Tag Archives: communication skills

Congruency matters


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

English not your first language?

Make no mistake, the reality of the workplace today is that international employees are expected to be able to contribute effectively to their teams and within the organisation FAST. Usually within a very short time of starting in their new job or if they have been there a while and have been promoted, of taking up a new role.  Their company expects them to be able to communicate competently and confidently with colleagues and clients.

Employees who do are in many cases quickly recognised, rewarded and often promoted.  Those who simply keep their heads down and work hard are often overlooked, their abilities under-estimated and their contribution under-valued and their potential also overlooked.

The very fact that they are employed in many instances because of their native language abilities and may be talking for most of the day in their own language, or languages other than English sometimes, just sometimes is easily forgotten.

And yet, English is the most used language of international business and frequently the common language amongst a multi-cultural workforce.

What’s my point here?

The point is that no matter how well you may understand English, be able to work in English, the more confident a communicator you are, the more you will gain out of your life professionally and personally.

The more proficient you become, the sooner you can integrate more fully, engage with your colleagues and within your community and contribute more effectively.

This makes for a happier and satisfying life for you too, as well as for your company and the company’s customers too. For business owners, the same applies : happier clients and happier staff.

Effective communicators save time and confident communicators connect more easily, whether it is on a one to one basis or many.

Why is this so important?

Clear communication means more effective collaboration.  Better collaboration means things get done faster, usually better with less mistakes or misunderstandings. Which means the bottom line for a company, their profit margins are higher !!

But it’s not as easy as it sounds, is it?  When you’re a non-native English speaker just finding your feet in a new country, in a new environment, everything can be difficult and extremely challenging. We know this and it is why I began to think how to help and with Andrea Goldman, we’ve developed the Much More Than Words integrated approach to language learning which also tackles the issue of confident communication in the workplace. What it does for professionals is to:

  • Improve your command of English, to help you know how to use the language appropriately and effectively.
  • To understand how to communicate your message, spoken or written in the way in which it can produce the best outcome.
  • And develop your own personal style, which we call your own ‘conversational style’, so that you can talk naturally, feel comfortable and present with confidence.

    If you’re in HR, I’d love to have your feedback

There is a full Professional Development Program available and it starts with the Essential Core of Communication.  No matter how much technology advances… we all love to talk and be heard..  Feedback and all views welcome 🙂

human capital..?

So much is written about companies investing in their staff.  They pay huge (sometimes well earned) recruitment fees to find the right employees.  Then pay for them to move countries often, settle their families and then – it’s a case of sink or swim.  People, that’s all of us. People are assets.  People are what companies invest in. But to what degree?  How much practical help is given to non native English Speaking International Employees?  How quickly are they able to integrate, engage and actively contribute and belong?  Language competency in a language that is not your own is only one part of the equation, having the confidence to use it is another, making a real connection is where the magic happens. Only when a person feels comfortable will they begin to fully integrate. Only when they fully integrate can they engage.  Only when they can engage will they contribute fully to their team and their company.

If this post resonates with you, either as an HR Professional, or an international employee,I’d love to hear your views.  You can also contact me directly to hear more about how Much More than Words can help. 


Asset or Liability?

With family on the other side of the world, I often read their national newspapers on line just to see what’s going on.  Quite often there are similarities in trends, research and events and it helps to get a different perspective on what are common human issues.  Take for example, a recent survey carried out by Ernst & Young on Productivity in the Workplace.  The New Zealand Herald reports (June 10th) that being treated badly in the workplace and poor communication were the biggest obstacles to increasing output.  Whilst some time was spent on social media during work hours, waiting on other people and time spent on unecessary emailing accounted for an average of one hour and nine minutes time being wasted daily. What workers want it appears to be universal.  Workers want more effective management, more motivation and more recognition.  The question is if what workers want is seemingly so simple, why is it so difficult to get it right?

learn by looking … closely

Want to really Speak with Confidence?

One way to quickly improve your speaking skills is by listening and watching yourself and others.  Go on to U-tube and you’ll find some amazing tutorials.  You’ll find people who are at the top of their game and their advice is invaluable.  Go one step better and start videoing yourself, learn to let your personal, conversational style of presenting, of talking to camera develop.  Only by seeing yourself on camera will you really understanding how to improve.  Share the videos with an honest colleague or friend, learn to take advice from others and watch yourself improve.  If you’re serious about developing your personal Conversational Style, then click read more and to check out our workshops.  If the notion of developing your public speaking and leadership skills on a regular basis appeals to you, then consider organisations like Toastmasters where you can learn in a supportive environment.  Contrary to popular belief, Toastmasters gives you far more than public speaking skills.  Visit a local club or two and see for yourself. 


are you worth listening to?

Yadidagh, didagh, dagh…..

How many times have you sat listening to an expert yet….. been bored rigid?  Even been on the brink of nodding off? You know the speaker knows their stuff but boy, you’d wonder if they’ve ever seen themselves on video or played back a recording of their talk.  Yet, we know that Confident Communicators Inspire!  They motivate.  They fire us up and feed our insatiable appetite for learning even more.  The best leave us wanting more… every time!  Wanting more Knowledge.  More of their books.  More of them.  Which makes you realise, in the sales process, people buy because of you.  You are that special ingredient, which is why developing your own conversational style that allows your personality to come through is so important.

PRACTICE MAKES BETTER……..If people give their time, their attention, even their money, then there is a responsibility and respect that needs to be given……WINGING IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH ! We owe it to ourselves and to anyone who is generous enough to listen, to do the best we can.  The question is do you? 

To become a more effective speaker, consider joining us for a practical workshop



Salt, Oil & Sea Air

Reading a recipe the other day reminded me of the skills we use in effective delivery of a speech.  The Salt standing for the bite-sized nuggets of information we want to impart and people to remember. The Oil is the flow of your speech, which relies on good planning and structure. Finally the Sea Air.  Walking by the sea gives me inspiration, clears the head and provides the perfect place for practice.  Practice makes  better.  The more you prepare, the more you practice, the better your speech will be.  Outside of coaching for a specific purpose, an excellent, cost effective way to improve your speaking skills is to join your local Toastmasters Group, where you can improve your communication skills at your own pace in an informal, friendly and supportive environment.

janie-saysMake the most of your day and remember Practice makes  better!