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Leadership Styles to Incorporate into Your Business

Throughout history, great leaders have emerged with particular leadership styles in providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. These can be broadly grouped into 5 different categories:

1. Authoritarian Leadership

Authoritarian leadership styles allow a leader to impose expectations and define outcomes. A one-person show can turn out to be successful in situations when a leader is the most knowledgeable in the team. One advantage of this leadership style is that Time spent on making crucial decisions can be reduced and the Chain of command can be clearly emphasized. This leadership style has a lot of disadvantages one of which is that it kills employee creativity and innovation.

2. Participative Leadership

The essence is to involve team members in the decision-making process. Team members thus feel included, engaged and motivated to contribute. The leader will normally have the last word in the decision-making processes. However, if there are disagreements within a group, it can be a time-consuming process to reach a consensus. One advantage of this leadership style is that it increases employee motivation and job satisfaction. One disadvantage of this leadership style is that decision-making processes become time-consuming.

3. Delegative leadership

Also known as “laissez-faire leadership”, a delegative leadership style focuses on delegating initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if team members are competent and are employees that take responsibility and prefer engaging in individual work. Delegative leadership creates a positive work environment as employees feel like their opinions and inputs matters. One disadvantage of delegative leadership style is that it creates difficulty in adapting to change.

4. Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership styles use “transactions” between a leader and his or her followers. They use tools like rewards, punishment and other exchanges – to get the job done. The leader sets clear goals, and team members know how they’ll be rewarded for their compliance. This “give and take” leadership style is more concerned with following established routines and procedures in an efficient manner, than with making any transformational changes to the organization.

5. Transformational Leadership

In transformational leadership styles, the leader inspires his or her followers with a vision and then encourages and empowers them to achieve it. The leader also serves as a role model for the vision, high morale of employees is often experienced, it uses motivation and inspiration to gain the support of employees. A disadvantage of this leadership style is that consistent motivation and constant feedback may be required, tasks can not be pushed through without the agreement of employees.


At the end of the day, in developing your own leadership style It is important to recognize and understand different leadership styles including the situations in which they work best. However, you are unlikely to be a successful business leader simply by mimicking these. Leadership is not about providing a certain response in a certain situation. It’s about using your natural leadership strengths in an authentic manner to inspire and motivate others.

Leadership training from a good business school or good leadership courses can teach you the dynamics of human behaviour as well as raise self-awareness and provide the chance to practise leadership in different situations

Knowing which of the leadership styles works best for you is part of being a good leader. Developing a signature style with the ability to stretch into others as the situation warrants may help enhance your leadership effectiveness.

Know yourself. Start by learning what your current dominant leadership style is. Ask trusted colleagues to describe the strengths of your leadership style. You can also take a leadership style assessment.

Understand the different styles. Familiarize yourself with the repertoire of leadership styles that can work best for a given situation. What new skills do you need to develop?

Practice. Be genuine with any approach you use. Moving from your current leadership style to a different one may be challenging at first. Practice the new behaviours until they become natural. In other words, don’t abandon who you are.

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Dealing With Mental Health Issues in the Work Place

About one in four persons experience mental health problems each year and since work is predicted as the most stressful part of most people’s lives, employers must help tackle the issue. For many of us, work is a major part of our lives, it is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where we make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.

The mental health of any employee is highly affected by the way they think, act and deal with every circumstance at any given time.

Distress is a word used to describe times when a person is having difficulties coping with situations and their environment, for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we feel distressed, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognise when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.




The biggest barrier facing businesses is the way we see mental health. Employees are afraid of discussing the issue with others in case they lose their jobs or are judged. A huge percentage of workers feel there is a stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace. 

A lot of employees would feel more motivated if their employer showed support for their wellbeing.


The general feeling among mental health experts is that help is lacking in the workplace. Managers need to have the skills to be able to spot early signs of mental health problems; from changes in behaviour to acting withdrawn or unable to cope with daily tasks, management should notice if someone is struggling with tasks assigned to them.

Offering help early may assist in stoping the situation from becoming worse. Managers don’t need to become experts in mental health to offer the right support by simply being attentive and sensitive to employee’s feelings, giving them an open and comfortable environment to express them selves will go a long way in helping any employee. 



Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. It can be hard to talk about feelings at work. So  having colleagues or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, can really help. Identifying someone you feel comfortable talking to and who will be also be supportive is a great way to go, this can be the in house councilor. It is also important to keep in mind what you are okay disclosing to others and the best time to do so. If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same.


Regular exercises can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel good. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym it could simply be making physical activities that you enjoy as part of your day. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week.


What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the long run. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Be aware that some people find public eating at work very stressful because of past or current eating disorders – so if someone doesn’t want to come to work dinners, or makes different food choices in the office, don’t pass comment or put pressure on them to join in.


people often drink alcohol to change our mood, some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Most people don’t drink at work – but most of us recognise the pattern of drinking more at the weekend or in the evening when work is hard going. Be careful with work functions that include drinking. It can be tempting to have a drink to get ‘Dutch courage’, but if you feel anxious you may drink too much and end up behaving in a way you’d rather not, which could increase feelings of anxiety.


Relationships are key to our mental health. Working in a supportive team is very important for our mental health at work. We don’t always have a choice about who we work with, and if we don’t get on with managers, colleagues or clients, it can create tension. Try and make sure you maintain your friendships and family relationships even when work is intense a work–life balance is important, and experts now believe that loneliness may be as bad for our health as smoking or obesity.


None of us are superhuman, we all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.Your employer may have an employee assistance programm. These services are confidential and can be accessed free and without anyone at work finding out. You may also be able to access occupational health support through your line manager or HR service. 


A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from what you are doing, a book or podcast during the commute, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. When you are on leave or at home, resist the temptation to check in with work if you find that you can’t break away, it may be a sign that you should be re-examining your workload to manage stress.Sleep is essential to our mental health. Listen to your body. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill.


What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you are good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.  If possible, you should plan your workload to include tasks you know you are good at, so as to ‘sandwich’ things you know will be harder or more stressful. At work, you may have a hobby you would like to share or join in with colleagues on – a work cycling club, book group or crafting group can be a great way to share a skill with others.


We are all different, and its much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn. Be proud of who you are, recognise and accept the things you may not be good at, but also focus on what you can do well. If there’s anything about yourself you would like to change first and foremost ensure that  your expectationas are realistic, then work towards the change in small steps. 


Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. Another mental booster is giving aid to people who are in need like visiting orphanages, old folks home, homeless people, hospitals and even prisons, sometimes seeing how others live will help you appreciate where you are and what you have more. Gratitude and appreciation is a mental and mood booster. Working life can provide opportunities to care for others , in most jobs, you can choose to be there for colleagues – either as a team-mate, or as a line manager, strategies like coaching and training are good ways to support others.

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Taking care of your employees is as important as taking care of your clients, that is where Human Resources (HR) comes in. This is the department that focuses on employee matters and keeps them connected to the company. A strong, knowledgeable, and experienced HR department is important for any company but nowadays, hiring an HR consultant is a convenient way to get the job done. Human resource consultants provide a variety of general and specific advice to businesses, including on advanced and specialized duties. Knowing that you have a professional doing the job alleviates the worries associated with HR. More importantly, there are a lot of advantages in hiring an HR consultant. Let’s tackle some of these advantages so you could see if it is a viable option for your company.

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HR management consultants helps companies recruit and hire the best candidates within the client’s budget They are in charge of hiring people who are qualified for the positions your company needs to fill. Recruiters use a variety of practices for talent searching, such as; using proprietary databases, reviewing potential internal candidates, social media, and posting positions on internet job boards. These consultants work with the client from the initial meeting through the final hire because they are aware that the hired employees are the face and backbone of the company and the performance of employees is a big factor on how well the company performs.



Another area of HR specialization is benefits and compensation, sometimes known as total rewards. Total rewards include base pay, benefits, commissions, salaries, perks, bonuses, rewards, award programs etc. HR consultants help businesses maximize their budgets by determining which positions should be filled by employees and what functions should be outsourced. The consultant then reviews industry pay scales for these positions. HR consultants also offer payroll services, working with finance departments.



Another thing an HR consultant does is creating and scheduling training sessions. HR consultants help workers improve and develop new skills required in executing their job description. These training could be on anything from; attitudinal change, communications skills, time management, customer service, leadership skills etc. HR consultants provide seminars and workshops, helping businesses develop succession plans to ensure they have qualified internal candidates to replace those who leave.



Healthy workers are more productive and incur lower health care and insurance costs for employers. Health, safety, security and wellness all play a role in maintaining the most productive workforce, and HR consultants advise clients in these areas. This can include making sure companies follow federal and state safety regulations, improving workplace security practices, institute wellness programs and review workers’ compensation claims to look for proper classification of employees and claims patterns that might identify safety or health issues the client needs to address.

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HR consultants assists with the performance management of employees. They can create the most suitable appraisal process that would benefit the company and its employees.

Having a performance management system shows that your company recognizes all the hard work your employees do. This system motivates employees to do better, with performance management, employees can be assessed through their overall performance and identify who qualifies for the appraisals and who would need some more improvement to get back on track.



Another area where HR consultants provide expertise is in legal compliance. Consultants are highly knowledgeable in Federal employment rules and regulations, Equal Employment Opportunity, Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. HR consultants always gets themselves abreast with current employment law and ensures that companies adhere to these laws to veer away from legal challenges.  HR consultants also help businesses develop employee handbooks with policies and procedures they must follow.



HR consultants don’t just hire and develop workers they also give owners and managements expert advices on how best to run the company and what is needed to ensure the smooth and effective running of the company. As they interact and handle human resource matters, they get ideas on areas that needs improvement in the business and how it can affect everyone working there.

They could give advice about matters like training and seminars, how to give excellent employee experience, rewards and recognitions, and other suggestions that could lead to better employee relations and company reputation.



Hiring an HR consultant is a great way to handle your employment relations matter. IPC is a consulting company focused on providing these and a wider range of Human Resource Management Services. Trust our bank of experienced professionals to proffer solutions to whatever problems your organization is facing. We are your reliable business partners.

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Organizational Culture II

We started by telling you about what organizational culture is about and the challenges that follow it. We will be sharing other aspects of organizational culture today.

Elements of Organizational Culture

Purpose: Most young professionals want to be a part of solving a problem greater than themselves, so they need to understand the “why” of what they do. A strong mission statement can help a company articulate its’ “why”.

Ownership: Ownership refers to the practice of allowing people to be accountable for their results without requiring micromanagement, but giving people the autonomy on their own time to accomplish goals.

Managers can set overall expectations and allow people to build their own schedules around their projects. But how do you keep people engaged with a sense of purpose? Well, you do that through the third element: community.

Community: This is that sense of belonging to a group of people that shares similar principles, goals, and values. A community is a place where there is camaraderie and building community can be as simple as hosting company events, designating specific hangout times, and even planning team trips. 

Effective Communication: Effective communication which sounds like a necessity in most organization is not such a common practice. It means ensuring consistency in processes and investing time to learn the personalities and communication dynamics of team members.

Google did a research project called Project Aristotle, where they found that the most collaborative teams are the ones where everyone speaks equally and often interacts with one another.

Within many of their teams, they count to be certain that everyone is speaking the same number of times during their meetings. How people interact in a team is just as important as who is on the team.

Effective Leadership: This is the backbone of the cultural dynamics of any organization. The leader must constantly push the mission, vision, standards, community, and processes of the company. Without effective leadership, the other four elements cannot thrive.

People want leadership with integrity and compassion, they want authenticity, people want a leader who is clear on expectations and cares about them. Research shows that most people would work for an employer who is more empathic more than the one which is about results no matters the means used in achieving it.

 It all comes down to being intentional about creating a company that will not only be successful in the long-term but aslo successful.

How to Improve Organizational Culture

1. Listen to your Employees

Provide your employees with an environment to enable them to air their opinion. Research showed that:

  • 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns
  • 65% of employees who are actively disengaged feel this way because they cannot approach their manager with any type of question.
2. Collaborate, Don’t Isolate

Encourage collaboration between employees to reinforce the idea that you are a team. Your learning management system should be equipped with a vibrant social feed in which learners can offer support to each other, and overcome challenges together.

3. Be Transparent

Transparency with your employees is a way of building trust. Weekly updates about what is happening at a corporate level will inspire your team.

4. Follow the Leader

Organizational culture needs to be nurtured. And, culture starts at the very top of the ladder!

Leaders need to visibly demonstrate that they are in alignment with the organization’s core beliefs.  

5. Provide Regular Feedback

Employees need regular feedback if they are to align their performance with your organizational culture.

Appraise the behaviour that matches your values and develop areas that need improvement. Keep on top of things with regular reporting and you’ll soon be working in collaborative teams.

6. Lay Down a Challenge

Provide challenge and opportunity for development as this allows your employees to know you are invested in them, and in turn, be loyal to your organizational culture.

7. Reward Employees

Reward employees for actions that best represent the organizational culture that you seek.  A recognition culture will also reduce turnover, giving your organizational culture longevity.

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Organizational Culture

We know that culture is a way of life of a group of people in every system and in the same vein, we can say organizational culture is the way that organization defines organizational culture as the proper way to behave within the organization. This culture consists of shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviours and understanding.

The key to a successful organizational culture is to have a culture based on a strong shared set of beliefs and values that are supported by strategy and structure.

When an organization has a strong culture, three things happen:

  • Employees know how top management wants them to respond to any situation,
  • Demonstration of an organization’s value system is to reward
  • Employees believe that the expected response is the proper one.

So what are those beliefs, habits, values, routines that contribute to the work process in an organization?

HR has a vital role in ensuring a strong culture, starting with recruiting and selection of applicants who will share the organization’s beliefs and thrive in that culture.

HR also in charge of developing orientation, training and performance management programs that outline and reinforces the organization’s core values; and ensures that appropriate rewards and recognition go to employees who truly embody the values.

When the workplace culture aligns with your employees, they’re more likely to feel more comfortable, supported, and valued. It is believed that if organizational culture is going to improve the organization’s overall performance, the culture must provide a strategic competitive advantage.

A strong culture is a common denominator among the most successful companies.

Levels of Organizational Culture

In the 1980s, psychologist Edgar Schein of the Sloan School of Management developed a model for understanding and analyzing organizational culture. Schein divided an organization’s culture into three distinct levels: artifacts, values, and assumptions.

Artifacts: are the overt and obvious elements of an organization. They’re typically the things even an outsider can see, such as wallpapers and mantras. Artifacts can be easy to observe but difficult to understand, especially if your analysis of culture never goes any deeper.

Values: These are an organization’s declared set of standards and rules. Values affect how employees interact and represent the organization.

Assumptions:  are the bedrock of organizational culture. These are the beliefs and behaviours that are deeply embedded that they can go unnoticed sometimes.

Basic assumptions are the essence of culture and the aligned line that values and artifacts square themselves against. Basic assumptions manifest themselves in a variety of ways; But when these assumptions don’t align with the organizational values, trouble arises.

Reasons Why Organizational Culture is Important

  • It defines your company’s internal and external identity
  • Organizational culture is about living your company’s core values
  • Your culture can transform employees into advocates (or critics)
  • A strong organizational culture helps you keep your best people
  • Your culture transforms your company into a team

Types of Organizational Culture

According to Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron, at the University of Michigan Arbor, there are four types of organizational culture: Clan, Adhocracy, Market, and Hierarchy.

  • Clan oriented cultures are family-like cultures with a focus on mentoring, nurturing, and “doing things together.”
  • Adhocracy oriented cultures are dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a focus on risk-taking, innovation, and “doing things first.”
  • Market-oriented cultures are results-oriented; with a focus on competition, achievement, and “getting the job done.”
  • Hierarchy oriented cultures are structured and controlled, with a focus on efficiency, stability and “doing things right.”

There’s no correct organizational culture for any organization. All cultures promote some forms of behaviour and inhibit others. While some are suited to rapid and repeated change, others are to slow incremental development of the institution.

For example, Quinn and Cameron associated the lower two cultures (Market and Hierarchy) with a principal focus on stability and the upper two (Clan and Adhocracy) with flexibility and adaptability.

An organization who uses a Hierarchy culture-based culture will focus more on the control which leads mainly to incremental change; while a focus on Adhocracy will typically lead to more breakthrough change.

The right culture for an organization will be one that fits the direction; and strategy of the organization as it confronts issues and the challenges.

Challenges That Affect Organizational Culture. 

  • Employee Diversity: Employee Diversity is one of the challenges of organizational culture. It is very common to see a diverse field of employees in an organization. As this diversity is an added advantage in every company, it may also have an effect on the culture of the organization.
  • Internal Irregularities: It is essential to know that an organization who is continually changing its internal rules and regulations is likely to motivate its employees. The structure of an organization does not need to change irrespective of management.
  • Company culture must not be irregular in order to allow employees to truly feel like we can be ourselves; after all, how would it be possible to engage and motivate employees if the overall vision of an organization is constantly changing?

However, constant reinforcement of organizational culture does not mean that it can’t be improved; On the contrary, tailor your organizational culture to adapt to the situation; rather than being selective and changing due to certain factors.


Business Email Etiquette

Email etiquette refers to the principles of behaviour that one should apply when sending or replying to email messages; also known as the code of conduct for sending mails.

Email etiquette is dependent on who we are writing- Friends & Relatives, Partners, Customers, Superior or Subordinates.

Although the mode of communication keeps evolving daily, emails are definitely not going out of date anytime soon.

It is important to ensure that one is equipped with the proper email etiquette as it is a form of personal branding; either for an individual or an organization.

Practising proper email etiquette using the following tips will guarantee an effective communication channel.

Elements of an email
  • Professional Email Address– Always use an official/company email address for all official electronic correspondences. Never use an overly personalized email address for official communication. It should have a full name of the sender. Eg Harry Lane Avoid nicknames such as, etc.
  • Subject– This is one of the most important elements of an email. understand that the Subject line in your email will determine if your recipients will read your email or not. Ensure that the subject line is meaningful, relevant, concise and catchy.
  • To, CC, BCC (You, Who and Whom)- Know the difference between To, CC, and BCC in an email.
    • To: In this section, only put the contacts of the person (s) whom you want to read your email.
    • CC (Carbon Copy): Put the contacts of the person(s) that you do not expect to reply to the email but that needs to be informed.
    • BCC (Blind Carbon Copy): Use this for group-emails when you do not want to reveal the entire recipients of an email. Be careful when using BCC as it can be considered unprincipled on some occasions.
  • Body of Text– Always start your email by greeting your recipient. Use professional and respectful greetings followed by the recipient’s first or last name. Avoid the use of lay information greetings in your formal emails, such as Hey, Bro, Buddy etc. State the purpose of your email briefly and proceed to ask for a call to action (have a meeting, respond, confirm etc) Lastly, say thanks in anticipation of the reply.
  • Closing Salutation– Always end your official emails with a polite, professional and friendly closing remark. Some good examples are: “Best Regards”, “Best Wishes”,  “Sincerely”, “Thank You”, “Respectfully”.
  • Email Signature-This is your personal branding tool, make it fluid and flexible for different situation. Do not use initials. Use tagline and links where they can take a look at the services you offer. No jargon, no cliché.
  • Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation– Always do a final and thorough spelling and grammar check of your email messages before sending. This will give you a chance to review your spelling and grammar, general structure, working, and coherence of your emails. Punctuation is really important and if not used or misused, it can change the whole meaning and purpose of your sentences and intentions.
  • Size Matters – Be mindful of size when including email attachments. the standard size should not exceed ten Mb (10MB). Some organizations have email filter criteria ( keywords, explicit material etc), thence block and bounce email messages bigger than 10Mb. When trying to send attachments bigger than the standard size, it is always a good idea to inform with your recipients that you are planning to send them oversized attachments and confirm they are able to receive them.
  • Timely Response– As a professional, you need to provide timely feedback to your recipient clients or customers. Allocate regular planned intervals for checking, reviewing and responding to your emails.
  • Reply/Reply-All –  Understand the difference between the reply or reply-all option. The Reply option responds to a single recipient in a mail; while the Reply-All option responds to the entire recipients of a mail.
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In conclusion, be aware of cultural differences and sensitivities, especially when emailing people from other cultures. Maintain privacy and be careful about sharing private or confidential company information by emails. Restrain from getting emotional when sending or replying an email; as emails serve as written legal evidence and can be used against you.


Team Communication

There is a popular saying that communication is key“The truth in this statement cannot be overemphasized. What comes to your mind when you hear team communication? Is it just an exchange of information that happens within the team or is there more to it?

Team communication transcends mere information exchange between team members. It is the interactions that the individuals on a team share with one another like emails and conversations, body language and nonverbal sounds.

We will be sharing tips on how to better team communication in the workplace

Always Have a Specific Goal

According to the English dictionary, a goal is a result one is expecting to achieve. When you begin by knowing what you want others to do, preparing your remarks will be easier and your communication will be clearer. Your goal provides the framework for what you will say.

Think Like Your Audience

 Saying what you want people to know isn’t enough. It is important to also assume yourself in their position, by doing this, you will understand what they need and want and in return be able to reach out to them more effective

Clarify Your Messages

Clarity is important in team communication; always spell it out clearly for your listeners. This is to avoid ambiguity.

File-sharing Practices

Develop a system for naming and storing shared documents. That way, you avoid confusion over different versions of files and where to find documents.

Delivering Feedback

As a team, determine a process for providing feedback to one another. For example, you might meet weekly as a team to talk about is going well and what could change. Also, establish guidelines for when employees provide feedback to one another.


Talking about things outside the workplace can increase the bonds among team members. You can decide to be friends with each other on social platforms or share something about your life—whether it’s about your kids’ antics or your opinion on your favourite sports teams or food recipes.

Address Issues Openly

If you aren’t having authentic and effective conversations with your employees, you can’t address problems. When problems go unchecked, it weighs on individuals, teams and the culture. Start having conversations—even uncomfortable ones—to ensure you’re surfacing problems and resolving them quickly.

Don’t Make Assumptions About What Your Team Wants

Most employees want a sense of purpose and meaning, development opportunities, and work-life balance. Find out what others in the team want and need by having candid discussions or engagement surveys.

Assess Workloads

Imposing employees with massive workloads can become the norm, but how do you know they are overloaded? By asking them. Let them know they can come to you if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Don’t Be Angry Over Failures

 Errors cause stress, and then stress leads to more errors. Ensure team members know that failure is part of the risk, and grant them wiggle room to experiment or make mistakes. Otherwise, innovation will come to a standstill.

Do share and let us know what you think.