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Smarter change

Out of the comfort zone

I put this story together as my introduction for a speech on story telling I’m giving for a Breast Cancer Network’s National Member Group Summit on August 13, 2009.

When Cindy Tonkin was 17 she went to France as an exchange student. She didn’t speak much at all for 3 months. She didn’t think her French was good enough, and Corinne, her host student spoke excellent English.

Then came the school holidays. Corinne went away to England on an excursion. Cindy was left to communicate with a 4 year old, a 6 year old and 2 parents with no English skills.

That’s when she finally started speaking French (which she had of course been studying for 5 years!).

Perhaps you have dormant skills too, which are about to wake up today. Perhaps you’re eager to express yourself differently (in French or any other language!)

Today Cindy will talk to you about the language of story and its impact in learning, leading and linking people.

Cindy is a Sydney-based corporate consultant and executive coach – her job is to make working with people easy. She has written 7 books and worked with executives and their teams across Australia and Asia. She has many stories to tell which will resonate with you and your own journey.

And by the way she now speaks fluent French, holds a First class Honours Degree in French and a Masters in Linguistics from the University of Paris.

Proving that sometimes going a little out of our comfort zone can be life changing!

By the way, the photograph shows Cindy with some of her 1Bc friends from Lycee Edgar Quinet in Bourg-en-Bresse, France 1981. from top left: Geoff, Jean-Marc, Cass, Myriam, Anne Marie, Pascale (in a wig), Bandoche, Isabelle, Marie-Pierre Calland, Cindy in the front (wearing an Australian flag vest under her pale blue jacket!)

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