In the heat of recession – the world is a fast paced place, and change is coming thick and fast. If you want your child to be able weather storms and stand on their own two feet in this competitive and dynamic world – you need to ensure they have Leadership skills.
Looking back at when we were children, it’s easy to remember who were the ‘leaders’ and who were the ‘followers’ in school. Its safe to say that only a tiny percentage led, and the rest gladly followed. These ‘leaders’ may have had flocks of sheep behind them, but they were not any happier than the average schoolchild, and nor did they achieve any greater success.
What’s important to realise is that your child does not have to be the class clown, the trendsetter or the ‘it’ girl to demonstrate leadership. This article isn’t about getting your child to become the ‘Prom Queen’ or top of the social ladder. Getting ahead in life requires true leadership skills that you will help your child to discover. Here are some tips on getting you started on that path.
1. Assess what your child thinks of their leadership potential. Do they feel like a shy wallflower whom nobody ever listens to? Or do they feel confident and would be up for anything? The responses to your questions will help guide you in creating an action plan as to how you can start building your Childs ability to lead. Confidence is a great trait, but not necessary of all leaders. I have known a successful entrepreneur who still sound positively petrified when talking to clients. It actually helps them, because their client sees him as an open and honest book as a result of his nervousness.
2. Take time to applaud and praise your child for showing leadership qualities. Examples of this could be:
- Asking about how their relatives are doing
- Showing the desire to get the big picture of how their day is going to go, rather than simply sitting in the back seat and letting you plan their day.
- Trying to delegate tasks that they actually enjoy doing, in order to be able to be ‘boss’.
- Giving praise and constructive criticism to others
- Going against the grain and taking a step torwards doing something because they want to, and not because their peer group wants to
- Being positive and upbeat about their own troubles.
3. And that’s really all that’s required. The right praise for the right behaviours, once you know where your child thinks they are, is all you need to be doing to help your child thrive as a leader as they progress through their teen years and into adulthood. You don’t want to be ‘too’ hands on when it comes to character building, because if a child thinks you’re trying to mould or shape them – they will instinctively start behaving in the opposite manner simply to be able to feel independent.
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