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

In a reversal of strategy, AIG in mid-June 2020 announced it had decided to wind down its AIG Global Benefits Network (AIG GBN) multinational pooling network. According to the company, “AIG has realigned its strategy with regard to AIG’s Global Benefits Network business and as a consequence, [it] has decided to wind down its activities.” All existing pools will be cancelled effective December 31, 2020. AIG pooling clients now

There are excellent opportunities to improve the financing of insurable Employee Benefits (EB) globally and tangible initiatives to support local subsidiaries and their employees with the execution of a global EB strategy. In this article you will find an updated comparative analysis of the most common global EB solutions (traditional EB Pooling, alternative risk financing with EB Captive solutions and the innovative concept of Global Underwriting (GUW) for EB insurance), a more detailed view on GUW and EB Captive as well as two case studies to show how global EB solutions can support the execution of global EB strategies in practice. This article assumes some familiarity with financing EB globally and therefore does not focus on traditional EB Pooling but is concentrating on the more advanced solutions EB Captive and GUW instead.

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

With vast technological advances over the last few years, and now the dramatic changes brought on by COVID-19, it has never been so clear that digital transformation is essential to organisational success.

Coronavirus deaths shocked us with how rapidly they rose from a base of none at the start of the year, to many thousands within the space of mere weeks. At the peak for England and Wales on April 8, more than 1,300 people died in a single day (as revealed later when all death registrations were reported).

British cancer doctor Prof Karol Sikora recently claimed that the current COVID-19 pandemic would “burn itself out”. His thinking is that if there are more infections than we realise, and that those milder, unrecorded infections result in robust immunity, then this would quickly lead to “herd immunity”, leaving the virus nowhere to go but extinct. Extend this to the world’s population and the virus eradicates itself.

In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, the haughty supercomputer Deep Thought is asked whether he can find the answer to the ultimate question concerning life, the universe and everything. He replies that, yes, he can do it, but it’s tricky and he’ll have to think about it. When asked how long it will take him he replies, “Seven-and-a-half million years. I told you I’d have to think about it.”

Many people will be familiar with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a historical treatment for “mental illness”, in which an electrical current is passed through the brain to trigger seizures, with the aim of somehow treating the illness. In fact, ECT is still being administered to about a million people each year to treat severe depression, including about 2,500 in England, under anaesthetic. The majority are women, and over 60 years of age.

In March 2020, Google searches for phrases like “can’t taste food” or “why can’t I smell” spiked around the world, particularly in areas where COVID-19 hit hardest. Still, many of us have experienced a temporary change in the flavor of our food with a common cold or the flu (influenza). So, is COVID-19 – the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus – somehow special in the way it affects smell and taste?

Her symptoms started quickly: neck pain, extreme fatigue and intermittent fever and chills. The woman had been healthy until then, and since she enjoyed gardening and landscaping at her rural Maryland home, she wondered if a tick bite might have given her Lyme disease although she had not noticed the telltale bull’s-eye skin lesion.

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of COVID-19 in China. Inevitably I wondered: Did I have COVID-19, or did I have the flu?

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

AXA XL in June 2020 announced that Xavier Veyry had been appointed as CEO Asia & Europe, based in Dublin, Ireland, and reporting to Scott Gunter, AXA XL CEO. In addition to his duties as CEO, Scott Gunter had assumed the role of Interim CEO Eurasia in the context of the new organization of AXA XL and of its leadership team. Xavier currently is Country CEO of AXA China

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

AXA XL in April 2020 announced a new leadership team and a new organization following a strategic review. Changes include the creation of a single global insurance underwriting function and the establishment of three geographical business units across the Americas, Eurasia, and the UK & Lloyd’s market. Underwriting will be led by a global Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO), responsible for underwriting governance, pricing, P&L and the management of the

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

According to a statement published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in June 2020, the unemployment rate increased by an unprecedented 2.9 percentage points in April 2020 to 8.4%, compared to 5.5% in March, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 containment measures. The number of unemployed people in the OECD area increased by 18.4 million to 55 million in April. The United States accounted for the main

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: https://lnkd.in/einFiqi). 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