Archive for the ‘Personal development’ Category

The ones you go further for..

July 21, 2022

You know the different types…

The one you do everything for, they want extra and they appreciate nothing.

The one who trusts you to do what you promised, you do even more and they appreciate everything.

A meeting cancels and I have an hour free that I wasn’t expecting….

Which client do I want to give that extra time to??

This stuff is easy, we hopefully learn how to get the best from people as we go, it’s not rocket science!

Trust the professionals to do what they promised, be nice and say thanks

#WinHappy

Greg

Greg is a partner at Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

A very simple gesture of a handshake to diffuse a hostile situation

June 20, 2022

I was standing at the ATM on the South Mall in Cork and suddenly from behind me I heard a booming voice “Excuse me, excuse me”.

When I turned around it was a guy on a bike shouting at people to get out out of his way as he sped through.

One of the pedestrians quite rightly had an issue with this speeding cyclist who should have kept his racing for the road and suddenly the two of them were arguing.

The cyclist was way out of order so I jumped to the pedestrians defence.

He’s right, what are you doing racing on the footpath?” I said.

Suddenly he’s in my face, a tall guy, one of these triathlon types, dressed in black from head to toe.

What’s your problem, tell me, tell me-I was being polite, I said excuse me

I responded “You were roaring, and besides, you shouldn’t have been cycling on the footpath

He came closer to me and repeated what he already said. I repeated what I said and he repeated what he said, getting closer again. This was only going to escalate.

I looked at him and told him it was a waste of time talking to him if he couldn’t get the point about cycling on the footpath and I turned to walk away.

He came after me and once again he was repeating what he had already said “What’s your problem, I was being polite

This was pointless …I looked at this tall guy, all fired up and from nowhere I found myself offering my hand to shake his. This could go either way, but it was one way of breaking the cycle (pardon the pun!)

He looked puzzled for a second and then met me in a handshake. I said “hey man, calm down, it’s a Friday

He smiled and said “you are right, that’s what I call great conflict resolution!

He then hugged me and said he probably shouldn’t have been on the footpath and we both wished each other a good weekend and parted ways.

My spontaneous gesture surprised even me, and I was amazed at how quickly it diffused something that could have easily turned ugly.

It turns out a handshake is hard to resist as we are programmed to treat it like a gesture of kindness or friendship – try it !!

Greg

Greg is a partner at Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Tom Cruise and Tom Jones teaching us older boys valuable lessons..

June 13, 2022

I don’t think it’s the very best time to be an older man in this world due to a whole number of reasons and circumstances and quite frankly some quite awful examples of male personalities that we all know only too well.

At a panel discussion recently that I was chairing for a client, we tried to take on a number of issues about bias including Gender, Race and LGBTQ and how these issues may affect the workplace dynamic and career progression. At this session I heard for the first time the expression “male, pale and stale” which was used by one of the participants when referring to men of my age group and older (over fifties effectively).

It struck me that while we were talking about biases, here was quite a blatant one and I realised that this is how many would view me, my generation and older. They have us written off!!

When we give an opinion, when we apply for a job, when we present an idea or go after an opportunity are we written off by many because quiet frankly we are viewed as being “male, pale and stale”?

I was talking to a male colleague who recently applied for a board position and from the credentials that were required, you could not get a better fit. Knowing him I would 100% want him sitting around the board room table providing guidance and wisdom and with a huge moral compass.

He wasn’t even considered because of, you guessed it ..a gender quota and an organisation trying to be politically correct and balance the male/female ratio.

While I understand some of the rationale for this policy, I can also understand how my colleague felt in this scenario where merit is discarded – he is talented, qualified and experienced but sadly the wrong gender, the wrong age, the wrong colour and instead of getting frustrated, maybe accepting his lot and throwing in the towel, putting on the slippers and instead deciding to coast to retirement?

All of this can start to make us older boys, feel irrelevant, past it and possibly done and dusted and suddenly our whole mindset shifts to a poor place.

I went to see Top Gun: Maverick last week and I saw 61 year old Tom Cruise in the all action movie. He looked great, he apparently flew those fighter jets himself, drove the fast motorbikes and got the girl!

And just this weekend I went to see 82 year old, great grandfather, Tom Jones (not my choice !!) entertain a packed house at The Marquee in Cork, full of energy and passion. He was brilliant and totally different to what I was expecting.

In a funny way both of the Tom’s shifted my thinking and reminded me that we still have so much to give and so much of this is down to our attitude.

I can’t do anything about my colour or my gender, but I’m definitely not that stale guy that you think I might be. Most importantly I must make sure that I don’t think it!

Age is a mindset..

Greg

Greg Canty is a Principal of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Three Weddings and a Funeral

May 26, 2022

February of this year was heart-breaking for the whole family as Liam, Dee’s older brother passed away very unexpectedly from an illness that we all expected him to fully recover from. You can just imagine the deep shock and sorrow experienced by everyone in the family as well as by his friends and colleagues.

As I sat with the family in the church in Tralee for the funeral mass it was so comforting to see friends and family paying their respects and I was very surprised to see my buddy, Fr. John Aherne on the altar with the local priest.

Fr. John had agreed to marry Rachel (Liam’s daughter) and Michael that year and he popped along to support and offer some comfort – he’s not from the parish and went out of his way to be there, despite having his own obligations that morning. This kind gesture meant so much to us and the family.

Despite the family not being very religious or regular churchgoers, I was really impressed how the local priest officiated the funeral mass, this incredibly sad occasion, and how well he had prepared with so much information about Liam and the legacy he left behind. He brought him to life in a special way and helped everyone on this tough day.

Sadly I found myself in Dungarvan for another funeral a month later. My uncle Noel passed away while mountain climbing with friends and it was clear from the sheer number of attendees how he touched so many lives with his work as a teacher and the general work that he did in the community, in particular for those with special needs.

Noel, wasn’t “a believer”, he wasn’t a regular churchgoer and yet again I was so impressed by the expertise of the priest who officiated the funeral mass and how he brought Noel to life in conjunction with the family and their beautiful eulogies.

And less than a month later I was at yet another funeral. My cousin Christopher, a young man who lost his battle with cancer. I witnessed yet another priest expertly officiating the funeral mass and honouring his life and legacy.

Three different priests and my friend, Fr.John, all incredible professionals operating at the top of their game, performing the most delicate of tasks for people when they are at their most vulnerable.

There is such a balance between holding the hand of those family members that are in deep sorrow and at the same time celebrating the life of the beloved person that we have lost.

A few weeks later and I’m back in church again but this time it is for a wedding!

It’s the wedding of Rachel and Michael, a happy occasion but also a very sad and emotionally raw one because Liam wasn’t there and it was still so close after he had passed.

We met Fr.John the night before for dinner and I asked him about how he was going to approach this special occasion because it did carry that huge weight of sadness – there was no getting away from it.

He didn’t go into any detail but he said he had it covered.

Rachel and Michael came to the altar with the best man, Robert and the bridesmaids at the beginning of the ceremony.

You could feel the huge weight of sadness in the church as well as the sense of celebration.

..and Fr. John began

“I’d like to welcome you all here for the wedding of Rachel and Robert

Rachel gave Fr. John a look, whispered loudly “It’s Michael” and the whole church spontaneously burst into laughter.

The tension was broken, we were allowed to laugh and while the sorrow never left us we were able to celebrate the special and very happy occasion.

Fr.John spoke about Liam throughout and reassured us that he was there with us celebrating.

When I spoke to him after about his huge “gaffe” he promised me that this had never happened to him before but he told me that “God works in mysterious ways” – he is right!

We never (at least I hadn’t) really consider the special role of our priests in these happy and sad occasions, and like all of the jobs that we do every day, this is their profession.

In a strange way on these huge occasions they are like the event organiser and the MC all rolled into one and what I witnessed was four different priests in different locations who each are experts at what they do.

I’m not very religious. I don’t go to mass but I do see and value the very special work that these special men do for all us.

Thank you Fr. John Aherne.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Principal of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

The day little Hazel comes home…

March 22, 2022

Today is a really special day in my life.

We have many of those special days throughout our lives including personal life moments, great gigs, famous Liverpool wins and even that day I scored the winner in a final of a school match where we were the total underdogs (I am probably the only one who remembers that match!).

Today is going to be another very special day because my granddaughter who I have never seen in person before comes home to Ireland from New Zealand where she was born last October.

The day Hazel was born was very special – we were at a John Spillane gig at the wonderful venue upstairs at The White Horse when the news came through on the 7th October that she was born, and while becoming a “granddad” waves in the beginning of another stage of life it was quiet overwhelming in a way that was different to everything else that came before.

There was that sense of relief that baby and mum were doing good and the elation that knowing another part of you has joined us in the crazy world of ours (and at such a crazy time).

The time since she was born has been quite strange as we have had to experience her through a mix of photos and videos online and in a way, sadly this has become the norm and five months later sometimes it’s hard to believe that I do actually have a granddaughter when they are so far away.

It must be so hard for anyone who has family and friends, who for whatever reason have decided to choose a life in a different country – quite simply I think the personal cost is too much.

I decided to write this piece today to capture my thoughts before Brendan and Ayla come home and I see little Hazel for the first time because I know that life won’t quite be the same once I see her!

Little Hazel…welcome home.

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Gratitude..

March 14, 2022

I was 57 last Friday and I was determined to do a few very simple things on the day.

I walked the dogs first thing as I always do with Dee – they love getting out!

The intention was to not work at all but I was busy with some client commitments, but I like what I do so that was more than ok.

I met mum for lunch – nothing fancy but it was great to see her.

Ellen my daughter popped by to say hello, which was great.

I popped in next store to say hello to our fantastic neighbours and their two kids – such special people.

And we popped down to the local, The White Horse with friends for dinner and drinks and while I was there Brendan, my son rang and we chatted briefly and I got to see little Hazel, my granddaughter over WhatsApp – they will be back from New Zealand in the next two weeks.

After dinner we came back to the house for a night cap – everyone was tired so it was just the one.

Before going to bed I checked my phone and returned the many messages with birthday wishes from friends and family.

That was it, another birthday spent with Dee and some of the other special people in my life and the two dogs of course.

While it is easy to get a little bit down with each passing year (and those numbers getting bigger!!) all I could feel this year was huge gratitude for being around to see another one and for spending it in a relatively safe country.

(God love the poor woman pictured above as she left her home and belongings in Mariupol in Ukraine – it makes no sense)

Thank you….

Greg

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The voices of some special women

March 8, 2022

On this, International Women’s Day 2022 I would like to put a spotlight of some of the fantastic women that have been wonderful guests on my Win Happy podcast over the last six months.

I have chosen twenty one different women for this post, all very diverse in terms of what they do and their stories, all interesting in their own right.

A huge thank you to each of them for their time and their passion.

To these, my special female colleagues in Fuzion Communications and all of my fantastic female friends, my daughter, my mum and of course Dee, have a great day ….I salute you!

I hope you click and enjoy some of these special conversations.

Greg

1. Michelle the vintage shop owner in New Jersey who I ended up getting a very rare book that was written by a special friend of ours called Jane Maas, the author of the book ‘Mad Women’

The note in the 2nd hand book from the Bad Reputation Boutique!

2. Jude Sherry who has worked tirelessly in Cork with her partner Frank O’Connor to put a spotlight on all of the derelict properties that could be rescued and put to great use

Solving city dereliction and creating homes, creative spaces, startup hubs and removing eyesores in the process – a Win Win discussed with Frank O’Connor and Jude Sherry of Anois

3. Saoirse Trought is a very clever, special young woman who chatted to me about the tough Covid student years and much more

Perspectives of our bright, young generation with 3rd year college student, Saoirse Trought

4. Joanne Hession a friend and Dublin Chamber colleague believes we can all be a leader in our own right and make this world of ours a better place.

Everyone can be a leader regardless of their role says Joanne Hession of LIFT

5. Maria Walsh MEP and former Rose of Tralee and my Fuzion colleague, Ciara Jordan joined me to chat about PRIDE.

PRIDE – All you need is love with Jack O’Rourke, Maria Walsh and Ciara Jordan

6. Elizabeth Adeyemo shared her courageous young story about what it was like living in Direct provision for 7 years and how it nearly crushed her

Elizabeth Adeyemo – Exhausted in the limbo of uncertainty

7. The very lovely Heritage Officer from Monaghan, Shirley Clerkin shares her passion about nature and our heritage.

Less screen time and more green time says Shirley Clerkin

8. Aideen Quirke, CEO of Cork Printmakers explains exactly what they do!

Making art accessible with Aideen Quirke of Cork Printmakers

9. The passionate artist Elizabeth Cope unveiled her exhibition about the horror that was the Magdalene Laundries

The “9,000 babies?” exhibition with renowned Irish artist Elizabeth Cope 

10. Why not start a new festival that celebrates design and creativity – meet architect Amy McKeogh!

Design Pop Festival 2021 with Founder and Creative Force, Amy McKeogh

11. I just adore Sinead Cabot, the winemaker and her attitude towards life

Riding the waves and trusting where they take you with winemaker and lover of life, Sinead Cabot

12. Jacqui Taaffe helps to empower people who have suffered an awful personal experience in their lives

Inspire, Heal, Empower – How to take back control with author Jacqui Taaffe

13. The rough and tumble about the music business with Suzanne Rhatigan – hits or misses?

“What do they say” about singer, songwriter Suzanne Rhatigan – Hits or Misses?

14. Fiona Descoteaux of Innovate Communities believes in solving deep problems in society and doesn’t walk away.

“I don’t walk away” says CEO of Innovate Communities, Fiona Descoteaux

15. All the way from the USA, Washington based Mary Jane King incredibly witnessed both 9/11 and January 6th.

Witnessing both 9/11 and the Capitol Riots – life and business in Washington DC with architect Mary Jane King

16. Author and journalist Mary Ann Sieghart wants to close “The Authority Gap” one man at a time!

“Changing the world one man at a time” with author of best seller The Authority, Mary Ann Sieghart 

17. Singer and songwriter Grainne Hunt finally gets to have the career she wants

From Tax Returns to Lilacs – the life of a singer songwriter with Grainne Hunt 

18. All the way from California, Jen Hajj took a while to get to her music career.

There are lots of paths to happiness says singer / songwriter Jen Hajj

19. Noreen Coomey guides us to making those small and big changes in our lives

From “Happily Pissed Off” to Winning Happy with coach and psychotherapist Noreen Coomey

20.. Who else could have pulled off a “Red Head Festival” and made it a huge success other than Joleen Cronin!

When a quirky idea becomes a crazy reality

21. Dr. Sarah Barry of Trinity college has a big conversation about our health system and which country is the best to get sick in

The accidental academic, Dr.Sarah Barry on the health system in Ireland and much more 

The great unmasked..

February 28, 2022

What an incredible day and one that took such a long time to arrive!

From the moment I heard the announcement about some of the final Covid restrictions being lifted and in particular the end of the requirement to wear masks in indoor settings I was counting down the days and here it is.

It’s a pity it didn’t happen on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday even, so you could really enjoy it, but even so it is here and it really does mark some sort of an end to a horrible time, but one that has changed how we live (and work) forever.

While I did think I would make the most of the momentous day by shopping without a mask or going for a drink after work without a mask, the best I could manage was going to mass this morning (it’s a very rare occurrence for me) – mum had a mass said for Dee’s brother who very sadly passed recently.

It’s clear that the transition to normal will take a while and mass today was a reflection of that with half the very small congregation still opting for mask wearing including the priest and my mum!

Ironically as we left the church mum bumped into a pal of hers who was expressing pure joy about the end of mask wearing and being able to see real faces again – in her enthusiasm she said all of this to my mother who was still wearing her mask as we stood outside the church door!

I must admit that I found mask wearing really difficult and oppressive and I hated to see people wearing them outdoors – for me it was bad enough what we were going through without being reminded of it every time you had to pass someone wearing one.

Of course, social media had a field day with this topic and it was guaranteed to spark a frenzy at the slightest mention of it…..yep, I did and it wasn’t pretty!! (someone accused me of being me a Trump fan – clearly they don’t know me).

Reflecting back at this time, it has been very difficult for almost everyone and we all dealt with it in very different ways, often due to our personal circumstances and at other times down to our outlook, anything from extreme fear to “I don’t give a toss about anyone else“….it’s been challenging to say the least!

So as we do hopefully close this unusual chapter of our collective histories, let us be patient and conscious of others as we decompress and readjust and get back to something resembling normal and something that we are comfortable with, but all at our own speed.

When people are ready to let us see their smiles again, be ready to smile back.

Before I close off on this blog post (I’m writing this to diary my own feelings as I know I will in time forget what it was like) I’d like to sincerely thank anyone and everyone who had the misfortune of having to wear a mask all day long in work or in school – it can’t have been easy.

Compared to them I had it incredibly easy.

Goodbye mask..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Love and sadness

February 14, 2022

It doesn’t feel like a very romantic day with all of that love in the air.

Dee’s brother Liam, a very special man passed this day last week after an illness which cruelly took his life at the young age of 64.

She adored her brother who she says at times was like a dad to them when they were growing up, the person they would call if they were sad, scared, upset or when they fell down.

The sadness is heavy, really heavy not just for Dee but for all of the family – it’s awful watching heart’s breaking and there is really nothing you can do but just be there.

So today doesn’t feel like the day for cards, roses and gestures but then again is that the whole point of love?

I always say that the best of fun is the worst of tears – the deep sadness ultimately comes from that deep love and at some point those two will travel together.

So while I’m not making a great case for cards, roses, romantic gestures and candlelit dinners on this special day, I do want to make a case for the love that does not necessarily go with those things but is just as important. I could see that real love from friends and family over the last few really hard weeks.

So today tell your friends, your family, your neighbours, your pets and anyone who plays a special part in your life that you love them and say a prayer or raise a glass to those who aren’t physically here anymore but live on in our hearts.

It doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner to be love (…if it is treasure it!)

RIP Liam Waldron.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Are the government entering dangerous territory with home working proposals?

January 26, 2022

My first reaction when I read the headline was have they totally and utterly lost their marbles?

“Employers to have at least 13 grounds to refuse remote working requests”

Before I say any more can I state clearly that I am all for home working and have every intention of continuing to do this for both myself and the fantastic team that we have at Fuzion Communications……BUT it is very early days and way way way too early to start introducing anything as we are all still reeling from 22 months of uncertainty and confusion.

The government should not be weighing in on this conversation now, creating rules and guidelines at this very unusual time where everything is still in a flux and at a time when many businesses could be thinking about restoring some long overdue social contact, reigniting comradery and cohesion without battling with an extra psychological obstacle caused by this intervention.

Yes we have all had to work from home in anything from our comfortable homes with oodles of space and spare rooms we were never using to our bedsits where our bedrooms and kitchens are now offices, and we have got used to it and of course it is very convenient (for some) as well as being time and cost effective.

However, we still don’t know the long term affect of this on us both personally (we are social creatures) and professionally as it is way too early in this change experiment. Covid has done huge incremental damage to everyone and we need to start healing and being human again and professionally meeting each other is a necessary part of that.

Am we missing a simple point – If I offer you a job to do work in this proper place of work because that is how I want this work to be conducted (for whatever reason) and you accept then these not the conditions of employment?

If the “working from the office” scenario no longer suits the employee in this fluid marketplace where there is huge demand for talent then they will move on and take a role where an employer is happy with that flexibility. If an employer loses great talent and cannot attract new talent then they are the big loser and the open market will quickly correct itself with those offering the appropriate flexibility winning out.

We don’t need government intervention on this – do we?

Imposing a new rule book about entitlement to home working (what they are constructing is exactly this cloaked in other language) on employers will be hugely problematic and is a very unfair imposition and this will only lead to unnecessary stresses and tensions in workplaces throughout the country as we all grappling with these conversations already.

Team spirit, a learning environment, collaborating with colleagues, personal development, positive atmosphere, having fun, confidentiality and even in some cases pure supervision are just some reasons why an employer might want to insist on office working, but then again maybe we don’t need to give one and shouldn’t have to?

This is the job, this is where the work is to be done, would you like to accept it? Isn’t that how it works and isn’t that the contract we both signed up to?

If that doesn’t suit, employees will vote with their feet and find a different employer.

In a good positive working environment there will be flexibility about this and other issues – this makes total sense BUT we are still figuring out and as I said already, trying to land on guidelines and rules now when we are still in flux is premature at best.

In a hybrid culture you will 100% lose out as an employer with this approach but surely you are entitled to determine the conditions of work without having to worry about workplace circumstances that are totally out of your control?

The idea that you may have to appear in the labour court to justify to a judge why you are insisting that a certain employee works from the office is just crazy and 1,000 steps too far.

Government ….home working is great and will sort itself out all in good time.

Please…leave us breathe

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland