Leadership Styles : The "Almost" Democracy

The "almost" democracy is a bit more lenient than a dictatorship. The leader in this situation strives to make sure the group is well informed and participating in the direction of the team as a whole.

For example, Amy holds regular staff meetings each morning for her team. In the staff meeting, she outlines the agenda she has prepared for the day, then turns the floor over to the staff. The staff can then state their point of view about the agenda or propose an entirely different one. Amy then has the power to agree or veto the staff's ideas.

Characteristics of the "Almost" Democracy

Here is a list of the characteristics of this type of leadership:

  • Participation.  
    The leader engages the team in most aspects of business, making sure that each team member is equally aware of what is going on throughout the unit.

  • Encouraging debate.  
    The leader recognizes the value of debate and competition and encourages team members to participate in setting new directions for the unit.

  • Veto power.  
    The leader's absolute power is what gives this style of leadership the "almost" in its title. Although the leader encourages participation, he or she ultimately will make the final decision on all matters of importance to the unit.

When This Style Works Best


The "almost" democracy works best when you're leading a highly innovative staff that still needs direction. Although they have tons of ideas, quantity doesn't always equal quality. The leader is responsible for determining right and wrong.

 

Plain English: participation is the act of allowing group members to take part in decision-making, as seen in the "almost" democracy and the partnership styles of leadership.