Is there a formal antonym for the word "dictator" other than " democratic" to describe a school principal?
- a person who believes that the existence of different types of people, beliefs, and opinions within a society is a good thing.
Having authority or power shared among a number of people associated as colleagues
On screen, his persona is as flat and colorless as his home state of Indiana, although around the office he's more like a collegial headmaster, chatty and amiable, yet demanding objectivity from co-workers even when they talk politics by the water cooler. (Source: LA Times)
A good possibility, I think, is an
meaning a person who believes in or promotes equal political, social, and economic rights for all people.
Another possibility is a
who, rather than saying "My way or the highway," says, "Let's negotiate a win/win outcome; that is, a solution we can both live with."
And finally, related to negotiator is a
or a person who engages in give and take; you know, "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." Behind a compromiser's thinking is a quid pro quo (or tit for tat) mentality. A compromiser says, "If you want to get something you've got to give something."
There are some good suggestions here, though most sound a little formal or odd to me - and I taught for sixteen years and became a political activist, aiming some of fiercest tirades at autocratic principals.
I would be more inclined to describe a principal who is not autocratic as a team player or a member of the community. Of course, those are descriptions, rather than one-word antonyms.
Keep in mind that public schools in the U.S. are ultimately run by corporate interests and tycoons, and principals are therefore strikingly similar to the politicians selected by those same special interests. In this context, user168580's suggest - liberator - might be very appropriate. A principal who actually cares about the students and is connected to the community could also be described as a populist, though that may sound too political to many people.
I know this is NOT what the OP is looking for. However, I must point out that dictator does have actual antonyms. They just don't counter the style of leadership. They counter leadership.
Antonyms for dictator
Those could describe a school principal, from the perspective of the superintendent.
A shepherd is someone in command who puts the well-being of their subjects above everything else, sometimes above their own. That’s why it’s a frequent metaphor in religious, especially Christian contexts (Psalm 23) and it’s the original meaning of pastor.