|No one is born a leader but anyone can be one. It is something we grow into through real-life experiences / Photo by: yarruta via 123RF|
No one is born a leader but anyone can be one. It is something we grow into through real-life experiences. Every child deserves to be primed with the necessary leadership skills to be worthwhile and meaningful adults in this world. The time to learn is now. Let your child shine. Give them the space to thrive, to be passionate, and to persevere. Let them fail, let them fall, and let them rise on their feet to face the challenges life brings them. It is essential they learn these things, and as parents, it is your job to prepare them the best you can so they may enjoy amazing, wonderful lives.
Essential Qualities and Skills of a Good Leader
Leadership is the ability to draw together different people to work toward a common goal. It is the ability to make things happen in a team. It is working with other people with a full sense of responsibility and confidence. To be a good leader, one must possess the following attributes:
- A good leader has integrity. Truthfulness is the core of integrity, the foundation of trust that a good leader owns. They tell the truth at all times to everyone regardless of any situation.
- A good leader has faith in their followers. They have complete trust and confidence in the power of the people around them to achieve the set goal through their own merits and abilities.
- A good leader is strong and decisive but is also humble. They listen to and recognize the views of others and put the needs of the group before their own.
- A good leader is dedicated and fair. They arrive at a decision fair and square using facts. They are not influenced by their own emotions, bias, or prejudice.
- A good leader focuses on the needs and welfare of the group they are leading. They focus on the strengths of members to work together to achieve results that would benefit the common good.
On the other hand, the four life skills a good leader must have are the following:
- A good leader is a good communicator. They can talk to people easily, as well as listen to them attentively. They share their insights and discuss issues openly.
- A good leader has a strong belief that they can do what they set to do. They are not afraid to take risks and they face challenges bravely.
- A good leader can bounce back from mistakes, disappointments, and failures. They are not afraid to try again.
- A good leader is committed to their actions and are fully responsible for completing their tasks.
Here are some ways that can help children develop leadership skills:
1. Model leadership behavior to children. Be an example to them. Everything starts at home. Children learn by observing what others do. Tell them what you are doing and why you are doing it. Let them look up to you as a leader and inspire them to become one.
2. Increase access to information. Do not over-shelter children and cut off access to information. Explain information instead in an age-appropriate way. Allowing children to understand troubling issues may spark creative thinking.
3. Teach children to deal with failure fearlessly. Failures should be considered learning opportunities where lessons can be drawn to avoid repeating the same mistake. Rising up and trying again by doing better is the right attitude to adopt.
4. Teach children to negotiate. A win-win situation where both parties benefit is the best option to undertake.
5. Let them make decisions by creating problem-solving situations. Allow them to solve their own problems by letting them make small decisions like which sport activity they can join. Gradually increase decision-making opportunities and make them understand the concept of responsibility. Prepare them in handling the consequences of making decisions.
|Model leadership behavior to children. Be an example to them / Photo by: gstockstudio via 123RF|
6. Provide children with opportunities to take leadership roles. At home, let them lead the prayer before meals or the bedtime story-telling with their siblings. At school, they can be the monitor for attendance or the line leader. Such roles boost confidence.
7. Empower children to make choices for themselves. Allow them to make mistakes. Do not scold them. Encourage them to think of solutions to the problem and to make a better strategy. Strategizing on a moment’s notice is a skill that has to be learned by leaders.
8. Make children join a camp. Summer camps provide opportunities to interact with other children, as well as learn tasks assigned to them. Children learn to work and make decisions by themselves without parents’ interventions. This instills leadership qualities in them.
9. Teach children how to work with others in a team situation. They can work as a team during group projects or sport team games. They can start working on a small project, like deciding where to have a picnic and what food to prepare, for example. Let their friends help to make them learn how to work and make decisions together.
10. Encourage children to pursue things that interest them. As parents, it’s your job to stand by them. Do not let them lose their dream and passion. Make them feel like they can do anything if they set their mind to it.
11. Teach children to plan and strategize. Take time to discuss viable steps to undertake tasks. If the task is big, break them into smaller tasks so the children will not be overwhelmed. This way, they would feel more at ease and confident in completing the tasks.
12. Allow children to be independent and find motivation within them. Let them set goals and work toward fulfilling these goals. Offer limited assistance and give them time to figure things out. Teach them to make their own bed, prepare their snacks, or clean their rooms. Leaders need to be organized and this can start at home.
|Provide children with opportunities to take leadership roles / Photo by: Mark Bowden via 123RF|