Saturday, July 30, 2011

Teen Leadership Qualities - 5 Qualities Of A Leader

My belief is that we are all born to be leaders. Some people are born to be leaders of great big companies, some are born to be leaders of important civil movements, some are born to be leaders for environmental protection, and so.

Because there are a variety of opportunities for leadership, it is impossible to list the ‘top 5’ leadership qualities, however, many professionals will agree the qualities listed below are important for any leader to possess.

Here are 5 qualities teens can practice to enhance their leadership ability during their teen years and to strengthen the skill as they approach adulthood.

1. Proactive: A leader must take action and taking action is a habit. It is good to encourage teens to take action on matters that are important to them. It is also good to teach them that their actions can and do make a difference in the world.

2. Positive thinker: A positive attitude is extremely important. This too is a habit and optimists are always more fun to follow than pessimists. Take a look at the type of attitude at home and see how your teen is affected by it. Turn your home into a positive environment so you can promote a positive attitude to your teen.

3. Have a vision: Part of being a leader means having a vision. The vision is a place where the leader wants to go and to lead those that share his dream. Encourage your teen to be a part of the community and be involved with current issues. This will lead to inspiration for a vision and this vision will guide your teen’s purpose and actions.

4. Motivate others to see the big picture: To be a leader, one must be able to motivate those around him/her to see the vision that s/he sees. The better the person’s ability to communicate ideas to a team, the better his/her vision will sound to them. Create opportunities for your teen to learn how to thoroughly describe the big picture in his/her mind.

5. Team worker: A successful leader arrives at the finish line together with his/her team and gives credit to all team members. This increases the team’s respect for their leader. Encourage your teen to share credit and other things with siblings, friends, and acquaintances when appropriate. After all, it is always more fun to celebrate success with a group of people than it is to celebrate alone.

Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Teens: Surviving Summer Boredom

It’s half way through summer and chances are your teen has already said “I’m bored” or used a similar enough phrase. Although many teens look forward to summer time so they can do nothing, the nothing only feels good for a week or so and then gets boring.

In early childhood, parents typically figure out their kid’s summer activities and spend much of their own time entertaining them. As kids enter the teen years and approach adulthood, I like to encourage parents to promote independence in the family. It is their turn to start picking and planning their own activities (with parental support, of course).

This process gives them the opportunity to explore their likes and dislikes, build their research skills, and it gives them a feeling of responsibility and empowerment. More importantly, it will give them a greater sense of appreciation for what they are involved in.

Here are some possible opportunities for teens:

1. Camp with leadership: Many camps offer wonderful programs to help teens meet new people, make friends, and build their social and leadership skills. These skills are essential and are transferrable to all areas of life. Consider a program where you can build upon your existing skills.

2. Life coaching program with personal development: Life coaching programs offer personalized services helping teens to identify weaknesses and self-limiting beliefs that can keep them from creating a good life for themselves. Coaching typically assigns ‘homework’ where teens use their time to learn how their thoughts and beliefs affect their behaviour. Connecting these dots is usually the first step to taking responsibility and accountability for one’s actions.

3. Family time: If possible, every summer should consist of some family time. Family time reinforces the family bond which is important for every family member. Family activities can range from vacation to single day outings, to regular dinners together.

4. Explore the creative side: Creativity is not necessarily about music and art. Creativity is really a process where anyone can create something new. The new creation can be anything, including writing a book or a song, creating a new product or service, creating new recipes, or anything that is fun. Creativity typically encourages one to look deep inside oneself for inspiration.

5. Chores: Are there any outstanding chores that need to be done (e.g., cleaning out the closet and donating items to charities)? The summer is a great time to continue strengthening the responsibility muscle. After all, summer is not a vacation from responsibility; it is a vacation from the school routine.

6. Volunteering: Does your teen support a particular charity? Encourage him/her to belong to a group that makes an important difference in the community. The great thing about this is your teen will feel s/he is a part of this important difference. And s/he really is!

7. Job: Is your teen old enough to add employment to his or her summer agenda? Not only will this produce an income but it will promote independence. The teen may choose to work for an employer or to become a young entrepreneur. What matters is that the choice of employment is a close match to personal interest.

Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Helping Teens Eliminate Self-limiting Beliefs

Many times we don’t achieve the things we want to. The reason? Our negative beliefs about ourselves and our abilities hold us back. These beliefs include undervaluing our worth as a person, rejecting our birth right to be successful, and carrying false beliefs regarding our capabilities.

Our self-limiting beliefs usually originate in our childhood and adolescence and by the time we are adults, the limiting beliefs become facts. The best solution to prevent your teen from developing false beliefs is to stop it before it starts!

Follow these great tips to help your teen build self-empowering beliefs.

Teach your Teen to Believe...

You can: Let your entire household practice this belief. Even when the going gets tough encourage everyone to say “I can.” First thing most people say when asked if they can complete something challenging is “Oh, I can’t do that.” They say this before they have the time to think of what would need to be done in order to succeed. It is a habit that hurts everyone’s chance of success.

You are good enough: Let your teen know s/he is good enough as is. There is no need to improve his/her worth in order to deserve something better. Teach your teen that believing in his/her self-worth must come before other good things can follow.

You are destined to succeed: Many people start off important goals hoping they won’t fail or hoping they’ll meet minimal requirements. Teach your teen to focus his/her attention on getting exactly what s/he wants and not to settle for less.

People like you: Most teens (and adults) think others do not like them or will not accept them. This holds them back from trying new activities, participating in new experiences, and living life the way it was meant to be lived. Openly question your teens’ concerns and teach them to withhold judgement.

You are fine the way you are: Most teens (and adults) believe they need to change their inherent personal flaws before things will start to go right. Encourage your teen to believe s/he is fine the way s/he is and if the right actions are taken, life will go in the desired direction.

Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto