Category Archives: motivational

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.

Dublin January 18th – 2017

Our emotions shape us, influence us.  Dr. Annette Clancy shares invaluable insights.

Click here for how to join the conversation on the 18th January 2017 in Dublin.

 

January 2017 Event Logo

the first of our Breakfast Meetings for 2017 with Dr. Annette Clancy of UCD

It takes all sorts

A homogenous society doesn’t work for me

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.

liquorice allsorts

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.

 

‘the organisation as an emotional arena’ 

A breakfast event organised by Much More Than Words  –  18th January 2017.

 

 

 

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