Leadership skills are highly prized but sometimes neglected. A survey completed by The Partnership for 21st Century Skills found that leadership was within the top 10 new employee skills desired by employers. While work might seem a long way off for young teenagers, the time to develop leadership skills is now. Leadership may be prized be employers, but it can be hard to define -- and even harder to develop -- for teens. By helping your teen understand what leadership means for him, he can focus on developing the skills that will serve him well now and later in life.
A teen leader should understand conflict resolution. There will definitely be times when he's dealing with friends, study groups and even teachers when he'll need to consider the conflict objectively and identify the solution that benefits the most people. Whether it's deciding how to divvy up homework or arguing over computer time with a sibling, a teen leader knows how to diffuse the situation and work out a solution. Leadership Now points out that your teen may still need your assistance -- offer several solutions, but leave the final call up to your budding leader.
Responsibility and Independence
A teen leader has to learn how to take responsibility for his actions. While it can seem like a drag at first -- hey, no kid wants to cop to breaking the rules or missing a homework deadline -- it's ultimately what leads to more independence in the future. When a teen takes responsibility for herself, she doesn't need to use parents or other adults as a crutch. In the end, that willingness to take responsibility results in a deep sense of self-trust that can benefit your teen in making decisions in the future.
Confidence and Achievement
It's pretty hard for a teen to achieve greatness when he's always looking to others for direction. By fostering teen leadership, you teach your teen that he's capable of influencing not only his own destiny but influencing the thoughts and actions of others for the better. Of course, he'll need confidence to assert his opinions and ideas, but that can simply lead to a greater sense of achievement The idea that he can lead a group project, make plans for a church group or even influence younger siblings can add to a great sense of confidence for a young teen.
Finally, a young teen leader should have a deep sense of community. She wants to make changes for the better and is therefore willing to put forth the effort to inspire others to do the same. That also means finding opportunities to be active in the community through volunteerism, notes a report prepared by The Care Project. Even young teens can work at food banks, help out with children's programs and find other ways to benefit the community while leading other teens to do the same.
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