What is Authority and How to Deal with It!

15 February 2023 / Team Fun English Course

When faced with the word authority, people would generally think about people with a high status of power or someone who is in charge of a certain thing or situation. But is that the only meaning of authority? So, what is authority and how can we deal with them?

Definition of Authority


Definition of Authority

The meaning of the word authority is the ability or legal right or moral to control something. In basic terms, it is the right to take control or be in charge of something so it goes along with our ideals. Which is why people with power are usually refer to as authority or authority figures. 

With those definitions in mind, you might start to think that we face authority on a daily basis. Whether it’s in our workplace, our school, or maybe even in our own home. You might even be the one that has authority. Therefore, to understand more about authority, here we have some explanations on forms of authority!

Forms of Authority

Knowing that we face some sort of authority in everyday life, they are not all the same though. Authority itself has many forms. There are even 8 types of authority in our everyday life, which consist of the following:

  • Founder Authority

Authority that is held by founding members of a certain organization or enterprise.

  • Ownership Authority

As the name suggests, it is an authority that belongs to the owner of an organization.

  • Punitive Authority

The type of authority to bestow punishments based on actions that has flawed a certain rule.

  • Relational Authority

Authority that can affect an entire organization or group.

  • Reward Authority

Authority that can give reward to someone for doing positive things.

  • Result Authority

The authority that usually happens because of the result of past action that is deemed remarkable.

  • Expert Authority

Authority that belongs to a specialist in a certain subject or topic.

  • Reverent Authority

Authority that happens through peers and co-workers by approaching them.

Now, you already know forms of authority that you might face in your daily life. If you want to know more about examples of forms of authority, you can check in on our website Fun English Course!

Next, to be more aware about authority, it is necessary to understand the sociological types of authority. Here are some explanations on it!

3 Sociological Types of Authority

Sociological Types of Authority

Now if we take in from a sociologist point of view. There are 3 sociological types of authority.

  • Charismatic Authority

It is a form of authority that is obtained by a leader because of the belief of their followers. Technically the leader needs its followers to bestow this kind of authority upon them. 

For this type of authority, the credibility or the competency of the leader is not necessary. As long as they have followers who believe in them, they will have some sort of authority, but once they lose their followers then the authority would be gone.

  • Traditional Authority

This kind of authority is established by traditions that have gone on for generations. The authority will remain as long as the tradition stands. The leader will not lose power easily if they have traditional authority

  • Rational-legal Authority

This is also referred to as legal authority and power is bestowed on a person based on their official position in a certain situation or organization. The difference with traditional authority is that legal authority can be challenged, but does not result in a significant structural change

Now, after we talked about forms of authority and sociological types of authority, next we can move on to how to deal with authority. Here’s the information for you!

How to Deal with Authority

how to deal with authority figures

Now dealing with authority could be tricky, since one wrong move can lead to undesirable results. Here’s what you need to do when faced with authority figures.

  • Keep Your Emotions in Check

Try to stay cool and think straight so you can react to their information correctly

  • Respect Their Authority

Being respectful to authority figures just might help keeping the problem in a small manner. Besides, they are just doing their job and we need to respect that

So, that’s all about what is authority and how to deal with authority figures more easily. If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends or family.

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