Essay Sample on Democratic, Participative Leadership Style

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  917 Words
Date:  2022-11-15


Leadership is an integral part of human life and the corporate world too. At some point in life or career, people are faced with leading a project, directing a social group and or peers, or sometimes providing some oversight for an initiative personally or professionally. Whether a person plans to lead other or not, it beneficial to understand their leadership style based on their strengths and weaknesses. It helps a person to approach and respond to different situations effectively as well as developing skills that could better such circumstances (Gandolfi & Stone, 2016).

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It is a requirement that Leaders adjust their leadership style to the situation, type of work as well as to the people they are leading. Kurt Lewin grouped leadership styles into three types: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez Faire (Gesell, 2017). Autocratic also known as authoritarian leadership is a type of leadership where the leader makes all decisions and assigns duties. There is not a free flow of ideas. Democratic is a type of leadership in which leaders work with a group of members, and there is a free flow of ideas. In Laissez Faire, leaders delegates duties to groups which are left to complete the work without being led through. This paper focuses on the Democratic (participative) leadership style - my leadership style. A primary objective of this paper is to look at how the style benefits me personally and professionally, the advantages and limitations of this style.

For over thirty years of studies globally, researchers provide at least five essential attributes of effective and good leadership (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). These include the ability to lead by example (model the way), inspire shared vision (effective communicators), challenge the process (not satisfied with status quo), enable others to act (participation from followers), and to encourage the heart (motivate others). Much of the attributes above best suits Democratic, participative leadership.

Democratic, Participative Leadership in Practice

This is a type of leadership in which people of unequal, hierarchical standards have shared power in decision making. Usually, the leader sets the goals, forms a team, guides members of the team in discussions, and makes final decisions after consultation from members of the team. These leaders usually acknowledge every person can have valuable insight into the problem at hand, so they actively engage every member (Coetzer et al., 2017). However, the final decision lies in the hands of the leader. This style creates a room for creative and critical input which would not have come up if the leader analyzed the problem alone. Although sometimes there can be differing opinions in the team, the goal is to build a culture in which there are open, flexible and healthy interactions. This style can build trust between leaders and followers, as they likely feel engaged and valued (Mohiuddin, 2017). Besides, to meet the objective of the discussions, leaders need to make managing mutual acceptance a priority, to ensure participation from everyone; possess or learn conflict resolution and emotion management skills in the team (Coetzer et al., 2017). If an individual performs poorly, they are talked through, and when leaders notice that one member in the group is demotivated, they make extra efforts to ensure such members are involved in team discussions

Advantages and Limitations


As mentioned in the previous sections, this style can build trust between the leader, and his followers. The followers get engaged and therefore feel valued. As a result, they give their best in their areas of assignment hence high quality and quantity of output. Also, there is high employee retention, few cases of absenteeism due to job satisfaction. Lastly, it reduces the chances of accidents in the workplace. This is possible because usually right people are assigned to right tasks based on the group assessment of the tasks at hand, the leader knowing strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team, and guiding the team through the processes while addressing any concern. Best decisions and choices are made due to the thought process of problem-solving and decision making.


Involving every member of the team in decision making makes the process slow, and therefore the style is not suitable for high-pressure situations like crisis times. Since every member is involved in decision making, lack of expertise in the team can hinder arriving at the best decisions. Also, Conflicts and disagreements are common scenarios especially if contributions from some members are not taken when they provide different opinions.


This paper provided a brief introduction to leadership and leadership styles by Kurt Lewin and focused on Democratic leadership which is my best style of leadership, a summary of its importance, advantages, and limitations. Democratic leadership might be applicable in many spheres of life, but leaders are usually advised to adjust to situations and group of people to be led for effective leadership. Autocratic leadership is most suitable for crisis situations due to the fast decision-making process. Laissez Faire is most suitable when there is experienced and skilled members in a team. It is also suitable in doing routine jobs where there is less supervision needed.


Coetzer, M., F., Bussin, M., & Geldenhuys, M. (2017). The functions of a servant leader. Administrative Sciences (2076-3387), 7(1), pp. 1-32.

Gandolfi, F., and Stone, S. (2017). The emergence of leadership styles: A clarified categorization. Revista De Management Comparative International, 18(1), pp. 18-30.

Gesell, L., (2017). Understanding your leadership style. Retrieved from:

Mohiuddin, Z.A. (2017). Influence of leadership style on employee performance: Evidence from literature. Journal of Marketing and Management, 8(1), 18-30.

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