Philosophical FAQ

As the adventure went on, Léon was interviewed by journalists eager to highlight initiatives with a positive impact. We wanted to share with you some of the thoughts that came out of these interviews.

What is the origin of the creation of Listen Léon?

It is said that great things happen when experimentation, understanding and meaning align. 

Six years ago, Marion, co-founder of Listen Léon, started a new job. It was a real challenge that put her out of her comfort zone. She was terrified. She feared in her heart that she wouldn't measure up. 

One day, by accident, she overheard a conversation between her manager and the human resources director. They were pointing out strengths that Marion thought she was inherently lacking. 

And it had an incredible impact on her commitment, her energy and her creativity! That's how she discovered the power of positive integration. From this experience, it led to a deep conviction: that of allowing each person to become aware of his or her own strengths and to reveal those of others.

What is Listen Léon used for?

Listen Léon allows everyone to generate a viral movement of kindness and gratitude through anonymous compliments : strong, positive feedback, sincere and genuine compliments. And thus generating the culture of collaborative recognition in companies.

A Léon is a strong, selfless act. Let's dare to care, let's dare to share!

Léon is also a trigger for a behavioural change through interactive workshops that raise awareness and establish the benefits of courage and gratitude.

How does Listen Léon work?

Listen Léon is a self-esteem strongbox that helps develop a culture of collaborative recognition in companies, schools and in our society in general.

So how does it works ?


An app allowing you to exchange anonymous compliments about the skills of those around you. Positive feedback and strong feedforward, sincere and authentic compliments.

We trust in the human desire to do good. That said, to support in the process, Listen Léon relies on Artificial Intelligence to validate that the messages are really positive!


Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Léon analyses the semantics of these testimonials to reveal :

  • to each recipient their hidden strengths and offer them a real-time tracking of their strengths.
  • to the organization, the myriad of strengths and skills that it comprises. 

This allows us to build on our talents, our strengths, our skills. 


A trigger for a change in behaviour in companies via workshops led by our specialists in cognitive neuroscience or emotional intelligence. 

  • Workshops to awaken consciences, establish the benefits of courage and gratitude in companies without fear of judgment.

We offer you a real-time macro chart of the forces available to develop peer-to-peer apprenticeship and support. 


This is not a social media network; there is no "wall" or "Like". 

It is a social impact network !

Your messages are visible only to you and are stored in your Léon strongbox, a unique space where "words fly away and writing remains" ... :)

What is the power of recognition?

Maslow's works have shown that humans need to nurture physiological needs for security, belonging, recognition and fulfillment. 

In order to achieve the need for fulfillment, humans first and foremost need recognition, initially by themselves and then by others. Yet we have not been conditioned to love ourselves at the risk of being labelled self-centered, narcissistic or pretentious. Yet studies in positive psychology have shown that if I dare to give gratitude to myself upfront, I am more inclined to give it to others. So if I learn to get away from the automatic "thank you" given out of politeness and take the time to show gratitude to myself and to those around me, then I contribute to nourishing my need for recognition and I can move on to the next step, that of accomplishment.

What impact will Listen Léon have on me?

Listen Léon trains your mind. Neuroscience today provides us with new keys to analyze the functioning of our brain, especially thanks to the discovery of mirror neurons (a category of neurons in the brain that show activity both when an individual performs an action and when he observes another individual performing the same action). We can now try to adapt the world of work to the reality of brain activity.


We all have the potential to be kind to others. We are biologically equipped to do so, to care for others.


On the basis of this potential that we inherited from evolution, with the help of Listen Léon, we can train our mind and rewire our brain to extend the circle of altruism more and more to other people. Many studies show that this also dramatically decreases depression and anxiety, therefore we can bring a healthier well-being to our everyday life. 


Training the mind changes the brain through neuroplasticity. If we change the way our mind works, we change the way we experience the world. This change is the result of a mind training. 


What is most important however, is not the reception of the positive testimony, but the state of mind we have during the delivery of the positive message. We feel proud, we feel responsible. We feel like a beautiful person.

Why is it so hard for our brain to focus on the positive?

Our brain is still the same as the homo sapiens of 30,000 years ago. It has not evolved while our environment is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA World). It is still in "I spot the dangers" reflex mode. At one time, this served us every day, but today it systematically directs us to negative thoughts. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner in economics, has shown that in a lasting relationship, it takes 5 positive interactions to balance a negative. 


Thanks to cerebral imagery and positive psychology, we know that it is possible to strengthen one's ability to see situations from another angle, to orient oneself towards a solution rather than a problem. 

So we invite you to voluntarily switch to this adaptive system to learn how to build on and towards the positive.

Why introduce gratitude in the professional world? What effects can be expected?

Today, most organizations are in a transformation process to face this world which is becoming increasingly complex at a very high speed (VUCA World). 


Inside, there is this injunction to innovate, to take risks. But to innovate, you have to dare to disobey others, to disobey yourself. If we do not feel respected, psychologically safe, or recognized for who we are, then this much sought-after innovation will be nothing but wishful thinking.


By introducing gratitude in the workplace, we see a calmer collective, a strong increase in self-confidence and confidence in the collective. Recognition creates a desire to cooperate. 


Observing the strengths of others helps us realize that we need our colleagues to achieve our goals. Cooperation is a long process in organizations that have operated for decades in silos. Gratitude is a fast-track. 


Observer les forces des autres nous aide à prendre conscience que nous avons besoin de nos collègues pour arriver à nos objectifs et réciproquement. La gratitude est un accélérateur pour mettre en place le (long) processus de coopération : là où habituellement l’acte individuel est célébré, la coopération le sera. C’est une vraie révolution du monde du travail qui s’opère. 


Teams of researchers at Berkeley have shown that gratitude develops the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain dedicated to learning and decision-making. So, yes, when it is pure, gratuitous, free of cognitive bias, gratitude has a direct impact on the performance of the collective. 


And in the current economic circumstances, a company's best competitive advantage is the unique combination of its strengths and the way it brings them to light.

Is everyone affected by gratitude at work?

Yes, of course! Everybody is concerned about gratitude in and out of the work world!


On the voluntary basis without injunction, spontaneously without waiting for the annual review, without expecting anything in return, out of sight. 


We all have moments of gratitude for our office neighbours, our colleagues, our customers, our suppliers, we just don't act out of modesty, fear of judgment, fear of interpretation etc.


In our opinion, this modesty must be preserved in this age of social media. A public compliment has less charm and substance than a confidential act of gratitude.


Also, we are not yet used to transmitting these positive emotions. The practice of gratitude is not automatic. It requires a conscious effort and practice. By freeing positive speech, we can strengthen gratitude. Eventually our brain will have internalized it and it will become natural!

Why does Listen Léon advocate for anonymous positive feedback rather than face-to-face?

Above all, we aim for the practice of gratitude at work. We aim to transfer the power of recognition to all members of an organization. Most importantly, we do not oppose other practices; they are complementary. 

Leon is not intended to replace face-to-face interactions. On the contrary, according to our clients, it ultimately strengthens them because feeling appreciated for our clients, it ultimately strengthens them because feeling appreciated for our skills allows us to go out and constructively collaborate with others.

Anonymity guarantees a honest compliment. There is no flattery, no calculating, no return of the favour. There are no ulterior motives. It is completely sincere and genuine.

Anonymity allows the author to be erased in order to focus on the compliment itself, on its content. In this way, anonymity frees us from our interpretive biases. There are no issues of judgment. Anonymity frees the authenticity of the exchanges, frees the effect of a really surprising gift.  

Of course, if you wish to sign your compliment, you may do so. 

With use, you realize that anonymity has more impact. 

"The reason I chose anonymity is to address you more directly. Since you don't know who I am, you won't be tempted to look for reasons why I say what you read; just accept this free gift, period. " 

From a Léon giver

If gratitude feeds the need for recognition, why propose a self-esteem strongbox?

Strongbox, Comments book, the idea here is to collect in a unique place, our hidden garden, all our compliments and associated strengths. We all have our little blues, in those moments, going back to see the treasures of the strongbox can warm the heart ;) 


We talk about self-esteem strongbox because the strong messages on Listen Léon are not visible to everyone. In our opinion, on corporate social networks, recognition advertising induces superficial recognition. What we are interested in are true and deep messages between two individuals.

With Léon, gratitude is delivered and humility is preserved.

Above all, the feedback from Léon givers has shown us that with practice, the need for personal recognition fades for the pleasure of recognizing the other and the collective. 

Alexandre Jollien in the preface of Robert Emmons' book, Gratitude, This Force That Changes Everything, sums it up perfectly in a magnificent formulation: 

"To work to develop gratitude within us is to get closer to others and dare to go out of oneself to discover the world as it proposes itself. The miracle of gratitude is that it makes us better while throwing us off-center."

Are there studies to measure the impact of a received compliment?

There are many studies on the impact of gratitude including the work of Robert Emmons. The one we find remarkable is that of Berkeley researchers Fox, Kaplan and Damasio, who published a study in 2015 titled "Neural Correlates of Gratitude".


The results revealed that while study participants feel gratitude, brain activity occurs in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Medial Prefrontal Cortex. Simply put, these areas of the brain play a role in the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate, and cognitive functions such as anticipation, decision-making, empathy and emotion. Practicing gratitude activates the prefrontal part of our neocortex: the seat of intelligence. 

What if our gratitude made us smarter? ;) 


Impact measurement is at the core of our project. Along with our users, we created our own impact measurement, our humanistic KPI: The Muditā. It is a Hindu and Buddhist term meaning a selfless joy that celebrates the virtues of others. 


Also, we were selected by researchers from the University of Montréal in Quebec (UQAM) to conduct a scientific study on the impact of Listen Léon.

How can companies encourage fulfillment in the workplace?

In this crisis of meaning and trust (the news shows it to us every day); above all it is necessary to highlight differences, celebrate plurality of views rather than uniformity and banish unique models of Leadership. We are seeing an obsolescence of traditional managerial models. So this is what needs to be reconsidered first and foremost. 


To have the audacity to rethink these old models is to impose CSR at the heart of companies. CSR in the sense of the definition of sustainable development, which does not choose between economic performance on one hand, ecology or human capital on the other, but rather an inclusive strategy that thinks of these three aspects at the same time. Performance can only be lasting if it is economic, human and environmental at the same time.

How is Listen Léon different from social media?

As mentioned above, Listen Léon is not a social media app but a social impact network. We are the opposite of Twitter: a Léon must be at least 140 characters long. 


Jacques Lecomte, Ph.D in psychology, both an optimist and a realist, rigorously demonstrates human goodness in his work through scientific evidence and a series of facts that there is innate potential for goodness, empathy and kindness in all of us. It is this potentiality that must be activated and brought to light now.

According to Listen Léon, what are the 3 main trends that will shape our relation to work in the future?

The changes in work (in reference to François Dubet's book) are already there. 

The question for us is how will we act? Action has become a necessity. 


Acting to solve this crisis of meaning in our companies, in society. This crisis of meaning calls for a revolution through giving and counter-giving, to echo the work of the anthropologist Marcel Mauss. 


Changing stance facing obsolescence and hybridization of skills. We must all be entrepreneurs of our own lives, entrepreneurs of our jobs.The cross-cutting nature of knowledge now requires us to develop our behavioural or soft skills.


We believe that it is precisely the diversity of profiles and the acceptance of our differences that will enable us to grasp these changes in the workplace. We can all be actors in these changes to bring forth meaning and positive impact. 


We call for a revolution through Giving, our users are Care revolutionaries! 

From which paradigm did Listen Léon's strength-mapping emerge?

Our strength-mapping is based on the universal model of the 24 strengths and 6 virtues of Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. 

We have adapted this model to Listen Léon's environment.

What are the different ways to express gratitude at work?

There are lots of nice ways. Here are a few little tips that Léon loves and that always have an incredible impact (to share without restrain) : 


  • The enchanted round table: 

Start all of your project meetings with a voluntary round table discussion. Each collective member in turn expresses what he or she appreciates about the project, highlighting what works. It can be simple or in-depth, it doesn't matter. Give your brain free rein...

Then, observe how the meeting unfolds, building up a climate of trust. 

Creativity is multiplied tenfold, the brains have switched to focus on solutions rather than problems! 


  • Little anonymous gifts:

Give a free anonymous gift to your office neighbor or your boss. Slip into their office, leave a cheerful and colorful post-it, clean the coffee machine without anyone seeing, put a flower or a card with an inspiring quote on your colleague's desk etc, etc. Give free rein to your imagination. Then, discreetly observe the ear-to-ear smiles that come, mmmm how nice! 


  • Sending Léons: 

And of course, we recommend you send Léons* ! 

*1 Léon = an authentic act of gratitude, a surprise gift.

Anyway... why "Léon" ?

We tell you everything here: 

For more technical questions, look this way: