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Training modules and learning tools

There is no greater loneliness than the loneliness we feel in the presence of others, especially when those others are our loved ones. Almost everyone has experienced this feeling of strangeness in a familiar universe and it is frightening. It’s actually a sign of a temporary anxiety that psychologists call depersonalization or derealization. Don’t panic if it happens to you. We are living in an exceptional period of uncertainty,

Remote management is complicated, especially when it comes to detecting an employee in difficulty. Here is a simple technique to identify employees who are in trouble – the “3i” rule: – Isolation: when employees are less present at meetings and check-ins with their managers, or don’t speak as much as usual. – Irritability: when they quickly become tense and show increased sensitivity as manifested by anger, crying or annoyance.

Psychology distinguishes four types of justice at work. The one that creates the most altruistic and performance-enhancing behaviour is procedural justice: I understand and am involved in decisions that have an impact on my daily life. How do you bring this about? By actively participating in decision-making rather than participating in decisions that have already been made! Putting an end to purely ‘formal’ consultations requires a little effort but

What recognition can you offer your employees who are working remotely when the results are not as good as usual? Psychology invites us to dissociate recognition both from the results themselves and from the time of their achievement. A manager who says, “I know it’s difficult for you right now with your children at home. Thank you for your effort, it’s precious to me and is a real credit

Did you know that referring to ‘engagement’ at work is pretty limited? In psychology there are in fact three distinct forms of engagement: The emotional engagement that all companies favour: I stay because I love my company/ job/mission. This works miracles when everything is going well but is disastrous at any other time. The normative: I stay because I am loyal. This is the expression of a “corporate” mentality.

In the middle of working on my next conference “How to pass on a difficult message with respect and kindness?”, I’m interested in testing out your knowledge on the different forms of “pathy”: empathy, sympathy, antipathy and apathy. If a friend says to me: “Adrien, I’m afraid that the lockdown will last for a long time” and I answer: “you have no reason to worry, it will end one

To start the week on a positive note, here’s a psychology technique for giving someone a compliment or positive feedback: the SIISI method. Good feedback is : Sincere: what I say is true to me and I am honest when I say it. Immediate: my message comes right after the other person’s behaviour. Involved: I involve myself by using “I”. Specific: it concerns a specific fact and not a

Right now we are all learning new ways of operating. But novelty consumes a lot of energy, and our attentional resources are limited. If our cognitive faculties are being used for adapting to the situation, they are no longer available to perform at their peak when teleworking, doing domestic tasks or interacting with our children. So I urge you not to feel guilty if you don’t feel perfect right

Are you ending the weeks tired, with brain overload? The mental load resulting from telework is the consequence of multiple tasks not completed or lacking their usual quality. How can you minimise this effect, enjoy your weekend and be back on form Monday morning? I invite you to declare Friday afternoon a protected zone. No meetings, no conference calls, no emails… only time dedicated to baseline tasks with a

Social support is the first line of defence against psychological distress at work. In these times of teleworking, a manager’s primary role is not to monitor performance but to maintain the quality of connection. It is by taking care of what unites us today (despite the distance) that we may re-discover the path to performance tomorrow.

Teleworking has brought about an opportunity to manage differently. Psychology teaches us that management based on trust increases productivity, engagement, and quality of life. How do we do it? By setting objectives to be achieved rather than by controlling the amount of time employees are online. It means allowing everyone to be autonomous, to allow colleagues to get to know each other well enough to organise themselves optimally. Those

Right now we all need support—and would also like to give it to those who are far away from us. However, we are not all created equal when it comes to the kinds of support we offer. Men are more oriented towards task-oriented support (I’ll do it for you); but at a distance during lockdown it becomes more complicated. This is where we can activate esteem support. It’s about

Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, also known as the “overconfidence bias”? It explains how those who are less qualified on a subject tend to overestimate their skills. Indeed, to know that they are incompetent, they must know at least a little bit about the task, even if they underestimate its difficulty. If you have a colleague without children who tells you that “it’s not that difficult to

“I’ve been feeling a lot of negative emotions since the beginning of the lockdown”. As an organizational psychologist, this is what I’ve heard the most over the past 10 days. The good news is that there are no negative emotions–there are only unpleasant emotions. If we have gone through millennia of evolution with our emotions intact, it is because even the most unpleasant of them have a use and

In these times of forced cohabitation, it’s important to be aware of how psychology explains aggression. There is no such thing as “gratuitous violence”. Violence is only gratuitous in the eyes of the spectator. The perpetrator always has a motivation, even if it escapes or repulses us. The source of aggression is almost always frustration, being deprived of what we feel we are legitimately entitled to: respect, freedom to

Living in close confines with others is complicated. For this reason, today I would like to cover the three stages of a conflict: If I forget to wash my cup and leave it on the table, my wife might say: “It annoys me when you leave your dirty dishes lying around”. I understand her legitimate thinking, I apologize, and we move on. It’s a conflict centred on behaviour. You

In social psychology, ‘proxemics’ is the study of the distance that separates us from others according to our culture and degree of affinity. I accept my partner entering my personal space (less than 40cm) but when I give a lecture I need at least 3.70m (the measure of social distance) to be respected. During lockdown, it is very likely that living in close quarters with others violates traditional proxemics.

Today’s exercise is around nurturing the ties that connect you with others. In positive psychology we often talk about the benefits of gratitude, so here is a ‘gratitude letter’ exercise to try today. Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable. Select one person from your past who has made a positive impact in your life to whom you have never fully expressed your gratitude. Write a heartfelt testimonial

Today I’m helping you understand what happens when you’re anxious. The coronavirus causes fear of respiratory problems and stress. The brain then creates “selective hyper-vigilance”, which means that it “scans” us very or even too regularly in search of the slightest problem and focuses only on the things that are wrong: that strange sensation in our chest, the muscle tension in our back, our itchy eyes. Then the second

For today, here’s a positive psychology exercise that will increase your level of well-being in the short, medium, and long term. It’s about identifying your character strengths and using one per day in a specific activity. Here’s an example: one strength of mine is my love of study and learning. So from now on, I’m devoting every Monday afternoon to writing a chapter of my book, reading a scientific

If physical health is to remain a top priority during this pandemic, then mental health is our best ally along the way. The psychological impacts of pandemics and confinement—stress, anxiety, PTSD, anger and for some, emotional exhaustion—are now well documented (see meta-analysis: Once you’ve taken care of the basic precautionary measures, I invite you to: Up the attention you give your spouse and children by putting your smartphone

For some people, the days feel a little long, and boredom is a great friend of anxiety. So for the duration of lockdown, I would like to offer a daily “shrink’s tip” that I find useful and that will help you to cultivate “salutogenesis.” Have you ever heard of that concept? It’s basically about promoting things that improve health rather than mitigating things that damage it. For today, here’s

Although it has now been some time since COVID-19 swept the planet, most countries are still reporting a significant number of new cases each day. Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, businesses must still manage the effects of the virus on the wellbeing of their people and find new ways of functioning throughout this difficult period. To do our part in this collective effort, over the coming weeks we’ll

Researchers Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard stopped in Brussels on 19 September 2018 to present the findings of their new book, The Mind of the Leader, Harvard Business Press. During an interesting evening, co-hosted by Generali Employee Benefits, Harvard Business Review and McKinsey GBV sat down with the authors to delve deeper into some aspects of their findings.