Using the Tool – 5 simple steps to get going…

1 – Watch this video

2 – Download the Wheel

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3 - Read this
Neil’s Wheel has been designed to be used by anyone. You can use it just by yourself or with an experienced coach/thought partner.

In working with Neil’s Wheel, please know there is no ‘one way’

  • Use your own style and standards so that it works for you and feels right.
  • Feel free to stop, start, meander in whatever way works for you.
  • Notice if there is anything you feel like avoiding. That may well be ok. It may also be a way you are telling yourself that there is something important to explore here, and to stop avoiding it.

‘Know Thyself’

This applies to everyone working with the wheel.

  • The wheel seems to be exceptional in revealing people’s ‘map of the world’; their passions, drivers, values, beliefs etc. And similarly their biases and prejudices. This can be true for you, whether you are working on your own wheel, or supporting someone else with theirs. So if you are working with another person, agree how you will call each other out on that. It’s important that everyone owns ‘their stuff’, and that the space to do this work in is safe enough to enable you to ‘be real’ and comfortable with what’s arising, whether that itself is comfortable or not.
  • For this reason we suggest that the first time you work with the wheel, you work with someone who ideally has experience and training with this catalyst for conversations, and who certainly is serious about their own personal development, and so who won’t derail your experience, or be daunted by it.
  • Encourage yourself to get beyond your normal ‘script’ to find something you don’t already know – or perhaps didn’t know you knew.

Consider working with an experienced coach/thought partner

If you choose to work with someone else, they can ask the great questions, support you and challenge you in the way you find useful. They can help you gain deeper insights into your own thinking and experiences, invite new perspectives and much more. This catalyst for conversations can be the basis of the coaching, or a support to any coaching conversation or assignment.

If you do decide to work with a coach/thought partner, it’s important that you discuss and agree how you will work together. Do not skimp in this area. Ensure your coach knows what you want and don’t want in how you will work together. Discuss what to do if strong feelings emerge. Think about what you want. Know that if they are a professional that they will welcome you asking for what you want (they can’t always guarantee to give it to you, but they will always discuss it). Contracting is vital – time, roles, expectations… This can be an opportunity to explore each other’s beliefs, passions and frustrations.

  • Before each session give yourself some time to prepare. Spend time thinking, reflecting, researching, imagining in advance. Do not put yourself under pressure. And know you can just turn up in the conversation and see what emerges in the moment.
  • Ensure your coach gives you the space to think and feel and express yourself in the way that you want.

Checklist for coaches and clients

  1. Have we both seen the ‘How to use Neil’s Wheel’ video and explored the additional resources? The ‘5 Freedoms’ and ‘Four Mantras’ are particularly important.
  2. Are we going to use this in a single session; at the beginning, middle and end of a series of sessions; as the focus for a series of sessions?
  3. Are we open to ‘beyond now, beyond self’ thinking’? This means a) having concern for what is happening socially, environmentally and economically locally and globally, and with that in mind b) looking at the impact, consequences and legacy of the work together immediately and as far as future generations, and both its direct effect and ripple out into the world through the people and places it will affect.
  4. For the coach: Are you clear on your own preferences, biases, passionate causes and other factors that may show up? Have you used Neil’s Wheel yourself, as client, with your own professional coach/thought partner? How will you ‘own’ this?
  5. Have we clearly discussed and agreed the coach’s role in using this tool? Experience so far is that best results are when the coach predominantly uses a pure coaching approach – clean language, highly curious, non-directive, supportive, challenging (in a pre-agreed way) and spacious.

If you are a professional coach…

To enable your clients and yourself to get the most from this tool, especially if you haven’t used it before, we provide resources and dedicated learning experiences just for you. You can find out more on the Just for Coaches page.

4 - Use these Universal Questions

As you look at the whole wheel, you can ask:

  • Which segment(s) feel most important for you?
  • What are you drawn to?
  • What are you avoiding?
  • What happens when you consider a number of segments simultaneously?
  • What do you notice about the way you are engaging with your Wheel?
  • How do you want the wheel to express your thinking? Do you want to score the segments, or write (thoughts, experiences, names, places, projects, possibilities, hopes, fears, achievements, inspirations…), or draw, or consider how your wheel feels, or sounds, or…

As you look at each segment, here are some questions you may wish to ask:

  • What does this <segment name> mean for you?
  • What thoughts and feeling arise when you think about <segment name>?
  • How does your relationship to <segment name> change when you look at it at a personal level? At an organisational/community/regional level? At a wider world level? At a longer term level? At a ‘make a dent in history’ level?
  • How does your relationship to <segment name> change when you look at it at in relation to the other segments?
  • How might you wish to divide this segment? For example, to reflect:
    • the different parts of yourself as a person
    • different points in time
    • the different roles you have at work, in life, in time and in the world: leader, citizen, family member, supporter, enabler, catalyst, voice for…, creator, carer…
  • What do you already know?
  • What don’t you yet know?
  • What are you afraid of?
  • What have you learnt?
  • To use the wonderful Nancy Kline question…: ‘What do you know now that you will realise in a year’s time?
  • What are you excited about?

Download as a PDF

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5 - Share your experience

Understanding your experience is essential to help us develop and improve Neil’s Wheel. Please do share your experience, thoughts and suggestions here.

Note: Whilst this tool has proven capability, as with all coaching and related professional services, results cannot be guaranteed. Exact results will depend upon the people using it. Please make use of support materials and learning opportunities.

Learn More

Just for Coaches