Are you a high school or college student who is already leading or wants to lead groups? If so, congratulations on aspiring to be a leader. Or are you in education leadership, looking for some material on student leadership skills you would like to relay to younger students?
This article, the first of two, focuses on student leadership and youth leadership soft skills areas that are necessary for any younger leader, mainly of high school and college age. Soft skills refer to traits or behaviors a leader must practice to be effective when dealing with others. The material found in these articles is not highly theoretical but practical and would be excellent for student leadership training or for a student leadership seminar. The language is simple and easy to hear, so a younger, emerging student leader can understand the concepts and identify with the examples.
The reason I chose to write about the soft skills area is that I realized, after being a student leadership speaker for many years, that many students have not received training that covers some basic aspects of day-to-day leadership and values. Helping them to understand why these behaviors are so important is a main thrust of the articles. A sampling of the topics covered in this first article includes the importance of writing thank-you notes of congratulations or appreciation, using a notepad and calendar, the importance of reading, and cultivating punctuality. If you are looking for solid, insightful advice on leadership practices that will add to your basic student leadership skills and student development, then this is the article for you.