Summer is the time when everybody feels more relaxed and, while we continue to work hard, we also take the time to pause and get to know our colleagues better. This is a very natural and effective way to re-energise. However, let’s not forget that we remain ‘Cernese’ at all times, and that CERN values continue to guide our interactions even at this time, whether we are at work or enjoying a well-earned break.
If you find yourself repeatedly witnessing a situation of inter personal conflict or tension between other colleagues, you have a choice: you can either turn a blind eye to it or you can try to help. In the latter case, you may wish to get another perspective or some guidance before taking steps.
A few weeks ago I attended the 2015 annual conference of the International Ombudsman Association. It was the second time that I had participated in this conference (see here my report from last year) and, once again, I would like to share some of my experience with you.
The on-going campaign Respect@CERN was re-launched this year on Tuesday 5 May with a discussion forum led by Alan Richter, an expert consultant in ethics and diversity. Seeing so many colleagues in the Council Chamber for this kick-off event was a clear indication of interest in the topic as well as a willingness to engage in promoting a respectful workplace. Now, the discussion continues through the dedicated website.
CERNese is the language spoken here: based on English and French, it’s a mixture of accents, pronunciations and body languages that go well together. CERNese is also an attitude: we make an effort to understand others and to ensure that other people understand what we say. Do you speak this language?
Very often, misunderstandings originate from the assumptions we make about people’s intentions, even where in fact there are no actual differences in thinking. Sometimes, speaking up is enough to resolve these misunderstandings… provided this is what both parties want.
When normal communication breaks down and there is no sharing anymore, office-mates can become ‘space invaders’. Very often, the situation can be resolved effectively by taking just a few simple steps...
New year, old problems? The best way to start 2015 is by not carrying over any frustration from 2014. Instead, let it go and move forward. As I blew out the candle to celebrate my first anniversary of my position as the CERN Ombud, I found myself reflecting back over the past year, wondering what I could share with you, and the following recurring situation came to mind…
The winter break is a vital opportunity to leave behind the end-of-year workload stress, compounded by the rush to complete tasks in preparation of the year ahead, and focus on some genuine rest and recuperation. The challenges of 2015 can only be met if our batteries are correctly recharged: so full steam ahead for a holiday period devoted to a well earned rest and a crucial change of air and ideas!
In a previous Bulletin article we discussed the issue of how to deal with unwanted declarations of love. The focus there was on the importance of saying “stop” in a clear and unambiguous manner when faced with actions of this kind. But what do you do when this behaviour persists?