While people have the capability to be a rock of stability and achieve feats of human excellence, they also can fall victim to reckless mistakes and poor decisions. Good role models are like beacons of light that show you the way through their own example. Here are ten characteristics of a role model that make them natural leaders and serve to remind you of what is truly important.
What makes a good role model?
Having a role model to emulate often helps kids and even adults to achieve the results they desire and stay on a productive path. Role model qualities are worth striving to cultivate because they possess the ability to act as guardrails that protect the success and integrity of one’s life. Role model characteristics are important to exhibit to your children and help them develop as well.
We can all serve as role models in various ways to our peers but as a parent it is our duty. We must exhibit the behavior we desire in our children in order to be an effective role model. As Stanton E. Samenow Ph.D. points out, “Developmental psychologists emphasize that it is parents who constitute the most important role models in that their influence is crucial to their offspring’s personality development.”
Other everyday positive role models may include teachers and coaches. Positive role models examples can also be people you don’t know personally but that still inspire you through their example. Who is a good role model is a very personal thing. A child interested in sports may pick a star athlete like Lebron James. A child interested in politics may pick an impactful president like Barack Obama. A child interested in environmental issues may choose Greta Thunberg.
Good Role Models Share These Characteristics
What are the characteristics of a good role model? Here are 10 qualities shared by good role models.
Willpower is the ability to act through adversity for the sake of a greater purpose. Ideal role models will often have overcome poor circumstances. They will gracefully deal with problematic situations in creative, intelligent ways to achieve their goals or overcome adversity. The ability to pull passion to succeed from within themselves is one of the admirable qualities of a role model.
As a parent, demonstrating will power in the small things like having dinner before dessert is a good daily habit. Learning to have and exhibit will power in the small situations helps us to develop it and display it when it comes to bigger situations where our choices need to reflect our own values. In other words, doing the right thing becomes a habit, which makes it easier even to avoid inappropriate behaviors in more challenging spots.
Confidence is a role model quality of belief that pushes a simple “yes” from the mind out into the world. One of the best ways to build confidence is exhibit a positive attitude and to teach through encouragement. Setting high expectations and showing disappointment in a child’s failure to reach them is only setting them up for failure.
Encourage your child, reward their hard work towards their goals with kind words and praise their efforts. These things build confidence. Kids need a confident role model that teaches them to be confident too. Even if they aren’t certain of how to do something, a successful people will be confident that it can both be done if they put research and effort into it.
Flexibility is not just a physical quality. It is also one of the important characteristics of a role mode. A person that is willing to vary their strategy and mold themselves into whatever is best for what they wish to achieve, is acting with a dynamic mentality.
Imagine a car that also turns into a submarine, plane and spaceship. There are some situations where it might be best for it to fly, but others will demand it become a submarine. In life, trying only one approach in every situation is an easy way to fail. A great role model will know when to become relaxed, mindful, focused, dedicated, irreverent, humorous, intense and any other state of being that helps them to better manifest their intentions.
Another of the important role model characteristics is respect. In other words, the art of understanding, accepting, considering and honoring one’s surroundings. An ideal role model respects themselves and all others. If they were to be challenged by anything from an angry driver to bullying at school, they would respond with understanding, empathy, and proper consideration of the results of their actions. Compassion and concern for others means that the role model with respect the needs of those that rely on him.
Effective role models persist in spite of setbacks and failures. The goal is more important to them than giving up is. Once they have committed to a decision, it is most often as good as done. Commitment is one of the characteristics of a role model that makes them a good example. It means they are reliable and worth looking up to.
Role models possess a committed nature that is loyal and determined. At times, there will be certain circumstances where a commitment may no longer serve them. This is where being dynamic becomes even more important. However, the majority of time, a role model will consider carefully before they commit. Once committed, especially when other’s are relying on them, they will come through.
It’s important to teach your team members that giving back to others in their community and beyond is necessary to be successful. The best role models volunteer their time and effort to be a contributing member of their community. Being of service in your community builds unity, teamwork skills, and creates a generous heart.
Teach your kids the importance of service by regularly volunteering your time for causes and charities that matter to your family. Bring your children along so they can participate in service of their community as well. They will undoubtedly learn many good things from their experience.
The only way to grow and become a better person is to continually work on improving ourselves and our minds through education and conversation. Don’t be afraid to try new experiences, participate in conversations, and read books that open your mind to new ideas. This teaches your child to never stop growing as well.
Making a habit of self-improvement allows us to grow and learn new things that can provide us a better life. A positive role model recognizes the importance of self-improvement and makes the growth mindset a way of life. They are constantly increasing their high standards as come close to meeting them. They are always striving improve.
A proper diet and plenty of exercise not only helps us live longer, it improves our brain function, gives us energy, and allows us to experience more of life. Our children follow our example so living a healthy lifestyle is an important characteristic of a good role model.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and it leads to depression and disease in adulthood. Teaching your child healthy habits now will create good habits for the rest of their life. These habits will help them live a more fulfilling life.
Be a role model for a family member by making healthy food choices and getting daily exercise. Include your child in these habits and teach them about making healthy choices.
Honesty is an important family value to pass on. Sometimes being honest with your kids is one of the hardest things to do. Especially when it comes to past mistakes and missteps. It shows your kids that you’re human too and you have made mistakes, but you’ve worked to do better. Honesty is one of the most important character traits a role model can have demonstrating it is a good way to gain trust.
Being honest can be difficult, and it will come with challenges for young people too. However, showing a more vulnerable side of yourself and being honest even when it’s hard, is the best way to teach your kids to do the same.
Honesty in a role model extends beyond just the words you speak. It also includes making your life an open book. Your kids should feel comfortable asking you anything and understanding who you are. Take your kids to work with you so they can see what you do everyday and why it’s important. Talk to them about how you create your family budget and what your financial priorities are and why. Keeping secrets about things that can help your child learn to be a better person won’t benefit either of you.
And finally, the buck has to stop somewhere and that is with the person in charge. A good role model takes accountability for their actions and for the outcome of their plans. We are not always perfect and things don’t always work out as we thought they would so we have to own our mistakes and areas for opportunity so we can do better next time. We have to recognize what went wrong and be sure that those same errors don’t happen again. Public figures need effective communication skills so they can demonstrate their accountability and learn from past experiences.
As Jo Saxton said, “Accountability asks questions, reminds us of our values, calls us up, cheers on our dreams, and yet challenges and confronts us when needed. Accountability keeps us on track or guides us towards mid-course adjustments. Accountability brings perspective.” That is why it is such an important quality in a good role model.
Why The Qualities Of A Role Model Make Them Good Leaders
So, there you have ten characteristics of a role model that can serve as roots of action. They are a great place to start on your quest for self-improvement. As a parent or a community leader we are role modeling all of the time, whether we intend to be or not, so it is important to try to exhibit good role model qualities.
Don’t let that contribute to parenting stress, rather remember to always do your best and be satisfied with that. Remember that you are leading your children through your words and actions. True role models walk the talk even in difficult situations. They are the kind of people who know how motivate others and make them want to be their best.
Other qualities of role models include good character, positive behavior, and strong teaching skills. Which of these positive role model characteristics is most important to you?
Here are a few of my favorite quotes about positive role models. I hope they inspire you to be the best version of yourself!
Positive Role Model Quotes:
“A role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this.” -Sonia Sotomayor
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs
“I think role models also start in the home with your parents.” -Dominique Wilkins
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” -James Baldwin
“Being a role model…is equal parts being who you actually are and what people hope you will be.” -Meryl Streep
“I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them.” -Denzel Washington
“Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.” -Albert Einstein
Positive influences can make such a difference to the outcome of our lives. The perfect role model has amazing qualities that reach you where you are and help you become a better person for yourself and your community. If you have any tips you’d like to add on how to be a good role model, give us a shout out on social media @familyfocusblog!