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
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.
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!
and some believe they don’t. the truth is we all sell, all of the time.
Every single day of our lives, we just don’t see it as such.
Every day of our lives we’re in communication with other people, we need to collaborate with other people, to get other people to work with us effectively, to keep clients doing business with us, to persuade – however indirectly – new clients to work with us too. We want to show the best side of ourselves so people want to be with us, to work with us. To be at the top of their list !!
It seems obvious really but building relationships takes serious effort and relationships are built on trust. But to do this well, you need to keep honing your core communication skills and most people just don’t bother. Those who do are those we believe are people born with a natural ability to sell, but they are just tuned in better.
Selling is based on relationships and our workshop on Effective and Essential Communication Skills will both open your eyes to how to make the most of your skills so you can build sustainable professional relationships. And of course, having enhanced your natural abilities to communicate effectively, you’ll be better at boosting personal relationships too. It’s a WIN/WIN.
Amongst Colleagues. Parents with their kids. In the workplace. At home. People are responsible for getting things done. All this demands communication skills of the highest order. It involves you being at your best
So a few points to remember
The sales process is NOT about YOU… think about what you can do for the person sitting opposite you
You are only as good as the service you give your customers
Without your customers, you don’t have a businesss
Great Customer Service is only part of the unspoken ‘Rule of Engagement’
When you don’t secure a sale, there’s a reason why.... look for it
See ‘Failure’ as an opportunity
People Buy from you because of YOU……
Perhaps MOST important of all..
Remember 2.2.1… you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason !!
So, in the words of Oscar Wilde, do “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” and develop your own style that reflects you
click to request details of the next sales workshop – where you’ll get practical sales advice to help you build on the skills you’ve already have
click here for details of our next MUCH MORE THAN WORDS MINI WORKSHOP – HOW TO PRESENT
Go for it, that is. And believe me I do! Why? quite simply because I can. People ask how on earth I can swim in the ‘snot green sea’ as described by renowned Irish Novelist James Joyce. For years I would watch others take the plunge and think them crazy. Not so long ago, at a time of my life when many of my friends and peers were slowing down, I was starting out again, facing many challenging situations. Some far tougher than I imagined possible. At that time, I felt if I could get into the Irish sea, I could face just about everything! When now I dive into the water at the 40′ and submerge myself totally, I can honestly say there is nothing as energising. All stress vanishes whilst my senses zing to life.
If a day goes by when I don’t get to swim, somehow the day doesn’t feel quite right or have the same energy about it. Even in the winter. Lately, I have heard that in the US, people are paying exorbitant amounts of money to immerse themselves in freezing water. Here in Ireland, we have it for free. And by contrast, we happily pay for bottled water!!
Like one of my swimming buddies here,I’d encourage you to just go. Push the Boundaries. Go for it. Now is the best time of the year to start!!!
If you are lucky, you may see Dolphins. If you are very lucky, maybe porpoises breaking the water. Cormorants. Seals. Wild geese. Sunrises to make your heart soar. And should you swim by the light of the moon at full tide, you’ll be very blessed. Always swim with others. Be safe. Enjoy what nature gives and we have here in abundance.
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Yesterday I had the best half hour of conversation for a long time. My journey into town on on the dart (our super little train) set the positive tone for my day. As I sat down, Kryptonite lock in hand, the gentleman seated opposite remarked on my lock and so begin the most fantastic exchange. We spoke of life, of politics, of travel, the current housing crisis, food waste, ecological issues, of education, human rights. It was a breakfast for the mind. Real Mindfood. As people lose themselves in the faceless, impersonal world of social media, reading the latest book on some device or another, catch up with ‘life’, or rather other peoples lives through the brilliantly created apps that are geared to portray snapshots and snippets of a world beyond our reach, here on the train I was enjoying HUMAN CONTACT, dialogue of the highest order. Funny, intelligent, engaging real life topical conversation with a perfect stranger. Only as I was getting off the train and the doors closed behind me, did I join the dots. Tom was homeless. Tom gave me something priceless. He gave me much more than mere words. From the bottom of my heart, I thank him. He gave me more than he will ever know.
(Tom is not his real name)
The more I work with people whose first language is not English, the more I feel what I’m doing has a real value and the more I have to learn!
Our last workshop brought together an amazing group of people. From Syria, Poland, Korea, Spain, Italy, Venezuela and China. They arrived as strangers and left having shared their experiences, their learning, acquired new skills and as importantly, the confidence to use those skills even more. It made me remember how difficult it was to live in another country and have to learn how to be yourself again through another language. It made me see again how all the skill in the world is worth nothing without the confidence to communicate well and use your skills effectively.
Being able to express yourself in normal every day situations enables you to be who you are. To contribute. To engage. To LIVE a fuller life.
Feeling their frustration, their impatience and seeing their desire to learn to achieve this is what fuels my need to help. The urgency that I sense in people who have held responsible, senior positions in their own country having to do jobs, which yes, they may, just may enjoy but are well below their capabilities is palpable. As a country, as a ‘people’, as human beings we must do more. After all, were not the Irish amongst the earlier travellers to settle in different parts of this world?
“Everything we’ve ever done and all we’re meant to do comes together in harmony with who we are. When that happens, we feel the truest expressions of ourselves.”
Have that cup of coffee with someone in your company, in your social circle who you don’t know, listen to their story. There is always something you can do to make them more welcome and feel at home, so maybe, they, like me, when asked that all important question “where
are you from”, they, like me can say with real warmth and a smile say “from Dublin”. Then the conversation really begins…
Some years back I’ house and cat sat’ for friends. As my cottage was due to be renovated at the time and let us say, conditions were fairly primitive, I leapt at the opportunity. Having to light a stove to heat one room in my cottage simply to keep warm and have hot water is not something I wish on anyone for a prolonged period of time.
However, I digress. One morning during this house sitting gig, I awoke to a winter wonderland and stood in front of the window, basking in the natural daylight which flooded the room and and warmed me to the core. After an incredibly restorative night’s sleep, when for once I didn’t wake up with either water coming through the roof, or because of the freezing cold wind howling through my cottage, I made my way to the kitchen, luxuriating as I felt the warmth of the house underfoot, no need to huddle and shiver here as I made my first coffee of the day. The cats, rubbing gently around my legs, talking as if they too, were welcoming the new day. They’re great company, these cats, they never bother you for food, they’re good natured and love company. They just like to know you’re there and they remind me that I am not alone.
What’s my point? Gratitude, for this short burst of comfort. Gratitude, for the trust that is bestowed on me. Gratitude, for I know that even though my cottage is primitive now, it will, before too much longer, be a haven for me. Gratitude, for the experience of hardship and all this long process of waiting for my home to take shape has taught me. Gratitude too, for all the good that the hardship seems to have brought me. Gratitude, for the friendships housesitting has given me. Gratitude, for the opportunities for learning experiencing hardships I won’t go into here have taught me. Gratitude, for the experience of humiliation of business failure and relaunching myself to do what I now do, something I believe I was always meant to do. Gratitude, for life itself.