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15 Easy Ways To Develop Leadership Skills In Your Kids

15 Easy Ways To Develop Leadership Skills In Your Kids

Today’s kids are the leaders of tomorrow.

Every kid has the potential to be a leader in some area of his or her life. Leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have a large range of personalities; some are outgoing and friendly, and others calm and subtle. Many successful leaders have learned their leadership skills from the influence of mentors. As a parent, you will have opportunities every day to be a role model to your children and instill leadership traits in them.

Here are 15 easy ways to develop leadership skills in your kids:

1. Volunteer together

Getting out of the daily grind and spending time serving humanity together will build your relationship with your kids, and expand both of your perspectives on the world. Your children will see firsthand what the needs are in your local community. Tell them about the significant impact they can make in the world by volunteering to help those in need.

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2. Teach communication skills

Show them how you celebrate joyfully with others. Let them see you praise people generously and disagree with others respectfully. Help young kids name their emotions by saying things such as “Are you mad because your brother took your toy?” or “Are you frustrated because your tower tipped over?” Nurture their efforts to communicate with others; being an effective leader requires the ability to build relationships, inspire others, and communicate effectively.

3. Encourage them to blaze their own trail

Your children are not you. Remembering that they are unique individuals and supporting them as they pursue their passions and strengths will help them develop into leaders. Your kids may have completely different interests than yours; encourage your children to pursue the lives of their dreams, not the lives of YOUR dreams. When your kids have unconventional ideas, brainstorm together to help them turn their wishes into action.

4. Nurture an entrepreneurial spirit

Help your kids make posters for their lemonade stand and flyers for their lawn mowing business. Assist them with formulating a sales pitch and let them practice saying it to you.

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5. Set financial goals with them

In the book “Rich Kid Smart Kid,” author Robert Kiyosaki discusses setting financial goals with your children and helping them form a plan to achieve their goals. Kiyosaki states, “The self-esteem that is built when they achieve those goals is priceless.”

6. Surround them with leaders

Jim Rohn, a businessman, said “You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.” Explain the importance of choosing friends wisely. Also, help your kids seek out positive, successful role models. If your child shows interest in a certain subject, find a mentor who is thriving in that area.

7. Listen

Stress the importance of being an excellent listener. Successful leaders have excellent listening skills and seek to understand others.

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8. Promote a “How can I?” rather than an “I can’t” mentality

Promoting a “How can I?” rather than an “I can’t” mentality will boost your kid’s self-esteem and inspire him or her to continue to dream big. When your child is struggling with something and wants to give up, it’s easy to want to jump in and save the day. However, standing back and asking questions, such as, “Do you think there’s another way you could do that?” will help your child use creativity to solve problems, a very important skill for a successful life.

9. Encourage perseverance

It’s hard to watch your kid have his heart broken by his first crush, lose a championship game, or fail a test. But those are the teachable moments that can impact your child for life. One of the best skills you can teach your child is the ability to regroup and move forward.

10. Teach negotiation skills

Give them opportunities to negotiate with others for win-win solutions, starting at home.

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11. Model integrity and accountability

Show them how you build others up with your words and actions. Keep your word. Be there for others and teach your kids to do the same. And as difficult as it can be, do your best to take the high road when you are wronged by others. Point out to your kids the importance of admitting their mistakes.

12. Promote teamwork

Participation in team activities gives kids opportunities to develop valuable traits that will benefit them their whole lives. Teamwork helps kids learn to cooperate with others, support their teammates, aim toward a common goal, control their emotions, communicate effectively, and do their share of work when others are relying on them.

14. Give them choices

Offer young kids the option of choosing between items such as two healthy snacks or two sippy cups. As your kids get older, gradually give options requiring more thought. Giving your kids choices helps them feel they’re in control of situations, and fosters their decision-making capabilities, which helps them build confidence.

15. Emphasize the value of reading

Reading opens kids’ minds to new possibilities and expands their world.

Featured photo credit: Summerfied Woman Girl via pixabay.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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