Leadership skills enable children to take control of their own lives, be independent and work to make their aspirations a reality. Leadership instills confidence and helps children solve problems creatively, work and collaborate with others, be more responsible and self-confident.
Leadership is an innate ability
or is it a skill we constantly train and train?
The answer to this question is simple: all children have the potential to develop leadership skills, what is important is the continuous process they go through to form and exercise this superpower. Leadership development can be a long process that involves a willingness to grow, a flexible mindset, patience and perseverance. As guiding adults, we can support the process of building the skills necessary for our little ones to take on leadership roles now and in the future. Below are some ways we can help children develop their leadership skills:
- What is a leader? What is children's perception of the role of a leader? What does it do, what are its defining characteristics? We can outline at school, at home or in other learning contexts, a meaningful discussion with children, starting from these questions. Children need to have a clear picture of the strengths of a leader and to understand the importance of this skill for the development of daily activities. Here and here two fun and interesting learning resources.
A funny story about leadership and working effectively in a team:
- The power of example is essential for the child. One of the most important characteristics in a leader's portfolio of qualities is certainly the flexible mind he has. Children learn by seeing what others do and by imitating those behaviors of important people in their lives (parents, grandparents, teachers). It is important to provide examples of good practice, train our flexible mindset and call on it as often as possible.
Children have great imitators. Give them something great to imitate
- It is important to guide children to the process of empathy and active listening. It is essential that they discover how to see things from someone else's point of view, how to listen carefully, and how to respond to others in a calm and respectful way. Good communication is a key component to being an effective leader. An extremely useful resource for this discussion is the Pixar film: "Inside Out", especially this sequence: here.
- Children need opportunities to work in a team, to find with friends and/or peers the best strategy to achieve their goals, and to assume positions of group coordination. Phrases like "I'm so proud of you!", "You did very well when you helped your classmates to...", but also open questions like "What would you do differently next time?" are essential to train the child's self-confidence.
- It is essential for the child to feel safe and know that he is in an open space where he can share his ideas and passions. It helps to listen to them and encourage them to pursue these things that interest them so that later it will be easier for them to take a leadership role in them.
- Encouraging communication and action to accomplish tasks and achieve goals is an important first step in developing leadership skills.
Leadership skills sessential to face everyday challenges in a world of constant change and evolution. Children need to develop these skills and practice them constantly. A leader is an empathetic person who communicates effectively, listens actively, takes into account the opinions of others, manages to motivate his team and find together with it the best strategy in order to achieve the initially set objectives. In addition to all this, leadership skills are not complete without understanding that a leader needs an open and flexible mindset that allows him to react balancedly to any challenge. It is important to support children in learning these skills from an early age to become independent and responsible adults ready to embrace challenges and persevere to overcome them.
At KEN, we have opened registrations for the summer mountain camp from June 26 - July 1, 2022, Leaders at Play.
The objective of this camp is to guide children to discover their own worth, develop a growth mindset, develop the power of teamwork that comes with resilience, flexibility and effective communication.
We invite children to get to know their own emotions and learn how to manage them, both in the relationship with themselves and the interaction with others in order to build a harmonious life.
Article written by Veronica Dunga, KEN Academy trainer.