How to Build Leadership Skills in Youth

About the author : Kent McGroarty

Encouraging young people to hone their leadership skills is a rewarding experience that helps them grow into confident, assertive, strong-minded adults. If you are wondering how to build leadership skills in youth before an upcoming event or several-week/month-long program, there are numerous ways to go about it. Maintain a positive attitude above all and use the following guide to assist you on your youth leadership journey.

Discuss What Being a Leader Means

Make it clear what effective leadership involves so the children have a definition to work with. Being a leader means taking responsibility not only for the self, but for everyone under said leader. It means remaining kind and compassionate without being timid or a pushover, and staying respectful of everyone’s opinion. Emphasize that while agreeing with someone’s opinion is not necessary, letting the individual voice that opinion is.

Effective leaders are often creative individuals who consider unique solutions for solving problems instead of opting for standard responses. They are willing to put serious work into a project and never micro-manage, since it often breeds resentment. Instead, successful leaders understand that delegating tasks is sometimes needed and is not a reflection of their character or work ethic. Assigning work to team members shows that the leader trusts and respects these individuals, which helps them feel appreciated. Employees who feel this way are more likely to be productive and stay at their current jobs.

Other traits and qualities of a good leader include excellent communication skills, resilience, perseverance, and the ability to resolve conflicts among team members peacefully.

Focus on Healthy Communication

Since good communication is an effective leader hallmark, help the kids learn how to communicate successfully. Various exercises can prove effective, such as having one child talk for a certain amount of time while their partner listens to what they say. Once the first child is finished, the listener recounts the major points in the story, which shows that they heard important information. Other communication skills to discuss include remaining open and honest, and answering questions in a timely manner.

Be a Fantastic Example

Children mimic the adults in their lives, including their parents, teachers, and coaches. If you are a good example of a successful leader, the kids you’re working with will absorb what they see and hear. For example, they could watch you resolve a conflict between two fellow managers by encouraging “I” statements and remaining impartial while listening to both sides. Your kids also follow your example of being kind and respectful, always taking time to speak with anyone who has a problem, and providing answers to questions relatively quickly.

Allow For Failures

Failure is a part of life and something that happens to everybody. Learning how to build leadership skills in youth is partially about accepting assorted failures instead of wallowing in self-pity. Failure is a great teacher for anyone who is willing to learn, which helps people of all ages become stronger, more resilient individuals. Use your own failures as examples if you want, such as failing a math test in high school. Instead of feeling bad for yourself, you devoted extra study time to the subject and earned an ‘A’ on the next test.

Kids who learn to use their failures as teaching tools are not only more effective leaders, but more likely to be well-adjusted individuals who handle a wide variety of situations well. Feel free to incorporate beloved characters into your teachings to drive your point home, such as Yoda from Star Wars. “The greatest teacher, failure is,” the Jedi master says in The Rise of Skywalker. 

For more about how to build leadership skills in youth, visit People Leaders Club today!

About the author : Kent McGroarty