Tammy A.S. Kohl is President of Resource Associates Corporation. For over 30 years, RAC has specialized in helping businesses improve customer loyalty and eliminate employee disengagement. Learn how at www.resourceassociatescorp.comor contact RAC directly at 800.799.6227.
My Teenager … a Leader?
- high self-esteem
These are just the start. The list of leadership characteristics goes on and on. As you look over that list (and any more characteristics you may have added), which of those traits are people born with? Think about it this way, when a child utters those first precious words, can you determine if they are saying them from a place of character and confidence? Are they projecting their high self-esteem while saying “Mama” or “Dada?” Those characteristics are not born in. They are developed over time.
People are not “born leaders.” Everyone has the potential to become a leader. Unfortunately, many people walk around with a self-imposed cap on their skills and abilities, leadership potential being one of them. All people have the potential to lead, they have the potential to achieve success, they have the potential to be all they wish to be and more. And that includes your teenager. The key question is what are you as a parent doing to help your teen develop into a strong leader? Are you creating the environment to assure your child’s leadership potential? We have to give it to you straight … most parents are not. While you might have the best intentions, it’s quite possible you could be holding your child back and keeping them from developing into the type of leader you aspire them to be.
Don’t blame yourself. It’s not been done consciously. It’s been done from a place of only the best intentions and much love. It’s been done for your child’s protection over the course of their formative years. How many times did you reinforce “stranger danger” to your child? More than you can count, probably. How many times did their teacher tell them to “not talk in class?” Again, probably numerous times. Given that, how easy do you think it is for your teen to stand up in front of others, express an opinion with confidence and clarity, and motivate others to follow their lead?
What can you do from here? Express to your teen they should trust their instincts. Tell them they’re now xx-years-old and it’s okay to talk to strangers within a safe and reasonable environment. Allow them the opportunity to express themselves openly at home. Instead of presenting them with ultimatums meant to protect them, offer them choices and options. A little empowerment goes a long way!