I've recently observed a situation where a manager oversees several different groups. One of her groups is asking for something that is certainly within her authority to grant. But she has been stringing this group along for several months now, under the auspices of needing to get higher level approval. But other groups that this person manages have been doing what the first group has been asking for for some time and there is no intent to change things to match the first group. And understandably, the first group is getting agitated.
I use the example above to stress the importance of being consistent with what you do with others. Whether it be at work, or at home with your children or simply between your friends, it is important that you remain as consistent as possible. In the example above, the manager in question is starting to lose credibility with her staff because the reasons she is giving for not granting the first group permission are inconsistent and are generally believed to be convenient excuses and flies in the face of the facts of this situation. Situations like this are the seeds of mistrust. If you are inconsistent with your children, allowing one thing one time and then denying it the next, and there is no valid reason for the different situations, the child will be confused with how to act. In the business world, it creates a situation where by your employees will not feel that they have the authority to act without your permission or consent. That creates a dependence situation. Some managers crave that, but a good manager will shun it. Good managers will create the environment whereby their employees are empowered to make decision. Empower your employees and create a situation where your employees trust what you say. Be consistent.