7 Ways to Make your child a Great Leader!
Who are leaders? What makes us call them that? Are they born leaders? There are lot of questions when it comes to understanding the psyche of a leader. A simple way to start is to know one thing – leaders aren’t born, they are made. Having said that, it is safe to conclude that children who are trained to be leaders from a young age will walk down the path of leadership with grace. Teaching children all leadership qualities is quite frankly unrealistic, as some qualities develop later with experience. Parents need to teach children the quality that inculcates leadership, without attempting to turn them into leaders overnight. Which is this quality? Let us derive what political leaders do to gain votes. The most basic of them all is a promise. They see what issues citizens face the most and promise to make them go away, however impossible they may seem. We may not trust them at first, but later, we defy our own minds to believe them. It is their art of persuasion that brings them our trust - and votes. Training children to learn the art of persuasion without amounting to manipulation is what will make them great leaders in the future. Persuasion is the ability of tactfully placing facts and logic to gain agreement from the audience. This is the best quality that helps leaders acquire followers and is the same tactic that gets business owners customers.
So, how can we teach our children this art of persuasion to become leaders that are loved and followed?
1. Teach them to take a step at a time in an argument.
Your child may have a winning argument, but the wrong time of its usage may cause the win to slip out of their little palms. Teach them to patiently build the foundation for the argument that they want to make. Begin with the points that they know the audience will agree with. While doing that, ask them to get the perspective of the audience (nod along to create an understanding) and build their final argument with the support of the same.
2. Teach them to be confident about their stands.
Will just stating facts and logic be enough to win the day? Not likely. It is important for the speaker to be confident about what he/she is stating. Research states that people prefer cockiness to expertise and hence, are more likely to take advice from someone with oodles of confidence. It is natural for humans to assume that when a person is being confident about something, they may be right.
It is essential to teach children to be confident about the points in their arguments. Train them to replace the usage of ‘I think it will’ with ‘It will’ and watch how it revamps their entire argument to a more believable stature. Make your children bold enough to speak their mind and watch them grapple the trust of the audience.
3. Teach them to alter their speech rate.
Ever wondered why the ‘terms and conditions apply’ part of an advertisement is fast forwarded to the point that it’s almost incomprehensible? It is done so as to avoid the diversion of the customer due to the threat of the ‘terms and conditions’. In the same way, leaders adjust their rate of speech according to the point that they are presenting.
Fast rate of speech: Use if an audience is likely to disagree with you.
Slow rate of speech: Use if an audience is likely to agree with you.
The logic behind it is that when the audience is likely to disagree, a fast rate of speech gives them lesser time to make a counter argument. However, a slow rate of speech must be used for an audience which is likely to agree with you. It gives them time to ponder upon your arguments and join their own thoughts with you.
So, teach your kids to change the pace of their speech according to the audience.
4. Teach them to explain with an optimistic side.
Research states that people are easier to draw in by showing them the positive outcome of your proposed change. The technique of scaring people with a negative outcome of the rejection of your proposal may be tempting, but mostly useless. Scare tactics don’t always work and may frighten or distract your audience out of the conversation. Train your children to focus on explaining the positive side of the coin to procure an agreement.
5. Teach them to speak about both pros and cons.
It is not hard for the audience to see the flaws in your plan, but audiences appreciate honesty. If your children are pitching an idea, train them to make sure that they know all the cons of it. Teach them to predict the questions that may come their way from the audience. Teach children to accommodate the solution to the issue in their points before making the argument. It’ll not only show their honesty, but also their ability to see the issue beforehand.
6. Teach them to keep their argument iron clad while delivering the same message in the process.
Teach your children to keep their logical reasoning, arguments and conclusions iron clad and beyond reproach. They should understand that at the end of the day, what will win them the fight is their ability to deliver a clear message - one that is loud and crystal clear. This can easily apply to all of us: The art of persuasion should be the cherry on the utterly logical cake.
7. Set a good example.
None of these lessons will matter in the long run if your children see that you don’t practice what you preach. It is imperative for you to be the best version of yourself and to let them learn from your leadership skills. Children mirror their parents and are their true reflections. You need to be a good role model to your child, so that s/he can be a good role model to others and that’s how you raise a true leader.
Author: Prajakta Gaikwad – Blogger at Tinychaps
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