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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

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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