Whaaat? That was the first word that popped into my mind when I heard my Team Leader telling me that leadership is found in everyday actions and that I can be a leader myself. How could that be possible? I didn’t have a team under me nor people who followed me so how could it be? And then she told me of the qualities a Leader must have in AIESEC and started explaining them to me. The one that stuck into my head was Empowering Others. This one was so close to my values that I immediately wanted to learn more. But how could I empower others in everyday life?
1.Ask to challenge
Understanding the power of questions is tricky and rare but not impossible. When posed with a strong question you get to challenge your way of thinking and have to rethink it all. This process makes you more sure of your actions and gives you the chance to evolve whatever you are thinking of. You don’t need to be a coach to do it nor take it as a quarrelsome. What I did was whenever talking with my friends and hearing them telling me something that plagued them, I would ask “Why do you think this is happening?”, “How can you get out of this situation?”, “Why are you so sure of it?” and questions like that. Always try to ask why, and make them see the situations discussed more holistically.
The most important thing in human communication and yet the rarest is active listening. I can rarely find a person in my life who listens to me and actually listens, understands! People around you need someone who listens and understands. Sometimes many people just need to talk and find someone who is there to understand and hug them or do something for them. So by listening you empower them to talk, express themselves and feel understood and attended.
3.Give freedom to fail
Fear of failure is something stopping many millennials and post-millennials from stepping out of their comfort zone and reaching their full potential. We live in a world that perfectionism is trying to invade our lives and everyone is having expectations from us. Finding people and situations where the space is given to us to freely try and fail, learn and try again is something rare and highly appreciated by our surroundings. By doing so you give the chance to people to learn themselves better and develop.
4.Inspire by action
Try to be the best version of yourself! Act upon what you care about and help people around you. This will reflect on your attitude and you will inspire others watching you to want to do the same thing. Join an organization, go volunteering abroad, help a person in need. The world is out there and needs people like you to care.
5.Believe in their potential
When someone comes and tells you an idea or a plan, support him, invest time in it and help him improve it. Believe in him. When people come and tell you it’s impossible, that they cannot do it, ask why. Try to help them, remind them of their strengths, help them see it clearer on how to achieve it. People need other people to believe in them, to give them strength. No leader ever achieved something without people believing in him.
It doesn’t take effort to start being an everyday leader and empowering people around you. All it takes is the will to improve society around you and make a difference. Keep learning more and try a developing experience with us around the world at aiesec.org14