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There are various leadership styles. One of them is Democratic leadership. It is an open style that involves group members in decision-making. If you operate in an industry that benefits from the open conversation and opinion exchange, this leadership style may be worth considering. In this post, we’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of this method to help you decide if it’s ideal for you and your team.

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What is democratic leadership?

Democratic leadership, also known as “shared leadership” or “participative leadership,” is a leadership style in which members of the group participate in decision-making. This sort of leadership may be found in any institution, from private companies to schools to the government. It encourages team members to engage in decision-making by giving their perspectives. A democratic leader supports open dialogue and assists their people in setting goals, evaluating their performance, and motivating them to progress.

What characteristics define democratic leadership?

Here are some qualities shared by democratic leaders:




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The Pros of Democratic Leadership

Increased creativity

When everyone in the organization has a role to play, the level of innovation rises. Open dialogue fosters creativity and innovation.

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The greater the number of people who share fresh ideas, the more existing procedures may be enhanced and updated.

Promotes a variety of solutions

Problem-solving becomes easier because there will be an abundance of solutions on the ground. When the decision-making process necessitates collaboration and various perspectives, the conversation expands to include more potential options. The team can examine more areas of a project and develop solutions that better meet the needs of the organization.

Trust-based relationships

Employees and management feel more trusted when they have equal decision-making ability and access to the same information. Each group member understands the reasons for their leader’s decision and doesn’t need to question them.

There is less absenteeism.

When employees feel valued, they are more inclined to commit to project deadlines and even work overtime to assist their team and company to succeed. They will not want to be absent from the organization for any reason. This is yet another advantage of a democratic leadership style.

It applies to nearly any business.

This leadership style applies to any organization. Solutions derived from a democratic approach tend to last a long time if they are amended regularly.

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Because the style encourages healthy involvement among team members, some common mutual processes in most businesses are appropriately maintained.

The Cons of Democratic Leadership

Decrease in Performance

One disadvantage of democratic leadership is that certain people are less capable of performing under it since they dislike making decisions. They may also believe that they work harder than the leader.

Overwhelmed Leaders

When a team consensus is required, leaders may discover that this type of leadership requires more time and effort. This additional labor may result in missed deadlines and possibly leader fatigue.

The uncertainty factor

Most of the time, there may be doubt about crucial issues due to the solutions considered by each employee in the organization. Leaders that use a democratic leadership style can make mistakes or become indecisive, especially in crucial situations requiring fast reactions.

Slower decision-making

Another downside of democratic leadership is that it is more difficult to make quick choices when the decision-making process demands everyone’s input. When quick decisions are required or deadlines are involved, the time required to organize meetings and discussions can be detrimental to business.

Nowadays, most organizations use democratic leadership styles and gain greatly from them. However, it is critical to find the right balance and seek alternatives in cases where the style is likely to fail. This is why organizations should consider both the advantages and downsides of democratic leadership.

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This article was first published on 24th May 2022


Grace Christos Is a content creator with a proven track record of success in content marketing, online reputation management, sales strategy, and so much more.

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