Democratic leadership describes a leadership style where all the individuals in a group are involved in decision-making. Every member is consulted on the decisions concerning the running of a group activity through democratic leadership. It is one of the most effective ways for those in the leadership position to increase productivity of a group. According to Bolman and Deal (2011), this leadership style is characterized by encouragement of the group members, to share their ideas and opinions. However, the leader has to retain the final decision. The second characteristic is that the members of the group have the feeling that the decision arrived at is the best because of their participation. Finally, the style encourages and rewards creativity by the members. The style is beneficial in the way that participation by the all the members allows them to share their thoughts, and it is beneficial to the leaders, for they will come up with better ideas, which will provide more creative solutions. The group members are also encouraged, and they remain committed to the projects of the organization making them achieve the set goals. It leads to a higher productivity by the members of the group.
Democratic leadership is vital when there are situations that are frequently changing for it offers a vast flexibility in adapting to better ways of doing things. Daft and Lane (2007) assert that the style brings out the best of an experienced and professional team by capitalizing on their skills by allowing all individuals to share their views.
It is most effective when leaders need to keep the employees informed on matters that affect them and there is a need for employees to participate in the decision making in order to solve the problems that affect them. Liebler and McConnell (2008) observe that leaders may also need to provide opportunities to the employees in order to develop a high sense of personal growth and job satisfaction.
This kind of leadership is effectively practiced in the following areas. It is practiced in creative groups where ideas need to flow. This can be achieved through participation of the members hence coming up with ideas that are more creative. Bolman and Deal (2011) assert that the style fits in consulting groups where there is a need to explore all the possibilities of a problem so that to arrive at an informed solution. The style is mostly used in educational institutions to enable the stakeholders to participate in the decision-making.
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This style is effective when applied to a group of employees. However, it has many pros and cons associated with it. For instance, the pros of the style are that all members are given the same opportunities in making decision hence they will remain committed on the desired outcome. Liebler and McConnell (2008) observe that thorough solutions to the problems are normally achieved. The style creates a collaborative environment that allows free sharing of information by the employees.
The cons of the style are that the leader has to depend on the final decision of his followers, which makes it infective in the case of an inexperienced group. According to Daft and Lane (2007), there is also consumption of more time because an agreement has to be reached by all the members in the group. This is because there are different opinions by the members that lead to delay in making urgent business decisions.
In order to have an effective, democratic style, the following needs to be taken into consideration. Communication should be kept open so that all members are in a position, to get it. The leaders should remain committed to the decision reached upon by the members, and there should be respect for every member’s idea when it is debated.
In conclusion, democratic leadership is beneficial to groups because it allows members to participate in decision-making; thus, making them remains committed to the objectives of the group. The style is also vital in frequently changing situations. The style is the most effective when the leaders need to keep their followers constantly informed about the organization. Notably, all the members agree on the method utilized and the final decision.