Speaking Up

What do I mean by this?  More than just the physical aspects of making your message heard and do remember this may simply be putting forward your opinion.  I mean taking courage in both head and heart.  There are occasions which can be intimidating and I for one have experienced many where I have been reticent, reluctant and slow to voice not only an opinion, but my opinion. Today I had one such instance which reminded me that our thoughts lead our emotions – and it is when we allow these thoughts to take control that we ourselves lose control. eileen-gray-bibendum-red-side The question is, who takes control, you or your crazy mind! My way of rationalising something is to quickly  decide ‘is it doing me any good thinking about this’. So I take myself through a ‘quickfire’ process of rationalisation and say to myself, GOOD. BAD. BIF. GONE.  By putting some sense around what I’m feeling I am instantly back in the red hot seat of control.  Try it. Be aware of it.  It works…

English Greetings

                                       “Top of the morning to you!”

is a greeting that Irish people never use, unless they are American with an Irish great-great-great-great grandmother.   But we do ask on a daily basis:  “How are you?” or a long number of variations:

‘How’s it going?’  (How’s it goin’)

‘How are you doing?’ (Howrya doin’)

‘What’s up?’ (Whatsup. Can you see where the app comes from now?)

“How’s she cutting?” (From Kerry)

And my favourite Dublin greeting (said in a rich masculine grunt): “Story?”

And the answer to these questions about your health and well-being?  “Fine”, always “fine.”  Because unless the person looks deeply into your eyes and changes their tone to: caring and concerned, they do not actually care!

 “How are you?” And all its variations, are greetings not questions.

This is often not understood by non-native-speakers who start to answer the question:

“Well I’m a bit tired, didn’t sleep well last night because of the party next door and my sore toe which I banged into a lamppost yesterday and it’s quite swollen now, I hope it’s not infected…”


When we ask you “How you are?” it is just a greeting: it means “Hello” and when you ask it, it is fine to keep on walking…

Your response (which may not be heard by a greeter who has kept on walking) should be positive:

“Fine, thanks!’”

Positive and polite: “Fine, thanks and you?”

Or: “Grand!” (Very Irish)

“Good!” (American)

“Not bad”

And the response to: “Story?” ?


And all of these responses mean: “Hello, to you too!”

So, “Have a nice day!” “See ya!”



Writing is something that you either love to do or find extremely hard.  In founding MUCH MORE THAN WORDS my intention was and remains to blog as often as inspiration hits.  It’s a great writing discipline and another way for people who are interested in what we do to both continue their learning journey with us and a ‘conversation’  of sorts. Every day I make time for a conversation over coffee with someone with no specific goal in mind and everyone has a different story,

Organisations now accept writing in your own language (and particularly when writing in a language that is not your own) can be extremely difficult.  And yes. There is a significant difference between writing something for someone to read and presenting or speaking in public.

Knowing how best to deliver with feeling, with impact to maximize the value of your material is perhaps one of the hardest ‘nuts to crack’
 You really are ‘much more than words’..

Face to face communication, presentation and public speaking skills can be continually honed.  So too can your writing skills. Of course there is a natural fear when you commit words to print.   After all, once it is written, and especially once it is posted either on the internet or emailed, it is ‘OUT THERE’.  Written evidence if you like.  And what you say on-line needs to be congruent, to be in your voice.  You don’t want to be a cardboard cut out of what you think you need to be, rather than who you are!

Speak as if you are having a conversation.  Make your language accessible and digestible.  Speak so someone listening to you really hears your message.

Write so someone reading your work will want to continue reading. Help them remember what you want them to know. 

put yourself in their place - giving what they're looking for!

I write from my own experiences, training and learning. And you are more than welcome to email me directly to pursue a conversation on anything I write! I doubt there is very much at all in what most people write that is totally unique and original, however the way in which these thoughts and opinions are expressed will be.  Just like communication face to face. The difference lies in how we express ourselves. This is the essence of how I work, helping people find their own style so they be themselves rather than a ‘cardboard cut-out’ lacking substance. Instead, in being yourself is liberating, giving richness to all you do.

In the words of Oscar Wilde…Be yourself, everyone else is taken

So here’s to good conversations here and face to face.  more-than-just-coffeeAt least once a week, it is my personal goal to talk to someone I meet, FACE TO FACE and have a real connection with from our Much More Than Words (MMTW) Community of Amazing People. A real cultural exchange. Why not do the same!

Challenging Assumptions  Our next Dublin Breakfast Meeting for HR and Leaderhship Professionals.