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.



When words don’t come fast enough

Years ago when I was a fairly competent French speaker living and working in Paris, I loved the life I had.  The only thing was that no matter how well I spoke the language, I often found that conversation progressed so fast that by the time I’d begun to speak, the moment was lost.  You may have experienced this too. Frustrated and disappointed often, I eventually lost confidence in my ability to contribute as effectively as I wanted to. I feel my employers lost out, I did and probably my clients at the time too – I hasten to add there were no complaints !!

Catch 22

I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact I needed help. My employers assumed that everything was ok because once I was ensconced I managed to get my work done efficiently. No-one asked or guessed anything was wrong at all. I never voiced my concerns. But with the benefit of hindsight, what a lost opportunity for both parties.  I never realized my potential within the organisation and my value to the company was not maximized.  Had I received more than basic induction training, which really revolved around product only I probably would have still been living in France.  Ah. C’est la vie…

Training needs are hopefully better identified these days, but I’m not entirely convinced. Technology is making so many every day tasks faster and in many instances being automated, thereby reducing the need or opportunity for human intervention. And yes, never has the need for human connection been greater. 

Is there something more about the 80/20 rule we should be looking at?

If more than 80% of our satisfaction in life comes from our relationships with others, the need to connect and communicate effectively and especially in a business environment  appropriately, boosting core communication skills and language competency where it is most needed has to be an integral part of a continual program of professional development.

I’ve been that executive working overseas, involved in client meetings, team meetings, training sessions. More recently, in Italy where people have been amazingly receptive to any efforts I make, once the conversation gets going, that sinking feeling returns as I cannot keep up enough to join in the conversation and I can feel my stress levels rising as I struggle to make sure I’ve understood the salient points of a meeting.

Emotions play havoc with our minds.  This we know. What we don’t fully appreciate is quite how this triggers unhelpful patterns of behavior, what employers can do to help and how we can help ourselves more.

It’s not rocket science and particularly as in Ireland the workplace is becoming more culturally diverse, we need to be more aware that many international employees are often doing jobs because of their native language and sometimes multilingual abilities  which is great for the clients they service. It may leave a gap where their Confidence and Competence (two words which in themselves can sound remarkably similar when mispronounced by a non native English Speaker!) in using English effectively may be slowing down the rate at which they integrate and contribute within their teams and the company overall. The greater the levels of engagement, the greater the performance.

Many people I work with whose first language is English lack confidence, fear public speaking and hate making presentations so it is easy to understand the difficulties facing non native English Speakers. I know. I’ve been there. And yes, lack of confidence, disappointment can play havoc with one’s emotions !

Much More Than Words specializes in working with International Executives boosting language competency through the provision of Professional and Personal Development.

‘the organisation as an emotional arena’  

18 January 2017 –  7.45 – 9.30 am

Be part of this conversation with Dr. Annette Clancy, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at UCD College of Business as she shares invaluable insights at our first Breakfast Meeting of 2017 for HR Specialists.

 Kindly hosted by the Bank of Ireland

at the new Enterprise Lounge at UCD, Montrose

Contact Janie: 086 857 2005 

booking advisable


Advance Notice – January Event for HR Professionals

Human Emotions shape us. They shape us professionally and personally. They also have a stronger influence on our overall performance and satisfaction with life than we care to realize.


Our 2017 Breakfast Series begins on the 18th January with Dr. Annette Clancy, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at UCD College of Business. dr-annette-clancyShe’ll share invaluable insights and open up the conversation with HR Specialists attending.  If you can, join us for lively discussion around what we believe really matters. At a time when ‘Donuts aren’t doing it any more’ never has the importance of respecting the true value and potential of ‘our ‘human capital’ been more crucial.

Janie Lazar and Andrea Goldman of Much More Than Words hope you can make this early morning meeting and our belief that as professionals, we can all make a difference in simply being human! Space is limited, booking advisable.

Date:                   18 January 2017

Starts:-                7.45 for 8am Start. Closes 9.30 am

Contact:              Janie Lazar 086 857 2005

Email:-                janie@muchmorethanwords.com

Tickets:               bookings.muchmorethanwords.com

‘Much More than Words’ focus on boosting communication skills in the Workplace – especially in organisations with a multi-cultural workforce. Having worked overseas, we know what it’s like to be competent, fluent even in another language and yet, not confident enough to fully engage and integrate effectively. Helping employees through our integrated training approach to get up to speed faster and maximizes their true value and potential.

To discuss your specific Training Needs, contact Janie Lazar on 086 8572005 or click here to email.

We believe we provide something more, something very different as we get into developing a stronger mindset giving another dimension to the Coaching and Training we provide. Boosting English Language competency where needed and honing essential communication skills for better teamwork, leadership and creative thinking.
The secret we believe is building up a mindset that encompasses 'thinking differently'  so much so that it becomes second nature, a practice that enriches overall performance making for real connection in communication.

Doughnuts aren’t Doing it Anymore!


There was a time that providing employees with free donuts was enough to make them happy (if not healthy) and therefore harder-working and more loyal.  Paul Feldman a successful economist in Washington made a business out of bringing in bagels and cream cheese to his team as a Friday bonus. He started leaving out a money basket to encourage them to contribute and ultimately left his job set up Bagel Day: the company which delivers the bagels: http://www.itsbagelday.com/

Employers nowadays are very aware of the benefits of non-monetary rewards and upskilling support for their employees.  Developing new ways to keep staff loyal and motivated are an essential part of modern business culture. Companies have to work hard and smart to stem lightning fast and costly staff turnover. One solution is ‘the boomerang’ employee whereby companies can save retraining and ‘onboarding’ time and money by rehiring ex-employees who are tried and tested and already know the score.

And while many employees in the SME sector are jealous of their friends working in the modern multinationals, who can eat for free all day long at ice-cream nooks and salad bars, and then work off the calories at the on-site gym, even SMEs understand that employee engagement is a top priority, which includes a focus on the well-being and resilience of employees and developing the human side of the business. In 2015, British Petroleum distributed 24,500 fitbits to track employees’ health and wellness. According to the wearable technology report, around 2000 companies worldwide will offer their employees fitness trackers in 2016. (www.bloomberg.com/news/…/2015…/wearable-technology-creeps-into-the-workplace)

The kinds of offerings to keep employees engaged and effective are the bonding activities: such as team-building weekends, Paintballing, and to ‘To Hell and Back’ style challenges;  health and wellness offerings: like Yoga, Tai Kwando, Zumba. Then there is the upskilling support that companies can provide or subsidise:  everything from MBAs for top managers, to language lessons, presentation and speaking skills, to health and safety, IT training and so on; all in an attempt to keep the skills of your workforce up to date. And to keep your workforce.

Are your employees spending their working time sneaking onto social media? Checking their Facebook likes? Instagramming the antics of their co-workers?  Forward thinking companies are turning this to their advantage and offering ‘Employee social advocacy programs.’

Many of these courses and supports can be provided (and received) tax-free if they are deemed relevant to the business i.e. ‘directly related to increasing the effectiveness of the performance of the director’s or employee’s present or prospective duties in the office or employment’ (http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/benefit-in-kind/other.html)

To see how your company is doing in 2016 Check out Deloitte’s Human Capital Dashboard:

Written by Andrea Goldman

Much More Than Words is running an early morning Breakfast Event for HR Professionals. Join in the conversation with our key note speaker Dr. Annette Clancy, organisational behavioural specialist  from UCD – 18 January 2017 at the Bank of Ireland, Montrose Centre.


For more details contact: janie @muchmorethanwords.com