27 November 2015

Conflict happens, and in a large international organisation like ours it is often inevitable. Indeed, when it happens in the context of a confrontation of different ideas, opinions or methods it can be considered to be a healthy component of effective collaboration. Yet, when conflict becomes personal, when it is underpinned by unethical actions and hostile interactions, these interpersonal differences can rapidly deteriorate into moral harassment or bullying behaviour.


16 November 2015

About one year since I last covered the topic of sexual harassment, I am returning to this theme again as it continues to be raised in the Ombud office. This trend is likely to continue as long as everyday sexism and harassment remain hidden and our workplace culture persists in turning a blind eye to these issues…


02 November 2015

Mindfulness in the workplace: what possible relevance could an ancient Buddhist practice have in today’s busy professional world? And yet, the notion seems to have caught on in many organisations as more and more people are finding it to be an effective way of dealing with the complexities of day-to-day working life…


16 October 2015

Gossip comes with a high dose of toxicity that spreads and propagates. It differs from harmless everyday conversations in that it often tends to be inflammatory or embarrassing to people, and feeds off a negative emotional charge, which is hurtful, damaging and insidious… So, ask yourselves about that last juicy story you just heard: is it something you would repeat in front of the person concerned?


21 September 2015

Sometimes bosses seem to wear Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak: always caught in meetings, away on duty travel, overwhelmed with technical duties… the time they have left to spend with their teams can drop down to almost zero. But their people need them…


“Oh no, he is too busy.” “I can’t go and disturb my supervisor, she has no time.” “No, my supervisor doesn’t want to deal with this type of interpersonal problem.” “I have been struggling to get a final decision on this for ages now...”

07 September 2015

When a long-standing conflict appears to permeate every action, and even the rest of the team seem resigned to there being no hope of a solution, there is still always a way out, even if only one of the people concerned decides to do something about it…

06 July 2015

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.


08 June 2015

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.


26 May 2015

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.


11 May 2015

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.



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