Tips for Teaching Leadership

Teaching leadership at a young age can help a child to hone her leadership abilities as she grows older. The ability to lead is a highly desirable trait. While some children are born leaders, others need a little help developing their leadership skills. 

Give children the freedom to determine their role in a group. It can help them realize their own leadership qualities as well as teach teamwork. A common activity used by teachers is to assign a task to a group, allowing the students to determine what role each group member will play in executing their task. Natural leaders will thrive in this situation, divvying up tasks and taking on responsibility. Others may find that they are more comfortable taking a follower role or leading one section of the project rather than the whole thing.

Communication is another aspect of leadership that is important for children to master. Teaching communication can be fun. Try a game that runs along the lines of charades. Pair children up and give one a piece of paper with an object on it. Have the child with the paper try to explain what the object is using words (but not the key words) or physical gestures.
Negotiation and compromise are some of the leadership qualities that can be easily taught, even to a young child. Preschoolers are able, with some guidance, to grasp the concept of turn-taking with toys. When two children want to play with the same toy or use the computer at the same time, setting up time frames for each child can teach them about compromising. If the children are old enough, allowing them to do this themselves can help them learn how to negotiate as well as to compromise.

Teaching a child the ability to plan well is not only a good leadership quality to possess but also a skill that can help them succeed in life. One way to teach a child how to plan is to give them a large task with many parts and help them break that task down into smaller tasks. Focusing on smaller tasks makes accomplishing something difficult seem possible. Encouraging children to keep the larger goal in mind can keep them motivated to continue completing the smaller tasks.

Another way to teach children leadership is to show them great leaders. Be a great leader yourself and have them become familiar with famous and admirable leaders. Reading about role models and emulating their positive points can help children recognize the skills that their role model has in themselves.

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