Leaders are not born, they’re made. While sometimes a cliche, this saying holds some truth, as the skills needed to become a leader can be learned and developed over time. Leaders are also not limited to CEOs and business owners. Anyone can be a leader, even young students in elementary school.
What are leadership skills?
Leadership skills are needed to work with a team and influence them to reach a certain goal. Excellent leaders don’t just help their team, but they also think independently and understand how to motivate others. Here are the top six skills that great leaders have:
- Listening – Great leaders are patient. They listen and put themselves in someone else’s shoes to understand how others feel.
- Optimism– Excellent leaders are optimistic, have a “can do” attitude, and believe their team can reach its goals.
- Communication – What separates great leaders from mediocre ones is reflecting and understanding their team’s needs before communicating. Great leaders also clarify their message, so there is no misunderstanding or miscommunication.
- Responsibility – One of the best ways to see if someone is a good leader is to observe what they do when things don’t go as planned. Bad leaders blame their teammates, while great leaders take responsibility for their mistakes.
- Creativity – When an obstacle hits, great leaders think outside the box and find creative ways to solve problems.
- Confidence– Being confident can be challenging, especially when faced with difficult situations. A good leader with healthy self-esteem understands their limits and builds their confidence by learning and improving their skills.
Why should children develop leadership skills at an early age?
It may be tempting to delay teaching kids specific leadership skills, especially when parents have hectic schedules. But research shows that the earlier kids are taught specific values and skills, the easier it is for them to apply them in life.
Good leaders have healthy self-esteem. By teaching kids to develop leadership skills, they grow up learning how to set boundaries with positive reinforcement, allowing them to face life’s challenges head-on. Leadership also builds confidence, which is best taught as early as possible. Children with healthy self-esteem and confidence can say “yes” to challenging activities, which opens up more opportunities as they grow older and eventually enter the workforce. Furthermore, confident children are not afraid of failure or success. They understand that failure is one of life’s greatest teachers and that learning and improving upon their mistakes is important.
The world is getting more connected through technology, which means we can now avoid face-to-face interactions using screens. While this can be convenient, face-to-face interactions teach us to communicate clearly and improve social intelligence. By teaching children leadership skills, they get used to social interactions and build meaningful relationships.
Leadership skills also ingrain soft skills in children, setting them apart from others as they age. As AI and technology develop, soft skills will be more in demand. Developing leadership skills in children will prime them for a fulfilling career in the future.
How to develop leadership skills in children
Leadership skills may seem natural to some, but if your child struggles with them, don’t worry! These skills can be developed over time, like muscles. You can teach your kids leadership skills by modeling them. Children are great at imitation, so give them good acts to imitate.
Another way to develop leadership skills in children is to help them build self-confidence. Give them creative problems to solve and offer praise when they do well. These challenges can be simple, like guiding their siblings in doing household chores– an easy but rewarding task when they learn to communicate with one another and keep the house clean!
If you want to take learning to the next level, you can encourage your kids to take leadership roles at school. By becoming student leaders, they surround themselves with fellow leaders to whom they can relate. Student leaders also get guidance from teachers who can train them to lead in a school setting.
How does D-PREP International School encourage children’s leadership skills?
Schools are often considered the second home for children. At D-PREP International School, we prioritize holistic student learning. Aside from academic learning, we also encourage and guide students to hone their leadership skills through various activities.
D-PREP recently formed a Student Council where elementary to middle school students voted for the council members. After being appointed through majority votes, our student council leaders are taught how to lead in a school setting, listen to the needs of fellow students, and represent them in administration meetings. The Student Council members also take on the responsibility of coming up with a Non-Governmental Organization or NGO which will hold fundraisers and other exciting events to support groups in need.
Apart from the Student Council, D-PREP students also have learning expeditions where they go out of the four walls of the classroom to experience real-world situations. They then reflect on their experiences and devise creative ways to discuss what they learned. At D-PREP, we also encourage students to look into specific topics in our Unit of Inquiry (UOI), where they follow their curiosities and ask questions. Because of this unique learning style, D-PREP students are independent learners capable of asking, researching, and communicating results.
If you are interested in visiting the school, please contact
D-PREP International School
38, 38/1-3, 39, Moo 6,
Bangna Trad Rd., Km. 8,
Bang Kaeo, Bang Phli District,
Samut Prakan, Thailand 10540
Google Map: https://info.dprep.ac.th/directions
Tel: 02-105-1757, 082-1515922
Website : www.dprep.ac.th
IG : @dprepschool