRODUCING THE WHEEL TO COLLEAGUES/CLIENTS… the Wheel is intentionally as neutral as possible, so that it does not lead the thinking of someone using it. So there are no colours, and no graphics (apart from the logo). Please do not adapt it. It has been tested and proven as it is. And changes will affect the way someone interacts with it. We find that many professionals beginning to use the Wheel very quickly want to adapt it to share with their clients. The adaptations that want to make vary considerably. What we notice happening is the coach is adapting the wheel to the way they ‘see the world’. This can be very useful for a coach to know. But it is not for them to lead a client into their (the coach’s) world unless the client has asked for that. The neutrality of the Wheel is an invitation to the client to explore and express their (the client’s) world. We find that once a professional has used the Wheel with 10-15 clients, and they witness just how unique and different people’s experience and use of the Wheel is, that the desire for adaptation diminishes.
Q: What do you mean by ‘Environment’
A: The invitation is for each person using the Wheel to explore their own understanding of each word. We are aware too that meanings can change subtly in translation between languages. Environment for many can mean the physical, natural world. But for others it may mean the work environment, or built environment, or home environment, or emotional environment, or…
See also ‘What do I do if my interpretation of a segment is very different to someone else’s?’
Q: What do I do if my interpretation of a segment is very different to someone else’s?
A: There are three important points here:
- The usefulness of the Wheel is about enabling people to explore and express their own understanding and ‘map of the world’.
- People’s understanding and insights can evolve within conversations and between conversations. We hear many stories of ‘last week I didn’t see the importance of that segment, but now…’ and similarly people’s understanding and interpretation of the segment names can evolve as they see them in a new light.
- It can be legitimate if, when working with the Wheel with others, for one person to ask if the other would like alternative perspectives on what the segment might mean. But this should ways be done lightly, without attachment and with the intent to increase choice and awareness rather than to install one person’s perspectives in another.
Neil’s belief is that everyone has their own ‘piece of the puzzle’ in responding to these times. And these pieces may vary considerably. And what for one person may be ‘essential to do’ could, for another, be seen very differently. The picture that comes together as the many parts of the puzzle come together will likely have many different colours and patterns.
Q: Is the Wheel being used in Teams?
A: Yes. Data is being gathered here. Initial findings are that:
- The Wheel can be introduced with surprisingly little initial explanation.
- It can be useful to give people time to explore the Wheel individually before working on it collectively.
- Ground rules for listening, acceptance, diversity, respect of difference etc are important.
- It can reveal subjects of importance to people that are not in the normal team or organisational narrative/dialogue/awareness.
- It can be very good at deepening awareness, understanding and connection between colleagues and bringing a team together ‘as one’.
Q: How can I introduce clients to the Wheel?
A: For people generally, and leaders in particular, the subjects raised by the Wheel are increasingly topical and sought. This site is designed to be a resource that’s freely available to the world and safe for anyone to share with their clients. So if:
- Something is coming up for a client that relates to what’s going on in the world that matters to them/ their work /their organisation.
- Something is coming up for a client that relates directly (in your belief) to one or more of the segments.
- There is another reason why you think the Wheel could be of genuine use to you client.
You can invite them to look at the site, perhaps watch the introductory video, and see if they would like to work with you on their Wheel.
If you have suggestions for what we can do/add that would make it easier/more appealing for you to share the site with others, please tell us.
Q: Does the Wheel exist in different languages?
A: The vision is for the Wheel to be available in many languages so that it can be used easily by people all around the world. A version in French has just been approved. A protocol that can be followed to enable approved translations for all languages is being finalised as this answer is being written. If you would like to help the Wheel be translated into a language other than English, please get in touch.
Q: Am I expected to have ‘just one hat on’? Can I move between various identities and roles (eg Coach, citizen, leader…) so to speak in my exploration of the wheel?
A: Feel free to bring all of yourself to your thinking with the Wheel. And that includes all the parts of yourself, the ‘hats’ you wear. You can divide each segment as you wish. The essence of Neil’s Wheel is to open new awareness and deepen the conversation. Some people will look at every segment with the same ‘hat’ or ‘hats’. And some will look at each segment with different ‘hats’. And then they may want to give an ‘overall’ answer, or they may wish to separate the pieces and explore some or all in turn. Raising insight, including awareness of connections, and inconsistencies and dilemmas, is part of the tool’s power and purpose. So the suggestion is to not be precious about the perfection of a ‘finished wheel’, but a celebration of what the exploration has uncovered, and what might/will happen next.
Q: What are the dotted lines for?
A: They are one of the very few slightly directive aspects of the Wheel. There are many tools that are self-focussed – eg What do YOU want? The Wheel works by exploring what connections there may be between what’s happening out in the world and what you may be thinking and feeling within, and wanting to do in response. So for the Finance, Human and Environment segments, the dots are a reminder to look outwards – what’s happening beyond yourself in these domains locally, regionally, nationally, internationally, that in some way touches you, affects you, matters to you, is in some way wanting you to do something?