Also called the participative style, the democratic leadership style is important in the decision making process. Read more to learn how you can incorporate the style of democratic leadership.

Democratic Leadership Style

The only real training for leadership is leadership ~Antony Jay. From the likes of Adolf Hitler to Mahatma Gandhi, there are many leaders who have been part of social, political, religious and economic reforms in various parts of the world. These same techniques can also be applied to various fields of business. There are different kinds of leaderships such as bureaucratic, autocratic and so on and one of them is the democratic style. It promotes sharing of responsibility, delegation of authority and continual consultation. Teamwork is the key for democracy to prevail. For example: In an autocratic leadership, the leader might say, ‘I want both of you to work on X project’, but, in a democratic leadership, the same leader would say, ‘Let’s work on the X project together’. Companies of the present generation are moving towards more participation and less authoritativeness to ensure maximum satisfaction and efficiency of the employees. Letting the employees be a part of the decision making works wonders and gets people excited about their work environment and the job at hand. However, the final authority still rests with the leader. Democratic leadership is style not a sign of weakness rather a process of strengthening the position of your employees. Read on to learn more about it.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Democratic Leadership Style
  • Delegation of tasks to other employees and subordinates along with full responsibility makes them accountable for their actions and tasks.
  • The manager or leader in-charge is always open to feedback (initiatives and otherwise) and it forms the basis of future assignments.
  • Encouragement by the leader to inspire the employees to become leaders and develop in this area.
  • The manager seeks consultation on all issues and decisions but remains the final authority on which ones to be put into use.
  • Office politics that can threaten the growth and development of a working environment can be reduced with the help of a democratic style of leadership. All the people involved use their skills together for the completion of a certain task and hence, almost all ideas are taken into consideration and carefully debated.
  • Communication gap is reduced. Tension between the leader and team members is decreased as a result of which fear of rejection and denial also reduces – this makes all sorts of issues addressable. An autocratic leader, on the other hand, would have certain demands and expectations from his subordinates which make the employees fear the leader.
  • A positive work environment is created. This means that a culture of junior workers getting a fair amount of responsibility and challenges is encouraged. When there are the right vibes among employees, work becomes more pleasurable.
  • They say two minds are better than one! Same applies here. When creative ideas are all put into the same box, great benefits are reaped. Companies run with this motive in mind that every single individual has some characteristics that fulfill the objectives of the organization.
  • Employee turnover reduction. A democratic leadership makes people feel empowered at work as it is essentially performance based. A majority of the workers appreciate this method of management as it secures them a safe future with the company.
  • Some managers adopt democratic leadership to please their subordinates but fail to follow the technique in its entirety. They might simply take in all the ideas and end up never implementing them.
  • The decision making process might be a long drawn one since every team member needs to be consulted. No one has a scarcity of ideas but to put them all in place requires a great deal of patience and understanding. Missing opportunities and being stuck in the middle of a hazard can be some of the drawbacks of this method.
To sum it all up, a democratic leadership style has its advantages and drawbacks. It is quite effective for manufacturing industries, professional organizations, non-profit companies and creative fields such as advertising where everyone’s opinion can make a difference while in organisations like the armed forces, where decisions must be made at the nick of the moment, democracy can do more harm than help. So, choose wisely!

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