Co-founders of Empower World
Jeanine: Hello and welcome. My name is Jeanine Bailey and I'm the co-founder of the Coaching and Leadership podcast, along with my business partner, my wonderful business partner, Marie Quigley, and she's not with me here today, but I am delighted to be able to be here with Neil Scotton, who is my very special guest speaker today. Welcome, Neil. Thank you for joining me.
Neil: It's a pleasure to be here.
Jeanine: Fantastic, Neil. And just very quickly, I wanted to bring Neil onto the podcast with Empower World because I met Neil through a through meeting or a series of workshops, actually through the Climate Coaching Alliance last year. So, it's a wonderful alliance that I've become a part of, which is the website is called CoachingClimateAlliance.org. So, if you're interested in it, please do go and have a look. And it's been founded by three wonderful coaches, three wonderful women who wanted to expand and increase the conversation around climate change and what we can do as coaches to support those climate change conversations. And of course, they invited Neil to come along and introduce what is known as Neil's Wheel, which is a wonderful and simple yet powerful tool that enables us as coaches to work with clients, to have actually really rich and deep and meaningful conversations that allow us or our clients to recognise what's important here, what's really important here. So, I was very intrigued and wanted to meet Neil. And so, I'm so delighted, Neil, that you said yes to doing this podcast. And Neil is in the UK early morning and I'm in Australia at the moment in my early evening. So, Neil, over to you. I'd love you to introduce yourself to our guests.
Neil: My name's Neil Scotton, living in England, just south of London. I'm a father who recently became a grandfather in the autumn and been full time coaching since 2004. Previous to that was a life for engineering, manufacturing, consulting and things and loved walking, growing vegies, turning the garden slowly into a garden we can eat and the wildlife can eat as well and have allotments and play guitar, do Taiichi and yeah.
Jeanine: Sounds like a Wonderful Life Neil.
Neil: It is. I'm very lucky. I mean just diving perhaps quite deep I had a major illness way back in 2002. And near death last goodbyes to my wife and children and parents. And one of the things out of that was that coming back, what an amazing gift this life is. And they left me with a few things, such as trying to leave all my relationships in a place that I need to check out in a hurry, there's nothing left unsaid with anybody. And also, just to make the most of this amazing gift we've got of life, the incredible thing it is. one incredible thing to be alive at the end of the 20th and 21st century with what's still clearly so much for us to do. We have so many freedoms compared to so many of our forebears’ ancestors. We are able to do so much, so many more people are able to speak and have agency than I ever had before. So, you know, in many ways it's a great time to be alive. There's no shortage of challenges, of course, you know, with covid and economic situations and lots of fears for the future. But there are a lot of ways to enjoy being alive as well.
Jeanine: So beautifully shared new light. And I didn't know that about yourself. And what a gift that you're still here doing the work that you do. And it's yeah, it's really it touches my heart to hear that. And I totally agree with you that, you know, we've just got this one life that we know of anyway. So, let's make the most of it. And it reminds me of something that I was listening to in my car today. It was an audio book, The One Thing. And the author mentions a song It's My Life. And I thought he meant It's My Life by Bon Jovi. So, I, listen to it and I just thought, oh, yes the words, really say I said, let's make something of it. Let's do something amazing. Let's be heard. Let's have a voice. So, yeah, it was the song that he meant, but still it resonated with me.
Neil: So, there's a line I often quote from Jon Bon Jovi as well. And I think the Lost Highway album in my rearview mirror, my life is getting clearer. Yeah, that resonates as well actually.
Jeanine: Yeah, absolutely. So yes, we can do so much in this life. We can either be complacent or we can be proactive and do something meaningful. And you know, again, what I'm hearing from you, Neil, is some great work you've been doing. I know that you're making an impact across the world, travelling across the world via Zoom. So, this Neil's Wheel could you share a little bit more about what Neil's Wheel is about for our listeners and potentially how coaches could start to use it? Because I know it's downloadable now and people are interested. So, love to hear more about your wonderful Wheel.
Neil: Okay. It's really, really simple. So simply a circle divided into eight parts. Seven of those parts have some words attached to them, the last one is blank. So, you touch on financial and human and environment. And as I mentioned, these is the part of the part of the freedom of this is left for people to interpret what these mean for themselves. But those three came from the work of a guy called John Elkington who was talking about people, prophets and planets and how interrelated things are and how they are all part of responsible leadership, which I completely understood, it makes sense to me. You know, what goes on in the environment affects the finances and affects people. Clearly, what people do affect the environment. And then it's our financial system at the end of the day. And what's going on in the finances clearly affects people's behaviours and choices and therefore what we do or don't do with the environment as well. So, all of these is kind of dancing with each other as well as dancing with themselves. And the environment is a big dance between them. What's in the sky and land and the water and all these sorts of things and what's going with people we're seeing in terms of ideas flowing and people flowing and everything else where the money is. So, all these things are kind of flowing, connected and in a lot of leaders at the time, this is going back into the early 2000s. Well, actually, my connection to the environment goes back way before that. People got it, but very few people were doing anything about it and it also struck me that people actually did care in some way. So, there was an opportunity here. So going round the wheel, theres some other words here about legacy. So, one of the things that was a criticism at times, a lot of short termism. When we start thinking about our legacy, it changes our perspective to a greater period in time. You know, when we look back, what do we want our legacy to be? When other people look at us, what will they see our legacy is? And it also changes our perspective. So, we're not just seeing it from our own self-centered eyes, but from the eyes of others. What will our children say and our communities and our work colleagues and another such thing? And for me and people who never met me, but may in some way, you know, hopefully been affected for the better in some sort of way. They may not know exactly how and it doesn't really matter. But, you know, that's so. So that legacy is stretching out in time. And for some people, legacy also means the legacy that they inherit. So, it could be a cultural legacy. It could be a sense of responsibility that's been passed down to them. And they're going to pass on to others to look after the land and the people around them and generations. And what was also in the coaching, as I was doing the coaching, was clear that it has to touch us more deeply as well. So, the wheel also invites us to think about values and calling a meaning, a purpose. And what do these things mean to you and how do they speak to you in some sort of way? And that can also, in some ways, for some people be heartfelt, but for some can also stay very heady. So how do we get really into things so and so another one is around whole life fulfillment and that invites us to think of a whole life in terms of all the different parts of us and the hats we wear. As I was mentioning, yeah, I'm here as a professional. I'm here also as a father, as a citizen, as a member of the community, you know, with many hats that I'm wearing in various conflicts. And we all have potentially several hats. And so, the whole of my life and also the whole of my life from beginning to end, for some people, that's a physical beginning, physical and for the people, you know, life begins before the physical and then, you know, carries on beyond the physical death. So, whatever, you know, faith system, you work in it, that's fine for this. So, looking at whole life and then fulfillment, actually I fulfilled and all of these things I have more than I'm sharing here. I speak a book about it, but a lot of that was taken from the words of the positive psychology, Martin Seligman, when he was looking for authentic happiness and then actually realized that happiness is a bit flimflam. And so, in a way, there's something deeper. And so, the sense of fulfillment is not simply being happy, but actually I have peace of mind to have peace of soul. Do I feel deeply inside fulfilled? And then the seventh element is around enabling the greatness in others. in our work with people who were making extraordinary differences in the world, amazing people. But there's two things that can easily fall into whichever kind of stereotype that the messianic and the martyrdom. The messianic being. I've got to do this. I'm the only person that can do this. If I don't do this, other people are going to be suffering type situation and then the martyrdom, because we can become so committed to it that we can exhaust ourselves, we can wear ourselves out. We can actually become resentful of the very thing that we started we cared so much deeply about and we can get into a situation where we don't enjoy ourselves because how could I possibly have fun when other people are suffering or missing out and things like that? And I wouldn't think there's other people. Maybe we should stop in enjoying ourselves to some degree. But anyway, these are the sort of challenges. But so, enabling greatness in others means it's not just about us. Yeah. And it's about having a tool you could put on the table as easily as the Wheel of Life, which is a great tool, but where the wheel of life looks at my career and my money and my health. This is about recognizing we live in an interdependent world. So those first three dimensions, you know, the finances, the environment and the human, the invitations to look out beyond ourselves, to what's happening out in the world environment and maybe what's happening for places and animals and things, perhaps locally, perhaps nationally, perhaps internationally, perhaps out in the future, whatever that may be, it could be landscapes it could be marine environments, whatever it may be. For some people, it's also about the emotional environment or the work environment or the built environment. And those also are important for the human. You know, when you think out into the world, what are the lives and the people who in some way connect with you that you are touched by, even if you don't know them. And again, you know, it may be an age group, the young or the old. It could be people in a particular situation. You know, they're going through transition or homeless or ill in some sort of way or indeed are supporting people who are, you know, doing, you know, healthy or maybe professions, you know, in terms of, you know, with health care professionals or educationalists or whatever it may be or indigenous peoples or whatever it may be. So, what's true for yourself about that and the finances? You know, where does the money go, where they invested? Where is your money going? You know what happens when it goes out into the world, that side of things. So, it's about looking at the wheel of life and saying, well, we don't ask people, do you want to talk about the money and your health and investments and all those things? Because people saying exactly the same thing happens where people see it and get it, but it opens up the speaking conversation. And the last section is whatever you want it to be so completes it for you that least that sense of wholeness that you are fully expressed here. So, the way then works is you bring all yourself these different parts of myself to it. I can express myself in various ways. Some people like schools. Where am I now? Where do I want to be? For some people I draw on, some people just make notes or write on it. For some people, this is a felt sense. There's nothing at all. And they just literally touch into it or feel into it. You know, for me it is does this wheel feel in balance, you know, does it sound right? Is it ingeniously in harmony? You know, that ring true. So, it's these sorts of things so people can express it in any way they fancy. There's no there's no path. You begin where you want to begin. You end where you want to end and where you go in between is entirely up to you. Well, those headings mean are entirely up to you because coaches often get caught up in the how can I do this? You know, it's the client's agenda. Well, they're deciding what these words mean. They're deciding what they're going to talk about. They're deciding how they express themselves. They just want what they're not going to talk about. They decide where they start. They decided they finish is all them. But as I found yesterday when I was sharing this with the coaches in Germany, the coaching committee in Germany, you know, within minutes with somebody else sharing it with it was getting very deep and profound in terms of their legacy, their values, their faith systems and all these things. And a lot of coaches say it's enabling the conversations they've always wanted to have. You know, it’s let’s get real. What do you really want to be talking about in these sorts of areas? And it can be challenging in terms of a lot of what you're sharing here at the beginning was around the environmental side. So, a lot of people involved environment really love it, find it very useful. And they come into thinking it's about having a conversation around the environment section. I was speaking with someone that cares deeply about it just a couple of years ago. And what they began to realize is all of these relate to the environment. You know, what people do with the environment, the financial systems relate to environment, our sense of legacy and seven generations and things. They relate to the environment; our values and things we say we care about. Well, what we're doing about it, you know, what's your relationship with the environment in terms of fulfillment? When I’m in it I feel very fulfilled. Well, I naturally I feel fulfilled in enabling greatness in others. Actually, people feel greater when they are healthy, announcing that sort of environment. You know, it's about sparking projects and initiatives into life or supporting people are doing things, you know, that are making a difference in the world and enabling their greatness. You know, and whatever you put in the black section often has a relationship as well. And that's one of the big things for me is around the sense of trying to write, trying to get the sense of interconnectedness of oneness with some people describe you can write big, long books about it and there's no shortage of things in your philosophies about it. But it's actually really hard to describe. But when people do the wheel they go Oh, hang on. That's connected to that. That's connected to that. Because my belief is inside, we get oneness. We understand that someone else is suffering actually does affect me. It's not just a news story. I'm affected by it. We are connected. covid is telling us how connected we are. The person next to me, their safety affects my safety. Their health affects my health, their sense of security affects my sense Security and vice versa. That's where my food comes on, relies on hundreds of people, often from all around the world, being healthy, being enabled, working really, really well. Otherwise, I can't be. this whole sense. I was really moved by. The likes of Gregory Banks and everything, that success is not an individual thing, you know, you never succeed as an individual, is not even a team, is not even a national thing. Yeah, we succeed in the healthy examples of succeeding and helping. I think that's a growing awareness as part of the Zygon at the moment. We are all covid is showing how we're all in this together. And the wheel, I think, just helps people and. Oh, okay. Oh, that's why I feel. And suddenly, yeah, the conversation gets deeper and wider, but often within minutes. It’s lovely when I do this and share it with the world in because quite often what we do is I’d introduce people to spend five or ten minutes with it and then people are going to break up rooms in pairs and after ten minutes conversation, people are coming out almost like best friends. You know, they have conversations in a way that they haven't had with people they’ve known for years. You know, can we stay in touch? Well, of course, you can't put in the child whatever the way you go.
Jeanine: A beautiful explanation. Thank you so much, Neil. And yes, that's why I'm here with you right now, because of exactly that. But that fantastic experience I had one of your workshops or two of your workshops last year during covid and covid enabled this to happen. But as you were explaining that the Neil's Wheel interconnectedness oneness, they were the words that kept coming to me as you were sharing. And I truly believe this is a powerful tool that, Yes, can support us to come out of our perhaps our smaller, Well, I can't think of a better word, but our in the world that we look into and look out. And yet it also it also impacts us inside as well as we look out and realize and recognize all of those connections. So, yeah.
Neil: It may be worth sharing as well for people who think is it okay to use it. It's now being used across North America, Europe, India, Malaysia, Philippines, and all around the world. It's been used and I've seen a couple of weeks ago being used with indigenous First Nations people, teenagers. It’s being used in the health service and people in hospital type of violence and end of life. So, it's really covering life, every gender, colour, sexuality, faith system, political stripe. I'm just really curious. I'm sure it will happen. But so far, I've yet to hear of an argument because when people speak at this level. It reveals that most people are good people, they care about their children, they want their children to have a healthy, happy future. The argument can be in the detail, but the principle of do you want a fairer world? Yes. Do you want to be doing good work? Yes. Do you want your life to be seen? To be respected? And have you made a positive difference for people? Yes. And when we can get that sort of level, you know, people just really get to hear each other in extraordinary ways. And, yeah, it's really, really interesting. One of the principles that was within it was I noticed as a coach; change was happening very quickly because there was no conflict. It wasn't as though, we were debating or arguing anyway getting worked because you're asking questions and invites people to put their one thinking together. And the key thing around the wheel is not telling people what to think, but it's simply inviting them to think. And coaching does a lot of that as well. So, if there's any conflict, it's just within the past the person will part of me wants to do this and part of me wants to do that. Yeah, but if you're with them as they resolve that within themselves, I think that's part of the reason why the wheel seems to work, is that it's not anyone trying to advocate a particular view on the environment or financial systems or how society works or reasons why we've got the conflicts or whatever at the moment is simply it goes around all of that and into a much deeper sense of, as human beings we get this interconnectedness. We care for each other ultimately. we're collaborative creatures. We like to work with each other’s. We'd like to help each other. We like to be cared for and we like to care. And it's getting into that sense of things, really. And at that point, somehow, we want to meet regardless of their age, regardless of the color, because of their gender or sexuality, you know. Oh, okay I get you now.
Jeanine: Yeah, it’s again, it's such a powerful tool and it really, I believe, wakes people up and I certainly have some intentions for the tour with some of the some of the charity work that I'm involved in and some of the paid work that I'm also involved in as well. I work with indigenous and I'm also doing some charitable work in terms of the environment, because I'm aware that my land is potentially going to be if we don't do something drastic about climate change, my land is not going to be my land anymore. It'll be under sea so. And I really, truly believe that this Wheel is going to be able to, again, open up awareness, open up minds, open up hearts, and, as you say Neil, bring that connection together, let barriers fall down. You know, let's do this together. Yeah.
Neil: And I think within that, perhaps given the time, timescales and the and things. Often in this sort of theme at the moment, there's a sense of let's save the world, and for many people that can seem huge and, in some ways, can actually then lead to feeling hopeless and helpless as well. And what this really is about is enabling everyone to find their piece of the puzzle. So, I use this this metaphor. You find your piece of the puzzle and it's like we've lost a lid of the box. Nobody really knows what the whole picture looks like, but it's about finding the bits that connect with your bits and you'll bit maybe blue and some of the yellow and some bits may be red. And that don't make a difference because the object may be the sky and maybe be a bit of somebodies’ T-shirts and so on, whatever the picture of the box is. Yeah. And within that context, everyone has a part to play you don't have to do or you just have to find the bits, the connect around you and you connect with those people, all those themes of that work, which really is what is calling you in some sort of way which matters to you that makes a difference to you that you can do something about. And that may be enormous with a global reach, but it may just be helping your neighbor. It may just be tending for a few square yards of an urban landscape. Yeah, and that's OK. You don't have to all change the world because that bit of changing the bit of urban landscape, a child, may notice that's a difference and that may inspire them to go and do something else later on or whatever else, or it may give somebody a bit of space on their own doing and do something they're going to regret or whatever it may be. You know, that in itself can be life changing. So don't diminish things because of the sense of scale. Let's not get caught up with some sense that we've all got to come up with a bigger story about how many lives have being affected, whatever it may be. This is not what this is about, you know, do the bit that is calling you and that'll be okay when you tune in. You know what that is? Then I want to get.
Jeanine: Yes, exactly, and I'm glad you shared that meal. I think that is so important because I potentially did carry a lot more responsibility on my shoulders, in the past, but as but I recognize that know I can play my small part, which potentially has a ripple effect that goes keeps rippling out and creating a wave of change. So, it's so true. We've just got to do what we can do and know that's going to somehow make a difference.
Neil: Now, often the small things are the big things.
Jeanine: Yeah. Well, I'm aware that you perhaps have to zoom across the world somewhere right now, Neil, and continue that ripple effects that you're creating through the work that you're doing, the great work that you're doing. In fact, I heard about the you mentioned the indigenous children. I heard about that through one of the participants that was on the ICF Australasia, the CCA Australasia meeting, which had someone from the from Canada join us and share about Neil's Wheel. We also so it's wonderful to hear the impact across the ripples across the world. So, thank you for doing what you do.
Neil: It's lovely. I will say that all that if anyone is listening to this and still here, thank you for listening all the way through. It is all in neilswheel.org. It is all for you if your coach is designed to be climate friendly. So, if you like it, you just need to be a client. If you wish, you can have a look if you like. The idea of that, we have a conversation about it, you know. So, there's all you need. There’re all the resources and everything else there. And if you're a coach that wants to play and practice first and get more experience around it and just build more integrity around you know I've done it myself before. I'm introducing to others. Those are just four coaches page, and that's where we actually just generate a little bit of income, which keeps the whole thing going. But it's where you go on a six-week journey with peers and you practice, you coach, and you ask questions of how to integrate it in my practice, how do I bring it to people and things like this. And we just do that as an international cohort of coaches. So, if anyone was interested in that. It’s there
Jeanine: What would be the website that people could find you?
Neil: neilswheel.org that you Google will you're going to end up with a bicycle company, a taxi company, or this.
Jeanine: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much again, Neil. Have a beautiful day. And thank you so much again for being with us. And I look forward to connecting with you somehow, someway in another time.
Neil: That'll be great. And then if I miss her this and they that, please share their stories with us as well. I'm using the Google. So, with levels of the Herald's coming on people's well. Thank you, Jeanine. Thank you for doing it.
Jeanine: Thank you so much. Thank you, Neil.