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What makes a good youth leader?

Apr 29, 2010, 2:01 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

In our today's edition, we want to focus on the above mentioned question, that is, what makes a good youth leader?

The answer to the question should help all young people who are thinking of becoming one. Do you have a desire to work with youth? If so, you may want to consider working as a youth leader for a local organization or group. Youth leaders can work in a variety of settings such as youth organizations, charitable organizations, national youth organizations, after-school programs and summer camps, just to name but a few. Many youth leaders find their job to be very exciting and rewarding. Being a youth leader requires good leadership skills, patience, dedication, compassion for youth, and good listening skills. However, there are other important characteristics that can make you a good youth leader, as well.

1. Ask the youth about their needs and goals. In order to be an effective youth leader, you need to know how you can best help the youth in your organization. So, spend some time getting to know each of them, and be sure to ask them about their interests, likes, dislikes and goals.

2. Show the youth that you care about them. Youth leaders should be kind, caring and understanding toward all of the youth in that organization. A good youth leader loves working with the group, and he/she always gives the members the attention and inspiration that they need to help them grow and learn. As a youth leader, you should also make every effort to let the youth know that you are there for them as a friend.

3. Let the youth know they can talk to you about their concerns. Young people need to know that they can come to you, if they have any questions or problems. And a good youth leader is always ready to listen to the members of the group, if they need someone to talk to. So, try to establish a bond with the youth group, and let them know that it is OK to trust you.

4. Get the youth involved in the organization. Try to think of creative ways to keep the youth interested and motivated. For example, maybe you can think of fun activities for the youth to do like singing, painting, writing or doing arts and crafts. Or perhaps you can take the youth on a field trip or to see a movie.

5. Commit yourself to helping the youth succeed. A good youth leader spends as much time with the group as possible, in order to help them accomplish their goals. This sometimes means working extra hours (nights and weekends) and taking on additional tasks and projects. However, a good youth leader doesn't mind devoting extra time to the organization because his/her primary goal is attending to the youth and making sure their needs are met.

Also, serve the group with ca lean heart and put the organization before self. With this, you and your organization will surely succeed.

Finally, try to be as transparent as possible in all your dealings, so as to have the trust and confidence of your members at all times.