Author Archives: janie

About janie

Janie Lazar is at heart a ChangeMaker. As a qualified Business Coach, experienced Trainer, Group Facilitator, Tedx Speaker she works with professionals and has developed a program of personal development specifically to improve performance and boost confidence for people whose first language is NOT English. Janie also works as a Celebrant and MC (Master of Ceremonies).

Take Time to Make the Time – What Comes Next Post Covid-19

To say the past few months have given us all much to think about would be an understatement. Now that we’re beginning to emerge and use our judgement on who we socialise with and what level of social distancing to maintain, I felt the need to vocalise some thoughts I’ve been rattling around inside my head about what I’ve seen, what I’ve heard and felt and I’d invite you to also reflect. Because now.  Now is the time for critical thinking. And not only thinking. The old maxim actions speak louder than words has never rung louder.

Allow me to put this in context from a personal perspective. In February I was just about recovering from major surgery, feeling delighted with myself as yet again I dodged a second serious silver bullet in 20 years. Then BANG. Along came Covid-19.  I wouldn’t say what I saw it was mass hysteria more a state of disbelief.  No-one could really take in what impact this would have on us here in Ireland and across the world.  Italy opened our eyes, made us see the enormity of what lay ahead.  But let’s be honest here.  It somehow became a distant reality. Italy bought us time, but we did not HEAR her message.  We opened our hearts but closed our ears even as we saw coverage on social media of massive death tolls. We cried as many Italians turned to music, their balconies bringing their communities together and us into theirs but still we did not feel the insidious nature of the unseen enemy, this deadly virus. Then almost overnight, Ireland stopped.

So just what did I see and what did I hear?

Probably the same as you.  What I saw were people scurrying around, following the guidelines as our neighbourhoods emptied of life.  People almost too scared to look people in the eye. As if smiling even could put us and them at risk.  People were panic buying.  The fear was palpable.  Get home, lock the door. Stay safe. Stay alive.  BE GRATEFUL.

Is a human life only worth saving during a pandemic?  Let me just repeat that….  is a human life only worth saving during a pandemic? 

It was and still is emotional rollercoaster for many and the longer term impact as yet unknown.  Parents suddenly finding themselves ‘Parenting from Home’ rather than ‘Working from Home’ that is if they still had paid work.  Home schooling, getting families fed three times a day (well the fortunate ones), a different kind of treadmill.   Anxiety over cancelled hospital appointments.  Frustration, Anger and Grief ran through me and I’m sure many others as the reality sank in.  Wasn’t I thankful I had a roof over my head? Of course I was.  This crisis was highlighting how vulnerable and at risk homeless people were and how their desperate situation was jeopardising the lives of countless others who like those in Direct Provision had no way of ‘keeping safe’ – what was becoming absolutely clear to me was that our hitherto two-tier health system had become a single tier where if you were sick with Covid-19, you would be treated.  The question remains what happens afterwards?  Is a human life only worth saving during a pandemic?  Let me just repeat that….  is a human life only worth saving during a pandemic? How we grieve for our dead – or cannot during a pandemic continue to fill our radio waves just about every day. How people survive without jobs, without money for essentials raises questions for the longer term – no better time for the Universal Basic Wage to be reconsidered.

As acceptance settled in with a feeling of ‘it is what it is’ becoming almost ‘de rigeur’ as was the need for keeping a cheery countenance of sorts, which in itself creates its own form of anxiety in the body too, no matter how thankful we are.  No wonder now we’re weary and exhausted as we gather the strength to put energy into this next phase of living differently.  It’s been like an emotional see-saw, the inner turmoil of moving from overwhelm to gratitude and the practicalities of adjustment, particularly for those like me who still work.

The ‘have nots’ have almost always shared what they have because they’ve known what it is to go without.

As I moved on from what I felt was the negative emotional impact, I could seeing just how resilient people are, how thoughtful and kind to one another, how creative people are in how they are using their time, and this time with their families that has been developed into something incredibly rich in many cases, like butterflies in their chrysalis, transforming into something incredibly beautiful and precious, relationships deepening that would not have happened without this pandemic.  Some businesses are ‘pivoting’ and flourishing.  Just as small businesses are reimagining and restructuring to stay afloat, sadly though many have and others will close.  The impact on the Irish economy and global economy is beyond the grasp of most of us and finally we’re realising how interconnected we all are.  That we need each other and that together no-one need be left behind.  But this can only happen when we as enlightened citizens must make the changes in our lifetime that only future generations will benefit from.  Politics is already getting in the way and unless we are strong in our demands on what we want, in what we inherently know benefits the whole of society then our country, known for its kindness will simply return to the way it was, a land of ‘haves and have nots’.  The ‘have nots’ have almost always shared what they have because they’ve known what it is to go without.  They know that ‘enough is more than enough’ and the value of being part of a community.

So what’s my point amidst this deconstructed rant…. There IS a gap.  And it is a critical space in time and that time is now. Between dealing with this crisis and full on re-engagement.  For each of us this will be based on what we each saw, what we each have heard and have felt. It is perhaps the only time we have to really think about what we want for our world and the benefit of the sacrifices we are being asked to make, we are unlikely to feel the benefit of during our lifetime.  We’re not all movers and shakers and the prospect of knowing where to start dealing with the bigger issues of homelessness, universal access to healthcare, education and all the things as humanists we fervently believe everybody has a basic human right to expect.  But we can make a difference at a local level.  Within our communities, where and how we use our skills. As part of how we earn a living, as volunteers.  This much we can all do.

As we begin to socialise and carefully re-engage with family and friends, the fear will of course remain beneath the surface.  Like smallpox, this virus and others like it will be something we have to learn to live with and we’ll be making judgement calls every day.  Life will be different and for generations to come, hopefully the good calls we make in our everyday lives will also help create stronger, more compassionate communities.

Yes it takes a village to raise a child’ – now I believe it takes a country’s citizens to create lasting change

Maybe the future will see people moving back into the cities, with office blocks returning to residential use, less reliance on public transport and use of cars as people work closer to home, from or partly from home, lower incidences of mental health problems as people become more connected in their local communities.  Greater connection between the generations as we revisit our values and recognise the human value of intergenerational connection and learning.  Gandi’s words ‘It takes a Gandi said, be the change you want to see in the world’ are ever more urgent. My hope is that each of us based on what we have seen during this pandemic, what we have learnt will make the time to take the time to reflect and each in our way, take the good out of what’s been so devastating as the building blocks for what can be ONCE AGAIN a most wonderful world.  Yes it takes a village to raise a child’ – now I believe it takes a country’s citizens to create lasting change. 

Janie Lazar, Humanist, Specialist Speaker Coach, TEDx Dun Laoghaire Curator, Celebrant and Optimist

OUR CHANGING WORLD

Is this our chance to make a real contribution for future generations? Because if not now, then probably it will never happen and so many lives will have been sacrificed. And for what? It’s now, before a ‘new normal’ resumes, we need to be thinking ahead on what we can each do, because there’s a moral imperative for us all to make it happen.

It’s been a while, a long time since I published any musings even though I write often . But now I feel a need to put some thoughts out there and maybe some of it will resonate with you.  Yes. Our world has changed. And when Covid-19 hits closer to home than reports on the news or social media, it becomes more than unsettling, the realisation that we now have the opportunity to make real long term change to create a more just, more compassionate world strikes a chord somewhere deep inside of  me which gives me hope and, as importantly, courage!

Covid-19 has changed everything. How we can live and how we might die – unexpectedly.  Across the world we have seen the lives of people we don’t know taken and through the media, many stories of personal loss. Covid-19 and non-related illnesses have brought us face to face with the harsh reality of not being able to say goodbye to loved ones and the loneliness of not being able to support one another as we’ve always done.

A very close friend’s Auntie died of Covid-19 and her funeral was live-streamed which in itself is something that I am not, as yet comfortable with. As I watched and saw not only the empty church, but one of the daughters stroking the head of her young son as the priest spoke and in the row behind, a father put his arms around the two teenage children seated either side of him my heart went out to them all.  A sad day under any circumstance but during the current Covid-19 Government Restrictions, even sadder. The family had already discussed bringing everyone together at a time when everyone could, as the family said ‘look each other in the eye’ and reminisce, talk about the impact their mum, their granny had on people’s lives.  Because, here in Ireland, that’s what we do, as someone said to me recently, ‘we do death well‘ because being together after a burial or cremation goes a long way in helping us deal with our grief. Gatherings held in the homes of families, in local hotels and often the pub give  us a safe space in which to share our grief. The all too simple act of recounting stories over tea and sandwiches, sharing memories over a few pints gives us permission to cry together, shed tears. This is how we begin to come to terms with loss. Now under the restrictions of Covid-19, this we can no longer do. Instead, it is our front line medics and care workers who make sure no-one faces that final journey alone as they put themselves at risk. In time though, people will once again come together and together we will heal.

Only when Covid-19 comes into your life, into your family or of someone close to you, does reality hit with a ferocity that really hurts. Only then and it is only as this pandemic has become more intense, it is touching the lives more people and as it does, it is taking the lives of people we know and love. I have sisters in the UK and in New Zealand, two of us with ‘underlying conditions’, two sisters ‘cocooning’ as best they can.  Three countries.  Three different government strategies in place. Of course I am worried and know spending time considering conspiracy theories is not going to help.  Nothing like this has happened in my lifetime and I doubt in yours and hopefully it will not happen again, but right now, we don’t know really know where this insidious virus has come from or when a vaccine will become available to help protect us. There are bigger and far better brains than mine working on that, on the science to develop vaccines for Covid-19 and working out how to keep our world turning. It has made countries throughout the world think of their citizens first, though global collaboration and a strategy for long term prevention and control of such diseases is essential.In countries like New Zealand, we have seen real leadership in action as Jacinda Ardern, their fantastic PM through her daily broadcasts talks directly to each and every part of society there.  Addressing their fears, reassuring them, whilst all the time being pragmatic and realistic.  Being human.  And our own Government here has pulled together well too. In an environment where so much is unknown and there is always room to do more, they’ve communicated well and as well as I think they can right now.

For most of us, the most constructive thing we can do is to think of others by isolating ourselves, it is the only sure way of stopping the potential spread of this deadly virus. And in Ireland, we’re social creatures, so having our lives put on hold somehow goes against our natural instincts. But there is no justification in feeling hard done by.  Or feeling bored or frustrated at not being able to get outside. Before Covid-19 infiltrated our world, time was the one commodity we never seemed to have enough of, so now many of us have the privilege of choosing how we spent it. Financially, everyone is worried, but you know, we’ll come through this if we all continue to pull together.   This isn’t the first time we’ve learnt to manage with very little and yes, having ‘enough’ really is more than enough. We can escape into books, films, videos. Being kinder to ourselves and if living with others, try our very best to do what is right.  However difficult some situations are – and I’m not being naïve here, how we face this could be the difference between life and death as putting our own short term ‘wants’ increases the risk for others. The degree to which everyone continues to observe the restrictions lessens the risk to our front line medics and essential workers and respects the enormous personal sacrifices they continue to make every day to keep us safe.  They don’t have the luxury of #stayinghometosavelives instead, they put their lives on the line every day.

The last funeral I was at shook me up.  It was late January and was for a woman close to my own age. A sudden death.  As the invited celebrant with less than 48 hours to talk to her daughter and get to ‘know’ her mother, I listened as she told me stories and gave me insights into her mother, glimpses of how she was as a ‘granny’ to her own children, of her working life and how she liked to spend her free time which enabled me to tell her mother’s story through a ceremony which provided a source of comfort to people. The ceremony was held In a crematorium where there is only a short window for funerals so words matter.  Being together matters and whatever the circumstances of death, unexpected as with Covid-19, sudden through natural causes or expected after long illness, how we celebrate a person’s life gives meaning and helps the healing.  It struck a chord with me for many reasons, liviing alone, having dodged a few bullets and another one just recently too, I  am thankful now to be well and to have had my surgery just before Christmas.  Whatever the future is to bring, I want to make sure my time is spent making a difference and on what matters most.

Relationships Matter. Connection Matters. So what of handshakes, hugs and human touch?  Will we be greeting one another with ‘Namaste’ with our hands clasped and bowing our heads?  Will we be able to stop ourselves from giving people hugs, instead holding a symbolic hand to our hearts, tilting our heads and offering an almost apologetic smile? And for those who like me live alone, whose ‘blood family’ is overseas and whose family of friends here will begin to reconnect, is this to be the end of the human touch?  I don’t believe it is, but it will take us time, to trust ourselves, to believe that we are once again truly safe.

And what of technology?  It’s helped many people keep in touch, feel connected, opened up a world of opportunity as we rethink how we live our lives now and into the future. It’s allowed people to attend weddings, as well as funerals in different parts of the world.  Of course it’s not the same as ‘being there’ but it is better than not.  Technology is opening up different ways of working.  Companies who previously didn’t really like their employees working from home, have learnt to trust more.  Crucially right now, it is enabling scientists throughout the world to share data FAST.  To develop different ways of producing essential PPE for where it is needed within our respective countries and in the process helping keep some businesses going and people employed. Fundraisers which began by raising money to get food to front line hospital staff https://feedtheheroes.com have in the process created something much bigger, as they feed our heroes, they are keeping more people afloat, from restaurants who cook the food, to growers who supply.  It’s a real altruistic win/win.  A trend of creative thinking I hope continues. If businesses can continue to offer flexibility to enable people to work differently, to become more a part of their local community which happens naturally when you spend some of your time home based, if people continue shopping locally,this will go a long way not only to repay small businesses who are working so hard to provide essential services now, it will help the essential rebuilding of our local communities.  Community is everything.  Being part of a community means no-one is left alone. People helping people is and always has been the social glue which holds us all together.

‘No-one will be left behind’ the words still clear in my head from an early government broadcast.  Our government can only do so much, we too have a role to play. With Covid-19 everything has changed.  It needed to and it will never be the same again.  How we live in our world, how we help fix it matters because through simply being ‘human’ will make all the difference to the world we leave to future generations.  We just didn’t take it seriously enough.  Now we must and it’s going to be a long, often painful process. Eventually, it will come right and the kindness and compassion we are seeing if we’re open to it, will go on to give us the foundations for a better world, as we really remember those who are putting themselves at risk for us now.  It is up to us to demand even more of our governments before too much – and possibly too soon – begins to function again.

Right now though, my heart aches for people in abusive relationships, who may previously saw going out to work as a way of escaping; and children who are in danger. My heart aches for people too frightened to go to the hospital for essential treatment of non-Covid-19 conditions. For our elders in nursing homes.  For care workers who have not had sufficient supplies of protective clothing. For everyone who cannot see or be with those they love.  And knowing everyone, everywhere, throughout the world is feeling utterly helpless. My heart aches seeing sadness and grief across the world, as death upon death is recorded, especially of front line hospital workers, many who have done all they can to comfort patients until they drew their last breath.  Our world could not continue as it was.   Some say this is the pain we must endure to allow a kinder, more compassionate world to emerge, which it will. Now though, it is war under a different guise.  In poorer countries, millions will die, whilst more affluent countries look after their own first.  The need for global support, a global strategy, leadership and collaboration on a scale hitherto thought impossible has never been more urgent. And this needs to happen fast, to seize that gap as the virus becomes more under control, before any degree of ‘regular life’ becomes possible.

Only through critical thinking now, can a viable, inclusive sustainable plan of balanced economic recovery take shape, a plan which has at its heart the well-being of all of its citizens can a better world emerge.   No amount of money merits the sacrifice of human beings. The war being fought with this virus, because that is what it is, is ‘Economics versus Humanity’ and there can be no winners without recognition that everyone matters.  No-one should be left behind. No-one must be left behind. We have an individual and collective moral responsibility to make sure no-one gets left behind.

Three Little Words

Three Little Words

Today was one such dayi-am-sorry

When all it would have taken was three little words.

Just three.

Not those words

Rather the ones that build bridges.

Powerful enough to dilute and dissolve

almost every situation.

It doesn’t take much.

But people don’t

Or won’t

Or can’t admit

They are wrong.

 

It costs nothing.

And it works.

Why not apologise?

I don’t get it.

How three words

I AM SORRY

Are so hard

 

The Truth rankles

It doesn’t let us off the hook.

It shows our failings.

Temporarily we lose our crowns

Truth makes us uneasy

And yet.

Those three little words.

I AM SORRY.

Can say so much.

 

Blowing Hot and Cold

So the weather has caught most of Ireland on the hop. More accurately, caused much absenteeism. Colds, flu, all manner of infections going around. It seems much of Ireland’s workforce are battling against some unidentified force. Ahh, is it Januaryitis perhaps? or should we take a more practical view and say with a ‘see-saw’ of such changeable weather, we mere mortals are developing low resistance to cope with the dilemma of what to wear, what to eat, how to look after ourselves to build up our own immune systems? Surely, with all we have available to support ourselves, have we just lost the ability to use our common sense?!  Now I’m not proposing we all dash into the Irish Sea with such a cold wind chill, but maybe just getting out there helps clear the head, focus the mind.IMG_0371The more serious health issues, granted we cannot always avoid as life as we know is pretty much a lottery, but colds, coughs, come on….Joking aside. It’s the time of year to make sure we get outside. Take in the brightness of the blue skies on days they dazzle. That dose of Vitamin D is liquid gold. Off out now..maybe not with my togs today…!

Congruency matters

ON AND OFF-LINE …

What can we really know about a person from on-line profiles?  How true are they to the person behind that all singing, all dancing, slick on-line image?  How much do our profiles really tell us, potential clients, potential employees, potential friends? Our Workplace can be a really emotional place, sometimes when we’ve things on our minds and our reaction to a situation, a comment can be out of proportion. Someone’s ‘pushed’ our buttons and triggered a response that under normal circumstances wouldn’t bother us but hey, too late. We’ve pushed the send button or the words have leapt out of our mouths before we’ve had time to blink.  Too late. In person it is easier to make amends.  On-line, it’s gone.

Congruency matters.  On-line or off-line, it is you, what you do and how you do it that makes all the difference.

Whether you are standing up in front of an audience or emailing someone.  Or talking on the telephone, maybe blogging. You are putting yourself ‘out there’. It is taking a leap of faith especially on-line where once it’s gone and you’ve pushed that send/publish/share button,  what you’ve created is an extension of you, The question is, is it really you?

A company whose values align with your own, who you are proud to be part of benefits from having employees who know who they are and what they stand for.  People who are proud to be working for them, as after all, employees are ‘brand ambassadors’ and make no mistake, people who work for themselves are walking advertisements for themselves too.  An an Employee or Business Owner, you need to be able to express yourself, voice your opinion in a way which shows respect and appreciate another’s point of view.   When someone has the courage to say ‘I’m not sure about this, can you help me’ or perhaps ‘Do you think there’s a better way of explaining the problem’ or quite simply ‘Can I ask you what you think’, it’s a real indicator that there is space for growth, for improved performance, a willingness to expand one’s horizons.

Sometimes I find myself technically challenged.  Spending time working out how to use a new phone, a new app, embrace a new way of getting my message out there I find hard.  I am sure I am not the only one. Once a ‘twit-nit’ does not mean forever and now I’ve asked for help, though a slow learner know it will get easier!

Being able to be yourself matters.

To express yourself matters.

You matter.

Congruency matters – on and off-line…

Join us for breakfast and be part of the conversation

Emotions, Logic & Breakfast

Strangely I’m stumbling over so many of my own emotions at the moment. After 9 nights, five different abodes my emotions are heightened beyond belief.

Is this an ‘age’ thing? Is it that the planets have been seemingly in disarray of late? Is it simply that with the start of a new year, one during which I feel instinctively many good things will finally eventuate I know what is really driving me?

the rosie project

‘The Rosie Project‘ leapt out of the latest pile of books I quietly brought home from one my local charity shops.  It is an easy read, enlightening, simultaneously funny and yet poignant.  In my mind, it is a brilliant book. I have devoured it.  Laughed out loud on many occasions.  Been touched by the underlying humanity of it.  Gained insights into the mindset of Aspergers. I’ve related to thoughts expressed in it, recognized my own idiosyncratic ways in the emotions the characters express.  It is a book I’d highly recommend. Emotions drive us.  More specifically, they drive me.  When I stop and consciously ignore my emotions, that’s when I make poor, even bad decisions. This book reminded me just how important they are. Graeme Simsion thank you!

Emotions have their own logic

 

Perhaps my favourite line in the book.

 

Talking of emotions in the workplace

join me and the good Dr. Clancy

for breakfast 

January 2017 Event Logo

Dublin: 18th January 2016 

 

places limited. booking advisable.

Venue: Bank of Ireland Enterprise Lounge

Montrose, Dublin.

A Much More Than Words Breakfast Event

 

 

Emotions Shape Us –

Human Emotions shape us. They shape us professionally and personally. They also have a stronger influence on our overall performance and satisfaction with life than we care to realize.

In talking with participants of a Much More Than Words workshop we ran back in the Autumn, I was reminded of how strongly I too felt when working overseas about ‘not being who I thought I was’. What I mean by that is that in another country and not being as able to express myself as well as I might in my own language, I somehow felt ‘less’ and undoubtdly lost out, as did the company in different ways.  psst

It was if I had lost part of my identity because I had mentally defined myself by what I did, rather than who I was. I felt as if someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and whisper ‘Psst… what are you doing here’ and that I was an imposter somehow because by the time I opened my mouth to say something, to contribute in team meetings, all too often the conversations moved on before I had a chance.The problem was not that I lacked the ability to speak in French,  but I lacked the confidence to just say what I meant and not worry about speaking perfectly.  I believe it was this lack of confidence in my early working life that led to emotions getting the better of me and working in the world of advertising, I needed to brave up fast, which I did but paid the price, a story or two for another day.

Lack of Confidence can mean missing out 

But I learnt plenty from those early years.  That our experiences and emotions do indeed shape us and as my career progressed, I had a responsibility to those who worked in my teams to make sure how I handled situations didn’t have a detrimental impact like some of my earlier experiences had on me. Whether you are working and speaking in your own language or another, self confidence is key to performance.

January 2017 Event Logo

The first Dublin breakfast event for 2017 – Contact Janie on 087 8572005 or click on image to book your place.

Had I been a stronger, more resilient person and not so self conscious perhaps my ‘strangeness’, my identity as the girl from London could have been used to my advantage, as ‘a wild card’ and I would have played it stronger. But my emotions won and got the better of me.

In the workplace, how we see ourselves and others see us impact hugely on our ability to perform.  How we are treated by our peers and those who lead the organisations we find ourselves in impact in ways previously considered less important perhaps than they are today.

The Organisation as an ‘Emotional Arena’

Dr. Annette Clancy from the Quinn School of Business in UCD  will be sharing invaluable insights on the 18th January, at the first of our Breakfast Events for 2017 to be held at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Centre, Montrose, Dublin.  If you’re involved in HR or a leadership role and can make it, I feel sure this will be time well spent. If you’d like to know more, you can call me directly on 086 8572005.

simply click here to book your place. 

Places limited. Booking advisable.

 

Constructive Conflict

I found this TED Talk via Dr. Annette Clancy’s blog where she writes ‘most of the time we like to surround ourselves with people ‘like  us’ thereby minimising difference in an attempt to avoid conflict.  It takes a degree of self confidence and assurance to be able to sit in the middle of this kind of disagreement and to think constructively about it.’  For me, confidence underpins everything we do. It gives us the ability to work well, work collaboratively and to speak out, to challenge, to lead to greater things.  The workplace is perhaps the most emotionally charged environment of all.  Let the conversations begin.

Dr. Clancy is speaking at our first breakfast event of this year in Dublin, on the 18th January.  Click here for details and to book your place.

Listen – Silent

 

This blog post by Dr. Annette Clancy, our keynote speaker for Much More than Words breakfast event on January 18th caught my eye..

.. Many words will be written on the wind and the sand, or end up in some obscure digital vault. But the storytelling will go on until the last human being stops listening. Then we can send the great chronicle of humanity out into the endless universe.

Who knows? Maybe someone is out there, willing to listen … extract from Dr. Annette Clancy’s blog

Is it really a coincidence that both words in this blog post headline contain the same letters? I think not !

click here for details and to book your place

the organisation as an ’emotional arena’

January 2017 Event Logo

 

Click to contact the Organiser – Janie Lazar

One night, two Poles

Conversations can start up just about anywhere and no better place than at airports.  Recently before flying back from London, as I was having coffee I found myself chatting with a lovely Polish firefighter from Kent on his way home for the New Year. He’d lived in the UK for some 12 years plus and after the topical chit-chat around what Brexit would mean for him, I asked him about his work. The conversation moved on to whilst most of the work was straightforward dealing with relatively minor events, the more dangerous and tragic the incidents he and his crew dealt with, the greater the emotional impact.  I sensed that as with most types of trauma, there is a sense of loss, futility and disappointment which builds up and felt immensely sad that these feelings lingered long afterwards and wondered how these brave firefighters dealt with their emotions. Inevitably and true to stereotype, most men he said, would bottle up their feelings and inevitably something quite trivial would act as a catalyst and ‘boom’ the built up feelings would explode, out of context and often out of control.  Never dealt with.  I felt fortunate to talk with this man, to have had the opportunity of going behind the capable, brave masks people like him have to wear day after day in providing such an invaluable public service. Before we parted company, we went on to talk about the excitement of being with family and friends to celebrate the coming New Year and all that is joyous in life too. A few coffees later as I left for my flight, my resolve to raise awareness of the need to deal with emotions in the workplace was ever stronger. Most certainly, we need to keep pushing this issue to the fore-front, rather than ‘under the carpet’ as it is indeed a bigger conversation, one Much More Than Words will be highlighting in a couple of weeks time and we’d like you to be part of.

Click for details of our January 18th Dublin event, featuring Dr. Annette Clancy as she shares invaluable insights talking on  The organisation as ‘an emotional arena’

The second conversation was a brief one with the Ryanair flight attendant, who provided endless entertainment to weary and extremely unresponsive passengers.  He looked Irish, had a real ‘country’ accent, was both funny and fluent.  Yet something in his accent told me otherwise.  Another Pole !  A Polish man with a big heart, resilient and sense of humour. Welcome and Safe Journey home.  How are you, I asked. With the biggest warmest smile ‘Living the Dream, living the dream’. He made me laugh as we talked, another side of the human roller-coaster of emotions.  Ryanair often get slagged for all sorts of things, but I have to say, not only has their service been consistent, their customer service on a face to face level has become more human, despite it being all too easy to find yourself paying unnecessary surcharges.

So to the two Polish gentlemen, from deep in my heart, I thank you both for making my night.