Do You Wish To Become A Role Model? Here Are Some Tips
Very few goals in life are more important and influential than aiming to be a role model. In the simplest sense, it’s an easy thing to aim for: simply do the right thing to the best of your ability at all times. Of course, life is complicated, and this means it isn’t always easy to figure out what the right course of action is, and it’s not always easy to do it once you do figure it out. The following will explore some actionable tips that you can employ to help you become a role model for the people in your life.
What Is A Role Model?
A role model is someone who teaches by their own action. They don’t tell other people what to do but set a good example of what should be done. Quite often, people want to do the right thing and put in their best effort, but it’s really hard to go first. Being a role model means going first so that others know if they join in your efforts, they’re not going to be alone.
Admit That You’re Always Learning
First and foremost, no one can be a good role model without first admitting to themselves that they’re always learning. What you think is good, right or ideal now might be something you think is foolish years from now. You don’t have all the answers; no one does. You can’t know what to do in every situation; no one can. Being a role model involves an ongoing effort to become and remain humble. Humility is vital if you want to be able to admit when you’re wrong and adjust accordingly; it’s also crucial if you want to be able to take feedback or criticism gracefully. A good role model needs to be able to do all these things.
Actively Be Learning
In addition to acknowledging that there’s no way you’re ever going to know it all and admitting that you’re going to get things wrong, you should be actively seeking new information to help minimize your errors. Study your field; this means reading full books, not just online articles (many of which are biased and aiming to sell you a product or service or convince you to sign up for an email newsletter that will try to sell you something at a later date). Take courses that pertain to your work and life. If you’re in a teaching or training role in any capacity, also take time to learn about teaching; there are programs and courses designed for training trainers. In reference to the above point, it’s important that this pursuit of education is focused on learning, not on having more credentials to list on your LinkedIn. You need to be actually learning the material, and this might mean you should take your time and not over-schedule yourself.
Virtue has become a bit of a bad word in some circles; this is largely due to the traumatizing impact that certain religious denominations have had on those who were born and raised within the denomination. Virtue doesn’t have to be a bad word; it’s actually an incredibly important one. Ethical systems that supersede virtues and give you strict rules to follow always end up stripping life of its nuance. Sometimes something is bad in one scenario but not bad in another one. If you identify the virtues you care most about, you can always return to them when you are faced with a tough situation. If honesty is one of your virtues, then you can ask yourself what an honest person would do. If hard work is one of your virtues, then you can ask yourself what a hard-working person would do.
Listen before you speak and listen twice as much as you speak. People will share with you their struggles and what is preventing them from meeting their internal standards at work or at home. If you practice active listening, you can discover areas of being a role model that you’ve neglected. This can also help you notice what’s in your blind spots as a person. Everyone has blind spots.
The above information should help you become a better role model. It’s vital to note that this is a life-long process that you need to constantly revisit. It’s not something that you can simply think about once and then let go of. If it helps, you might want to keep a leadership journal where you can write down occurrences for the day and the outcomes of those occurrences. You can study this information to find out where you can improve.