Participative Leadership (A Comprehensive Guide)

The participative leadership style is grounded on shared respect. Often, it is combined with participatory leadership because it requires cooperation between leaders and the people they lead.

The participative leadership style settles important liability on leaders and their teams.

This is correct for all groups from classified enterprises and government organizations to educational institutions and nonprofit setups.

In this article we will discuss Participative Leadership. 

Participative leadership definition

It’s difficult to imagine participative leaders achieving their goals without direct contribution from others.

Participation is key to all successful independent enterprises. This includes:

  • Considerate elements in a congressional region
  • Caring parents of students at a school
  • Energetic members from a nonprofit business
  • Active workers at a prospering corporation

Participative leadership has various names. They include:

  • Democratic leadership
  • Democratic management style
  • Open-book management
  • Participative decision-making
  • Shared leadership

History of Participative Leadership:

First we will discuss the history of participative leadership. The participative leadership style at all times involves participative decision-making.

It gives power to people to have a strong offer in running organizations. Participative leadership has turned out to be popular in recent decades.

It belongs to the 1930s and 1940s.

That’s when prominent behavioral investigator Kurt Lewin conducted studies that helped recognize the worth of the participative leadership style in groups.

In “Leadership and Group Life,” Lewin and his colleagues Ronald Lippitt and Ralph K. White mention participative, laissez-faire, and autocratic as the three major leadership styles.

Constructed on interviews with company leaders and staff, Lewin, Lippitt, and White accomplished that the participative leadership style was mainly accepted among subordinates.

Flourishing participative leaders vary from autocratic and laissez-faire leaders in two significant ways.

  • Unlike autocrats, participative leaders suppose people who account for them to have in detail understanding and to demonstrate self-assurance.
  • Unlike the laissez-faire style, which hands over control to experts, participative leaders are concerned in the administrative process.

Participative leaders have vast responsibilities.

Businesses that fit in the participative style still require powerful leaders who know how to evade the issues that can trip up mutual teams when they drop their scope.

Examples of Participative Leadership:

Here, we will discuss examples of participative leadership. All victorious leaders are self-actualizing people with lots of self-assurance.

They take liability for their dealings, they carry their teams, and they don’t make justifications for failures.

  1. Bob Diamond – Barclays:

Diamond had an exceptional perspective on leadership; as he didn’t consider in government aid and contribution, but worked openly with groups and clients in classify to make a tough, universal bank.

Diamond added a lot of jeopardies taking to his perspective and his method has frequently been considered destructive.

Although Diamond fell from elegance in 2012 after Barclays establish itself in the center of a fixing scandal, his headship still produced some of the top financial results for the bank.

Logically, it is reasonable to ask, whether the resources were acceptable or ethical, but the business still had an efficient and participatory director in Bob Diamond.

  1. Bill Gates – Microsoft:

One more ideal example of participatory leadership is Microsoft’s creator Bill Gates.

Gates acknowledged the worth of empowering people and he recognized that the best way to strike struggle is by letting the most educated people make the decisions.

He required the exact people in spots of improvement, dealing out, invention, and advertising not to be the one sharing all the pieces collectively.

Gates’s participatory leadership goes further than Microsoft.

He has been concerned about giving back to society, which underlines his consideration that leadership is more than just the quest for financial expands.

He stated, As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”

  1. Jim Lentz – Toyota: 

Lentz has used a more autocratic version of the leadership model.

However, his style is participatory because he has incorporated others and been significantly clear about the equipped processes within the automobile producer.

Lentz’s leadership was tested during a potentially unsuccessful break outrage.

In 2014, the company had to recall 2.3 million cars due to damaged brakes, which had led to an abundance of risky situations.

If the company hadn’t acted, the prospective for worse and for a massive lawsuit in abundance might have taken place.

Due to this participatory and transparent perspective, Lentz was able to save Toyota’s repute from suffering from bigger damage.

Lentz stated thatI get energized by ideas. I think my strength is quickly evaluating ideas and making decisions. The more sources of ideas I have, the better decisions I can make.

  1. Carlos Ghosn – Renault & Nissan: 

Another participative leader in the world of an automobile company is Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn.

The huge defining feature of Ghosn’s leadership traditions is the insertion and more prominently the acceptance of cultural differences.

In 1999, Ghosn controls to rotate around the company by devastating costs and closing unsuccessful factories.

In fact, he directed to turn the company into one of the most profitable in a short period of time.

He said, “Because we have people from so many different countries and cultures, we pay a lot of attention to how we communicate. As a result, when crisis strikes our people in Japan know they can count on the support and cross-functional work from people in many other different regions.” He went on further saying, We are accustomed to always looking around, trying to find out who has the best ideas.

The Advantages of Participative Leadership:

Participative leadership at times is a slower type of decision-making, but it has some advantages that might make it a precise decision-making way for your company.

  • Acceptance of Decisions More Likely

Your employees will more willingly agree to policies and decisions that were reached by general consent.

This cuts down on the confrontation that new company strategies will practice and accelerates the process of performing new ideas.

Employees are given a private venture in the success of new company strategies by being concerned in the process of producing and approving these strategies and that facilitates the company to regulate quickly to policy changes.

  • Improves Employee Confidence

Employees are given a right to be heard in the process of the company experience personally responsible for the achievement of the company.

The employee’s confidence remains at a high level as there is an approval for the possibility to be an element of the business managerial process.

Staff will also take a more dynamic role in refining the employment circumstances when they know that they can honestly affect the strategies that administer the place of work.

  • Encourages Creative Solutions

When you support employees to present their views on company issues, you will get a diversity of solutions to decide from.

To be concerned about the managerial process for the company, the employees must be closely implicated in how the company functions.

Participative leadership allows employees to use their vision to expand more creative work processes and form the company more competitively.

  • Increases Employee Retention

A style of participative leadership suggests employees more than just the prospect to progress their wages through better performance.

It gives your employees the chance to be energetic in regulating the future accomplishment of the company.

Allowing staff to be energetic in the development of the company motivates those employees to stay with the organization to observe their policies result in success.

This will develop employee retention and reduce the costs of revenue.

  • Decreases Competition, Increases Teamwork

It’s generally in an office atmosphere for employees to be competitive, especially high achievers.

While a competitive spirit can boost efficiency, extreme competitiveness can cause competitive strategies, backstabbing, and other disorderly behavior.

When workers are incorporated in managerial though, the surroundings often become one of teamwork instead.

Rather than seeing their peers as competitors, workers see their co-workers as acquaintances working towards general goals that will advantage everyone.

  • Choosing the Level of Participation

Between the autocratic administration’s style where an organization makes all the choices and tells assistants what to do and a style where the staff makes all the decisions, which is usually called designation style, there are other ways with different levels of letting staff to contribute in decision making.

Consultation style is one where the organization asks workers for their views before making the decision.

The director might consider the criticism from staff.

The joint managerial style takes it a step ahead.

In addition to asking juniors for their thoughts and ideas, management and assistants make the decisions mutually.

Final Thoughts: 

Participative leadership is part of the flow to democratize the place of work and eradicate the customary top-down leadership frameworks.

Although participative leadership is regularly referred to as the participative leadership style, you shouldn’t observe it through a single lens of equality.

In reality, participative leadership structure can come in several levels of insertion workers may have the full say, or the manager might only pay attention to them before making choices.

Whenever you include more ideas and discussion to a decision-making method, you hold back the speed of getting consent.

Indefinite cases, the saying “Many cooks spoil the broth” can be accurate in the leadership model.

It doesn’t constantly make things smoother to have more companies involved.

So far, the method also improves inspiration and guarantees the workers become extra concerned and infused with the organization they work for.

It can generate a lot of larger sense of a society and include interest in the place of work.

Since the participative leadership structure has space for diverse styles of insertion, the representation can be a superior option in a company atmosphere.

FAQs about participative leadership

Who is a participative leader example?

Participative leaders make people feel valued as an integral part of the team, and make the group itself become the focus for the team so that they achieve through their relationships and cooperative teamwork. 

Examples of participative leaders include facilitators, social workers, arbitrators, and group therapists.

When should participative leadership be used?

Additionally, participative leadership is great when you may want to find more than one solution to a problem, as in the example above with the product that isn’t selling.

The problem you have might require a set of solutions and not just one overall solution.

How can managers use participative leadership effectively?

A participative leader develops cognitive trust among subordinates through participation in the decision-making process.

Any involvement in the decision-making process develops subordinates’ perceptions about their leader’s reliability.

The leader expresses care towards followers’ needs and works for their well-being.

References: “What is Democratic/Participative Leadership? How Collaboration Can Boost Morale” “Participative Leadership Guide: Definition, Qualities, Pros & Cons, Examples” “The Advantages of Participative Leadership”