What is democratic leadership
Democratic leadership is also known as share leadership and participative leadership. We can also define this as the opposite of autocratic leadership. This type of leadership is one of the most effective and successful one that can bring success to the organization. Democratic leaders count other’s participation in the decision making process. It means they invite all other members in the organization to contribute their ideas and knowledge to the decision making process. To be an effective democratic leader, one must know how to balance others’ participation in the decision-making process and ensure that the decisions contribute to the organization’s success.
The main objective of democratic leadership is to improve quality rather than improving productivity. So they try to make the best decisions even it takes time. They collect all ideas, suggestions of other members before come into a final decision. The best thing is, this type of leader can eliminate all downsides of autocratic leadership. It means democratic leadership helps to improve the productivity, motivation, and morale of the groups.
Characteristics of democratic leadership
- Group members’ ideas, suggestions are heard and valued in the decision-making process.
- They choose the people who can participate in the decision-making process.
- Try to improve quality rather than productivity.
- Offer a chance and reward for creativity.
- Responsibility is shared among groups using leaders
- Offer space for open conversations
- Members are motivated, and they are with high morale.
- Democratic leaders have more human skills.
- Democratic leaders can be seen in nonprofit organizations, modern organizations, and school boards, etc.
Advantages of Democratic leadership
Increase job satisfaction
Being heard is a primary key point of job satisfaction, which leads to an increase in job performance. The moral of the employees will increase, and they will be happy by contributing their ideas to the success of the organization.
Creative solutions and diversified ideas
Democratic leaders expect the participation of other members In the decision-making process. With that, they become able to get more and diversified ideas from the organization members, which can help select the most creative and effective solutions.
Create a good working environment
An environment controlled by a democratic leader is more comfortable for the employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Because of that, the employees feel more comfortable in the workplace, and they seek to contribute more to the organization.
More efficient solutions
More mind works in the decision making process when there is democratic leadership. So it helps to bring more ideas to the table which can help to select the best solution. Leaders get the chance to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of every alternative without getting more stress. Also, they get the chance to select the best and most suitable solution.
Create effective teams
All teams are getting equal chances to share their ideas through the team leaders. Also, the members of each group will understand the progress of the organizations. They become more productive and more satisfied because they can share their thoughts with the upper management using their team leaders.
Best for any organization
Unlike autocratic leadership, democratic leadership is more suitable for any organization. There may be some situations that democratic leadership brings terrible impacts. But mostly this type is more suitable for any organization.
Improves the awareness about the organization’s vision
All the members of the organization are active and committed when there is democratic leadership. Also, democratic leaders tend to share the progress, vision, mission, objective well with the members of the organization. So every member of the organization is well aware of the vision of the organization, and they know what their ideas are used for.
The disadvantage of Democratic leadership
Slowing down the decision making
In democratic leadership, a large number of members are participating in the decision-making process. So it takes more time to get the ideas and suggestions of all those participants, leading to a slow down decision-making process.
Not every option is valued.
People have different ideas and different views about a particular problem or situation. But leaders can only implement one idea. Because of that, other members will think that their opinions are not valued in decision making. It leads to job dissatisfaction and reduces morale.
Leads to take wrong decisions
The majority decision is not always the best one. But in democratic leadership, leaders may tend to accept the majority decision as to the best option. It leads to making wrong decisions. This can be seen in other organizations where both leaders and other members are not knowledgeable.
Not applicable for emergencies
An emergency situation requires emergent decisions. But where there are democratic leaders, the decision making takes time. So the company loses the ability to face emergencies. Normally when there is an emergency, autocratic leadership works well.
When there is a decentralized decision-making process, the communication system gets complex. Due to that, there will be communication problems in the organization. Not every information will pass to every member due to the complexity of the communication system.
Become victorious as a Democratic leader
Create a decision-making team
Not everyone in the organization is knowledgeable to make a decision. Also, not everyone is interested in decision making. As a democratic leader, you can select the best people from each area/department/group in the organization and create an effective and knowledgeable decision-making team.
Giving feedback for each idea
Even everyone contributes their ideas to decision making; the leader has to select the best one among them. It leads to discouraging other people whose ideas are not implemented. But as the leader, if you can give them feedback about why their ideas are rejected, you can turn their dissatisfaction into an opportunity. Also, they will learn from those feedbacks, and they will give their best output.
Track all ideas
Even democratic leaders implement one idea, there may be so many ideas left with them. So the democratic leader should record all of them and keep tracking each idea. The ideas that may not work today may be useful in the future.
Strengths the communication
Leaders cannot collect and share every information alone. For that, the leader can use the decision making team members selected from each department/group. With that, the leader only has to collect and share detail with the decision-making team. The members of that team have the responsibility to coordinate information between the leader and other members.
As we mentioned before, democratic leadership is the opposite of autocratic leadership. Democratic leadership and transformational leadership is the most effective leadership styles that can be seen in many organizations. But every leadership has its own benefits and downsides. Also, there are ways to overcome those downsides. So choosing the leadership style is a long process.
If you have more knowledge to share under this topic, feel free to use the comment box.