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Autocratic leaders are like hares: fast to act and make decisions but occasionally hampered by their egos. On the other hand, democratic leaders resemble tortoises. They use a creative, participatory method that allows them to take account of others’ views. However, the process may seem slow to them, but it produces positive outcomes in the form of increased productivity and work satisfaction.
Here in this article, we will learn about the democratic leadership style that allows leaders to take account of other views, how they do it and the pros and cons of doing it.
What is Democratic Leadership?
Democratic leadership is the type of leadership where group members are involved in the decision-making process. It is known as leadership that takes into account others ‘ views. Any institution, including the government, schools, and private corporations, may benefit from this leadership.
Everyone has the chance to engage, ideas are openly exchanged, and discussion is encouraged under a democratic leadership style. Imagine all the inputs a leader must get when considering other views. The democratic leader is still there to provide direction and control even though this approach frequently emphasizes group equality and the open exchange of ideas.
The democratic leader is also tasked with selecting who joins the group and who is permitted to participate in decision-making. According to research, democratic leadership is one of the most successful types.
Advantages of Leadership That Takes Account of Other Views
The following traits are frequently found in leaders who practice democratic leadership.
1. Increase Creativity Among Team Members
Leaders that practice shared leadership that takes account of other views tend to put their teams in charge of coming up with ideas and solutions. This trust motivates teams to collaborate in novel ways without micromanaging, which fosters organizational innovation and helps the team members become creative. Moreover, the fact that the employees know their voices will be heard helps them come up with creative solutions.
2. Team Members Feel More Inclusive
Democratic team members should be participating, say Democratic leaders. Everyone is present at the table when a decision must be made. This strategy will make team members feel appreciated, which lessens power disputes. They will feel that they are a part of the team that values their opinions and helps develop their leadership qualities. These team members feel more included and are more inclined towards their work.
3. Teams Become More Collaborative
Democratic leadership, in contrast to other leadership philosophies, promotes teamwork as this leadership considers other views. Employees must only rely on the boss’s directives to complete tasks. Instead, they are forced to find answers independently, confident that their leader will take charge if a problem arises. The fact that their answers will be given importance and might even be considered as a solution to the problem motivates them to collaborate and find a solution. Working in a team, brainstorming ideas and then presenting them to the leader can prove to be fascinating for them.
Democratic leaders, above all, have faith in their teams to complete tasks. They believe that their employees are self-motivated and self-driven. Employees who work under leadership that take account of other views view their jobs as rewarding and are capable of coming up with original solutions to issues on their own. They have a sense of trust with their leaders and their team because they are used to working in an environment where their leaders value and depend on them.
Disadvantages of Leadership That Takes Account of Other Views
1. Decision making time is prolonged
When everyone must contribute to the decision-making process, it could be harder to reach a quick decision. When business decisions must be made quickly, or deadlines are involved, the time required to schedule meetings and discussions can damage the company. Leaders that take account of others’ views must include everyone in the discussion if they are in the decision-making process. They need to listen to everyone’s views. It cannot happen that they only listen to some employees and ignore the rest because everyone needs a chance so they do not feel demotivated.
2. Demotivated Employees
Because they dislike making decisions, some employees are less able to perform under democratic leadership. They could believe they are working more diligently than the leader. Sometimes when the leader takes account of their views but makes their own decisions, they might feel that their views are being neglected. Hence, they become demotivated. It is evident that when employees get demotivated, their performance lags.
3. Overworked Leaders
When a team consensus is required, leaders may discover that this leadership requires more time and effort. This additional labour might result in missed deadlines and consequent fatigue for leaders. Listening to everyone’s views, making all the team members feel included and making a collective decision at the end seems to be a lot of work, and this may seem like an overwhelming task for the leaders. Sometimes they get worked up and rethink if their leadership style is worth it.
Democratic group leadership functions best when participants are knowledgeable and motivated to impart their expertise. Giving individuals enough time to input, formulate a strategy, and then vote on the best course of action is crucial.
Setting deadlines can help you collect everyone’s feedback in time to act on it when so many individuals are involved. It can also be beneficial to set expectations by stating when the group’s participation will be sought and which choices management will make independently.