Tag Archives: Communication

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

On the Soapbox

If Speaking in Public causes you stress…

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 Janie Lazar - Coderdojothon 2016manage 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.

Click to contact me directly for One to One Coaching 1-2-1 


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.


Today I met a Firefighter

At full tide down at the 40′, you never know who you’ll get into conversation with.  I’m there, we’re chatting about the pull of the tide and the next thing, whilst we’re maintaining strict eye level contact as we discreetly peel off our wet togs and get dressed, I’m chatting to one of the nicest guys I’ve met for a long time.  Stephen O’Reilly.  Firefighter.  Instantly I like him.  Firefighters have to be good people and you know instantly when you meet someone if this is someone you want to chat with, or politely disengage!   The 40′ attracts a very correct crowd of people, in case you are wondering.

A Quick Dip in the Irish Sea by Heather McKay

A Quick Dip in the Irish Sea by Heather McKay

Now don’t misunderstand me, this post is not about attraction in that sense of the word, it’s about social dynamics.  Stephen is so enthusiastic about what he does in addition to his job as a firefighter, I find the more he talks, the more I want to hear. Anyhow, the conversation flows easily and he asks what I do, WORDS,  I say, well it’s much more than words – it’s about how we use them. It’s about who you are. Now we’re flying and I get to find out so much more about what drives Stephen and now I understand why he drives across the city to dive into the sea and make the most of one of our most wonderful natural resources.   Check out grown.ie. It’s a cool company, who stand by their ethics. I love the clarity of their brand ‘messaging’ and yes, Stephen is a great brand ambassador. The point of all this?  Life is one big conversation and I just love it.



value and social media

[space height=”HEIGHT”]
It’s an interesting thing when you give a free workshop.  There are many reasons for doing something like a workshop for free.  It would be human nature after all do try to minimize the amount of preparation, to try to use existing material and slides but it doesn’t work that way for me.  As I liaised with participants beforehand, particularly when they are non-native English speakers, many different thoughts are going through my mind and I make ever more changes to what I will be doing.  One thought in particular is around social media, prompted of course by the very fact that this is how most of them have found out about the program.  But how do they use social media, what do they think of it. How do they really use it for their personal life and professionally. What do they consider to be the pros and cons,  as everything has the good, the bad and sadly sometimes an ‘ugly’ side to it.  It’ll be interesting to see how people of all different ages, backgrounds and cultures view social media.  Which as we know, in some shape or form, is here to stay. As a self confessed ‘twit-nit’, it’s all good learning I suppose!

Where are you from?


Inspired by Women in Business in Fiji – where the idea for ‘Much More Than Words’ came to me !

An interesting question.  I always say ‘Dublin’ of course.  I’ve lived here for over 20 years now, first visiting some 30+ years ago.  I am immensely proud to say I am an Irish citizen and I come from Dublin.  And yet, I am a London girl at heart.  London is truly my city too as it is where I spent almost half of my life before settling in Ireland .  But hold on, I was born in Wales – but left there when I was one… and I have strong family ties in New Zealand and have been lucky enough to travel extensively and have felt welcome and a strong feeling of belonging in the most unexpected places. So I ask the question again, where are you from? Do tell, I’d love to know….

The start is just the beginning it seems.

You don’t sell…. really ?

So many people believe they can’t sell, won’t sell and as a result, don’t sell.  But we all do sell .. all of the time whether we’re aware of it or not.  Friend to friend, parent to child, amongst colleagues.  We’re in a constant flow of collaboration.  What makes each connection work even better? Quite simply, when the focus is on what we are doing for the other person, rather than what we are hoping to get out of it

Listening rather than waiting to jump in with what we anticipate what we think someone wants to hear before we’ve heard them out.  Staying silent when that’s what is needed or appropriate. Being constructive in our comments, not destructive or devastating when there is no need.

Easier said than done. Of course.  But back to selling.  For success in sales, compelling communication is crucial and developing your own style is key. When you’re more comfortable and relaxed,  people feel more inclined to engage with you.  Logical really. It’s a win/win situation.   If any of the following describe where you’re at right now, then take a look at how effectively you’re presenting. Whatever you’re working towards, whether it is a speech, a presentation, a pitch, just remember be clear about what you want people to remember. And most of all, remember…

People remember how you make them feel

Remember…The sales process is NOT about YOU. People prefer to do business with people they like.  The most important reason someone does business with you, is because of YOU and how you make your customer feel. The sales process is about how your customer feels, you  have to give clearly demonstrate  why they should buy from you.  Remember too, just because you are ready to sell something, now may not be the time for them to buy even if they want what you are offering. Give them a reason to choose YOU.  To come back to you if the time is not right.  Think about it, what sets you apart.  What can you do that makes their buying and post sales experience better than anyone else can provide.  Build that loyalty, over-deliver and you’ll deserve their business.  Fall short and someone else will fill that gap…. Fast.

Professional Self Smarter TipRemember…..You are only as good as the service you give your customers
. As well as doing a great job,  It is not enough just to do the job well, you need to over-deliver and give your customers much more in terms of service.  This is what will set you apart and creates customer loyalty. Always remember…..People remember how you make them feel.

Professional Self Smarter TipRemember…..Delivering a good service is only part of the unspoken ‘Rule of Engagement’
Ask yourself each time you meet with a customer, what worked, what can I do better next time?

Professional Self Smarter TipWhen you don’t secure a sale, there’s a good reason why…. When you’ve done your pitch and your customer is  not willing to commit, there’s every likelihood, you’ve not convinced them you’re the right choice. Perhaps there is some fear or risk attached to your customer making that commitment. Some people don’t like to say no or perhaps, the person you’ve just presented to is NOT the decision maker. Price, lack of trust or confidence, unsuitability of what you’re offering are all possible reasons for not buying from you.  All possible reasons that you could, if you had been listening or asking the right questions, have known before the end of your presentation.The real questions after an unsuccessful pitch include…….. Did I establish any level of rapport? Did I know what this customer is expecting out of my pitch? Did I ask enough to establish what their motive for buying and degree of urgency to buy before pitching? Did I make a real value proposal in light of this knowledge? If someone wants to think about your proposition, usually  they want a better price, are not the decision maker, or think they can get a better deal elsewhere. If you find yourself in this position and they want more time to ‘think about it’, ask how long do they think they need and agree a date to revisit. Ask too, what else can you do to help them decide.


Professional Self Smarter TipRemember…. People Buy from you because of YOU……

So…. You need to be liked and trusted to secure the sale. Finding your own style of presenting yourself and your company is crucial.  When you feel comfortable, you’ll communicate well and with integrity.  Then, you begin to build trust.

Professional Self Smarter TipSee Failure as an opportunity.  When you don’t get the result you anticipated, it’s a great opportunity to learn from the experience.  An experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want – and is worth it’s weight in gold !

Perhaps MOST important of all..

221-121aRemember… you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason !!

So, in the words of Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. Develop your own style that you’re comfortable with and see your business relationships flourish.

mailto:janie@janielazar.com where you’ll get practical advice, build on the skills you already have, and remind yourself of skills you’ve forgotten!


Time Robbers

I love, truly love meeting new people.  Not so much in large groups.  I’m not always comfortable networking for example.  I’m more of a face to face person.  One to one to get to know someone more.  Preferably somewhere where I can actually hear what they’re saying.  Now more than ever, when we’re spending more time looking at a screen of some sort, what I’m seeing is more ‘disconnection’ and as a result a great loss at so many social levels.  So much can be misconstrued by inappropriate abbreviation in texting and emails. Paper trails may be essential for many things but even over the phone, so much more of a connection can be made when you can ‘hear’ the feeling behind what is being said. And in person, that’s where relationships are at their best. Social media has its place. It is of immense value when selectively used.   When, that is and not stealing my most valuable asset of all..

When to walk

The issue of collaboration constantly arises – regardless of company size, organisational type, in a professional or personal capacity.  Or more accurately, what is to be done when deadlines approach and you’re getting no-where fast.  For me, it’s always a tough one.  As a business coach and a trainer specialising in communication – yep, you get the picture.  BUT it has to be about the deliverables.  As the old saying goes, the show must go on and unless it is truly a question of life or death, then it’s a question of doing whatever it takes. Job done, then it’s time to withdraw and stop ‘sweeping water uphill with a rake’. I do my best to separate the behaviour from the person, as who knows what’s been going on in the life of the perhaps unwitting saboteur.  But hold on, shouldn’t that work both ways?  It’s been a tough week and I’m relieved that my sister is ok….  Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.