Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! You’ve heard me say that great leaders are not born. They are made. As a leader, you have to invest in your team and help them increase their knowledge, break bad habits, and positively influence others. But as a parent, you get the opportunity to set your child up for success by teaching them key leadership skills before they enter the workforce.
If you are interested in having a child who is not afraid to assert themselves or get involved, who leads and doesn’t follow, and who holds the confidence to take charge of their goals, dreams, passions, and future, this is the episode for you! Today, we will talk about four things you can do to help your child learn crucial leadership skills and set them up for success. Through hard work, determination, and trial and error, your child can learn how to take charge and have great influence.
1. Set a Good Example
Your child is paying attention to how you act both publicly and privately. Everything from your organization to how you manage stress will have the ability to influence your child and the habits they develop in their own lives. If you want your child to grow up to be a leader, you must lead by example.
Q: What is something you learned by watching your parents? Do you think you learned more morals or skills from watching them? Why? If someone was watching your every move, what would they learn? How would they act?
2. Encourage Collaboration
Most teenagers hate group projects, but they are designed to teach your child communication, accountability, responsibility, and division of labor. Don’t let your child shy away from volunteering on a team or working on a group project just because they do not enjoy it. Your job as a parent is not to accommodate your child. It is to help them grow through their discomfort. When they collaborate with other people, they will develop strong relationships that will drive their future success.
Q: What was your experience like with group projects in high school? How does it compare with your experience working in a collaborative environment as an adult? What advice would you give to a teenager who disliked group projects?
3. Foster Assertive Communication
One of the crucial skills your teenager needs to learn is assertive communication. This is a skill you can perfect by doing it over and over. So the next time your child’s order is messed up at a restaurant or you need information at a hotel, have your teen do the talking. It’s not always comfortable, but the more they practice, the more self-confident they will become in their abilities to express themselves, regardless of the situation.
Q: What do you think the difference is between assertive and aggressive communication? Why do you think some people have a hard time being assertive?
4. Encourage Healthy Negotiation
How do you feel when your child tries to negotiate with you? Some parents shut it down because they feel that their child is being disrespectful. Rather than saying “no” right off the bat, open the door to healthy negotiation. Give your child the opportunity to (respectfully) present their side. Without them even realizing it, you’ll be passing along an important leadership skill and giving your child a platform to communicate and know that they have a voice.
Q: Were you given the power to negotiate with your parents? How did it affect your relationship? How would you go about correcting your child if they failed to negotiate respectfully?
What other skills do you think your child should learn? Come up with a short list, and then assign different actions that you can do to model that behavior for your child. Focus on adding these habits or actions into your daily life for the next thirty days and see what effect they have on your child.
Relationship starts with connection. Take some time to connect with your child outside of your normal routine this week. The principles above are a good starting point, but they do not represent a comprehensive list of everything your child will need to know in order to be successful. Find out what skills they want to learn. Ask them about their goals and the challenges they are facing.
Good parents encourage their children to lean into their discomfort so that they can grow. Good leaders are no different! Take inventory of the people on your team. Have you noticed any of your employees avoiding a certain task because it is difficult or uncomfortable? Do any of your employees hesitate when they have to answer the phone or give a presentation? Challenge them to do the thing they are uncomfortable doing. It will make them a better employee and increase their promotion potential and self-confidence!