JLBC Pros and Cons of the Democratic Leadership


JLBC Pros and Cons of the Democratic Leadership

Most of us would like to think that the democratic style could be effectively applied to any group of employees. However, when we start to scratch beneath the surface, the pros and cons of democratic leadership become apparent:

JLBC Pros of the Democratic Leadership Style

Why should you adopt a participative leadership style? Today, so many workers are intelligent, highly skilled professionals. Motivating employees who are knowledge workers is based on making them feel valued. There is no better way to genuinely make people feel valued than to ask them for their advice. You can pat people on the back and recognize their efforts, but this is not as effective in motivating people as involving them in important decisions. The second main reason to be participative is a result of the first. Employees who play a part in deciding what to do feel a much more significant amount of ownership over making it happen.

In addition, much of today’s work has a high knowledge component that requires people to think and solve problems. Our work is increasingly mental. Management has often been described as getting the job done through others. At one time, much of that work involved tasks, doing things that had a more significant physical than mental component. In such a position, delegation is essential to getting the job done through others. But when a team needs to think creatively to solve complex problems, improve productivity or develop a new product, the best way to get such mental work done through people is to ask them for their suggestions. This switch to a mental position makes the manager’s job one of asking employees what to do rather than telling them a complete 180-degree change of direction from days gone by.

If the work you manage has a high mental component, you can’t get it done without involving people in decisions.

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