Leadership and Socialization – Nature Versus Nurture

Socialization means learning norms, cultures, behaviors, and more through a social atmosphere. Socialization skills are acquired at infancy and developed into adulthood and through the rest of an individual’s life. Many different cultures have social rules that contribute to one’s learning of social skills. Peers and the individual’s community can also impact socialization.

Socialization has a huge impact on an individual’s self identity and affects how they perform, be it in corporate America or in a school setting. Many many managers overlook the importance of socialization and how it will affect their employees. This should be accounted for in the business plan. Both business managers and teachers should be familiar with socialization and how it affects leadership. Socialization helps determine who they are, what they become, and how they view themselves. Socialization and other behaviors that are learned by one’s surroundings are examples of nurture. This is where one’s personality, behaviors, social skills, etc. are learned from the individual’s environment that they are surrounded by. Nature is also a factor that affects an individual’s personality. Nature is the part of an individual that is influenced by their genetic makeup. Everybody comes with natural born instincts and personality traits.

Parents play a big role in a child’s developing personality. To start things off, because the child is their offspring the child has part of each parent’s genes. An individual’s genes come from their parents. As an infant and through childhood parents also strongly influence how the child is nurtured. They are their main source of survival and who they are around all the time. A child learns mostly from their parents. They imitate a parent’s actions and speech and pattern themselves after them.

Later in life, children are greatly affected by their peers. Once a child goes to school he or she gets to interact with other children who have been raised in different environments. Children experience a lot of different cultures and new personalities when they go to school and meet new people. At this point, peer acceptance becomes a big part of a children’s self-esteem and they are strongly influenced by their peers and friends, maybe more-so now than their parents. Teachers also have an impact on an individual during school years.

Those with high self-esteem and/or leadership skills are less likely to be influenced by their peers. Their surroundings will still have an effect on them but not as much as those who are trying hard to blend with those they are surrounded by. Individuals with leadership skills will take their own path and create their own destiny, while guiding those who follow in their footsteps. Leaders can have a strong impact on other people’s nature and how they are affected by their environment.

Those with a lot of leadership skills and those who need to have a leader to follow affect each other and create a sort of cycle. Leaders guide others, but they also need the support of those they guide in order to be a leader. In a company with several leaders thrive off of the smaller companies that rely on them or those who utilize their company.

Leadership is not only taking control and being able to guide people but being able to relate to people also. Nature could be a big factor in the leadership traits one possesses. Their genes and natural traits they possess could be part of their strong and directing personality, and it can also be part of how an individual relates to others and if they genuinely care for them. Also nurture can be an influence. Life experiences can strengthen a person so they learn to be a strong individual who wants to stand up for their beliefs and opinions and guide others to do the same. People have to understand their selves before they try to understand others. A leader has to take control of his or her emotions. Once they can control themselves they can more effectively guide others and be a leader.

Leaders, just like everyone else, experience feelings of the natural man such as fear and doubt. The difference is a leader does not let those feelings overcome him or her. Leaders will not be led by these negative emotions and refuse to let them control them. They are the ones in control and have to lead others. However, because they are human and experience emotions similar to others they can still relate to others. A leader has to be motivated enough to overcome their negative or degrading feelings. It is OK for one to confront and experience negative emotion but a leader cannot be overcome by them. Motivation helps one push through the hard times and use them to make them stronger.

The third attribute is motivation. A leader is one who can be self-motivated and see without the help of others what needs to be done and what actions need to be taken. Motivation is all about taking initiative. People can lead by example and encourage others. The second attribute is the ability to relate to others. One who relates to others is willing to actively listen and empathize with others and sincerely care about them and what is going on in their life.

Empathy is being able to feel for others as they are feeling and experience what they are going through with them. When one empathizes they try to see things as the individual sees them so they can feel for them. They try to feel for them instead of just feeling bad for them as people do when they sympathize.

When sympathizing or empathizing an important skill is active listening. One in pain needs someone to not only listen but actively listen and pay attention. If the listener zones out or is only pretending to listen the speaker can tell and it can make problems even worse. They may not feel important or feel like nobody cares. Sometimes those in pain or trouble just need someone to listen while they talk. An active listener does not have to put their input in or respond verbally. It is most effective to react through facial expressions and body language. If someone is interested, it will typically show through their reactions and response.

Social skills are the culmination of all the other traits in this category. Many social skills have to be learned, including empathizing and relating to others. It can be hard to be an active listener and know when the right time to respond is and when it is time to solely listen. For many, it takes time to even notice others and especially have concerns for them. It is not that they are selfish, but some just don’t pay as much attention to their surroundings. Many have to acquire this skill.

On the other hand, some people naturally are good at empathizing and have a sincere interest for those around them. They are always aware of others and have a genuine concern for them and their well-being. These individuals that have that natural ability help show others the importance of being selfless and caring of others. They in their own way become a leader through their natural ability and genetic traits.

There are many traits that leaders posses that can either be learned or inherited. It all depends on the individual and their natural born personality. Some have skills that come naturally and some have to learn them. Others have partial social skills and have to learn others. There are so many different ways to come about the personality traits one possesses and leadership skills one shows.

Some important traits of leadership are self-control as well as self discipline, a positive attitude and open mind, a willingness to go beyond the call of duty, a willingness to take on responsibility and accept consequences for their actions, a likeable personality and character, selflessness, humility and not only fulfilling leadership duties for self-image and wealth, and so much more.

Some are born with these positive traits. Others are born with some and others are learned by parents who were also born with positive traits and leadership skills. Some do not learn until school years. And then there are those who don’t learn until adulthood when they have to. Some individuals are natural born leaders with traits of leadership, but anyone willing to try can learn leadership skills. It helps if an individual was blessed with at least a few leadership traits naturally, but one can still be nurtured regardless of whether or not they have leadership skills.

If one has motivation by nature, they can obtain leadership skills through nurture. Motivation skills can help individuals learn any other skill. Nurture plays a large role in the capabilities and personality a person has, but one’s willingness to learn and motivation can get a person just as far.

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