Category: higher education
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Core Leadership Skills in the 21st Century
All great leaders have had one characteristic in common: The willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. John Kenneth Galbraith
Much is being taught about the essentials of leadership, including who is capable of becoming a leader, how leadership can and should be developed, and perhaps most importantly, how any individual can create, develop, and improve leadership skills within himself, or within herself. In the 21st century, leadership itself has become not only a skill to be developed, but also an attribute already available within any individual to tap into improving not only personal results, but also to influence people, environments and societies around us with an effort to raise awareness and create constantly improved results, triggered through positive actions and efforts made by, and achieved through, collectively enhanced performance leading to the development of higher consciousness, and enabling higher learning.
On an individual level, the six most important leadership skills in the 21st century are metacognition, media criticism, time management, information management, social skills, debating as well as argumentation and/or reasoning.
1. Metacognition as a core leadership skill
Metacognitive skills are helpful for any individual and/or leader in the adaptation to new environments simultaneously with a digital world and culture demanding efforts in the usage of information and communications techniques in leadership development, higher education, continuous learning and organizational development.
2. Media criticism as a core leadership skill
Media criticism, and the capability of being objective in regard with any media, has become more important than ever. Any individual, and leader, must know how to stay objective in terms of media. This is especially true in the 21st century, where media creation and distribution has been made easily accessible to almost everyone with the explosion of various online media tools and platforms. Media criticism requires for a leader not only to be selective about what he/she reads online, but also what he/she personally shares to other people. It is also about understanding how to filter relevant, reliable and valid knowledge shared through various sources of media. It is worthwhile keeping in mind that all media is being created by individuals whose main purpose is to influence other people through their media presentations, regardless of the type of media.
3. Time Management as a core leadership skill
We have all been given the gift of life upon Earth, wherefore personal time management is one of our most important leadership skills. Time management is essentially not only about managing your professional time on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Time management, in its real meaning, is about realizing your purpose and meaning for being, and for living, this lifetime. Time management is also about understanding what changes you possibly need to integrate into your life holistically in order to make the most out of your time upon Earth. What is your meaning and purpose for being here? If you are investing your personal life time into meaningless activities, make sure to start planning and managing your time in a truly productive way – in a way that supports your personal leadership development and learning, which therefore will also benefit everyone around you.
4. Information Management as a core leadership skill
Are you actually managing information, or is information managing you? This is certainly something worthwhile reflecting upon, no matter how progressive you may regard yourself to be. With an immense increase of information in this digital era, a definitely much-needed leadership skill is the capability of managing information. Are you merely absorbing information, and if, is it the right kind of information, relevant to your personal and/or professional development? And, if you are a creator of information, how much worth do you put upon actually creating, developing, maintaining and sharing information that is of real benefit and relevance to individuals, leaders, people, organizations, and societies?
5. Social skills in core leadership capability
It is not enough to estimate your social skills on a personal level – developing and improving social skills is a matter of continuous work and efforts, including the capability of socializing with individuals and people around you in a fruitful and mutually beneficial way. Social skills do comprise a number of capabilities and attributes, most important of which is general emotional intelligence and the ability of communicating and interacting with all kinds of people who may cross your personal or professional road. Not all roads do lead to a beautiful destination, and it is about your personal leadership capability and social skills to define which choices, and which paths indeed are worth taking, and stepping into.
6. Debate, argumentation and reasoning as core leadership skills
It is worthwhile noticing that debate, argumentation and reasoning are essential parts of overall negotiation skills, and therefore also an integral part of core leadership for any individual, in any kind of personal or professional setting. Argumentation, debate and reasoning are attributes of leaders with a capability of discussing complex issues in a multifaceted way, sometimes even leading to possible conflict situations that can be mastered through an intellectual capability of dealing with, and handling conflicted situations. Although active listening is a major influential factor in the development of leadership, really progressive leaders do possess the quality of intellectual debate, argumentation and reasoning in achieving their goals.
Dear Coach, Facilitator, and Mentor
I am writing this letter to provide you with guidance and support on your exciting, upcoming, life-long learning and development journey as a coach, facilitator and mentor in your continuously evolving identity work with individuals and people who you will meet, exchange ideas and thoughts, interact and communicate with.
However important theoretical knowledge is I would like to pinpoint the fact that your role as a knowledge worker includes a number of factors that you might want to put an emphasis upon especially. After all, the greatest asset of someone involved in human/humanitarian work, is the ability, interest, and willingness to be involved with other social beings, who all have their personal beliefs, value systems, and minds. Becoming, and being a coach, facilitator and mentor is a calling, and although not comparable with the profession of a doctor or a psychiatrist, your work can greatly affect and influence those around you. Therefore, and because you have chosen to work with minds, there are certain aspects in your work that you should especially keep in mind. These include:
Your role as a coach, facilitator and mentor (one of these, or all combined), is not to force change in other individuals. Rather, your role is to accept people and individuals as they are. Depending upon the coaching/facilitating situation, and/or the group of individuals/people you are working with, you will have to tailor your work accordingly. There are differences between coaching, facilitation and mentoring situations/sessions, but you will always have to accept people as they are and not force change in them. Rather, seek to be a role model through your own behavior and through setting an example, and let individuals find in themselves the power to become who they were meant to be.
You will have to be in balance with yourself in order to create balance in your learning/teaching environment. Focus upon being in balance, and notice how you can affect your environment through the expansion of your personal energies.
Your work is all about communication, and about developing these skills in other individuals, including not only public speaking, but also non-verbal communication and listening skills. As a coach and mentor, you will have to develop your personal communication skills in order to create and get to desired results.
Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating you. Creativity is the lifeblood of everything, so nurture, develop and make use of your creative potential and allow for others to express their creativity as well. There are many ways of communicating and expressing creativity – just let your imagination flow freely and do not be afraid of creating completely new paths through audio, visualization, or kinesthetic learning and development solutions.
As a coach/facilitator/mentor, you will not only deal with continuous personal development and learning, but most importantly, develop individuals and people who you work with. You will also learn to understand that development occurs at all times, although you may not always see the results immediately. Sometimes, it will take years to create and to get to the results that you seek to see through your work, but learn how to use certain types of tools for receiving feedback and making sure that at least some development is noticeable within a specific time frame.
- Empathy and emotional intelligence
Empathy is part of emotional intelligence, but emotional intelligence stretches far beyond simply being empathetic. Your life work with human beings and individuals is all about social interaction and communication that require being emotionally intelligent. Developing emotional intelligence in your personal life and in other individuals is an essential factor in achieving success through your work.
As a coach, facilitator, and mentor you will get in acquaintance not only with your personal identity, but also with the identities of those who you work with. Teaching is identity work.
Improvisation, drama and theatrics are developing, learning, and teaching methods that allow creativity and imagination to expand. Improvisation is also sought-after, especially in unexpected circumstances and situations. If you have no materials to work with, improvisation allows you to create learning situations using your/your student´s minds and physical bodies to create completely new learning situations.
- Journal/Learning Diary
If not already, learn how to journal and write down your (learning) experiences, and teach the same to those you work with. A journal/learning diary may be expressed in many forms/ways. It may be very personal, or shared in public with others. It may be expressed in a number of ways, through creative writing, poems, audio, or video. Make it a regular habit, if not daily, then at least on a weekly or monthly basis.
Write a memoir about your life, and about your experiences. You can combine your journal/learning diary with your memoir, and keep it only for yourself unless you are/will be ready to publish it officially at some stage in your life. Writing/keeping a journal is a great way of learning/developing, and who will most benefit from your personal learning and development, if not you yourself, as well as your students.
- Negotiation skills
Negotiation skills are essential in all areas of life, and business. Also in coaching and developing yourself, and other individuals. Be prepared to learn more about, and develop negotiation skills because you will need these in every aspect of your life, not least in coaching/mentoring situations.
- Objectivity and open-mindedness
Being objective is perhaps one of the most difficult skills a human being can ever possess, since all our actions are based upon our personal beliefs, and value systems. As a coach/facilitator/mentor, however, you will have to develop objectivity and be open-minded.
- Perseverance and persuasion
Coaching, facilitating, mentoring, and life in general, are all about learning how to persevere and to persuade. However, as already once mentioned, do not force your ideas upon other people. Rather, be a role model and allow them to tap into their greatest potential through acceptance, encouragement, and allowance.
Working with your personal mind, tapping into, and working with other individual´s minds requires for you to be spiritually open-minded and constantly open to spiritual development. Do not fear about creating and developing spiritual connections with people whom you work with.
During your career, your will have to experience, and deal with a number of situations, requiring for you to be tolerant with how things, and people, behave and unfold. However much acceptance and tolerance you will have to develop in yourself, you also will have to learn how to draw boundaries and protect yourself from certain kinds of behavior. You will also have to learn how to develop a thick skin, unless you have developed this in yourself. Be tolerant, yes, but make sure to know how to act in challenging situations.
You are a unique individual, working with other unique individuals/personalities. Always have respect for your uniqueness, but also respect the uniqueness of others.
As a coach, facilitator, mentor, or all of these, you will have to have vision in the work you do, and help other individuals tap into their vision in creating their futures.
It may take a lifetime to develop true wisdom, something that only experience can teach us. However, seek to develop wisdom in yourself and in your students because wisdom allows us to raise our vibrations and evolve into human beings with a higher spiritual consciousness.
Earth Reshaped by Indigos and Crystals
Live the life you were truly meant to live. You create the experience that you choose to have. There is no limit to what you can be, do, and have. You are an infinite creator of your reality. (Indigo Wisdom #391)
The future is now. We have entered the New Age long ago and there is no turning back. What a relief is that, knowing that we can fully focus on the existing present, creating the future we want with lessons from the past acting as our guidelines towards the future that humanity and planet Earth not only wants, but needs in order to continue thriving in our endless Universe. We are doing pretty well already, but imagine for an instance what our actions and lifestyles, on the average, may look like to more advanced civilizations in the Universe? Yes, we all citizens of Planet Earth are responsible for how well societies function, how humanity in general thrives, how we treat each other, how we treat nature, and how we treat animals. We can and should all take part of the blame, but instead of focusing upon living in guilt, blaming ourselves and other human beings, let´s concentrate our energy upon improving the way we live and interact with ourselves, and with other living creatures that our ecosystem depends upon.
The vibrations of our planet, across countries and continents, are already being raised by conscious and aware individuals, who are spiritually more in tune with both themselves and have a higher understanding and connection through their strongly developed intuition, allowing them to comprehend intangible matters and to some people, currently invisible dimensions and the spirit world that we, in fact, all live in.
Indigos and Crystals are living among us, helping us with the necessary changes that will lead us into a brighter future for mankind, and Planet Earth in general. They are here to teach us valuable lessons, and also to helping us develop the same qualities in ourselves. We are all spiritual beings with so much untapped potential, indigos and crystals who can, and will, shape our present into a future where everyone has enough of everything, a shared wealth and well-being.
If this topic is completely new to you, you may want to increase your understanding by reading e.g. The Complete Idiot´s Guide to Indigo Children, an enlightening approach to nurturing an Indigo child, written by Wendy H. Chapman, Director of the Metagifted Education Resource Organization (metagifted.org) and Carolyn Flynn.
Please also learn more about Indigo´s and Crystals by watching following videos:
CNN – Anderson Cooper – Indigo Children:
5 Signs You’re An Indigo Child or Adult:
Anyone that encourages intellectual, emotional, artistic or spiritual growth is worth keeping. Don´t let them go. (Color me Indigo on Pinterest).
Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting and learning. Peace and blessings.
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