Friday, November 24, 2017

Why Conversation Matters - Janie Lazar

A shy, youngest sibling, I grew into a curious adult whose lack of confidence slowed me down in everything. Later I began to see the connection between identity and nationality as I lived overseas and the absolute connection between identity and confidence; a complex layer for the non-native English speaker in Ireland where you need confidence to propel you into ‘connecting like a native’. A country which itself has struggled with its identity.
I’ll talk about common beliefs, touch on academic data and my own inadvertent research to share insights on what identity can mean in Ireland today. The preconceived notion and judgments that come with ‘difference’ or ‘labelling’. The celebration of nationality adding to who you are, rather than defining.
60. Female. White. English. Jewish roots. Humanist principles. Poet (unpublished). Love writing. A sociable introvert. Prefer small gatherings. Live by the sea, love the ‘zing’ of a daily 40’ dip, sense of community there.
Experience of working with people of different cultures overseas kept highlighting the need for people to be able to express themselves in another language to really integrate personally and professionally. This led me to focus on working with non-native English speakers and to highlight the need for more than induction programs within organisations where lack of confidence is a real, yet unacknowledged issue. As a relatively shy person, though nothing terrible outside what I consider normal life experiences (serious illness, changing personal circumstances, professional hiccoughs!), how you see yourself impacts every part of your life. Perhaps because it took me so long so I can now help accelerate the process for others!
This talk was given at a TEDx event (TEDxDrogheda) using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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Item Reviewed: Why Conversation Matters - Janie Lazar Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BUXONE