Bard Papegaaij

Re-humanising Work and Society

Bard is a philosopher, writer, practitioner and teacher with a deep compassion for the human condition and a burning desire to help people live better lives, do better work and create a more sustainable and socially connected society in the process. Those may be lofty goals and sound somewhat unobtainable, but Bard has a uniquely pragmatic approach to these challenges. He breaks complex concepts down into simple, compelling and powerful stories, frameworks and models. His keynotes and workshops give people practical tools and ways to take control of their own development. And his very personal style, sprinkled with humour, anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, engage and motivate audiences to see beyond the obvious and the limited, into a future in which anything is possible.

Bard has spent his whole life trying to understand what makes us humans tick. He started his career researching Machine Translation (computers translating between human languages), Artificial Intelligence (Expert Systems, Neural Networks, Machine Learning). From there he went on as a Software Engineer, Enterprise Architect, Senior Consultant, Interim Manager, CTO and CIO for a wide range of companies, most recently working for Gartner - the world’s largest IT Research and Advisory firm - as Executive Partner and Research Vice President. But even though he worked most of his professional career in the IT industry he has always approached everything from the human angle: how does it make us feel, why do we behave in this way, how do we decide, how do we change - or don’t?

Introduced by his late wife Michal Levit to the field of Emotional Intelligence, he has explored the idea of the emotionally mature workplace and how to achieve that. Throughout 30+ years of working with organisations all over the planet he has helped individuals and organisations with maturing their awareness and mastery of their individual and collective emotional abilities; creating more inspiring and sustainable approaches to leadership and team development; and taking responsibility for the future evolution of their organisational cultures. Especially in the past 10 years, Bard has become a well-known speaker and workshop facilitator at large conferences, seminars and summits, as well as a highly sought-after advisor and mentor for a customer-base spanning the globe.

Bard does not just talk about these the topics he is passionate about, he coaches, mentors and facilitates workshops and off-sites for individuals, teams and whole organisations. He always tailors his keynotes, workshops and off-sites to the needs of his customers, combining material from his extensive library of topics and modules with fresh material in new and effective ways.

Popular Topics

Re-humanising Work

Work is not something we only do to earn a living, it’s a social activity that we spend a large part of our life on, gives us a sense of self-worth and belonging and can give us sense of meaning, purpose and satisfaction.
The levels of employee disengagement, burn-out and stress-induced illnesses are at an unacceptably high. And the pressure is getting higher, not lower, with the radical transformation forced upon organisations by the wave of the Digital Revolution currently happening. When organisations face disruption and deep change, they need their workforce to be creative, innovative and explorative. They need their people to feel free to try new things, experiment, push the envelope ….
In this presentation/workshop we take a closer look at:

  • The reasons so many people are disengaged and demotivated
  • How current management practices seem aggravate the problem
  • How the Digital Revolution is fundamentally changing the landscape
  • Why that means we need a drastic re-evaluation
  • Redesign of how we manage and motivate our workforce if we want to successfully navigate the current wave of disruption.

Emotional Intelligence, Leadership and Influence

Emotional Intelligence is a determining factor for success in demanding jobs, high-pressure environments and leadership positions. The good news is that – unlike IQ – most aspects of Emotional Intelligence can be improved significantly through awareness and practice, resulting in visible improvements in self-management, social awareness and managing complex social interactions and relationships.

In this presentation/workshop we show what the basic competencies underlying Emotional Intelligence are and how to start improving them; how a different way of listening and having conversations helps deal with conflict and resistance; and how different ways of focusing one’s attention are an essential part of managing one’s energy and focus for optimal effectiveness.

The following topics are covered and explored:

  • Why Emotional Intelligence is so important
  • How Emotional Intelligence can be trained
  • How to understand and manage emotional upheavals
  • The art of focus and attention
  • The importance of doing nothing
  • How have better conversations 

What’s Your Story

It's easy to feel powerless in this vast and complex world of ours. After all, you are only one individual out of billions of people. How would you ever think to have any significant impact?
Even when we are relatively successful and come out on top, if all we do is staving off the inevitable end a bit longer, it leaves us with a deep-felt sense of unease and lack of fulfilment. It doesn’t have to be like this. We don’t have to feel powerless, directionless, and empty. Even when thrown about by the raging waters of life and pulled inexorably forward, we can make choices.
In this presentation/workshop we explore:

  • What we need to practice to become the conscious authors of our own narrative
  • How to develop awareness, sense of direction and strength of purpose
  • How to create a personal guiding framework that helps us assess our options and select the ones most likely to progress us on the path we choose to travel, based on our own belief system, temperament and personality

The Power of Expectations

We are an intensely social species. From the moment we are born to the moment we die we rely on other people for our survival and well-being. Our survival instincts are closely connected to our social needs and behaviours and one of our deepest needs is to belong: to someone, to a family, a group, a society, a country, … Our sense of safety and well-being is so strongly tied to the groups we identify with that being thrown out of any of those groups is traumatic and painful, mentally comparable to the amputation of a limb or other physical injury. We need to belong to something to survive.

To make sure we remain part of our social safety network we need to know what is expected of us. We need to know how other people see us and expect us to behave. We need to understand the subtle signals our peers use to show they are part of the same group. We need to know this in enough detail and depth to enable us to live up to other peoples’ perception of us, so we don’t surprise them or disappoint them, which could cause them to reject us and leave us isolated and alone.

This need to live up to how other people perceive us is the power of expectation.

In this presentation/workshop we look at:

  • How we can use the power of expectations to our advantage, so we can take control of our mission in life.
  • How to be aware of the dynamics of expectations and understanding the pressure those expectations exert on us we can harness their power and use them to our advantage.
  • Look at ways to (re)set what other people expect of us and how to make their expectations a powerful force to help us along on our journey and live more closely the narrative we desire to live.
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