The World of Work Project

Coaching Wheels (Life and Work)

Coaching wheels are simple, diagnostic tools that are used by some coaches to help individuals asses their current levels of satisfaction in relation to specific areas of their lives.

Summary by The World of Work Project


Coaching is a hugely helpful skill for leaders and managers in the world of work. It’s a great way to help team members develop or for behavior change. It’s particularly when combined with feedback and reinforcement. You can learn more about how to coach and the benefits of coaching in this podcast.

Coaching Wheels

Coaching relationship are often fundamentally about helping an individual progress from where they are now, to where they want to be. In many instances though, the person being coached starts their coaching process without a clear view of either where they are now, let alone where they want to be.

Coaches often use goal setting conversations to help individuals determine where they want to get to, and some coaches use “coaching wheels” to help individuals understand what their current state looks like in relation to specific areas of their life.

Coaching wheels get their name because they look roughly like what we imagine an old wagon wheel to look like. They’re basically just radial diagrams made up of segments, each segment relating to a specific area of an individual’s life.

Coaches use coaching wheels by basically asking asking their clients to talk about each of the areas in the wheel and to assess how satisfied they feel with that part of their life.

Once a full self-assessment has taken place and the wheel is complete, it becomes a visual summary of how satisfied someone feels across the range of categories it covers.

Once a coach and individual have completed a coaching wheel, they often use it as a decision making tool to help identify which aspects of work or life an individual may wish to work on improving.

Wheels are just bar-graphs in circles…

There are many different types of coaching wheel in existence. They all have slightly different names like: “Wheel of Work” or “Wheel of Performance” or “Wheel of Love”, and they all cover slightly different things. Fundamentally though, they are all self assessment tools used to help individuals identify different areas of their life that they may wish to work on.

While there is usually some consistency between the wheels used by coaches, there isn’t always. Of course, while coaches can be a great help with this type of self-assessment process, it’s always possible to simply download some wheels and undertake your own self-assessment.

Learning More About Coaching

In other posts we have written briefly about the ABCDE, ACHIEVE, CLEAR, GROW, OSKAR and POSITIVE coaching models. If you’d like to learn what it’s like being or becoming a coach, you might enjoy this podcast:

The World of Work Project View

Coaching wheels are helpful tools for understanding an individual’s current state in relation to specific domains of their life. They’re useful tools from a coaching perspective as they help drive useful conversations.

Diagnostic tools of this type are plentiful and you don’t need to be or have a coach to use them. If you’re a manager or leader in an organization you can use diagnostic tools like the wheel of work to aid your conversations with the individuals in your team. Similarly, if you’re an individual you can use these tools on your own for some self assessment and direction finding.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is based on work from our experience of coaching and there are no specific references for it. If you search the internet for coaching wheels though, you’ll find many of them.


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