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Étiquette : émotions

How beauty feels? Listen to a professional designer

insight, coaching, rené magritte, how beauty feels
René MAGRITTE – L’empire de la réflexion, 1947 – Gouache sur papier, 36.8 x 46cm


How do we tell that something is beautiful?

Do we think beauty, or do we feel it?

Is it possible to separate intrinsic and extrinsic beauty?

And, you, how do you feel beauty?

In this video, designer Richard Seymour explains why he stopped using words like « function », pursuing now the emotional functionality of things, reminding us that we see things not as they are but as we are.



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Sympathy vs. Empathy, feeling with people

Gustav KLIMT – Seeufer Mit Birken, 1901 – Huile sur toile, 90 x 90 cm


What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering?

In this beautifully short animation created by Gobblynne for the Royal Society for the Arts online lecture series, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

Basically, qualities of empathy are perspective taking, staying out of judgment, recognising emotion in other people, then communicating that. Empathy is feeling WITH people. And keep in mind that rarely can an answer make something better. What makes something better is connection.



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Insight #58

Caravaggio-Meduse-Medusa-insight-coaching-art, colère, hatred, anger
Michelangelo CARAVAGGIO – Tête de Méduse – Huile sur toile montée sur bois – 1598, 60 x 55 cm (gauche) – 1596, 48 x 55 cm (droite)


“La haine et la colère sont le plus grand poison du bonheur et de l’esprit.”

“Hatred and anger are the greatest poison to the happiness of a good mind.”

― Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments


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Money, money, money… how not losing face if your proposal is rejected

Andy WARHOL – Dollar Sign, 1982 – Acrylique et encre à sérigraphie sur toile, 25,4 x 20,3 cm.


Judith White, Visiting Associate Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, proposes a very simple way to avoid having this painful feeling of being ashamed or even losing face when the outcome of a salary negociation is not as positive as expected (litotes intended).

She observed such emotions happen when proposals reflect the personal value or worth of the requester. Such connection is so strong that fear of losing face even motivates people to avoid a negotiation.

To overcome such a fear, she suggests to reframe the negotiation. Instead of visualising the drama that would happen in case of having a request denied, a solution is to think about how good would be the feeling coming from the fact that the conversation has been initiated. With other words, focus on the intention and the process, not on the outcome. Somehow, it’s a way to develop self-confidence, taking distance from others’ perception.

In any case, I would advise to systematically reflect on your emotions… and to accept them. Beyond that, look for learnings and unexpected benefits or convert emotions such as fear or stress into an opportunity to leverage your network for a centered leadership.




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Beyond 360°


The 360-degree feedback – or multi-source assessment – is often used by corporations to plan and map specific paths in leaders’ development as they provide them with empirical data highlighting strengths and weaknesses (or ‘areas for improvement’).

If it dates back to the 1950s, it is even more relevant today as we realise that effective leaders need to have a positive self-awareness but also an appropriate dose of humility, knowing what they are good at, acknowledging they are not great at everything, and realising they can improve, too.

Zenger Folkman have defined a list of 11 components characterising a best-in-class 360° assessment. Some of those really caught my attention:

  • Use response scale like “Outstanding Strength, Strength, Competent, Needs Some Improvement, or Needs Significant Improvement” that avoids a false positive. Indeed, classical scales going from « Strongly agree » to « Strongly disagree » often let average performers believe they do well when items such as « Innovates », « Takes initiatives » or « Champions change » are rated « Agree » while they are just OK… and OK being not enough.
  • Compare scores to a high standard and not to the average of respondents, as leaders who are the best performers make an enormous difference in the performance of the company. This induces what I call the « look up » attitude.
  • Identify the most important competencies, especially if the survey includes many items to rate. This will help people define priorities.
  • Emphasize building on strengths, not only on weaknesses. It makes the experience positive, ensuring leaders identify their greatest skills.  This includes the need to provide insights on how build strengths.
  • Focus written comments on fixing fatal flaws, not minor improvements. Asking « Is there anything this person does that might be considered a significant weakness or fatal flaw? » instead of describing areas for improvement gives a straightforward output and not a long vague list of suggestions.
  • Make it an efficient process, i.e. make the survey short, especially when respondents have to supply feedback for many people.

That being said, let’s keep in mind that 360-degree assessments are 100%… subjective per se. The way people evaluate a colleague is implicitely a way to say how they perform or an expression of their own competences. The scores they give reflect their perception, they are not an evaluation made by a sample of experts or by a representative sample of the population. Somehow, I consider a 360-degree evaluation as both a portrait (of the leader) and a self-portrait (of the organisation).

In this context, the coaching which should necessarily be included in the process will link measurement and emotions.  Considering scores, statements and reactions from both assessed and assessing parties, it will be used as a springboard to proceed to a honest self-reflection, whatever the scores observed in the assessment could be, whatever the discrepancy between what people think about themselves and what others do.



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Question de coach (5)


Le pouvoir et le sens des émotions donnent à celles-ci un rôle primordial dans notre existence. Toutefois, peur, tristesse, colère et joie – les quatre émotions de base – n’acquièrent une valence positive ou négative qu’en fonction de la façon dont nous les vivons, les gérons, les acceptons car, paradoxalement, elles sont neutres par essence. Aussi, c’est principalement lorsqu’elles nous débordent que les émotions deviennent un handicap ou une entrave à des relations harmonieuses.

Dans son ouvrage Négociations sensibles, George Kohlrieser nous présente trois outils simples pour calmer les émotions dans des situations où les émotions menacent de prendre le dessus et d’entraver la communication entre deux individus :

  • Donner le choix, c’est-à-dire offrir à l’interlocuteur la possibilité de s’approprier la décision, passant d’un processus purement émotionnel à une réflexion d’apparence rationnelle.
  • Apporter de la perspective, ou encore recadrer en confrontant à l’idée que la situation n’est ni permanente, ni désespérée, ni omniprésente.
  • Faire une pause, à savoir s’extraire du débat, même pour un bref instant.

C’est de cela que provient une question que j’affectionne particulièrement, tant pour sa simplicité que par la mise en perspective qu’elle ne peut manquer de provoquer lorsque le coaché se laisse envahir par ses émotions :

Quelle importance cela aura-t-il dans cinquante ans ?

De fait, cette question amène à se projeter dans l’avenir, à nuancer son point-de-vue, à entrevoir les valeurs comme des objectifs de vie et – par là – à occuper une position autre que la position actuelle.

Il en résulte en général non seulement une baisse de la tension mais aussi un élan nouveau sur lequel il est possible de rebondir pour positiver la situation. Ainsi, il devient même logique de demander ensuite ce qui aura de l’importance dans cinquante ans, autrement dit ce sur quoi il est important de se focaliser aujourd’hui dans une démarche saine et constructive.


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