Advice from an Empowerment Coach: Guiding Teen Girls to Leadership

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Teenagers | 0 comments

What does it mean to be a leader? It’s not always about telling others what to do.  In fact, leadership is more about being able to make individual choices with confidence and assurance. It’s about being able to set a personal standard for behavior and consequently, positively influence others. 


More often than not, teenage girls tend to shy away from common leadership roles. They fear they will be seen as bossy or controlling.  Sometimes, self-doubt steers girls toward following instead of leading. The good news is that leadership skills can be learned and, as a parent, you play an important role in guiding your teen daughter to becoming a leader. 


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When I coach teen girls in the area of leadership or when I teach workshops on the topic, I start by sharing a simple definition: Being a leader means being able to make choices with confidence and assurance.  I emphasize the importance of understanding personal values, habits, and perceptions because they inform choices, which, in turn, influence outcomes and set an example for others to follow.  To develop this personal awareness, I ask thought-provoking questions including: 


  • Why are habits important?  
  • Which of your habits are most helpful? Which are harmful? 
  • How do your habits impact your life at school? With friends? In sports?
  • How do your perceptions of your experiences and the people in your life shape your choices?
  • What are your values? 
  • How do your values inform your choices?  


The answers to these questions will reveal important insights that can clarify your daughter’s thinking, whether or not she strives to become a leader.  


You can continue to foster leadership skills with these parenting practices: 


  • Teach her to see challenges as opportunities


Leaders maintain an “I can” attitude and are not derailed by obstacles. Instead, they ask questions, seek help, and find new opportunities.  You can instill a challenge-as-opportunity mindset by modeling it. When you are up against a challenge, be transparent.  Share the foreseeable outcomes and your decision-making. By modeling how you make decisions based on your values and weighing the pros and cons, she will learn how to do the same.  


  • Provide opportunities for decision-making.

Leaders understand how to make important decisions. Whenever possible, give your daughter a chance to make decisions for the family. As she gets older, increase the responsibility that comes along with each decision.  Praise her through the process and highlight the specific qualities or tools she uses when making important decisions. 


  • Emphasize choice

Leaders understand that different choices lead to different outcomes.  Begin using the word choice to help your daughter understand that she always has a choice and that her choices have an influence on her experience.  When providing opportunities for her to make decisions, encourage her to consider the most desirable outcome and identify the choices that will lead to that desired outcome.  


You may also contemplate this quote together: You are the choices that you make. Consider, how is this true for you?


  • Talk about her goals 

Leaders are goal-oriented and formulate personalized systems for reaching goals.  Ask your daughter about her dreams and goals. Provide her with a framework to support her goals.  Check-in with her on her progress and always allow for revisions of goals. 


As an empowerment coach, I firmly believe no matter if your teenage daughter is taking on a leadership role or not, these conversations and parenting practices will support her in developing self-awareness, a growth mindset, and decision-making skills, three valuable assets for young adulthood. 


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