A democratic leader with a flexible mindset is what we all wish to see in our workplaces. No one likes working with or for an authoritarian bully.

Why we love having a gentle boss?

Benefits of Democratic Leadership

Democratic leaders get more done because they are:

  • More fun to be with
  • Well admired and respected for the personality they show and shine with at the office
  • Handle conflicts well.
  • Understand the elasticity of deadlines

Leaders with democratic mindsets know work, know life and know people. Their mind is their tool. It is not the other way round.

To have a better grasp of the democratic mindset, think of the differences between democratic and authoritarian social systems. Which one of the following pictures do you prefer?

This is a dry metaphor. Nevertheless, it does a good job of illustrating the heaviness of strict thinking against the grace of a milder one.

If you want to work in a factually democratic environment (not by words only), start asking these questions:

  • How can I recognize these people among the many who come in touch with you at work?
  • How can I be aware and develop such personality qualities myself?
  • Where do I need to look for candidates that can fill the position of a democratic leader?

1. Democratic leaders focus on the needs behind the feelings of their coworkers.

The work itself is important. But a greater part of a good working relationship is about the feelings behind a job done nicely, and especially the needs behind those feelings.

Most employees’ daily needs circle around safety, recognition, connection, acceptance and importance. A great leader shows that they have these in mind all the time.

2. Democratic leaders like mediation.

Include others. Abolish a solid chunk of your need for control and power in conflicts.

Most of the unused potential and creative energy at work is wasted on unresolved conflicts. Instead of dwelling on anger and resentment, democratic leaders give over the reins to a party that offers a fresh, innovative solution to a problem.

3. A democratic leader trusts in life’s benevolence.

Despite the potential risks, you give the thumbs up to people’s good nature of people.

Trust in the benevolence of life is what entrepreneurship is all about. You need to be ready to jump into the unknown knowing that you will be facing either success or a valuable lesson.

4. Knows that truth is relative.

You are able to see that each and every one of us sees the world differently.

Although we do live in a society of set values and principles, the perceived personal value, meaning and significance that each and every one of us gives to each experience of life events is highly subjective.

5. Possesses compassion for multiple opinions.

You need to have, what can be best described as compassion for opinions. You cannot be “not opinionated” unless you approach emotionally loaded attitudes with compassion. This includes a gentle but a straightforward grip of any situation.

6. Dismisses the ‘black or white’ approach to handling work issues.

What is it like when you have to talk to a fanatic coworker who doesn’t recognize exceptions from a rule?

Stray into the gray area between rules to bring forth the strongest progress.

 7. Democratic leaders see the strengths of horizontally balanced relationships.

In groups with horizontal structures, including organizations, companies and workplaces, power is more or less equally distributed in the horizontal line. Power is not concentrated in one person or in one hierarchical line.

When you have a democratic mindset, you are aware of this distribution, as well as of group identity and collective consciousness.

 8. The democratic leader welcomes change.

You need to love change.

This type of leader is not stuck in time. Inflexibility is not his only familiar functioning mode. Learn and evolve, all the time. Move deadlines, adjust budgets, innovate, mold, and sculpt daily.

 9. A leader with a democratic personality knows how to attract.

You don’t need to actively pursue to become a great leader, entrepreneur, or manager.

It is enough to give the initial impulse and let chances, people and resources step forward. A democratic mind can help you occasionally let go of your ambition and let the space fill in for itself.

10. Be able to take a joke.

There is a very strong prejudice over fun at work. “All work and no fun” goes the proverbial wisdom in the famous saying.

Is the stereotype that work cannot be fun true? You know that you can produce serious results and still have lots of fun doing that, maybe even more so.

Fun is play, play is creativity. and creativity births productivity.

Featured Photo Credit: perzonseo via Foter.com / CC BY

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