I had the immense privilege of listening to two prestigious experts in their field, with a common research object and practice, meditation. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche who is a Tibetan Buddhist master and meditation teacher, and Dr Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry who is well known for his research on the brain and meditation, and is a friend of the Dalai Lama.
They talked us about meditation, how it can help decision makers. The conference was a pleasant dance between teachings about meditation, small meditation exercises, and scientific facts that confirm the importance of the meditation practice for more awareness for better decision-making. My visual notes:
Big thank you to my colleagues Carles BlasChloé Dengis who invited these two persons and organised the conference so well.
Who has never wondered how to reduce their workload? But who has never found a solution to the question, which is not episodic or ridiculous in terms of real benefits?
My colleague Oliver Kozak brought his scientific and systemic approach to present how continuous improvement can help us to really reduce worlkload.
The objective is to free up enough time to be able to start improving, in order to free up even more time up to 40% to be able to improve continuously and ultimately create much more value at work (by moving from the Spend-It-All team model to the Time-Investor team model). How to get there concretely? By improving in three areas: (your) work processes, team efficiency, and organisation development. Important: you have to go slowly, step by step, with persistence day after day, be patient, and get support.
My colleague Valeria Croce asked me to record visually two fantastic sessions she organised on “Trust” with renowned speakers. I reproduce here, to accompany my visual notes, the essential passages of the articles that Valeria wrote after the sessions, as a report.
Resilient teams: how trust underpins care and performance in teams
To trust each other at work is even more important in the context of hybrid or remote work, with limited human interaction and the difficulty to reach out to new people!
Chris Tamdjidi shared with us the evidence and learnings he collected through the years working with teams inside and outside the Commission, focussing on the important role of trust in teamwork. He observed that:
It is difficult to build a culture of collaboration: while most teams have established processes to perform tasks, they don’t have established processes to improve how they work together,
During Covid he observed an increase in individual productivity, but a decrease in collaborative productivity: it takes more effort to connect with others and collaborate in a remote setting.
We risk to work in micro-silos, narrow connections because of remote working – we maintain the relationships we already have, it takes efforts to build new ones.
This is why it is important to build team habits that help strengthen collaboration, team resilience and trust, especially in a hybrid environment. These habits are: Habits of attention; of connection; and of positivity.
Why being trusted (or distrusted) matters
Trust is critical to create an environment where colleagues collaborate, share knowledge, engage and contribute to the achievement of the shared purpose. Yet, trust-based relationships require time to be built. What can we do to start building trust from the very beginning of a new collaborative project with colleagues from outside our team or unit?
Hilary Sutcliffe and Vanja Skoric shared lessons they learned working for over 130 civil society projects.In a nutshell, they identify four areas, where most barriers to trust and collaboration can be found, namely:
Prior experiences and assumptions
Skills and procedures
Culture and incentives
Three aspects that are crucial to overcome barriers are: A (truly) shared purpose; a trustworthy process (based on seven drivers of trustworthiness: openness, integrity, competence, inclusion, respect and fairness); and a visible impact.
Three drawings to illustrate in an offbeat way, and probably memorable way, the participants’ conversations during a session on knowledge management.
The session hosted by Huy-Hien Bui and Fania Pallikarakis, whose full title is “Knowledge Management and Collaboration in international organisations: Edge or Curse?”, was held as part of the Friends of Career Development Roundtable (FoCDR) workshop in Brussels on 17 June 2022.
In the article that I co-wrote with my colleague and manager Agnès Monfret, we explain how we adapted our way of communicating internally and externally when the pandemic hit our habits, our ways of working and thinking.
Once again, the use of handmade drawings greatly supported the messages, and brought that touch of humanity necessary in a world of communication and collaboration that has become entirely digital.
Being forced to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty, fear, big changes to our lives. Teleworking mindfully makes possible to live it better! This is the main message of an online session organised by my colleagues from the EC HR department.
Their presentation is based on the work of two extremely inspiring and inspired persons: the master of mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who described five stages of grief. (it fills me with joy to see how “we” rediscover the Elisabeth’s work during this coronavirus crisis).