Course 1: “Performance coaching and time-management tips for toddlers”

Course 2: “Table manners 101 and clean-eating tips for toddlers”

Which one sounds more age-appropriate? More realistic?

The latter, of course. What a toddler is capable of is not the same as what a teenager is capable of. Just like the diet of a baby differs from the diet of a teen, the “moral diet” and emotional growth diet differs for both as well.

In The Principles of Education and Guidance (Chapter 8), the Previous Rebbe writes that just as guidance must be age-appropriate for children, guidance must be “type” appropriate for adults. Once you identify a “type” in a coachee, you can help them channel that personality to its best version and avoid its worst expression.

Say you’ve discovered that your client or student has a tremendous amount of self-confidence. This can be used in very worthy pursuits when it empowers the student to learn and study, and to grow and feel confident that they will succeed.

However, self-confidence can also cause someone to be arrogant and come across as callous. These are two sides to the same coin.

As a coach, it is your job to help identify a coachee’s weakness and explore how to flip the coin, utilizing the strength of their personality and shedding their weakness. Very often, just by asking the client some questions, they themselves can help come up with a plan of action. You can ask your client: “Does your self-confidence ever get in the way? What can you do to avoid the pitfalls of self-confidence while at the same time utilize its power? How can self-confidence help you get closer to your spiritual goals?”

You don’t necessarily have to be the one with all the answers, but rather, the one who asks targeted questions that will direct a mentee towards change.

The same goes for the opposite of self-confidence, when your client or child has a humble and self-effacing nature. This can be an incredible character trait when used correctly.

However, if the lack of self-confidence causes inhibition and emotional lethargy, it’s no longer a positive quality. As a coach, if you identify such a personality, you can help your client alter such behavior and learn how to be humble without being broken-hearted or unable to move forward.

Explore the topic with your coachee. “When is humility helpful in a relationship? When does it stem from an unhealthy place?” You aren’t necessarily telling the client what to do, but your questions provide a road map so the client can see in which direction she needs to grow.

The key is keeping it relevant to type and age.

Self-Reflection: How are you helping your client identify their weakness and channel it into a strength?

(Source: “The Principals of Education and Guidance,” Chapters 8 and 10)