The wheel of life activity is very common in coaching. It can play out in numerous ways. It’s a great tool through which we can get an understanding of what areas in a teen’s life they feel satisfied with, and what areas need improvement. It gives them a snapshot of their personal life management. We use this activity to initially rank the level of satisfaction of the different elements in a teen's life and then use that information to help guide coaching strategies.
Teens are open with discussing what they need to do to improve. Hearing themselves say it out loud actualizes this. When they are validated and given strategies on how to improve, it strips away any shame they might be feeling.
Avoid words like, “you know what you should do…?” Say things like, “It seems like…you have a pretty good picture of how things are…What I am hearing is that you think you need to work on…I get the sense that you’re a very happy with how things are working out in this area of your life, how can you use these strategies in other areas of your life?”
Language is so crucial and it is the difference between teens opening up, or shutting down, and once they shut down, they will feel threatened to open up again because they feel like we use their experiences as leverage for later.
Here is a free online test that I found for you to try at home with your teens.