Being an effective leader means a lot more than just supervising children. The responsibility of a leader means being a positive role model and a trusted influence. This involves the ability to communicate with children, enforce positive behaviour, and provide a safe learning environment. With all of these qualities in mind, how can we become an effective leader?
Communication is a huge aspect in being an effective leader. The ability to adjust your communication tactics based on who you are speaking to is very important. Every child learns and reacts differently, so being able to adjust your delivery is essential when being a leader. Also keeping your communication positive and constructive will help reinforce trust. When a child feels comfortable approaching you with concerns is when you have effectively created a safe environment as a leader.
Patience is also a huge aspect in being a good leader. Being able to keep your cool, remain calm in stressful situations, and act responsibly is what creates a trusting environment. Not only will your patience pay off with those who you are leading but will also contribute to your personal attitude towards the situation. Keeping a positive attitude and remaining engaged stems from your ability to be patient.
Being a leader, and especially when working with children, creativity can be a great asset. There will always be situations you have either never faced before, or that you may not know how to handle. Being creative is sometimes your only option, so having that ability will benefit your leadership skills. Children often need help understanding certain instructions and rules, and some may not always want to respond respectfully, thus why having creativity on your side can help you encourage children to not only follow the rules or instructions, but do it in a way that they will enjoy.
Establishing trust is an important quality in a leader no matter the age. If you are in a position of power, or being expected to lead by example, being someone trustworthy is a very important quality. Being a leader who can be mindful of certain situations and act with integrity and trust will establish a safe environment that will ultimately pay off in the relationships you build.
Being an effective leader requires not only these qualities, but also your own personal qualities. Ones that you cannot teach or learn. Part of what makes a great leader is simply being yourself. Earning trust has a lot to do with remaining true to yourself and others and that means using these qualities mixed with your own special traits to create a well rounded environment and setting the best example possible.