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  • feedwordpress 13:16:44 on 2017/03/21 Permalink
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    The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out 


    Administrative professionals are always asking us what it takes to really stand out in the workplace. After all, it’s a competitive market out there! If you really want to make a name for yourself and get ahead, it takes more than just skimming the surface. You have to dive deep within yourself to develop that “World Class” status that executives are looking for in their assistants.

    For those who want to shine brighter and get recognized (and rewarded) for your contributions, consider these key strategies.

    Shift Your Paradigm
    First, you have to change how you see yourself in your role. A “paradigm” is simply a mindset, but it plays an important role in how you show up in the workplace.

    If you think of yourself as an assistant, that’s perfectly fine. But in order to really stand out, you need to upgrade your mental image of who you are and what you do. You must begin seeing yourself as a strategic partner—a business ally for the executive(s) you support.

    This subtle shift in thinking will filter through your actions and behaviors. It will boost your confidence and your professional presence. It will positively change the relationship you have with your leaders, and ultimately, it will help you establish a powerful new position in the executive “inner circle.”

    Refine Your Communication
    A savvy communicator knows how to get noticed and get their point across. This is one area where everyone always has more room to improve.

    In order to really stand out, you must continuously hone your ability to communicate your point of view tactfully. You need to practice delivering tough messages in a way that other people can actually hear them. And you need to adapt your natural communication style to meet others where they are.

    Learning to communicate at the executive level is absolutely essential for success and it’s extremely rare. When you have this kind of mastery, you gain a deeper level of respect.

    Hone Your Professional Trademark
    When Joan presents training, she always receives similar feedback: People think she is “poised, polished and professional.”

    These three words are what people think when they hear Joan’s name—it’s her professional trademark, you might say. Do you know why? Because that’s who she is, and she has consciously chosen this as her personal brand.

    Do you have a something you are known for? Have you made the conscious choice to embody specific characteristics and traits as your brand? Or are you letting your professional reputation be shaped unintentionally?

    How others perceive you is such an important and underutilized tool for administrative professionals. Defining your distinct professional trademark—and learning how to leverage that in the workplace—will help you shape how others see you.

    As you can see, these skills go beyond the basics. They are strategies that only a few employ, and those who do reap the rewards. There is much to learn regarding advanced skills for assistants. To truly stand out requires a sincere dedication to your career path and an investment in your personal growth.

    These are just a few of the topics we cover in the World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. This “high-end boot camp” is the only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals on the market. It’s designed to help you stand out and develop the master-level skills you need to become World Class.

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why, on March 29, 2017, Joan will be hosting a live Q&A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:40 on 2017/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: , Commitment, Common Purpose, , Competence, Connection, , ,   

    The Best Way for Leaders to Build Trust 

    Trust, Smart Leaders, Great Leaders, Leadership

    If there’s a single element that can be considered the core of great leadership, it’s trust. Trust fuels everything leaders want for themselves and their teams, from productivity to imagination. And in its absence it’s nearly impossible for a team to be effective. Maybe that’s why leaders talk about trust constantly—having it, measuring it, earning it.

    But “earning” isn’t really the right word. Trust isn’t so much earned as it is built, little by little, day by day. Here are some of the most important blocks to set in place when you’re building trust:

    Character is the foundation of trust. Without it, leaders rely on externals like rank and seniority, but they’ll never be successful without the trust and commitment of those they lead. Character means holding high standards and clear, consistent values that you live every day.

    Competence alone won’t make others trust you—but a lack of competence is a quick way to make them mistrust you. Competence doesn’t mean you know how to do everything. It means you know what needs to be done, understand how it fits with your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and can make a plan to ensure it happens.

    Communication is essential to an environment of trust where leadership can effectively engage employees and deliver results. To be successful, communication needs to flow in both directions with clarity, transparency and timeliness. It takes daily practice over time for a leader and team to get communication right.

    Connection begins with mutual respect and loyalty—with leadership that’s not about power and control but adding value to the work of others and helping them grow in every aspect of their lives. Connections build trust and vice versa.

    Commitment is the visible expression of trust in creating and caring for a partnership. In leadership, when you make a commitment you create a priority and a level of engagement that goes far beyond a promise.

    Common purpose is the final bond that deepens trust with the assurance that everyone is moving and working in the same direction, sharing the same values and aspirations.

    LEAD FROM WITHIN: The best leaders build trust, because trust has the most enduring power and the widest influence.

    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Best Way for Leaders to Build Trust appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 13:45:04 on 2017/03/20 Permalink
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    Secrets Revealed 


    Every person has secrets. They may be secrets about their families, health, money, business, fears, or successes. Some things should be kept secret or within a very small group. But there are other secrets that we should be sharing with others.

    What are you not telling people that would help them do their job faster, simpler, or save your company money? What have you learned from years in the workplace that you aren’t sharing? Think about all the different jobs you have had and the lessons that you learned in each job.

    The idea is that every person has many talents within them but often they don’t share their tips and shortcuts because they don’t think their idea is anything new. I see this often when I’m conducting workshops. People in the room think, “Surely everyone else must know this so I’m not going to say anything.”

    Some people in the workplace won’t share their strategies for success because they are afraid the other person might get their job. Other people just don’t take the time.

    I would like you to look at the upside of revealing your secrets to: being more efficient, managing relationships in the office, technology, speaking up and speaking out, dealing with change or 20 other things. The upside is that you are helping others in your company which ultimately helps your organization be successful. When your organization is successful, you win. Another upside is that it feels really good to share what you know. You will feel grateful when people tell you your idea was awesome! That will increase your self-esteem and you will want to share more often. Also, organizations need the more seasoned employees to mentor newer employees.

    While I have been sharing my secrets to success for 26 years in owning Office Dynamics, I still have not told everything. I finally decided to host a free webinar on March 30, 2017, for administrative professionals whereby I will be pulling back the curtain and sharing some of my secret strategies from when I was an employee for 20 years.

    I am challenging you to reveal your best-kept secrets this week to co-workers, leaders, peers, friends and family. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!


    The post Secrets Revealed appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 10:16:38 on 2017/03/20 Permalink

    How Corporate Innovation Programs are Measuring Success 

    Corporate innovation programs are primarily measuring revenue to show success –but that’s a risk, it a small incubated program is being compared to the primary billion dollar business lines. ROI is a fallacy metric of corporate innovation. Basing program success on ROI too early, rather than dedicated innovation KPIs, will not yield an accurate representation of progress.

    In our recent Crowd Companies research, “The Corporate Innovation Imperative” (available for download here), we found there is a startling chasm between what organizations are measuring around innovation and which KPIs truly indicate program success from infancy through maturity. Corporate innovators who implement realistic measurement plans that focus on innovation KPIs, not immediate ROI, find greater executive support and are given adequate time to deliver results.

    Our survey data of corporate innovation leaders reveals that the most common metric attached to innovation program success is increased revenue (66%), Other top measures of success include greater customer satisfaction (54.5%) and faster time to market for new products or improvements (45.1%) (see figure below for full list of innovation metrics).

    Top Innovation Success Measures

    Companies should focus on measurment depending on which phase of their innovation cycle they’re at. Lookoing at the classic Agile Startup methodology put forth by Eric Reis, companies (large and small) can focus on innovation metrics (usage, renewal, referral) in addtion to raw revenues.

    Though innovators report increased revenue as an indicator of success, mature corporations reveal that focusing on ROI over other growth KPIs is actually harmful to innovation, and that programs should first encourage speed to market and increased ideas cycling through the pipeline. Migros, one of our interviewees, monitors KPIs of possible yield models instead of revenue for its innovation programs, with agreed-upon guardrails like maximum accepted expenditure per year and total investment volume over a period of time. It also plans out expectations for when innovations will break even in order to set realistic measurement goals and act accordingly if and when they are or aren’t achieved.

    As companies climb the ladder of maturity, they also begin to clarify which of the four innovation goals (product innovation; operations; CX; or business model) they’re setting out to achieve (see figure below) — both within each program individually and in their innovation charter for the company overall. This impacts the metrics they attach to signal progress. When pursuing a new corporate innovation program, setting clear goals that answer “why this program?” is paramount to choosing the right initiative.

    Corporate Innovation Impacts Customers in Four Ways

    Advanced companies build their capacity for innovation by approaching innovation goals separately at first (avoiding the trap of too-early ROI expectations), each with its individual programs and support mechanisms. Then, as the corporation matures in its efforts, its programs will strategically progress to fulfill all four innovation goals within a culture of innovation that serves as the lifeblood of the organization.

    For example, each of the above innovation goals have different associated KPIs for each, for example Product Innovation will be focused on usage, revenue, and referral, Operational Innovation may focus on reduced costs, higher quality, or faster time to market, Customer Experience innovation may focus on customer satisfaction, engagement, and reduced contact center costs, and Business Model Innovation will focus on newly generated ideas, avoiding disruption or partnerships with young startups.

    (Photo via pexels)

  • feedwordpress 13:17:37 on 2017/03/17 Permalink
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    Developing Your “Wow” Factor 


    Some assistants have it. Some assistants don’t.

    What is it, you ask? That intangible, invaluable “wow” factor.

    Here’s the good news: It’s a learnable trait! Anyone can develop their own unique wow factor. It has nothing to do with your title or pay grade; it’s about who you are as a professional.

    The wow factor is a term we use in the World Class Assistant™ certificate program to describe the powerful executive presence that the most successful administrative professionals exude. These assistants know how to command a room. They remain poised even under the most intense pressure. They know how to make intelligent decisions on-the-spot.

    In short, they possess abilities that make others say, “Wow!”

    As a result, these assistants enjoy an increased level of respect and even reverence. People look up to them and listen when they speak. People ask for their opinions and guidance. People trust them. They are World Class Assistants.

    Hopefully, you’re reading this and thinking, “Yep! That’s what I want!” If that’s the case, we have a few recommendations to help you get there.

    Build Exceptional Competence
    Your core abilities are the foundation. You have to be an expert at what you do. The wow factor isn’t all about the exterior. It’s what’s inside too. You can’t have it if you don’t first have the skills to do your job exceptionally well.

    Refine Your Professional Style
    Your physical presence is a big part of the wow factor. How you present yourself, your style and your overall look create your total package. There are many elements to consider: how you dress, your body language, your facial expressions, your gestures, and more. Learn to observe the successful people around you and mirror their example. But don’t forget to incorporate your own unique touches too!

    Monitor Your Speech
    Your voice is a critically important tool for communication. It can either enhance your wow factor or detract from it. Listen to your tone, as well as the words you are using. Do you sound authoritative, composed and enthusiastic? Or do you sound scattered, timid, and weak? Others can pick up on things that are subtly hidden in your voice. Remember that the wow factor can be both seen and heard.

    Embrace Serenity
    When things fall apart (which they frequently do in the business world), some assistants fall apart too. They lose all perspective and let their stress filter into every interaction and behavior. But assistants with the wow factor are viewed as a port in the storm. They’re steady, clear-headed and focused, even when others are not. They have peace and serenity because they know, whatever happens, they have the ability to meet any challenge head-on.

    This wow factor idea comes from our World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. If you’re looking to really develop and leverage your own unique wow factor, this “high-end boot camp” might be the perfect next step in your career evolution. The only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals, this program is designed to help you develop the skills required to really WOW your executive(s).

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why on March 29, 2017, Joan Burge will be hosting a live Q & A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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