Since the advent of the twenty-first century, societies all over the world have come a long way to adapt to the ever-changing speed of progress, individualism and globalisation which, in turn, updated the ways in which humans function in a group. Every parent today wants their child to have the upper hand when they become an adult and consequently a functioning member of the society. The key element to fulfill this requirement is the development of leadership skills.
Leadership skills empower children, help them to direct their lives toward their defined goals and gain success in a variety of areas. Leadership instills confidence, and helps children solve problems creatively, work in a team, and work collaboratively with others. As a leader, a child will build up confidence and succeed in activities like clubs, team sports, group projects, etc. It gives children many opportunities to develop responsibility.
12 Ways to Develop Leadership Skills in Children
While leadership skills can come naturally, children learn lessons along the way that significantly impacts them later in life.
1. Set a good example
Children learn the most from activities they witness around them as compared to the ones which are verbally insinuated to them. By allowing your children to see how well you balance your business and personal roles, you’ll teach them to gain leadership skills naturally as one of the main assets of a good leader is balance.
2. Encourage team building and participation
Recognize your children's interests early on and encourage them to participate in group activities. Children acquire essential lessons about teamwork through these activities, whether it's joining a scouting troop, engaging in sports, or joining the school band.
3. Hone decision-making abilities
Children should learn how to make good decisions as early in life as possible. It could be about picking the right clothes to wear to a friend’s birthday party or deciding what to have for dinner.
Teach your children to weigh the pros and cons of each option presented to them in daily life, in order to make the most informed decision possible. This will help them evaluate their decisions once made which is an essential aspect of having leadership skills.
4. Practice confident communication
A good leader communicates clearly and accurately. Cultivate an awareness of other people, each person’s dignity, and the negative effect of labels. Help them to connect by showing interest. Teach them to communicate effectively and politely so they can work on all levels of hierarchy of gaining leadership skills.
5. Encourage work
Children are frequently eager to start working in some manner. Involve them in brief tasks at home such as folding clothes, organizing their study space or sorting their toys. Children's leadership skills and qualities can be developed through these early professions.
6. Encourage reading
Children who read for pleasure in childhood have demonstrated greater intellectual advancement in a range of disciplines, according to studies. Even when they are reading for fun, they are exposed to new words, perspectives and develop their own conclusions for every story. Looking at the same situation from different perspectives is key to gaining leadership skills.
7. Reward optimistic thinking
Leadership skills demand an optimistic approach towards every task and situation. The fact that optimism is connected to success is a common belief not just among professionals but also in life. Reward optimism, especially when that optimism is connected to attempting to reach a goal.
8. Build negotiation skills
Compromise is a skill that every excellent leader has mastered. Instead of giving a definite "yes" or "no" to a request, make an offer and let your children oppose it with solid facts. Teach children how to negotiate, such as never giving up something without requesting something in return.
9. Emphasize perseverance
The best leaders learn to handle failure as gracefully as they handle success. It’s important to expose future leaders to disappointment rather than protecting them from it. Children need to learn to handle the loss and move forward when the other team wins or someone else is elected class president to help them develop leadership skills.
10. Teach project planning skills
As a family, you likely have many planned events, from family vacations to visiting relatives. As you prepare, don’t leave children out of the planning process. Treat each event as though it were a business project, holding brainstorming sessions and delegating smaller tasks to your young family members.
11. Let your child handle it
When your child is working on a project or activity, he may be eager to intervene and provide help, especially when you see your child is struggling. Instead, consider taking a step back and let your child figure it out for themselves. After the event, you can review the obstacles and challenges encountered during the mission and ask for opinions on how to do things in different ways.
12. Teach management
Managing projects, people and relations is of utmost importance in developing leadership skills. Have them make a list of what they want, then help them to prioritize tasks. This will teach them valuable lessons that will help them throughout their whole life. It will also help them know what they can and can't afford.
These are all some useful ways in which you can let your child cultivate qualities of leadership and always remember, leaders are made, they’re never born.
The Qualities of a Leader
- Having a clear vision of what they want to achieve and the ability to clearly communicate this vision to everyone.
- Courage and willingness to take on new challenges and take calculated risks.
- Passion and self-motivation that other people can feed off of.
- Inspire others to get proper ‘buy-in’ in their vision.
- Setting high attainable standards that can be quantified and evaluated.
Each of these suggestions will not only create better leaders, but can help children perform better in school and develop better personal relationships throughout life. With small acts in daily lives of children, parents and teachers collectively can help them develop and hone their leadership skills from early on in life.