About Confidence..

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.

Challenging Assumptions: A Dublin based breakfast event 22nd March.

Multi-Cultural Exchange:  A Dublin based evening monthly workshop launches 22nd March – to attend this first event FREE click here to go to Eventbrite


love what you do 🙂 Janie


Emotions for Breakfast

Calling HR Professionals:  Be part of the conversation and join us as Dr. Annette Clancy shares invaluable insights at our first breakfast meeting of 2017 in Dublin at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Centre, Montrose. Details here. Booking advisable.


Contact:  Janie Lazar 086 857 2005



The Workplace as an Emotional Rollercoaster

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.

In talking with participants of a Much More Than Words workshop we ran back in the Autumn, I was reminded of how strongly I too felt when working overseas about ‘not being who I thought I was’. What I mean by that is that in another country and not being as able to express myself as well as I might in my own language, I somehow felt ‘less’ and undoubtedly lost out, as did the company in different ways.  psst

It was if I had lost part of my identity because I had mentally defined myself by what I did, rather than who I was. I felt as if someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and whisper ‘Psst… what are you doing here’ and that I was an imposter somehow because by the time I opened my mouth to say something, to contribute in team meetings, all too often the conversations moved on before I had a chance.The problem was not that I lacked the ability to speak in French,  but I lacked the confidence to just say what I meant and not worry about speaking perfectly.  I believe it was this lack of confidence in my early working life that led to emotions getting the better of me and working in the world of advertising, I needed to brave up fast, which I did but paid the price, a story or two for another day.

Lack of Confidence can mean missing out 

But I learnt plenty from those early years.  That our experiences and emotions do indeed shape us and as my career progressed, I had a responsibility to those who worked in my teams to make sure how I handled situations didn’t have a detrimental impact like some of my earlier experiences had on me. Whether you are working and speaking in your own language or another, self confidence is key to performance.

January 2017 Event Logo
The first Dublin breakfast event for 2017 – Contact Janie on 087 8572005 or click on image to book your place.

Had I been a stronger, more resilient person and not so self conscious perhaps my ‘strangeness’, my identity as the girl from London could have been used to my advantage, as ‘a wild card’ and I would have played it stronger. But my emotions won and got the better of me.

In the workplace, how we see ourselves and others see us impact hugely on our ability to perform.  How we are treated by our peers and those who lead the organisations we find ourselves in impact in ways previously considered less important perhaps than they are today.

The Organisation as an ‘Emotional Arena’

Dr. Annette Clancy from the Quinn School of Business in UCD  will be sharing invaluable insights on the 18th January, at the first of our Breakfast Events for 2017 to be held at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Centre, Montrose, Dublin.  If you’re involved in HR or a leadership role and can make it, I feel sure this will be time well spent. If you’d like to know more, you can call me directly on 086 8572005.

simply click here to book your place. 

Places limited. Booking advisable.

On Listening

This blog post by Dr. Annette Clancy, our keynote speaker for 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 SILENT and LISTEN 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.



The Organisation as an ‘Emotional Arena’ – January 18th 2017

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 technology is fast replacing the need for human intervention, never has the importance of respecting the true value and potential of ‘our ‘human capital’ been more crucial along with the need for human connection..

Janie Lazar and Andrea Goldman of Much More Than Words hope you can make this early morning meeting. 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 all employees through our integrated training approach to get up to speed faster and maximizes their true value and potential.


booking fee: €5

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

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