What management style do you use? Democratic Style (Part 6)

Having a management style is an inherent part of being a leader, knowing what your style is and how to use it for the benefit of your team makes you a better leader. When you can recognise what style you gravitate to naturally and how and when to shift gears to another style, it will help your team to be more productive, boost workplace morale and improve staff retention rates. This seven-part series is a look at some of the styles of management common in workplaces, how they can be best used and when, and how employees respond in general to each of the styles of management.

Democratic Style

  • Offers all employees a vote
  • Can overburden managers
  • Best used in determined situations

The democratic style of management is aimed at creating consensus in a workplace and engendering a commitment among all workers. This style allows people to feel that they are heard and that their participation in business matters. When employees are given a vote in decision making, it empowers the team and can lead to greater creativity, development, excellence and output based on the fact that people feel valued, even if their idea was not the winning vote.

While this style seems ideal, it can create sluggishness as all decisions are a joint effort. This does not work well in large organisations. It can also place some burden on the manager who needs to keep abreast of any changes or discontent so that people are given the opportunity to discuss a matter.

This style does not work in a crisis. During such times, a leader needs to giving direction to inspire trust. It also does not work when the workforce in inexperienced or a new business, as it requires too much conjecture. This style is time-consuming and requires much collaboration and meetings, so it does not work well in time-sensitive environments, unless it is controlled by deadlines, such as an editorial desk.

This style works best with a small workforce of experienced professionals. It can be used when management needs to discuss a project or need ideas for how to develop. It is great for a business that requires a lot of brainstorming or creative input. This style is great for developing trust among employees, especially if it is employed correctly and votes are accepted as final by management. It is a style that works best when used as needed.

In our final blog in the series, we discuss the Laissez-faire style of leadership, when this can bolster creativity and how it can derail some employees.