Circles of Empowerment

Circles of Empowerment is a great tool to help you to consider the positive or negative influencing factors in respect to a specific issue being considered. When action planning you can use this tool to help you identify and then make more of the positives; reduce the impact of the negatives and manage those issues that could be positive or negative more effectively.

First of all you need to define the issue you wish to look at. For example:

  • Career Progression
  • Influencing an important decision
  • Achieving a specific goal

Write this in a horizontal line across the middle of a blank piece of paper.

Next identify as many as possible aspects of your personality, skills, experience, background or influencing factors that could affect the issue being considered

Locate each of these aspects above or below your horizontal line, write each one in a circle – above the line is for positive factors, below the line is for negative factors.

Circles entirely below the line indicate a severe hindering factor; those entirely above the line are enabling of the issue being considered. Those straddling the line have both positive and negative elements.

Here’s an example of what your page might look like:

Circles of EmpowermentHaving identified each of these elements, think about how you can:

  • Make more of the positives
  • Reduce the impact of the negatives
  • Manage the line-straddling issues more effectively

Optional stages for consideration could be to discuss how large the circle would be, the bigger the circle, the greater the impact on the goal, or the further away from central line the greater the positive or negative impact on the goal.

Enjoy your exercise and let us know how you get on, and for further support please get in touch. 

Adapted from Circles of Empowerment -Techniques in Coaching and Mentoring. Megginson, D and Clutterbuck, D. (2005)