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  • feedwordpress 16:30:13 on 2017/11/16 Permalink
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    5 Common Writing Mistakes to Watch Out For 

    administrative_training

    by Barbara McNichol

    What can professional editors tell you about improving your business writing? Consider these five mistakes every conscientious administrator should watch out for as you craft and revise your messages (especially your emails and marketing copy).

    Mistake #1: Addressing readers as readers (plural) rather than a single key person whose interest you want to capture. Reading is a solitary pastime that occurs one person at a time. The fix? Keep a single interested person in your target audience top of mind as you write.

    Mistake #2: Using a long noun phrase when one active verb will do. The fix? Whenever possible, get an active verb to do the “work” of the sentence. Instead of writing, “the examination of the report was done by the director,” change the noun phrase to a verb and rewrite the whole sentence. “The director examined the report.” This changed passive construction to active, reduced word count, and delivers your message more directly.

    Mistake #3: Having no rhyme or reason to the order of the paragraphs. The fix? Once you’ve crafted a solid, compelling opening, think through how the flow of your main points will best guide your reader logically to your desired conclusion. If possible, test the result with colleagues or actual readers who will give you honest feedback.

    Mistake #4: Writing sentences that ramble (on and on and on and on). The fix? Limit sentences to 15-21 words max. Be sure to vary sentence length for added interest.

    Mistake #5: Flat-out choosing the wrong word. Yes, in English, it’s easy to confuse certain common words such as “advice” instead of “advise” (among hundreds more). The fix? Reply on a comprehensive writing resource to help you select the perfect word when it really matters.

    What common writing mistakes would you add to this list? Reply here.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administration professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    The post 5 Common Writing Mistakes to Watch Out For appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:39:17 on 2017/11/14 Permalink
    Tags: Comunication, , , , , ,   

    The 4 Powerful Conversations that Will Improve Your Leadership 

    Everyone I know in leadership has more to do then they have hours in the day. But even with the top leaders I coach, there’s a common mistake they make when they’re pressed for time—most are concentrating on tasks instead of leading. It’s understandable that when you have too much to do, you do what comes easily, but that impulse doesn’t lend itself to great leadership.

    People go into leadership because they are visionaries and motivators, and they should be creating leaders among their team members instead of putting out fires and staring at spreadsheets all day.

    To implement your vision and direction, you have to do the work of leadership. That means, above all, creating strong relationships with your teams so they can work productively and effectively even in your absence.

    Too often, though, leaders get stuck in the weeds, doing daily tasks, being a manager instead of a leader.

    So how can you make sure you’re actually leading? By having these four powerful conversations every month:

    Conversation #1—Check in on the weather. Spend a few moments with every team member learning their thoughts on the organizational culture and their day-to-day work life. Make sure you know if there is the forecast looks clear or if storms are brewing. A monthly check-in keeps the channels of communication open so there are no surprises or last-minute course corrections at the end of the year.

    Conversation #2—Identify greatness and gaps in those you value. We all have strengths, areas in which we excel and talents. But we also have gaps—the habits of mind that get in the way of our greatness (as you may have read about in my new book, The Leadership Gap). To be effective, we need to know and embrace our best talents and inner strengths, and we also need to know the gaps that may keep us stuck and playing small. As a leader, you should constantly be aware of your team members’ strengths and nurture their talent, but also understand their gaps and help them learn to leverage their unproductive thinking into something positive.

    Conversation #3—Ask about development and improvement. Most people are eager for opportunities to improve and develop new skills. Too often, though, leaders don’t expend the time or effort to find out ways to help their people grow—not because they don’t want to, but because they’re too busy. But making time for people to learn and grow is as important as anything else you could be doing. Aside from the benefits to your team, it shows that you consider them a worthy investment. Making time for the development of your people is the essence of leadership.

    #Conversation #4—Generate a game plan for success. We’ve all heard the quote “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” And the way to show you care is not with words but action. Work with each member of your team to generate a game plan for success. Give them the benefit of your experience in helping them identify and reach their goals, and they in turn will give you the best they have to offer.

    Don’t be one of those leaders who feel they don’t have time to hold regular meetings, who say they’re too busy to have these conversations. And don’t try lumping everything in together so you can feel you’ve done your duty. This system works if you maintain one single conversational theme at a time. The idea is to keep the channels of communication open, to keep the dialogue moving, to learn what makes your team more effective and productive.

    Lead from within: At the end of the day, when it comes to leadership if you don’t have the time to do right, when will you have the time to do it over?


    National Bestselling Book:
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The 4 Powerful Conversations that Will Improve Your Leadership appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, , , , , , , , passive, , , workplace communication,   

    7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive 

    Assertive_vs_Aggressive_Communication

    Do you want to be more assertive?

    Learning how to tactfully voice your opinions and assert your needs as an executive assistant is important. Many assistants have crossed the line from assertive to aggressive. So what is the difference between assertive and aggressive? Isn’t being aggressive good?

    Many people confuse assertive and aggressive behavior. This is especially true of women, who until recent years, were often taught to associate passiveness with femininity. As a result women often are reluctant to take the initiative in the workplace – whether to resolve a conflict, solve a problem, or present an idea—for fear of being labeled pushy or obnoxious. 97% of administrative professionals are female.

    What’s the difference between being assertive and aggressive?

    Before I go on, let me clarify the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive. By explaining the 3 of these, it will help you better understand the differences.

    Passive: A passive person only cares about others and what they think and making sure everyone else’s needs are met. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that a good thing?” No. Not when we sacrifice ourselves or what we need to get done for the sake of others. Passive people can become resentful or blow up later, which then becomes aggressiveness.

    Aggressive: An aggressive person only cares about themselves; therefore, they don’t care what they say or how they say it as long as they get what they want.

    Assertive: An assertive person cares that their own needs are met AND cares about others. So they think about how they will communicate in a caring way and get what they need.

    We all have needs to be met in the workplace so we can do our job and finish projects on time. We also have to make sure people do not walk all over us or be a cupcake! Assertiveness is the way to go because it is the happy medium. You care about yourself and your care about others.

    Benefits of Being Assertive

    • Reduces anxiety.
    • Provides a feeling of control.
    • Increases self-esteem.
    • Builds confidence.
    • We get resolution of the situation.
    • Less stress and wasted time.
    • You choose when to push a situation or not.
    • Protects you from being taken advantage of.

    We all know the famous Mayo Clinic. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about being assertive. “Being assertive is typically viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. On the flip side, it can also help you from steamrolling others.”

    Risk is Involved
    Being assertive involves some risk because you aren’t guaranteed of the outcome. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing the situation may not turn out like you hope it will. However, you have a better chance of having your needs met with assertive action than by being passive or aggressive.

    When communicating assertively, it’s a good idea to start at the end—what you want to see happen and then work back. Make sure you clearly communicate your needs or desires. When these are communicated in a direct, tactful manner, you most likely will see the result you expected in the beginning.

    Weigh the Pros And Cons
    If you are doubtful as to whether to assert yourself in a particular situation, you should weigh the pros and cons. It is not the number of pros vs. cons that is as important as the impact of each pro and con.

    7 Steps to Be More Assertive

    1. Outwardly confront something instead of holding it in or stewing over it. Passive people hold things in. They keep their feelings buried and do not like confrontation. Therefore, they are walked over and stressed out. While you may want to take some time to think about the situation and how you want to respond, do not sit on it for days and weeks. In fact, the sooner you confront a situation or something someone said to you, the better. Just choose your words carefully.
    2. State their opinions clearly. You are entitled to your opinion. We are not clones of each other. When communicating with others take time to be clear when expressing your opinions and especially do not say anything that would hurt another person’s feelings.
    3. Walk away at your choosing. Passive people walk away because they feel intimated by a person or the situation. An assertive person walks away because “it’s” just not worth their time or energy.
    4. Are active, not reactive. Assertive people take action but they also stop and think before they take action. Again, they craft the message they want to deliver so the other person will be open to what they say.
    5. Establish deadlines. You can start this today! Many executive and administrative assistants will ask, “When do you need this?” Of course, the common answer is, “As soon as you can get it to me?” Or, “As soon as possible.” Learn to ask people, “By when do you need this?” Get the people who assign you tasks or special projects to commit to the latest date by which they need something, not the soonest. This helps the person giving you the assignment set their own priorities and helps you prioritize your workload.
    6. Do not accept inappropriate behavior. If there is anything that does not feel right or appropriate to you in the workplace, you must tell the offending person their action or words are not acceptable to you. A very simple example for assistants is the person who always comes into the assistant’s workspace and takes pencils or pens or whatever. If you don’t like that, then say something. That is a very simple example. My point is you do not have to accept behaviors that make you frustrated, stressed, or uncomfortable. My favorite saying is, “People will continue to treat you as you allow them to.”
    7. Go to the source. People have a tendency to complain to their friends or co-workers about someone at work who upset them or who they don’t like. That does not change the situation or how you feel—at least not permanently. When something arises with another person, you need to go directly to the source. Again, use positive communication skills. If you hear something via third party, make sure you have all your facts before going to the source.

    “We are learning to find a balance between being too passive and/or too aggressive, instead, learning to be assertive when presenting ideas and/or suggestions.” – World Class Assistant Part 1 Graduates (For more wisdom from these class participants check out the slideshare below by my World Class students.

    Joan Burge

    Benefits of Attending the World Class Assistant Certificate Program (as shared by course participants)

     

    Find More Information About World Class Assistant Training

    The post 7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:10:26 on 2017/11/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Emerging Leaders, , , Leadership Struggles, , , ,   

    Why Your Emerging Leaders Need Coaching 

    Recently I gave a keynote at a company, and while I was there I overheard one of the senior leadership team members say he didn’t believe in coaching and that nurturing emerging leaders isn’t important to leadership development.

    My first reaction was to ask myself, “What am I doing here?” The second, which followed closely, was that it’s no wonder the company has trouble meeting targets and pleasing stakeholders, or that they rely outside consultants to tell them what is wrong. (Which, by the way, is not the same thing as coaching—it’s the difference between someone telling you something’s wrong and having them help you get it right.)

    I believe, coaching emerging leaders makes the development process smoother, quicker and more thorough. Here are some of the areas where coaching is critical to leadership development:

    Self-identification of leadership. Emerging leaders need to develop and identify their own leadership framework. Leadership is a difficult role, and unless they’re among the rare few who are born leaders, coaching will help them identify and clarify their leadership—which, in turn, leads to clarity regarding those they’ll be leading.

    Development of emotional intelligence. An older generation may consider leadership to be all about being the boss and guarding the bottom line, but happily the field has changed since those days. Emerging leaders need to be able to explore who they are as a leader, which includes developing and managing their emotional intelligence, and a coach is well equipped to guide that process.

    Communication and feedback. Coaching provides an outside perspective that helps emerging leaders understand how to communicate with clarity, how to embrace feedback and how they influence the potential of others just with their communication.

    Effective decision making. In the fast pace of business, emerging leaders have to learn to be decisive. You can leave that critical process to chance, or you can have a coach on hand to provide best practices, tools and techniques to make strong decisions quickly.

    Motivation and effectiveness. A key ingredient of every emerging leader is finding their personal source of motivation when times get tough. Sharing inspiration with a coach helps put them in touch with that source.

    Leveraging their leadership gaps. Every leader needs to know their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to identify some of their blind spots or triggers. Once they understand those gaps, they can leverage them to their benefit. As I discuss in my new best-selling book, The Leadership Gap, what you don’t own ends up owning you. Emerging leaders in particular can’t afford to allow blind posts or other areas of weakness to get in the way of their authentic, honest, courageous leadership.

    Manifesting character. Emerging leaders who start out on the path of leading with character will earn trust, receive and give respect, and be consistent in integrity. Coaching helps keep them on that path in the difficult early stages.

    Good leaders are passionate and committed, authentic, courageous, honest and reliable. But in today’s high-pressure environment, leaders need a confidante, a coach—someone they can trust to tell the truth about their struggles, which is a difficult role for others within the same organization to fill. That’s where coaches truly earn their keep.

    Lead From Within: Every good leader and every great emerging leader can benefit from a coach. Coaching gives them the confidence they need as an individual and as a leader to lead self and others to success and achievement.


    National Bestselling Book:
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Why Your Emerging Leaders Need Coaching appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:26:09 on 2017/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    7 Tips for Coming Down the Home Stretch 

    Admin-training

    Welcome to November—the 11th month of 2017! With just less than two months to go, how are you going to wrap them up? Are you going to fizzle out as the weeks pass or are you going out with a bang? Do you feel like you are running out of steam or taking one big, deep last breath to push through the next eight weeks?

    Many of you might be thinking, “Thank goodness this year is over. It was a horrible year; a stressful year; a depressing year.”  Yet look around and most of us are still standing. We dealt with the challenges that were presented to us. We might not have liked them but we handled them. Some people who lost their jobs actually ended up in better positions. Businesses have become stronger because they worked leaner and smarter. Communities like Las Vegas and San Antonio that have been struck by huge tragedies, are closer and prouder than ever before.

    Here are some ideas for the first week of November:

    1. Take inventory of your accomplishments and make sure you document them so you have them ready for your annual review or your success book!
    1. Mend broken relationships. It does no good to hold grudges. You can be the bigger person by taking the first step.
    1. Look at your calendar between now and year-end. Consider your commitments, schedules, things you need to do, holiday events, and block necessary time to reduce stress.
    1. Make a training wish list for next year and plan how you will persuade your executive to support you.
    1. Request a strategy meeting with your executive to discuss their goals for the next two months. What do they need to get accomplished and how can you help achieve those goals?
    1. Take advantage of any unused vacation or plan a personal day to organize your personal life before the holidays arrive.
    1. With the holidays coming, it is more important than ever that you exercise and get good rest. If you are going to finish 2017 with a bang, you must have mental and physical energy.

    If you can picture a horse race, many of the horses start out close together in the race but as they go around the track and increase their distance, only a few stretch out in front. Then as the race progresses, often two horses are running neck and neck but only one wins the race—and sometimes just by a nose.

    What’s the analogy to people? The majority of the population started out on equal ground in January, then as the race got more challenging, some people fell back, lost their wind and slowed down. As the year comes to end and we come down the home stretch, are you still ahead in the race?  Do you have the stamina to go the distance? I hope so as the next eight weeks should be filled with enthusiasm as we see the year come to an end and we eagerly greet 2018!

    Let’s do it!

    Joan Burge

    administrative_assistant_training

    The post 7 Tips for Coming Down the Home Stretch appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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