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Participative Leadership - 5 Reasons You Should Apply It!  

There's a lot of controversy about the benefits of applying participative leadership. Leaders and managers are often skeptical to make the step forward  and draw new  strategies in approaching employees and changing the traditional ways of making decisions, designing plans, setting goals etc.

The truth is that  if you want to get the best out of your employees you must start treating them as partners.

It is not enough to simply assign tasks with specific instructions on how to accomplish them. Things get done better and faster when employees are given the space and the autonomy to take responsibility to set goals and  accomplish tasks utilizing their own expertise, making their own analysis and decisions. This process does not happen overnight but it is positively transformational and it requires consistent  and genuine commitment.  
5 good reasons why you should start embracing and applying it:

1. Participative leadership adds real value to employee contribution in decision making, problem solving, planning and implementation. It focuses on developing them on many levels  while landscaping future goals and plans that benefit the company. 

2.  Participative leadership meets strategic needs/goals of companys by supporting individuals to reach their personal development goals. Developing people creates the foundation for sustainable positive change.

3. Participative leadership is transformational as it wakes the inner leaders in people by reaching out to their deepest resources, expertise and natural ability to lead. It removes barriers and opens doors.

4. Participative leadership delivers results as it increases productivity and provides a satisfactory ROI.
Employees perform loyalfully and are more committed to achieve company's goals and contribute to the long- term picture. 

5.  Participative leadership is an opportunity for leaders to let go  of their parochial perspectives and do what is right to optimize the entire company's capacity, not just their own area.

Where do you start?

- Set the context for participative leadership - do a needs/asset-based assessment with your employees. Identify not just the need but the capacity, the potential, the resources, the hidden expertise, the second-hand skills, hobbies, life experiences etc.

- Develop a plan with specific goals and specific roles for individuals based on their strengths and expertise. Provide the big picture and let them see their role in it.

- Explain how their roles are going to change and what that means in terms of structuring meetings, making decisions, solving problems etc. Clarify their space, responsibilites and their amount of control over tasks and projects.

- Facilitate new communication channels and meet your employees half-way.

- Design early wins. It's important for employees to start seeing the results of inclusiveness immediately. This way they will become aware of the values of the progress. 

- Support your employees - uncover hidden obstacles and increase their confidence in their abilities.

- Trust and  "let go" - Place the power in their hands and with the right information, the right tools and support they will make you proud.

Related Articles:

Employee Empowerment

Management vs Leadership

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

lead and learn

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