• Michelle Valigursky

Tools: Coaching with Better Understanding of Individuality and Personality


Photo credit: “No Two Alike” by photographer Nathan Myhrvold/Modernist Cuisine Gallery, LLC. Image available from the photographer in limited edition prints.


As captured here by Modernist Cuisine Gallery photographer Nathan Myhrvold, snowflakes demonstrate an important principle about our individuality, and consequently, our personalities. Much like a snowflake in a storm, each one of us is distinctly unique, though we may appear similar in a crowd, share social mannerisms, and exhibit conforming outward behaviors.


Like the gorgeous snowflakes Myhrvold photographed, no two people can ever be exactly alike. Psychologists have long argued that individuality and personality are comprised of intrinsic qualities of “nature” versus external influences of “nurture.”


The coach’s role is to understand how to balance those hard-wired personality characteristics in a student and those traits that can be shaped and influenced through motivation for personal growth.


Photo credit: “Ice Queen” by photographer Nathan Myhrvold/Modernist Cuisine Gallery, LLC. Image available from the photographer in limited edition prints.


Consider these questions as you foster and grow your coach-student relationships.


  • How has a student’s home life impacted his or her behavior?

  • Has the student endured major life crises that have resulted in greater personal responsibility at home?

  • Has the student endured a recent change in living arrangements?

  • Does the student have to work in addition to attending school to support his or her family?

  • Is the student responsible for childcare?

  • Does the student show an interest in learning new skills?

  • What frightens your student?

  • What frustrates your student?

  • How does the student relax?

  • What is the student’s favorite hobby?

  • In an ideal world, what would your student dream of achieving someday?


As you continue to develop and grow your coaching relationship and anticipate achieving educational and career milestones with your students, know that Thillen Education Foundation appreciates and respects the hard work you share to make young students’ lives richer.


You, our coaches, are changing lives for the better, one individual at a time.



Photo credit: “Yellowknife Flurry” by photographer Nathan Myhrvold/Modernist Cuisine Gallery, LLC. Image available from the photographer in limited edition prints.



Meet the innovative photographer, Nathan Myhrvold of Modernist Cuisine Gallery LLC. To capture these snowflake images, Myhrvold used his ingenuity to create a special snowflake camera and shot images on location in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Yellowknife, Canada. Follow his work on Instagram @ModCuisineGallery.

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