Democratic Leadership in the Business World

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Managing a business, a project or an institution can be very challenging. Aside from having a lot of knowledge in a certain field, a good manager must also have excellent leadership skills. There are three main types of leadership: autocratic, bureaucratic, democratic and hands-off. According to most of the management experts, the democratic style is the best leadership approach. This style is beneficial for both the employees and the business. In order to be able to apply democratic leadership to your business you first need to understand what its basic concepts, the tools it uses as well as the situation in which you can apply it.

  • Basic concepts

Withing a company’s structure, a democratic approach to management encourages the employees to have a participative role in the decision making processes which are related to their field of work. In order to implement this style, a leader needs to keep the members of a team informed with all the aspects which affect their work and encourage them to share the problem solving responsibilities. The leader is of course the one who will make the decision but only after gathering and considering the opinions of his team members.

  • Democratic leadership tools

There are various tools that you can use in order to implement the democratic leadership style. For starters, you can try to develop solutions which the employees can use in order to evaluate their own performance. This will make them own up to their responsibilities and find solutions to improve their work. You can also try to allow your employees to establish goals and targets. In order for the employees to be interested in the democratic tactics, you need to show them that they will have a direct advantage from being more involved. On that note, you need to encourage them to improve themselves and reward them with promotions. Promotions are not the only way of rewarding your employees. Acknowledging hard work and recognizing achievements is a great way of showing your team that you value their work and it will earn you the respect of your employees. People are a lot more productive when they have a leader whom they respect than when they have a leader whom they fear.

  • Is the democratic style efficient in all situations?

The democratic leadership is not a step by step recipe for success. It merely consists of guidelines for improving a businesses productivity. There are certain situation in which this style should not be approached. For example, you don’t have to involve your team members in all possible decision. If you are confronted with a situation in which you have to make quick decisions, it would be inefficient to consult all the members of your team. As a team leader, you have enough knowledge and authority to make any decision, whenever you want. The democratic style can help you in the long run but it should not be used in all situations. For example, if consulting the employees on certain decisions is not cost efficient or too complicated, it would be better if the leader made the decision on his own. Furthermore, taking into account the opinions of the employees should not be a leap of faith. Your employees can offer valuable feedback and creative opinions, but your first concern needs to be the efficiency of their opinions as well as the safety of the employees.