In part, we are still exploring to discover the answer. It seems that the original thinking in its creation is well founded – facilitating someone to reveal to themselves how they see and experience interconnectedness as a whole human living in full relationship with the whole world around them. The tool invites reaching out beyond self into the world AND going deep within self, inviting awareness both of now AND into the future, exploring thoughts (conscious and other-than-conscious) AND feelings – and connecting all these pieces leads to the profound insights, awareness and conversation and, where appropriate, decisions and action.
The trial looked at two ways of naming the segments (for example ‘Achieving a positive social impact’ and simply ‘Human’). The consistent experience was that the simpler, more open, less directive wording was more useful. So it seems that openness of the segment names enables people to more fully explore what these words mean for them, and how they put them collectively together.
That openness extends into the invitation to score, or not score, when using the wheel. To feel free to divide the segments into different parts of self or different ways of looking at that segment. To explore the segments using sound and/or feelings as well as thoughts. In essence, it invites the user to reveal their own map of what’s important in their inner and outer worlds to themselves.
When working with a coach/thought partner, Openness as a coaching style (paradoxically invitational but non-directional) seems to be a key learning for coaches using this tool with clients too. The research data revealed that the coach has to learn to work with the tool, letting it do its work. As Beta-Tester Hetty Einzig describes:“For coaches: It gives a road map to keep returning to, so that they can really focus on the client without fussing about where this is going.” We therefore recommend that a coach gains experience with the tool themselves, both as coach and client, and participates in reflective learning conversations in a peer group environment, to best avoid possible pitfalls when working with clients.
In addition, there is a noticeable effect when people move between segments; the combinations raising new connections and awarenesses.
The combined effect is often a lot of original and unexpected thinking, integrating with the feelings arising or invited by the segments, in turn leading to motivated decisions and actions. It is an integrating, holistic experience. As one beta-tester named it: “This wheel presents a way of unpackaging the wholeness of being human.’’