Every family is different, and each will have their own way of doing things. However, some general principles apply no matter the situation or the family. For your family to feel connected, it will help if everybody was involved in the decision-making process. The contemporary family now consists of diverse cultures and family structures so factors such as open communication, participation, and collaboration are essential. Based on these characteristics, it is a rather good idea to make decisions with everyone in the family’s involvement. Not only does this strengthen your family bond, but it also sets a good example for your children. Take a look at these few tips on how you can make decisions as a family.
- Be Accountable
Accountability involves being able to hold every member of the family responsible for their actions. Nobody gets away with anything they shouldn’t get away with, and the consequences of members’ actions should be addressed fairly. This also involves developing guidelines and boundaries that each family member adheres to. Accountability gives some extent of control to the family members but still demands that they answer for their actions.
- Be Participative
Since you want to make decisions as a family, everyone must participate in the process. Everybody should have an opinion on any and every matter if it applies to them. This means that everybody gets their opinion heard and can contribute to the conversation. It will feel like a decision has not been imposed on any family member if you all have a say in the matter. It also involves communicating effectively with each other. Communication can take many forms, including verbal and non-verbal, and effective communication consists of being able to decipher what the other person is trying means no matter how they portray it.
- Be Transparent
Transparency involves being open about the family’s situation, be it financial or otherwise. In terms of financial transparency, it will be helpful for everyone to know how much each person is earning, in order to come to an accurate conclusion about how financial responsibilities are shared. You or your spouse may have acquired multiple 401k accounts over the years, so it would be wise to understand the true value of each account so you know where you stand as retirement approaches. This should be common knowledge so that you can help each other with securing a better future. It helps everyone involved if there is transparency and openness about all family issues so there is less chance of anyone feeling left out.
- Be Flexible
Decision-making is not a one-size-fits-all, and so circumstances can change. Every member of the family should be able to adapt to change as and when it is necessary to fit the current situation. Adaptability or flexibility makes it easier for compromises to be made for the good of all family members as well.
The decision-making process can be quite tedious because of varying opinions, and sometimes it is easier just to be indecisive. However, not being able to come to a consensus in your family is likely to leave room for destructive behavior and dissatisfaction with each other. Making decisions together strengthens the bond between family members, and allows you to live freely with each other. Also, if you have children, then it will be good for them to learn how to make decisions from home.