Our emotions shape us, influence us. Dr. Annette Clancy shares invaluable insights.
Our emotions shape us, influence us. Dr. Annette Clancy shares invaluable insights.
An article in today’s Irish Times about a couple from Kerala who have settled in Ireland touches on the difference between Integration and Assimilation and the importance of not losing one’s identity and culture. Somehow this resonates with me, as even though I am not Irish, I am not ‘noticeably different’. Irrespective of how long I have been in Ireland (and it is a very long time now), what I find is I don’t quite feel truly Irish and am often regarded as a ‘blow-in’ and yet I am no longer really a ‘Londoner.’ Yet, ask me where I am from and the answer of course is Dublin, for this is my home and I am an Irish citizen. I also am proud of my heritage which is an inherent part of who I am.
Stories are how we learn and quite possibly the most interesting way to get to know people. Everyone has a different story and there’s nothing I love more than to learn about different cultures and traditions from people whose upbringing and background is totally different to mine.
But from experience I know it is easy to under-estimate the challenge of moving countries, having to integrate into a new community and settle into a new job, which is why this story has stayed with me.
There is tremendous pressure on people when they first arrive to settle into a new country fast and to understand our culture almost telepathically it seems and yet, generally speaking (and I know one shouldn’t generalise however..), quite how anyone can be expected to read our minds baffles me and I’m constantly reminded of how quickly we judge people by our own ‘filtering’ system. We can be remarkably tolerant and yet intolerant almost in the same breath. Sometimes kind and often unintentionally unkind. And yet, it’s clear to me how remarkably similar we all are. So what’s my point? Quite simply..
as human beings, deep down we all want to be liked, accepted and respected.
For most of us, we just want to feel appreciated for who we are. Yes indeed, we live in a strange world and it does take all sorts.
A breakfast event organised by Much More Than Words – 18th January 2017.
Years ago when I was a fairly competent French speaker living and working in Paris, I loved the life I had. The only thing was that no matter how well I spoke the language, I often found that conversation progressed so fast that by the time I’d begun to speak, the moment was lost. You may have experienced this too. Frustrated and disappointed often, I eventually lost confidence in my ability to contribute as effectively as I wanted to. I feel my employers lost out, I did and probably my clients at the time too – I hasten to add there were no complaints !!
I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact I needed help. My employers assumed that everything was ok because once I was ensconced I managed to get my work done efficiently. No-one asked or guessed anything was wrong at all. I never voiced my concerns. But with the benefit of hindsight, what a lost opportunity for both parties. I never realized my potential within the organisation and my value to the company was not maximized. Had I received more than basic induction training, which really revolved around product only I probably would have still been living in France. Ah. C’est la vie…
Training needs are hopefully better identified these days, but I’m not entirely convinced. Technology is making so many every day tasks faster and in many instances being automated, thereby reducing the need or opportunity for human intervention. And yes, never has the need for human connection been greater.
IS THERE SOMETHING MORE ABOUT THE 80/20 RULE WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT?
If more than 80% of our satisfaction in life comes from our relationships with others, the need to connect and communicate effectively and especially in a business environment appropriately, boosting core communication skills and language competency where it is most needed has to be an integral part of a continual program of professional development.
I’ve been that executive working overseas, involved in client meetings, team meetings, training sessions. More recently, in Italy where people have been amazingly receptive to any efforts I make, once the conversation gets going, that sinking feeling returns as I cannot keep up enough to join in the conversation and I can feel my stress levels rising as I struggle to make sure I’ve understood the salient points of a meeting.
Emotions play havoc with our minds. This we know. What we don’t fully appreciate is quite how this triggers unhelpful patterns of behavior, what employers can do to help and how we can help ourselves more.
It’s not rocket science and particularly as in Ireland the workplace is becoming more culturally diverse, we need to be more aware that many international employees are often doing jobs because of their native language and sometimes multilingual abilities which is great for the clients they service. It may leave a gap where their Confidence and Competence (two words which in themselves can sound remarkably similar when mispronounced by a non native English Speaker!) in using English effectively may be slowing down the rate at which they integrate and contribute within their teams and the company overall. The greater the levels of engagement, the greater the performance.
Many people I work with whose first language is English lack confidence, fear public speaking and hate making presentations so it is easy to understand the difficulties facing non native English Speakers. I know. I’ve been there. And yes, lack of confidence, disappointment can play havoc with one’s emotions !
Much More Than Words specializes in working with International Executives boosting language competency through the provision of Professional and Personal Development.
18 January 2017 – 7.45 – 9.30 am
Be part of this conversation with Dr. Annette Clancy, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at UCD College of Business as she shares invaluable insights at our first Breakfast Meeting of 2017 for HR Specialists.
MUCH MORE THAN WORDS
proud to be hosted by the Bank of Ireland
at the new Enterprise Lounge at UCD, Montrose
Contact Janie: 086 857 2005
Today’s post is short. The focus Glutes. Specifically mine. The solution is fear and I want you on this journey with me. Not laughing at me, just maybe with me. And feeling my pain or at the very least feeling for me as the pain gets to me!
Now I don’t know about you but the thought of the gym fills me with terror. As does diving into dark water down at the 40′ now the water temperature has become dangerously low for softies like me.
Which brings me back to the topic of glutes. It’s easy to admire fine glutes in a fellow hill walker. It’s easy to say get out walking more, climb those hills, go up and down those steps and you’ll soon build up. But it’s the time of year when I just want to stay close to the wood burning stove and just, well chill in that way, rather than in freezing water or on the top of some hill. Yep. It’s all about ‘hugge’ right now when we’re tired, it’s dark outside and coming up to that time of year when we just want to relax a while. What’s all this got to do with Glutes, you may well ask and I hope in time, all will become clear and you’ll just humour me.
Joking aside, back to the issue of Glutes. I have it seems a few things to contend with right now and I’m not a person to be sick or unwell, rather one who just gets on with it. But, it has made me think or rather rethink about mindset yet again and know that for 2017, all of my work will have mental toughness as a key ingredient.
Fear stops us doing most things and it is my intention, not a resolution, but serious intention to focus on the fear and use it as my strength. So I am curious, what’s your weakspot? What’s the one thing you need to do and go to any lengths to put off? Where do you falter? email and tell me all
Look out Glutes, no mercy this time around…
In training people often tell me how worried they are about getting all of their information out in the time they have to present, they felt they just want to get it over with, want to give as much information as they think they can jam in. The result is they just rush, rush, rush and the presentation comes out almost as a stream of unstructured information. Just think about what this means. The message a poor presenter who rushes through their slide show or talk says quite clearly:-
a) I have not prepared my work well enough to deliver the salient points succinctly
b) I don’t care if people cannot understand what I’m talking about because I’m talking too fast
c) I do not respect my audience sufficiently to give this presentation the way it should be
And the final message he/she is indirectly giving out is ‘I do not believe that my reputation or that of the organisation I represent is worth upholding.’ OUCH.
Pretty shocking really, isn’t it?
Now, let’s re-write this scenario and imagine a situation where a presentation has been worked on and you conclude your presentation and receive a great heartfelt round of applause – and know you deserve it. That is such a great feeling and you can achieve such an outcome when you’ve prepared with the audience in mind. Try using this to guide you:-
First Hot Three Tips – For a Successful Presentation
I’ve given these in ‘3’s’, as this seems to be easier to remember.
Before anything, consider what the objective of your presentation is and ask yourself why you have been asked to deliver it. Then consider your audience, be it of one or to many people.
What you are doing here is 'starting with the end in mind'
Now you know your audience, time and key information for your content, you need to think about:-
Try mind-mapping to give you an outline - what I call 'the presentation framework'
Now for the Hard Work
this is the magic of 'how' you bring it together to make your presentation flow
It sounds so easy. And it is .. incredibly easy to get it wrong. It is all about common sense.
When you don’t allow for the PAUSES, you are not giving your audience time to think, time to process the valuable information you have prepared. When you talk too much and ad-lib, you are likely to move away from your key message and run overtime, disrespecting your hosts and if other speakers are following your speaker slot, your overrun may literally ‘steal’ their time, as they are obliged to keep to the overall schedule and cut their speech or presentation short. It will nearly always take longer to deliver than you think, so be stringent in your editing. LESS IS MORE. More memorable, more digestible, more enjoyable. For your audience and for you. The more experienced you become, the more competent you will be and the more effectively you will be able to move ‘off script’ but as a new presenter, it is best to follow guidelines.
If you’d like to work with me on a one to one basis, or are interested in group training for your organisation, click to contact me directly or phone me on 086 8572005.
Whilst there’s a lot of good talk these days about self reflection and evaluation, I can’t help but wonder if we were to get to know ourselves better and sought to understand what makes other people tick, life could and would be so much easier. With the benefit of R.I.P., this is my ‘take’ on Retrospect, Introspect and Perspective, a vital stage I believe in letting go and moving on to make sense of what should be a simple process!
Of course it can be hard work. Good things take time and great things even longer. One of my sisters says I think too much and perhaps she is right. Personally, I see it not so much as ‘thinking’, more a case of ‘processing’. Never reflecting denies me the opportunity to do things better. I’ve learnt to love having the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective, to try to understand how things look from someone else’s standpoint – especially if there’s been an unresolved issue and let’s be honest here, we all have a few of those. When I look at what’s happened, how I handled something, I wouldn’t say I am brooding or being over analytical, just as objective as I can be about what actually happened. According to Myers-Briggs, I am an ENFP, at this stage of my life I am it seems, falling true to type, that is to say enjoying more time to myself, quiet time. So is this being introspective? If I can do this effectively, I’d say it is more about being able to competently and more confidently share experiences, my experience with the benefit of hindsight, perspective and the benefit of learning.
As with all forms of personality profiling, if we were to ‘boost’our social/interpersonal skills, be more curious about other people rather than chasing the clock, giving a focus on what really matters, then perhaps, just perhaps, we’d all have a better perspective on life.
But there again,I guess it depends on what you expect to see at the end of your rainbow!
to find out more about yourself, google away… here’s one I found
You’re not alone. More than half the population seem to be terrified at the very thought of being asked to present or speak in public. In fact, many have said they would rather ‘die’ !! Yes, figure that one out for common sense…. You may be surprised to know many of the world’s greatest speeches have been made by introverts, people who choose to manage their stress and present with excitement rather than fear. The good news is you can learn to do the same and begin to enjoy speaking and presenting, both with ease and confidence. Boosting your communication skills and public speaking really can be something to look forward to as you develop your skills to present effectively and connect with real confidence.
In fact, for Non Native English Speaking Professionals, spend 5th November 2016 with us for an intensive workshop and you’ll be well on the way to mastering those nerves. You’ll learn essential skills you can use in any language.
the Chinese word ‘wei-chi’ has two meanings: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. It all depends on how you see it. So when you change your perspective and see speaking in public as an opportunity, we can work to turn that fear into excitement.
Like most people, I’m often asked to help out. Requests for all sorts of things from speaking at an event to fostering a kitten. Now we’re all short on time and it is human nature to want to help, the problem is lots of people don’t like to say NO and end up wasting other people’s time and disappointing them in the process. I know my inability to say no is a fundamental character weakness. Why? well that’s the story of a much longer blog post! In the meantime, I’ll share a useful strategy which helps me deal with this gut reaction of saying YES! Rather than an immediate ‘yes’, I draw on variations of these three.
Why does this work for me?
Response no. 1: Gives me time to make check so when I do come back with a YES, I can be absolutely sure I do whatever it is really well, rather than just fitting this request in, so it’s a WIN/WIN
Response no. 2: I don’t need to justify myself. No-one is really interested in why you can’t do something. This brevity of response saves time wasting – on both sides.
Response no. 3: This reinforces that though I can’t oblige this time, I’ll have an opportunity to help again. And people do come back when another need arises!
I love the way we can find out just about anything. From how to do something ‘techie’, to listen to a favourite piece of music, for much needed data for a report. Go on-line and one click and it’s mine. Or perhaps ‘mined’ is a more apt description. What we do is being monitored. All the time. Every click. Every moment of every day. Big data. Big money for Big Corporates. This is concern no. 2 on my list. My biggest concern is moral responsibility. And what brought this ever closer was Coderdojothon 2016, which was hosted in my home town of Dun Laoghaire last weekend.
I’d been aware of this amazing movement, which is bringing kids together to learn what will be the global language of the future CODING. Not having children, this has been at the edge of my world and only when a conversation with a pal saw me agreeing to be on the ‘SOAPBOX’ on opening night, did I really give it serious thought. BUT NOT AS A CODER. I stood up and spoke. As a human being very much concerned with the moral responsibility of organisations involved with this growing movement. And expressed concern as to how children can be protected within this worldwide Dojoweb. The creativity I saw. The confidence which kids develop as they learn and develop is breathtaking. I would hate anything to infiltrate this world. These kids are our future now. They know more about the internet and see more possibilities than we may ever contemplate, let alone take on. I even made a new pal Lexie. She is seven and can help me with my blogging and is a cool coder already. These kids have a social conscience, an innate guiding compass of collaboration for the greater good. These kids will make social changes happen and all through the new global language of collaborative coding.
Thanks to those who accepted my challenge I threw off the SOAPBOX and came up to join me as I ranted – in particular Paul Greenberg, CEO and Founder of an extraordinary company https://www.creatubbles.com.
What an amazing time to grow up in this world. It’s a long way from my childhood where having a landline was big news on the street!
Mini-Workshop: For Professionals whose First Language is Not English.
This practical workshop will build on your Language and Communication skills to improve your ability to present.
Designed for employees, business owners and job seekers to provide a practical and supportive environment to help you hone your Communication and Presentation Skills.
Date: Saturday 5th November 2016