Communication is the key to understanding people and ideas. Communication involves listening to understand, speaking clearly and diplomatically, and always being ready to learn more. We never stop learning if we want to continue to grow and understand people and the world.
Languages are an important part of communication. Being bilingual in English and Spanish, I learned more about my native language when learning Spanish. While living in Spain, I learned more about the people and how their culture affects their language. I became more aware of the way other people view my own home country (the USA), and this was eye-opening to me. It was an important step in my leadership growth: Awareness.
Learning about others’ points of views is not to be taken personally. It is based on their experience. True leaders want to understand where that experience originated and how it has evolved. True leaders want to learn more.
Once learning a second language fluently, it becomes easier to learn more languages. Compare it to another aptitude—music, for example. Once a person learns to play the flute, he/she learns that the saxophone has the same fingering. If the mouthpiece with a reed is mastered, the musician can also learn the clarinet and other woodwind instruments. We call this transferring skills.
The same happens with sports. Once a person becomes comfortable with football/soccer, there are many sports with similar types of fields but different skills. The more we realize what we CAN do, the easier it is to learn more.
Children are prime for learning. They learn easily and quickly. They are like little sponges that absorb ideas, experiences, words, images, and a wealth of information. This increases self-esteem. This is when leadership begins.
Children learn languages quickly if exposed and immersed at an early age. They learn attitudes, ideas, and open-mindedness at an early age. Let them experience new languages and new ideas. This may be through travel, through family experiences, camps, immersion schools, and many wonderful opportunities. The children who understand more people will be more caring and will set the tone for tomorrow.
Our world needs compassion, understanding, and people who want to learn. Depending on an interpreter can help, but it can also become a disaster, if the interpreter presents your idea with the wrong word. Children who become self-sufficient will be the best leaders. They will not rely on stereotypes. They will understand.
We need more adults like this to help our world work together and cooperate to resolve common problems. Our children will grow into adults and become our new leaders.
When our children realize that languages not only open the road to communication, but also to job opportunities, they will appreciate the opportunity to welcome the new awareness.
Our children are our future! Help them lead where no one has gone before!