Janie Lazar is at heart a ChangeMaker. As a qualified Executive and Personal Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Speaker and Writer, her work with professionals has a focus on Communication, specialising in working with senior management and in particular with those whose first language is NOT English. With Andrea Goldman in 2016, Janie piloted workshops to evaluate the needs of international professionals working in Ireland, resulting in an Integrated Approach to Professional Development for non-native English Speakers in the Workplace.
Let’s face it, society is becoming more dependent on social media every day. It is fantastic and it is equally dangerously addictive. It can build hopes, aspirations and be an invaluable tool for social change. But it can also alienate and destroy lives. It is possibly the most powerful communications medium of all. But it is out of control in that no-one can protect us, no-one can foresee the increasing dangers and it is where the most dangerous can hide.
It is also where normal people retreat to, sometimes when they feel they can no longer socialise and it can be the only link to ‘the outside world’. It is also slowly but surely diminishing our ability to socialise, to have meaningful face to face conversations.
FACT. People who have social contact live longer and are generally more content and have more fulfilling lives. Various studies have been carried out to establish quite why people in some of the poorest parts of the world are living longer, which goes against past thinking that the more wealthy who had access to private health care, better food and nutrition and all else that creates the illusion we are happier and more content live longer.
It is all about connection. Friendship, Family, Belonging. Wherever your tribe or if you are lucky tribes, whatever joy they bring you. This is the ‘social glue’ which holds us together.
On an individual level, what's to be done? Take time out and have a conversation with someone new, make a human connection, face to face. On the train, on the bus. I do just about every day. It could make all the difference in the world. Yours and theirs.
Confidence comes from ‘Thinking for yourself’. It’s a tough one as many things influence us from our early childhood, our temperament, our experiences. The human is a complex being and who am I to really comment?
Because sometimes our mind tricks us, fogs our brains and leads our minds astray. I know. I’ve been in that thick dense fog and it can be devilishly hard to find your way out. No matter how much advice and support you receive, each of us has our own ‘inner schedule’ and until we have processed something sufficiently, whatever it is, the way out and way forward will inevitably elude us. That’s because we are human.
At work and in our personal lives we reach crossroads. Situations arise we feel unable to handle. And what stops us moving on? Yep. Got it in one. BUT HOLD ON. That’s making the assumption that fear is a bad thing.
Facing up to fear, to anxiety. To addressing something head-on takes courage and the harder the challenge, the braver one has to be.
So pushing through that fear makes the achievement all the greater, The every act of making a decision will alleviate the anxiety because whatever the outcome, you have taken control by making a decision. Taking control means you have accepted the responsibility and this represents a shift in power.
This week I’m going to be working with a new group. They are young, about to enter a new phase of their lives and there is so much opportunity to tempt them, challenge them, test and teach them. But only if they recognise the freedom that thinking for oneself brings. Life really is the most amazing, most challenging teacher of all.
When you have three young CEO’s, one who works on water, one who understands Sentiment and one who optimizes health and leverages technology for the greater good, we’ll be as challenged in our beliefs as our assumptions are challenged, just as they have been. I hadn’t planned to bring three guys together, pure happenstance!
Sometimes, you’ve got to take a stand and question whether current thinking is perhaps a little warped – or still works
Sometimes it is not enough to ‘go with the flow, to feel you’ve met the brief, ticked all the boxes.
Sometimes you have to question the decisions you’ve made and continue to make and maybe re-evaluate if you’re getting the best outcomes from the decisions you’re making – which generally…. are being made using our past experiences and may not be reflecting current needs.
This day in two weeks time, we’re doing just that and getting to hear what some of today’s younger CEO’s are thinking. And we’re getting a male perspective too.
What does human centric really mean in the mindset of emerging leaders?
How much can we learn from them – and them from us?
It has to be said that without the consistent encouragement and support of people like Jan Cooke, Events Manager for the Bank of Ireland, there are days I would just…. give up!!
Launching something new can be terribly exciting but once the novelty wears off, then the hard slog begins and having people around you like Jan and Montrose Branch Manager Gavin Leech makes all the difference. Their drive and interest in what you’re doing, where they can help keeps you going, as let’s face it, keeping momentum can be challenging. Talking of challenging…
On the 22nd March, we’ll be having our next breakfast meeting at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Lounge, Montrose with a diverse panel of contributors to ‘Challenge Assumptions’. My vision for the breakfast meetings is simple: in bringing together HR and leadership professionals, we gain a better understanding of what’s important.
‘creating a culture of conversation’.
As we bring people together to work collaboratively within an increasingly multi-cultural workplace, we’re shaking things up with lively dialogue before the day has begun, great connections are made and amazing things unfold..
Later the same day, thanks again to the Bank of Ireland, we’re launching Much More Than Words ‘Multi-Cultural Exchangein the evening at the Trinity Enterprise Lounge. My vision here is building a collaborative community where non-native English Speakers working across a wide range of disciplines can boost their language competency and become more effective communicators, whilst using their skills to help other people. Again a place where it’s a WIN/WIN. Not everyone works for larger companies where training is available and this, we feel is a good way to help fill what our research shows is a much needed skills gap.
If you’d like to know more about what we’re doing, let’s talk! Janie Lazar: 086 857 2005
There are many things we can control. Over recent months, there have been several occasions when I’ve been swayed off course and forgotten I am the one in control. Inevitably there has been great learning in this. But the clock is ticking and who knows how much time there is to get back on track, stay on track and do whatever it is we are all on this earth to do. Clarity comes with sitting it out. Taking the time to simply be still. To see what is right in front of us. Not be afraid to ‘put it out there’.
It’s not possible to get it right, all of the time. It’s not easy to get to where you want to be. To where you need to be. As fast as you’d like to. What is important above all else is knowing what you stand for. What matters. What is important. What to focus on.
I’m not religious. But I am an optimist and I believe that people are inherently good.
I fervently cling to the belief that that most people are honest. That given the opportunity, the majority of people will rise to the challenge and ‘do the right thing’ if they can. And it takes a brave person to make a stand when the tide is going against them. Resilience is called upon and just how resilient we are determines how we come out of the most challenging of situations, how we cope and ultimately the direction we find ourselves moving in. It may be 10 steps forward and 8 back in the short term. And that’s ok too. It’s still moving on.
Spring is the time of year in my mind for re-setting standards. Daft resolutions of hiking up hills, joining a gym, learning whatever skill you thought you needed have been put in perspective and realistic habits are emerging. Now it’s about reviewing what is acceptable in my life, an opportunity to look it all, to see what’s worth pursuing and what is not. I am ‘work in progress’, in constant evolution. How about you?