A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. A role model is someone who other individuals aspire to be like, either in the present or in the future. A role model may be someone who you know and interact with on a regular basis, or may be someone who you’ve never met.
Youngsters usually benefit from having a relationship with someone older and wiser to mentor them. Although the mentor might be a teacher, family member or more experienced peer, not everyone is suitable to be an influential, positive role model. Effective role models possess desirable characteristics that make them easy to look up to. They inspire others to make changes and strive toward new goals. If you are seeking a suitable candidate to serve as a role model to someone you care about, it helps to be aware of the qualities necessary to best fulfill the role.
A study shows that being a role model is not constrained to those with fancy titles or personal wealth. In fact, students were quick to state that “a true role model is not the person with the best job title, the most responsibility, or the greatest fame to his or her name.” Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life.
The top qualities of role model
Moral: A good role model has high moral values. Children respect those who practice what they preach. Role models who support worthwhile causes and who are willing to act on their beliefs help children develop and strengthen their own values. Role models behave ethically and demonstrate honesty.
Passion and Ability to Inspire: A good mentor is willing to teach what he/she knows and accept the mentee where they currently are in their professional development. Good mentors can remember what it was like just starting out in the field. The mentor does not take the mentoring relationship lightly and understands that good mentoring requires time and commitment and is willing to continually share information and their ongoing support with the mentee.
Respectful: In order for role models to be influential, they must show respect for others. Young people appreciate being treated with respect and admire those who treat them and others that way. Role models who demonstrate selflessness and a democratic, non-prejudiced view of those different from themselves earn the admiration of others.
Ability to overcome obstacles: As Booker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome.” Young people echoed this sentiment, showing how they developed the skills and abilities of initiative when they learned to overcome obstacles. Not surprisingly, they admire people who show them that success is possible.
Commitment to Community: Role models are other-focused as opposed to self-focused. They are usually active in their communities, freely giving of their time and talents to benefit people. The youth admired people who served on local boards, reached out to neighbors in need, voted, and were active members of community organizations.
Listening :leaders naturally respond to a problem by listening first. True listening builds strength in others.
Have humility and willingness to admit mistakes: Nobody’s perfect. When you make a bad choice, let those who are watching and learning from you know that you made a mistake and how you plan to correct it. By apologizing, admitting your mistake, and accepting accountability, you will be demonstrating an often overlooked part of being a role model.
In conclusion Everyone has leadership ability. It’s how we use our leadership abilities that decides if we are a role model for others. While it may seem like a great deal of pressure to be a positive role model; nobody is expecting you to be superhuman.
We certainly wouldn’t expect that behavior from the children who are looking to us for answers and guidance—nor would we want them to expect that kind of flawless behavior from themselves or others. You can only do your best. And, if you mess up today, you should take responsibility for it as soon as possible by apologizing, admitting your mistake, and repairing the damage, you will be demonstrating an important yet often overlooked part of being a role model.
Good role models earn multiple chances from the children who believe in them and know they can do anything if they simply put their mind to it.
Here’s to being a Positive Role Model this Day.