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What happens when you apply leadership models at home?

One Wednesday morning, you yell at one of your team members, “Get out, now!” Or, when faced with a question about one of your policies, you say, “Because I said so.” Or, during a weeknight dinner, you say, "I don't care if you like it, that's what you got." Any of those times would be a bad time for workplace leadership, but what parent to young kids hasn't found themselves barking one of those phrases?
In fact, Joanna Faber and the classic Parenting by Julie King How to Talk So Young Children Will Listen justifies this point:we would never treat another adult the way we treat our children, and we would hate to have others treat us the way we often treat our loved ones. And while they recognize that “we cannot treat our children the way we treat our adult friends,” Faber and King point out that “if we want their willing cooperation instead of their hostility, we must find a way to use the same principle of feeling recognition” that we use with other adults.
Another way to think about this is to consider the shocking disjunction between management techniques that we consciously develop for work in the office, but that we too often ignore when we walk through our own front doors. We often see leadership as an important quality for the workplace, but what about its application in the small organization inside the walls of our own homes?
Instead, we We might consider what applying more productive leadership models to our family lives might bring us.
To take just one example, consider the "Likert scale," which distinguishes four types of leadership, including including the less productive “exploitative-authoritarian” and “benevolent-authoritarian” leadership styles, and the more productive “consultative” and “participatory” leadership modes. Even without a management degree, you can probably understand the difference between more and less productive management techniques. The first two establish a more dictatorial leader who hands out punishments and rewards from above and who, whether in a more "exploitative" or harsher "benevolent" style, is the ultimate arbiter of the organization. In these cases, remember Because I said so model of parenthood, or, at worst, the scary wait for your dad to come home child education model. None of these inspire genuine, good-natured participation.
As we know, organizations in our professional lives are more successful when team members share a common goal and feel like valued participants in the process. In the business world, the 'consultative' and 'participatory' leadership models attempt to facilitate this type of positive energy as a means of demonstrating trust in employees and appreciating the skills each team member should bring. at the table. In the consultation model, leaders can seek advice from team members while reserving the right to make final decisions, or they can establish the guiding principles of an organization and then leave the small decisions to the team. . In the participatory model, leaders will involve team members at all levels, including setting priorities for an organization.
Don't think your toddler has expertise in this area? Consider the following:Who in your household knows best the itch of a misplaced t-shirt label? Who in your household might know which foods are most likely to attract a toddler? On a deeper level, even very few children tend to have a sense of justice (think "taking turns"), an idea that violence is not good, and that sharing is good (if difficult in practice).
So what might it look like at home? First, consider common sources of conflict. Typical parent-child conflicts can include fighting over food or dressing and going out in the morning. And while, as Faber and King acknowledge, children are not adults, modified versions of the strategies associated with consultative and participatory leadership styles can work at home.
So just because a kid knows that sweet tastes better than sour doesn't mean there will only be popsicles for dinner. However, you can still appreciate and benefit from the wisdom of the little people in your life. For example, in the advisory model, a parent can fill a child's dresser drawer with only weather-appropriate clothing. In the morning, the child can choose any long-sleeved top they want (even if it bumps into pants, even if it's the same top of the head as the day before). Or, in the same model, a parent can cook a healthy dinner and allow the child to self-serve and control what healthy foods they want to eat (even if one night it's a carrot-only dinner and then it's all chicken dinner).
In the participatory model, a parent could ask the children to brainstorm ideas for a family motto or code of rules, asking, "What what is most important to us as a family?” Or, perhaps more fun, have the kids help set a family schedule — "What should we try to do this year?" Then, on a more local level, use these principles to make family decisions about how to spend the weekend, what to do for the holidays, etc.
The same strategies could be valid even without children. For example, if a couple often butts heads over their financial behavior, what about discussing shared household goals? If the main thing you're working on as a unit is saving for a down payment on a house, it might be easier for the highest-spending member of the couple to cut back on an expensive latte habit. However, if the goal is to enjoy and develop friendships, then perhaps coffee with new neighbors or colleagues is important. Whatever your priority, working together toward family goals is a more enjoyable and productive way to exist in the organizations we call home.