As a coach or mentor-figure training up adolescents or young adults, one of your primary duties is inculcating leadership skills in your charges. The kids of today will direct society’s course tomorrow. By turning them into worthy leaders, you create a brighter future for everyone – and leave a legacy everyone can be proud of. Here, Creative Children for Charity offers some suggestions on how to make good leaders out of young people:
Give them people skills
Leaders need to have top-notch people skills to manage, engage, and interact with others.
Communication: Show them how to get their message across with clarity and confidence.
Empathy: Encourage them to put themselves in other people’s shoes and work toward common goals.
Conflict resolution: Conflict is a given. Guide them toward co-existence and cooperation.
Train their competence
Leaders who don’t know what they are doing are ineffective. Competence is a necessary leadership trait.
Education: An advanced degree in a field of their choice will equip them with the knowledge and technical skills they need to be seen as respectable and trustworthy.
Self-confidence: Confidence is power. A leader must believe in themselves to get other people to believe in them.
Being a good follower: Kids need to know how to follow first if they are to lead.
Teach them responsibility
A leader’s actions directly affect their people. Without teaching responsibility, you’re training a tyrant.
Teach them integrity and vision. They need to lead others toward a worthy cause, not off a cliff.
Give them the freedom to choose. It develops critical thinking, and respect for other peoples’ choices.
Let them fail. Nothing drives home responsibility and consequences like failure.
Lead by example
To teach leadership effectively, you need to be a leader yourself.
When you offer leadership techniques or exercises, lead the class yourself. Practice what you preach.
People and kids, especially, are hardwired to learn from each other. Use social learning to cement leadership lessons.
Empower your kids through your words and actions, teaching them to find for themselves.
Needless to say, strong leadership skills can take your kids far – not just professionally, but also in their personal life. Seeing your kids turn into strong, capable people down the road will be one of the most satisfying feelings you will ever experience; it’s well worth your time to read up on leadership and related subjects.
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