Coaching: Change Made Simple
Here's a story that I think gets at why we have such difficulty
I was 8 years old and my parents gave me a dollar to go to
the toy store with my best friend and his mom. I found a Frankenstein
model that I had been wanting that cost 88 cents, but I put
it back on the shelf. When my friend's mom asked me why I
put it back, I said because all I had was a dollar, the model
cost 88 cents and I didn't want to get in trouble by wasting
12 cents. She then explained to me that if I gave the clerk
my dollar, I would be able to get my model and get 12 cents
back in change.
I thought that was pretty cool and got the model.
The point of this silly little story is that until that moment,
no one had explained the concept of change to me and therefore
I believed I could not get what I wanted.
Now I just said all that to be able to introduce you to one
of my favorite strategies for coaching people to get the changes
they want in their lives. Let's say a person comes in and
they want to work on balance in their lives.
That's a good thing to want, but how in the world do you take
all the tasks and demands of life and manage them, much less
The first step is breaking down this task into manageable
The life balance wheel
So picture with me if you will a large circle divided equally
into 8 sections, like a piece of pie (you may even want to
stop and draw one for yourself). We'll call it our life balance
wheel. Each one of these pieces of the wheel represents a
part of our lives. I usually divide it into these eight pieces:
family, career, finances, personal/spiritual growth, recreation,
effectiveness/contribution, friendship and environment.
The second step is to rate yourself in each of these areas,
using a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst/lowest possible
and 10 is the best/highest possible. Now picture that circle
again, and then picture each piece of the pie. As we rate
each piece between 1 and 10, we simply place a curved line
on the section of pie, where a one would be at the pointed
inner piece of the pie and a 10 would be on the curved outer
piece of the pie.
After we have rated all eight areas, we connect the various
curved lines to each other which form a usually very bumpy
Now imagine what it would be like to ride in a car with wheels
as bumpy and rough as your life balance wheel. Sort of feels
like our lives feel sometimes, doesn't it?
As a coach, now my job is to help you discover what's most
important in your life, what you most want to change, create
an action plan to get you there, and then hold you accountable
and hold your hand as you achieve the changes you want.
The third step is to pick the first area in which you want
to work. Let's say it's in your family relationships, that
you have rated a 4 and you would like it to be a ten. Going
from a 4 to a ten is a pretty big leap, and trying to do it
all at once is part of what can make change so difficult at
times. So we again break it down into manageable pieces. My
next question would be what will it take to go from a 4 to
a 5 in the next week before we meet again? A good place to
start would be to spend at least 1/2 hour of uninterrupted
one on one time with each member of your family. After you
have completed this goal and moved from a 4 to a 5, we'll
chart a course for moving from 5 to 6. Then later on we'll
work on the other seven areas of the wheel.
Now these are 8 areas of life that I chose. You can pick whatever
8 areas work for you.
What this gives you is a simple yet powerful tool for breaking
change done into manageable amounts, and a way to create a
clear and detailed map for how to get there.
In closing, imagine what your life would be like a year from
now if each month you chose one of these areas to work on
and improve. My guess is it would be pretty cool. So let's
for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship.
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