Advantages of a Democratic Leadership Style – Term Paper Example
Leadership style Polelle (Polelle, 2007) describes leadership as the process of influencing and leading people or an individual to achieve a common goal. This is achievable with the use of the right interpersonal skills and ways. Leadership involves influencing people in order to get things done to a higher quality and standard. Leadership can also be described as a complex activity that involves the process of influencing, the leaders and the followers and a range of possible results which could either be the attainment of goals, the commitment of the individuals to the goals, improvement of group unity and corporation (Polelle, 2007).
Leadership style on the other hand has been described by (Lussier, Achua and Achua, 2009) as a combination of traits, skills and behaviors leaders use in interacting with their followers. They are the approaches of giving directions carrying out plans and prompting people. Though the leadership style is grounded on the skills and traits, behavior is the critical element. This is because the pattern of behavior of the leader gives the true characteristics of him/her (Lussier and Achua, 2009). There are various leadership styles that have been formulated from by the different philosophers and leaders.
The most effective style of leadership is the democratic or the participatory leadership. As a leader, I would prefer this leadership style because allows the other group members to take part in decision making. According to Lussier and Achua, this style encompasses the sharing of thoughts and ideas, debating, discussing and encouraging the group members to feel good about their participation (Lussier and Achua, 2009). The group desires, the organization and the personal attributes confines the limits of the democratic involvement of the group members. Here, the leader informs the staff about all the factors that affect their work and sits with them to discuss how such problems can be tackled. This means that in democratic leadership style, the leader always updates his staff and group members about any emerging issue.
This democratic style involves the impression that every individual by virtue of their human status should take part in decision making in the group (Lussier and Achua, 2009). Since the leader cannot know everything, this aid in determination of what to do. However, the democratic style has a leader who still has to make the final decision and to guide the group. This leader is given the privilege of participate, make decisions and have the final word on the decisions made by the group (Lussier and Achua, 2009). The democratic leader allows the staff and the group members to set their own goals and encourages them to grow and improve on their tasks through recognizing and promoting achievements through promotions.
This leadership style creates increased group motivation, high productivity and good and improved participation by the group members. This makes it to be the most effective leadership style. Democratic leadership leads to better solutions to difficulties and dilemmas and ideas since the group members are given the right to share in their ideas and thoughts (Lussier and Achua, 2009). Though this is the most effective leadership style, it can lead to failures in communication and incomplete projects. This would occur where the roles are not well clarified. It also requires a lot of time to allow all the members to talk and share their ideas and thoughts. This democratic leadership style is mostly applicable for the highly skilled and trained personnel and when carrying out and applying operational changes (Lussier and Achua, 2009).
Democratic leadership is always most effective when the leader wants to inform the staff about critical matters that affect them, when there is a huge complex problem that requires a huge input inorder to solve it or when there are changes to be initiated and when there is need to encourage team building (Vecchio, 2007).
One of the most elusive aspects of leadership is the ability to influence. Influence styles may be referred to as the action plans that the leaders use to initiate changes within individuals. There are two styles of influencing people; the push and the pull styles. The push strategy involves the use of force other motivating people. They involve threatening punishment, logical reasoning and providing incentives and rewards. The most effective style of influence is the pull strategy. This style involves the motivation of an individual to embrace change through showing the possible outcomes of the change (Vecchio, 2007).
In motivating the group members, I have tried to employ personal magnetism. According to Vecchio this involves the use of trust, love personal enthusiasm and respect to influence people. This is effective as the personality and personal attractiveness acts as charm to influence the people (Vecchio, 2007).
I have tried to listen to the other group members and being involved in supporting them through connecting with them. According to Vecchio, this has been through getting to understand each other better. I have also tried to persuade the individuals to accept a decision I have made, an idea or a certain behavior. This has been successful through setting targets and consulting with the members (Vecchio, 2007).
We also have had joint problem solving where we sit down as a group and discuss on how we can tackle a certain problem within the group. This has greatly encouraged the members of the group and motivated them to participate in the achievement of our goals. This as seen in democratic leadership style, incorporates the members of the group into the decision making. This makes the individuals feel that they have been appreciated for participating in the group (Vecchio, 2007).
Polelle R. Mark, 2007, Leadership: Fifty Great Leaders and the Worlds They Made, ABC-CLIO
Lussier N. Robert and Achua F. Christopher, 2009, Leadership: Theory, Application and Skill Development, Cengage Learning
Vecchio P. Robert, 2007, Leadership: Understanding the dynamics of power and Influence in Organizations, University of Notre Dame Press