This is often a highly effective form of leadership. People are more likely to excel in their positions and develop more skills when they feel empowered, and people are empowered when they are involved in the decision-making process.
Although it may take some time to achieve full participation from a group, the end result will be rewarding if you can manage to establish a power-sharing environment in your group project. You will find that democratic practices often lead to a more productive and higher quality work group.
Examples of democratic leadership:
- Asking all group members for ideas and input.
- Voting on the best course of action in a project.
- Asking group members to work with their strengths and provide input on how to divide the work. ]li]Enabling members to work at their own pace and set their own deadlines.
Pitfalls of Democratic Leadership
It doesn’t take too much imagination to think of ways that democratic leadership could backfire during a group project. As you probably know, some members of a group will work well on their own and complete all work in a timely fashion. But there are other workers who will procrastinate—and that can lead to disaster.
If you are a natural democratic leader, it might be necessary to learn some traits of the autocratic or bureaucratic leaders and tap into them as necessary. Always have a backup plan on hand!