Troop JLT Course Page Five


Here are some hints on how to talk with adults so they listen and understand you. You'll find this helpful if you are or someday will be a junior leader. Believe it or not, some adults are scared of kids. This will also help if you just have a hard time establishing communication with an adult.


  1. Communicating across a generation gap can be hard for both parties. Consider the character of that particular adult. Talking to someone who spent 8 years in the Navy can be very different than someone who has never been in the armed forces.
  2. Think about how you can get that adult to respect you. If you are inside, remove your hat. Be formal, use Mr. or Mrs.
  3. Remember, the adult is most likely uncomfortable too. Try NOT to use slang or unusual expressions they might not understand.

Those tips should, at least, make a conversation easier. TRY TO THINK LIKE THEM AND MAKE SURE WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS CLEAR. If the adult is stubborn, back up whatever you are saying with good facts. Make sure you listen to them too and consider their ideas.

Most adults turn out pretty cool once you get to know them and talking will become very easy. Once good communication is established, adults WILL give you all kinds of ideas and support.

I am personally comfortable with any adult. Sometimes they just won't listen to me or my ideas. They think I am too young to know what I am talking about. If you have a problem like this, find an adult that you know well and get along with, and talk with them about your problem. Have that adult talk to the one you're having a problem with. Many problems occur with some older adults where they may be used to the old days when children didn't speak unless spoken to.

When I talk to these kinds of adults, I usually have plenty of facts and reasons to back myself up.


Now that we've looked at how to show kids how to talk to adults, let's take a look at showing adults how to teach kids about leadership styles by using your Troop leaders as a teaching tool:


Another thing we talk about in one of our classes is the Styles of Leadership. Every decent-size Troop has many different personalities that run the show. You may have the disciplinarian, the teacher, the mediator, whatever. I think it's important to talk to your JLT class about the personalities of the adult leaders. I really think it helps to show them how YOU recognize these differences and to illustrate to them how everyone IS different. It's really good right here if you can work in the second part of the Scoutmaster's Junior Leader Training video segment where the exercise, "My Friend the Potato" follows. That's a good way to get into explaining to them the Troop's different Styles of Leadership. It also gives you an opportunity to show them how different THEY are from each other and that when the time comes for them to be called upon to be a leader, they'll have a clearer understanding that no one person leads the same way another does.

If you have a group of twelve and thirteen-year-olds in the course, explaining things this way to them by using as an example the actual adult leaders of the Troop, will help them relate even better to what you are trying to explain to them.

You might be able to go into this class with a chart of your Troop Leader's names on it and you can easily fill the time for a whole session by talking about it. They'll enjoy your ability to relate to the different types of leaders in the Troop as well. If they've been in the Troop for a while, they already know everyone's personality. For a Trainer to talk about it openly in a JLT class is, I think, a real positive step towards gaining their trust further. You have to remember above all when teaching these classes that if THEY DON'T BELIEVE YOU then you're wasting your time.


Here's some information you can use to create a class called "Styles of Leadership".

Style One Dictatorship - In this style of leadership, the situation calls for quick decision making and the leader has little or no opportunity to poll the group's feelings on what decision should be made. The leader considers alternatives, chooses one, and tells the Patrol what they will do.

Style Two Selling - In this style of leadership, the leader once more makes the decision for the group, but seeks to tell others in the Patrol why his decision was best for the group. He is trying to persuade others that his idea will benefit the group.

Style Three Consulting - In this style, the leader consults with the group for their feelings on what should be done but then makes the final decision for the group.

Style Four Delegating - In this style, the leader states the problem and delegates the decision-making to the group. The group's decision must fall into acceptable boundaries for the leader to accept responsibility for their choice.

What is control?
Action taken while the group is at work to keep the group together and get the task done:

What are some reasons to control?
Routine responsibilities of the leader:
Keeping on schedule
Proper uniforming
Properly equipped
Proper Motivation
Good quality work

Special responsibilities of the leader:
Get a specific task accomplished
See that the members participate within agreed limits
Coordinate with other Patrols
Relate to the SPL and Scoutmaster

How do you control?
Set an example

How does control differ from discipline?
Control happens during an activity to ensure it gets done right. Discipline usually happens afterward when something has gone wrong.

In Closing:

Controlling the group's performance is the key to successful leadership. In your home or Unit, your job depends upon your ability to effectively lead others. The stronger your leadership, the more the Scouting program will happen in your Unit.

THE ART OF LISTENING - Very Important Leadership Quality


1) You need command of your audience
2) You hope that your audience is skilled in the art of listening
3) If it is to be effective, you have to get it right---like giving directions
4) You need to hold their attention & make them understand what you're saying
5) Finally, you're hitting them with EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED


This may all sound pretty simple but when giving instructions or receiving instructions the message has to be clear. Just like in every leadership situation.


Are you familiar with the U.S. spy plane, which had to make an emergency landing on a Chinese island?

What did the Chinese government want in order to agree to give back the 24 crewmen?

An apology for what?

How did THE SKILL OF LISTENING play a part in their release?

You will encounter leadership situations constantly, which require you to be a GOOD LISTENER:

1. Giving & receiving instruction
2. Getting and giving directions
3. What exactly does the Scoutmaster want?
4. Counseling a friend or another Scout with a problem
5. Tuning-In to potential problems /overhearing conversations that may require your intervention


Stick To Your Values

Spreading the values you believe in is vital to achieving successful growth. If you ignore the values, you send a clear message to everyone that these values are not really important at all.

Look in the mirror
Look in the mirror and know your strengths and weaknesses. Part of becoming a great leader is engaging in serious and frequent self-assessment to evaluate how you're doing. Identify the gaps in the accomplishment of your goals and the effectiveness of your decisions, as well as the appropriateness of your style and behaviors that reinforce your values. Then determine what should change and take action to fill those gaps.

Get feedback from your Patrol Members-Troop
One of the most important characteristics of any great leader - and unfortunately, one of the rarest - is the ability to solicit and absorb candid feedback from the team. So you must push your people to give you the feedback you need to gauge your own effectiveness as a leader, as well as your decisions and ideas for the Troop. Don't fall into the trap of allowing people to tell you what you want to hear.

Use mentors, coaches, adult Troop leaders, and peers for counsel and advice

It's critical to find mentors, advisors, and peers who can offer ideas. Don't be close-minded and don't be afraid to recognize and admit that you may sometimes hit a brick wall.

Be a continual learner

The ability, willingness, and eagerness to learn is the single most important factor with ongoing success as a true leader. Put yourself in perpetual 'discovery' mode and seek every opportunity to learn about yourself, other people, new skills, and other vital information. Make sure you learn all the things you need to learn. Everything you learn can be used to build your own strengths as a leader as well as your Troop or Patrol. This kind of continuous learning and self-development does not mean simply 'being open' to ideas other people propose. Instead, it requires you to be proactive about trying to push the envelope, see outside the box, set goals for yourself, and then find the best ways to add to the competencies of the company and you, its leader.

Have fun and enjoy the ride


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