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  • Sahil Shaikh

L&D and the Pitfalls of Authoritarian Demagogue

As an expert in learning and development, I know how important it is to create a healthy work environment. Unfortunately, Authoritarian Demagogue behaviors can be detrimental to employee morale and productivity. In this article, we will explore what Authoritarian demagogue is, its impact on Learning and Development, and how to avoid it.

Defining Authoritarian Demagogue

Authoritarian Demagogue is a leadership style that favors centralized power, suppresses dissenting views, and demands obedience. Leaders who display this style are often charismatic, have a strong personality, and are adept at manipulating their followers through fear and anger.

The Pitfalls of Authoritarian Demagogue in L&D

Toxic Workplace

Authoritarian Demagogue can create a toxic workplace where employees feel undervalued and disrespected. It stifles open communication, kills creativity, and discourages collaboration, which can negatively impact employee motivation and performance.


Authoritarian Demagogue leaders tend to micromanage their subordinates, leaving little room for creativity and independent decision-making. This can hinder employee growth and development, leadingto a lack of motivation and commitment.

Impact on Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement

  • Unhealthy Culture - Authoritarian Demagogue behavior creates an unhealthy culture of fear, resentment, and distrust. Employees may hesitate to speak up or share ideas for fear of retribution or punishment.

  • Low Engagement - Authoritarian Demagogue behavior creates low engagement among employees. They may feel disconnected from the team and the company's goals, leading to decreased productivity and increased absenteeism and turnover.

Recognizing and Avoiding Authoritarian Demagogue Behaviors

Behaviors to Avoid

Alternative Behaviors to Adopt

​Suppressing dissent and stifling open communication

Encourage open dialogue and constructive criticism

Micromanaging employees

Delegate responsibilities and empower employees to make decisions

Emphasizing conformity over creativity

Encourage creativity and experimentation

Building a Positive and Effective Learning and Development Environment

Cultivate Empathy and Active Listening

Leaders who cultivate empathy and actively listen to their employees can create a supportive, collaborative, and inclusive work environment.

​Implement a Coaching and Mentoring Program

A coaching and mentoring program can empower employees to take ownership of their development, improve their skills, and achieve their goals.

Encourage Diversity and Inclusion

Leaders who encourage diversity and inclusion can harness the collective talents and creativity of their team and create a culture of mutual respect and understanding.


To be a successful leader, it is important to avoid Authoritarian Demagogue behaviors that stifle employee growth and development. By adopting a positive and inclusive leadership style, you can create a healthy and productive work environment and empower your employees to achieve their full potential.

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