Leaders make history. Many successful stories in business, STEM, and society were possible because of leaders. Childhood is the stage to imbibe true leadership qualities for children. As the proverbial saying goes, “today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens.” Aligning this a little closer to the real-world success stories, “today’s student leaders are tomorrow’s global leaders.”
Leadership qualities for students
To carve children into leaders, it is essential to focus on leadership qualities for students. The responsibility to identify the true qualities of a good student leader lies with parents and teachers. True leadership qualities are innate; however, teachers can motivate all students to learn these traits.
As Lloyd J. Edwards Jr. famously said, “You can’t teach leadership, but it can be learned.” To raise students with good leadership qualities, teachers and parents must observe and encourage the following traits.
“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – Publilius Syrus
Staying positive in tough times is one of the helpful leadership qualities for students A true leader is optimistic even in hard times. Optimistic leaders are the rudders of an organization in difficult times. They can uplift the business and inspire their team with their positivity.
Here’s how we can train students to be optimistic:
- Introduce the stories of great leaders to students through books and documentaries.
- Teach short stories about optimism and explain how staying optimistic helps in life.
- Conduct group discussions with real-time case studies and sample scenarios and encourage students to come up with their thoughts and solutions.
The sign of a good leader is being adept at motivating others. A team can comprise different kinds of individuals. Some remain silent observers, while some may be proactive. Students with good leadership skills encourage everyone in the group, making sure that all of them get equal opportunities and recognition.
Here’s how we can train students to motivate others:
- Motivation, one of the essential leadership qualities for students, starts at home and classroom. Guide parents to motivate their children and give relevant tips and resources on how they can accomplish it.
- Identify students who come forward for challenging tasks and motivate them in front of their peers to boost their spirit.
- Write motivating tips on the board daily and encourage students to come up with motivational quotes to discuss and share with their classmates.
Responsibility, another vital leadership qualities for students, distinguishes performers from others. Successful leaders take responsibility for their actions and consequences. Responsible students do not think twice to take apologizing when the outcome is not as intended. Some inspiring student leaders also come up with promising alternate ideas and strategies.
Here’s how we can train students to be responsible:
- Start preparing them to stay responsible with little tasks such as maintenance of books, desks, and classrooms.
- Encourage them to take care of underperforming students and help them to understand subjects better.
- Sports are another excellent medium to train students to take responsibility for their actions.
Often ignored of leadership qualities for students is delegation. Good leaders do not do everything on their own. They excel in delegating tasks and rewarding individuals for task accomplishment. Students with leadership qualities display similar traits during project work and team activities.
Here’s how we can train students to identify the skills of other children:
- Conduct events and activities that allow students to display their hidden talents.
- Let other students celebrate their classmates’ talents wholeheartedly.
- Assign group tasks to students and encourage them to delegate among themselves based on their individual strengths and talents.
Articulating one’s ideas is crucial to emerging as a leader. Students who possess the gift of communication are born leaders. Teachers can also encourage students to communicate effectively with others.
Here’s how we can train students to communicate:
- Identify their areas of improvement in communication. Help them to build their vocabulary and grammar to gain hold of communication.
- Self-confidence may be a hindrance to some students. Reasons that create a lack of confidence include hailing from different backgrounds, parental and familial stress, lack of concentration, and physical and health-related issues. Help them overcome related psychological stress to build their confidence.
Listening with the intent to understand and replay is a great asset for established leaders. By listening, we prove to others the care and attention we provide to them. Listening with intent makes others feel valued. In return, they respect and look upon us as leaders. It is why it’s crucial for students who want to grow into leaders to be active and patient listeners.
Here’s how we can train students to be good listeners:
- Organize one-on-one activities with students and encourage them to talk openly about anything they like. While one student talks, the other has to listen fully, pause to think, and reply.
- In addition, storytelling sessions are effective ways to increase concentration levels, teach true leadership qualities and develop listening habits.
Empathy is one of the qualities of a good student leader. It is also globally acknowledged traits of successful leaders. True leaders empathize with others before decision-making. This helps them stand out from others and wins the hearts of their followers.
Here’s how we can train students to be empathetic:
- Narrate the importance of empathy to students through short moral stories.
- Share incidences about real-time leaders where they displayed their empathy and earned the trust and love of their followers.
Commitment towards goals helps one achieve them without losing track. Strong commitment helps when motivation swings up and down. Students with a good blend of motivation and commitment are tomorrow’s leaders.
Here’s how we can train students to stay committed:
- Assign them tasks that are slightly beyond their capacity to test their commitment.
- Teach the tips to stay committed towards goals and how to sustain their commitment.
- Real-life stories of leaders and successful individuals help children understand how staying committed brings success.
Goes without saying, hardwork is the true leadership qualities for students . Nothing ever notable was achieved without hardwork. Students who work hard with sincere commitment are bound to attain success. Hardworking is also a contagious trait that can inspire peers.
Here’s how we can train students to work hard:
- Children sync well with short stories. Make story listening and telling a part of their daily routine to imbibe good traits like hardwork.
- Students are easily exposed to digital distractions and bad influences that distract from hard work and drive them towards shortcuts to success. Parents and teachers must keep an eye on such bad influences that might harm a student’s holistic growth.
Honesty is the foundation for sustained success and leadership. History has many honest leaders who gained the trust of their followers. In the absence of honesty, success does not last long. Hence, it is vital to teaching students this indispensable leadership quality.
Here’s how we can train students to be honest:
- Explain the real-time stories and incidents where leaders attained success but failed to retain it due to a lack of honesty.
- Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata have multiple instances which explain why honesty is a good trait for individuals. Getting students familiarized with such mythological stories will make a bigger impact on their mental and emotional growth.
How to build the qualities of a good student leader?
- Team activities such as science projects, sports, annual day celebrations, and special days such as teacher’s day, republic day, and Independence Day celebrations are good occasions to encourage children to work as a team and instill true leadership qualities.
- Social awareness activities, volunteering, and training in martial arts help them build confidence from within.
- Reading is one of the proven habits to encourage children towards inculcating leadership qualities. Introducing them to the autobiographies of great leaders inspires them to learn from their life stories and grow as leaders.
- Children perform well when you identify and encourage their good qualities. Make constructive feedback a part of children’s and students’ assessments.
Students and children mimic teachers and parents. They perceive them as role models. To inculcate true leadership qualities in children, parents and teachers must first display them. Then creating tomorrow’s leaders today becomes no distant dream.
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