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Like Fish in Our Own Fish Bowls

Mathieu Bonte


Mathieu Bonte



March 30, 2021

In the old world, when we could still physically be together at work, employee communication already had its set of challenges. Today, this has taken on a whole new dimension. Employees no longer have the opportunity to ‘put their fish on the table’ (we talked about this concept in a previous article) to settle their differences by being transparent to increase ‘communicational’ fluidity and professional efficiency. Not being able to be physically together for such a long time only worsens things.

Whatever the size and type of organisation, whatever the managerial model, we are all faced with a major challenge. We need to restore the spirit and soul of our companies, departments and teams and to regain a little humanity, serenity, fluidity and mutual understanding. If not consequences such as burnouts, depression and frequent ‘breakdown’ will happen all too often.

As I write this article, our future can seem very unsure and bleak. But let me reassure you, as human beings, we are trained to adapt to new circumstances … as long as we keep in mind a few key elements:



Not like in the old world, but take it to the next level. Listen deeply and actively to what your people are saying to you – straightforward or between the lines. Try to disconnect from your overflowing agenda and invest in your listening time, avoiding being distracted by your own perspective. The more you ignore your other tasks and priorities at the time, the more you will be able to understand the other person, and thus move forward more efficiently. (Flashback to our article about listening here).


“Deprism” yourself 

Sorry for the neologism… In a way, it is extremely interesting to be aware of the fact that you (just like me, just like your colleagues, partners…) live in your personal prism, which is made up of core values, ephemeral values, preconceived beliefs, judgements and emotions. I can assure you that by simply being aware of your own prism, you will be able to take a step back or – better still – to see further and wider, even if only for the time of a meeting or an important exchange with a colleague or partner. The hidden reward behind this? The opportunity to work towards a larger, more sustainable goal and – above all – towards a more impactful solution for you and your organisation.


Trust your intuition

Until a few years ago, I wasn’t really aware of how powerful intuition can be… if you cultivate it and respect it. Our feelings, even though they may seem subjective and rootless, come to you without really understanding how. But if you are willing to trust yourself and your intuition, then it is likely that you will go off the beaten track and make certain decisions and actions differently.


Be creative in ways you never thought possible

Behind every problem is a solution. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper, but I assure you, believe in yourself and your ability to reinvent yourself and find creative solutions to keep you going.


Cherish your own self

In the end, it’s all about you., So care for your own self! Your desires, your expectations, your balance, your personal values… Better late than never! Pause and ask yourself what you want in your private and professional life, and how the two can co-exist with the least possible friction. This notion of the self may sound a little ‘clichéd’, but it is at the heart of everything that is happening in and around you.


Get closer to your core values

In an increasingly complex world, it has never been more important to understand ourselves and to detect the real values that drive us. Our value system will always be there to remind us – consciously or unconsciously – if what we do, the way we behave, is aligned with our true values.


Ask yourself the right questions

Physical distance is certainly not your best friend, so always take the time to ask yourself the right questions when faced with a problem. Pause before you act fast and furious. You will come out stronger, more effective, more aligned with yourself.


Take care of your feedback

Feedback was already a focus in the old world, it is even more so in the new world! Keep in mind that good feedback should focus on the actions, not the actors. It should be non-judgmental, non-subjective, factual and rational, authentic, constructive and useful. Never forget to specify your deadline for this feedback and the degree of urgency.

So, if you have read to this point, you probably have some interest in the topic. Take the time to take the time, pause, and think beyond your next video call!


Author: Mathieu Bonte

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