When being fluent is not always enough

You may be fluent. You may even be confident, But are you doing enough to keep improving your communication skills as a non native English speaker?  Are you using your skills as effectively as you could?

Our Multi-Cultural Exchange is an opportunity to learn how to think differently, boost your confidence  together with your ‘people skills’ – and be part of a diverse multi-cultural community.

Run at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Lounge in Trinity, this series of mini workshops has been created specifically for non-native English speakers living and working in Dublin who are looking for ways to up-skill and make real connections. 

If you have a reasonable, working knowledge of English and are an employee or business owner, job seeker or perhaps someone who is looking to develop a business or creative idea, this is an opportunity to become a more confident communicator by helping yourself and others as you learn with and from each other.
Creating a 'Culture of Conversation' for today

The MMTW Multi-Cultural Exchange is based on the belief that success comes from collaboration and the most sustainable relationships from creating a ‘culture of conversation’. Using your working knowledge of the English language, you will be improving your communication skills and gain confidence through the sharing of experience and expertise with the guidance of the Event Facilitator Janie Lazar, MMTW Founder and Business Owner.   

Booking essential. Places limited.


Sense of Humour Essential!

one of those days…

It was one of those mornings. Maybe you don’t get them.  I was feeling just a tad sorry for myself whilst simultaneously knowing how fortunate I am.  Sitting there, clutching my coffee cup with both hands, looking out at the grey sky, rain drizzling down and yep, I was feeling apprehensive as I had a fairly serious meeting lined up.  You know the type, one chance to make a good impression and yet all the odds stacked against you.

A sudden uplift.  On my tablet, I see a most welcome comment on a recent blog post about the difficulties encountered when living overseas, fluent in another language, yet lacking the courage and confidence to 'pipe' up, to speak out and add my voice to the conversation.

Great content.  Would love to quote you on my site, is that ok?

Only when I scroll down later and I see the website wishing to quote my post…. it is for, yes, you’ve guessed ‘Life Enhancement Products ‘ – You’ve got to laugh and I just roared.  In future, I’ll think at least twice about headlines. When you headline a post with ‘When Words don’t come fast enough’…. why was I so surprised ! Naive would be an understatement.

More on meaning, alternative uses and interpretation another time.

Love your day 🙂


and the meeting as it happens went brilliantly !


Technology and Monkeys

Oh so cleverly! Technology is making monkeys of us.

Rather than creating a 'Culture of Conversation' where people think for themselves, we're moving on autopilot. Increasingly failing to question what on earth we're doing and more importantly why.

Every day we’re overloaded with images, subliminal advertising, thousands of messages which slowly, oh so cleverly are taking over our minds.  Influencing how we think. What we think.  Directing us towards products and services companies think we might like. Even this blog, our web-site. That’s the reality of the word of commerce.  Pressure to canvas support, for charities, for political parties, for local campaigns. We are free thinkers. Aren’t we? Sometimes I wonder whether we really think at all.  Edward de Bono felt thinking is a skill that should be taught in school and I agree.

HOLD ON.  It’s time to challenge yourself. take the time to think out  loud.

RATIONALISE what you’re thinking.

QUESTION the basis for  judgement and use a little more reason to challenge any assumptions you or a colleague are making before finalizing key decisions..

We use our ‘gut’ almost instinctively. It can help guide us to make the right decisions, using a combination of knowledge we’ve accumulated based on fact and our experience. We don’t always pick up on what it’s telling us. Hear the signals. From the ‘unsettled’ feeling in the stomach to perhaps ‘tingling’ when something is right.

Think about the word disease.  See it again perhaps as dis-ease. Consider it as discomfort, an alert. A way of telling us to be careful.

Sometimes though I believe it is there to stop us rushing into things. Making the wrong decisions The problem is often we don’t give ourselves time to think. We get caught up in the excitement of something and don’t make time for that ‘internal dialogue’.  I’ve done it so often myself as I don’t always take the time I should.  And there is often a cost.  Usually an emotional cost.  Consequences. So my thought for today in this blog post – which is one way for me to having a conversation of sorts with you – is to ask you to challenge your emotions and any assumptions you’re making. Don’t just blindly accept what you’re thinking especially on the bigger issues.  Emotions are triggered by what we think and therein lies the opportunity to use reason and make sure your mind and heart is really working in tandem and your intentions are coming from the right place.

Click for details of our next Dublin Breakfast Event ‘Challenging Assumptions’





it is what it is

Time will tell

And the 20th January will be a date people will recall the world over.  They will forget the promises made, the strong words spoken.

People will see for themselves that words do indeed have consequences. That lead to actions, once taken cause tremors across continents. And unease in every country across the globe.

Actions though speak louder than words. And time, time will indeed tell.

Hope and Faith. Faith and Hope

It's time for each of us to do what we can. Because we can, the best we can to live without fear. And if at times, fear strikes, we can choose to use that fear, the terrible, disabling fear of uncertainty rather as a means to feed our minds and work collaboratively, towards a stronger, more certain future within our own areas of expertise.sharing the knowledge, the experience, the work, so nobody gets left behind or out in the cold. 

There is enough to go around.It just needs rethinking. Our systems need to change to allow for a different way of living, of working, of making everything work better, for more people, rather than a small section of society. Men, Women and Children marked today in their cities across the globe, standing together for what is right.  Change happens and gathers momentum when standing together. Supporting one another locally, nationally, internationally. Mentally, physically and spiritually.  A greater social consciousness is around us.  What legacies we leave will tell another story. Our stories. The bigger story of our time. 

I believe, we can fly high and bring people around us with us,showing that together really is stronger. And I will do as much as I can to make my words do more than sit on a page.  Life is a collaborative journey.

Better to try than wonder 'what if'. Not to make assumptions, rather make good things happen. It is what it is. The journey begins as this, a new year unfolds.

challenging assumptions - a Much More Than Words breakfast event runs 22nd March. 

Ireland may be a small country but it packs a big punch overseas. I know there are big issues to resolve. But here, here we are safe and can live without fear. .Somewhere where the grass really is green.  Ireland is a place many call home now. And ‘Ireland’ means home to me. 


Face to Face Matters – it’s where real life happens!

Knowing What to Say and Using language appropriately – effectively – efficiently and in your own way

Yes, all of this matters and how you come across to people says much about you personally and professionally. Now we’re not saying you need to be perfect, that can be, well perhaps a little lacking in soul you might say.  Where you come from and accents are an essential part of who you are and in many instances can be quite endearing.  They are part of your identity and give powerful clues as to your cultural identity.

When you show who you really are through what you say, sharing what you feel by how you tell your story, people connect emotionally with you.

What we’re talking about is being understood, speaking clearly and effectively. In short, communicating in the most appropriate way in a manner which reflects who you are and represents your company well too. As a business owner, this is equally important as you are representing your business and in many cases as the business owner, you may also be representing your clients, their services and brands.  In doing so you’re carrying their reputations with you too. They have placed their trust in you and that carries a responsibility to be taken seriously.


Face to Face Matters - it's where real life happens.

(even though you're probably reading this on FB now!)

image from FB.  Source unknown.


Words do matter and it is important to be comfortable in how you use them so you can be understood, whether you are speaking in your own language or another. If you’re speaking without feeling, as if reciting from a script people will know. They will hear it in your voice, see it in your body language.. Aiming to be word perfect is unrealistic. Just because you’ve written your speech or presentation in one way, it does not mean you have to deliver it that way.  If you do, there’s a danger it will sound wooden and insincere.  The goal is to establish a rapport, a connection, to deliver a clear message that can be understood.  You need to understand who you are talking to, whether it is an audience of many or simply one other person and relate to them, deliver in a way which is appropriate to them.  Reading your audience, not reading to your audience is vital. The more you speak in public and make presentations, the more aware you become of how to keep on improving whatever the language and wherever you are in the world!.

Face to Face Matters  –  making life real

Click to talk to us about working with your company on a group or one to one basis.

Click here for details of our March 22nd Breakfast Event
7.45 Registration. 8am prompt start. Ends c. 9.30. am


Unsolicited, Appreciated and Good for the soul !

Feeding Feedback Forward  –  Dr. Annette Clancy of the Quinn School of Business was our Guest Speaker marking the launch our Breakfast Series for this year. To say she had us all thoroughly engaged would be an understatement – the room buzzing with plenty of lively dialogue and the feedback has been, well just fantastic.

Be it good, bad or indifferent, feedback is what I appreciate to make sure we’re on track and don’t make assumptions.

So in ‘the Words of Others’ ..  here are a few snippets..     

I was delighted to attend your networking event this morning – all speakers were amazing and really had something great to add to any organisation. Áine O’Donogue

Well done. It was a great start to the day and the energy in the room was really engaging. Sarah Bird

Janie, I was glued to Annette’s every word! She is so dynamic and great at imparting her message. Mairead Dillon

And in my words – If ever you should have the opportunity to hear Dr. Annette Clancy speak, jump at the opportunity. Do not hesitate. She is a joy to hear, a consummate professional.  To be inspired, to learn  from someone who is generous with their knowledge and delivers a clear message in such a memorable way is a gift which continues long after its presentation. Janie Lazar.

Talking about making assumptions, our next breakfast event will be on the 22nd March at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Centre, Montrose. If you want to be part of this next conversation ‘challenging assumptions’ you’ll need to book in online. Places will be limited. Booking advisable. 

Click here for details of our March 22nd Breakfast Event

7.45 Registration. 8am prompt start. Ends c. 9.30. am

kindly hosted by Bank of Ireland, Montrose Centre, mega thanks to Gavin Leech and Jan Cooke for making us and our guests so very welcome 


And if you’d like to talk with me, Janie – 086 857 2005. There’s always time for  a good, if not great conversation over coffee



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, talking on the phone or blogging. You are putting yourself ‘out there’. It is taking a leap of faith especially on-line where once it’s gone, you’ve pushed that send/publish/share button and you’re showing yourself to the world,  What you’ve created is an imprint. The question is, is it really you?

A company whose values align with your own, that 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. Congruency matters – on and off-line…

Join us for breakfast and be part of the conversation