Self management

The two faces of Janus

When I took on the role of CERN Ombud, I was not prepared to encounter what I now call the “Janus” effect. Let me give you two examples ...


When respect is missing

The respect that others show us, like esteem, is part of our dignity, so it’s no wonder that we’re so taken aback and upset when it’s missing.


Asking questions to clarify expectations

While the annual performance appraisal interviews are in full swing and thinking about my discussions on the subject with visitors to my office, I feel it’s appropriate to underline the importance of each party being open, honest, respectful and considerate and, in particular, of a clear


Be an active bystander – the four Ds

I recently took part in a training session, on Zoom – where else these days? – that I found extremely useful and recommend that you all attend as soon as you can. This is all about being an active bystander and contributing to create a culture of respect.


Why didn’t you tell me before?

Some visitors to the Ombud’s Office tell me they don’t feel entirely comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns and opinions within their team or to their supervis


Each and every one of us matters

Some visitors to the Ombud’s office tell me that they are “too insignificant” or “too low” in the chain of command for their opinion to really matter. 


The “I need” behind the “I want”

Very often in the Ombud’s Office, I hear the word “want” rather than “need”. “I want an apology from her”, “I want the guy to be fired”, “I want to be taken off this project NOW”, or even “I want you to resolve this issue for me”.


The power of mediation

In a previous article, I underlined how conflicts may actually have a constructive impact when addressed in a timely and effective fashion.


Listening as an effective management tool

As a CERN manager, you need to have access to many different channels of information. One – and perhaps the most important – of those channels is direct communication with your team and your peers.