Families are brilliant groups of humanity. They represent the love and warmth that we all desire from life and can help us grow as individuals in so many ways during our lives.
Let us face it; families can also be very hard to cope with and hold together at times. A strong family always has a strong ethic or strong leader that holds it together. This article will be quickly running through the different leadership styles that you can use to keep your family living harmoniously and happily ever after – in theory.
An autocratic leader is someone who has the power to make decisions without consultation or agreement from anybody else. In a family, this would be the parent who makes important choices autonomously – you’ll know who this is in your family! The benefits of having an autocratic leader are:
1. Decisions are made more quickly
2. Less time is spent talking and more time is spent doing
3. Clear who has responsibility for decisions
But, there are also drawbacks related with such an extreme leadership style:
1. Making decisions autocratically is a sign of lack of trust of other family members, and will result in them feeling undervalued.
2. Ignoring other family members expertise will result in poorer decision making.
3. It can be lonely at the top, so to speak.
Democratic family leaders attempt to reach out to their spouses and children as often as possible when making decisions. Democracy is certainly the flavor of western politics, but it’s not so commonly used in the home.
The benefits of democratic leadership include:
1. Higher levels of confidence in children as they learn how to make good decisions, and experience the fruits of the risks they take.
2. Be able to draw on the knowledge and experience of everybody in the family to make the best decision.
3. A split in responsibility helps take the weight off the shoulders of the ‘head of the house’ and ease stress levels.
1. Increased chances of arguments, as differences of opinion on simple day-to-day decisions, can wear down those involved and run patience thin.
2. Spending too much time sat discussing, planning & arguing about family events for instance, and less time doing them. There are some activities that children if given a full choice, will simply not choose to do. Such activities could include arranging complicated events or scary things such as speaking in front of a crowd. Sometimes you can try to put your point across as to how much the child will enjoy the task, but they simply won’t believe you. They need the push, and this is when autocratic leadership starts to become more useful.
So you can see that as a family leader, in times of crisis, or simply during day-to-day life; different leadership styles are appropriate. It may be autocratic, may be democratic, but most of the time you’ll find that acting somewhere between the two is the most satisfying and efficient way to lead your family.