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  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
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    Calendar Management for Executive Assistants 


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    Meetings, meeting, and more meetings! In spite of all the technology, meetings have not gone away. Whether your executive is holding a virtual meeting or attending a virtual or live meeting, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are properly scheduling meetings and making your executive’s life easier.

    As an assistant of 20 years, I had one perspective of meeting management. But now that I am the executive involved in numerous meetings, I can tell you what really is important. You must keep these things in mind when you are managing your executive’s calendar. Calendar management is an important skill. It is more than dropping in appointments on blank dates and times.

    • COGNITIVE task! Meeting planning is a cognitive task. This is something a computer will not do. Just because a date is open, it does not mean it is available. You must think about your manager’s workload, other commitments, travel, upcoming meetings, past meetings, previous week’s schedule. You must think about the time commitment related to each meeting. Some meetings don’t take long to prepare for while other meetings take a great deal of preparation. You must also think consider whether travel was involved—whether local travel or getting on an airplane. You would consider jet lag; personal appointments; time to prepare; time to wrap up a meeting; logistics; travel time. This is not a job for a robot! This takes brains, strategy, and empathy.
    • When scheduling travel or appointments, VIEW the calendar in terms of:
    • What was my leader’s schedule like last week? Did he/she travel?
    • This week’s schedule
      • How many meetings?
      • Who are the meetings with?
      • Virtual or in person?
      • Time consumed in last-minute preparation for the meeting?
      • Travel?
    • Next two weeks’ schedule
      • Travel? If so, how many days? Arriving home late? Jet lag?
      • In office—how much free time is available? What about time for my leader to work on:
        • projects
        • return phone calls
        • respond to e-mails
        • delegate
        • work on presentation?
      • Level of meetings: high-level meeting with high-level prep; low-level meetings with minor preparation time?
    • ASSESS if the meeting is necessary/essential before booking meeting. Does your executive really need to attend this meeting? Can anyone else on his/her team attend in their place? Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the meeting planner; get details before committing your executive to a meeting. 
    • KNOW your leader’s preferences and occasionally confirm preferences. While there are certain parameters for better meeting scheduling such as:
    • Don’t schedule meetings the first thing Monday mornings
      • Don’t schedule meetings after 2:00 p.m. on Friday
      • Stay away from meeting that will run into lunch hours
      • Leave time at the end of the day for your manager or executive to wrap up unfinished business; prepare for the next day; return phone calls or respond to e-mails . . .

    Every manager and executive has their personal preferences. Some executives will run like crazy going from meeting to meeting, starting early in the day and going late into the evening. Other executives want their executive or administrative assistant to set parameters. I know one executive who has a 90 minute drive into the office and does not want any meetings scheduled before 10:00 a.m. Learn your executive’s preferences and make it work!

    Even if your executive is willing to run from meeting to meeting, he or she will appreciate you leaving them space to work on a presentation or project, allow for quiet time or preparation time, and being able to go through their e-mails.

    managing_your_executives_day

    Do you find yourself still running in circles around your executives day? Are they ricocheting from meeting to meeting? Are you having a hard time keeping up? Access our online learning video series, Managing Your Executive’s Day and start “wowing” your executive today!

    The post Calendar Management for Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:05:22 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
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    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants 


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    Improve_Your_Organization_Skills

    Organization skills for administrative assistants are one of the most valuable skills to have as an administrative assistant.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills as an administrative assistant without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits of this are of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organizational skills for administrative assistants are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips, and tricks in the comments below.


    certification_for_administrative_assistants

    Learn more administrative professional skills that will launch you further into career success by attending our World Class Assistant™ course and obtaining the Certified World Class Assistant designation.

    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:30 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
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    10 Ways to Make Sure People Love Working For You 


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    If you want people to love working for you, it’s important that you keep them happy. Many studies and workplace reports show that employee happiness has a direct tie to the bottom line.

    Happy people are more creative, innovative and dedicated than their unhappy counterparts. And they are more likely to be loyal and responsible and to stick around for a long time.

    It’s the very definition of a win-win situation. And the best way to make it happen is to create an environment and culture that foster employee happiness. Here are some of the most important things you can do:

    Make people feel important. When you create an environment in which people feel important, it becomes a place where they want to spend more time. When people know they matter and believe they are contributing in ways that make an impact, they want to stick around and follow the leader who makes them feel significant.

    Let people know they’re being heard. It sounds simple enough, but it’s something many leaders don’t bother to do. People want to know someone is listening—really listening. Being heard means that when problems are uncovered, people work together and take action to fix the issues, and it’s an important part of happiness at work.

    Deliver praise and appreciation often. Everyone wants to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts, but when things get frantic—as they often do—leaders too often forget the power of simple words like “thank you,” “I appreciate you,” and “I value the work you’re doing.” These simple phrases can be a game changer for how people feel about your leadership.

    Make work fulfilling. Everyone wants their work to have a purpose. For people to feel good about the work they’re producing, they need to believe it’s part of something meaningful. It’s your job as their leader to make sure they know what that looks like. Allow people to see the inner workings of the organization from all angles and perspectives. When you do, they feel better connected and more committed to its mission. Success by itself doesn’t breed happiness—it’s the other way around.

    Prioritize work-life balance. It is important that people understand you value them as a person. One powerful way to make that happen is to make work-life balance a clear priority. You may want to let people work from home on Fridays, provide discounted child or elder care, or find other incentives that improve people’s overall quality of life. Attention to work-life issues shows you care about your people—at work and away.

    Encourage wellness. Encouraging people in wellness and health by supporting positive steps in areas like exercise, diet and meditation will create a lot of happiness. People often work too hard and for too many hours. As a result, they don’t feel well and may become unhappy. Encouraging wellness says you care the people on your team.

    Engage in meaningful dialogue. It’s important to engage in meaningful conversations—not only about work but also about deeper issues and what’s going on in people’s lives. Meaningful dialogue connects people in profound ways, and more connected people are happier at work.

    Refrain from micromanaging. Employees who feel trusted and supported, without being hovered over, are more relaxed and confident in the work  they do. When you’re tempted to micromanage, remember why you hired your team and trust them to make the right decisions without interference. Giving people the freedom to do their jobs as they think best will keep their confidence high, adding to the success of your organization.

    Be accessible and available. If your door is always closed and your tone says “Do not disturb,” people will feel disconnected from the person whose thoughts, opinions and guidance they most need. People want to know that their leader is invested in them. When you are accessible and available, you send a clear message that people can count on you and you’ll be there for them.

    Help them grow and develop. There’s no better way to show you care about your people and you’re serious about investing in them as individuals than to foster their personal and professional can growth and development. Your support and encouragement show that you believe in them, you recognize their potential and you want them to succeed as individuals.

    Lead from within: If you want people to love working for you, show them the love they deserve and make them happy.

     


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    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.

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    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post 10 Ways to Make Sure People Love Working For You appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:45:45 on 2019/04/16 Permalink
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    Celebrate Admin Professionals Month by Resolving to Write “Right” 


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    You want to be successful in your job as an administrative professional, but you feel your writing may not be as good as it should. Take to heart the following five steps and I guarantee a steady improvement!

    1. Find out your organization’s standard style of communication:
      • Is a formal or informal style used—e.g., are contractions such as “it’s” and “can’t” acceptable?
      • In reports and email messages, are bullet points or paragraphs more common?
      • Do you typically communicate with customers in writing, in person, or by phone?
    2. Does your organization have an official style guide? It will tell you:
      • How to use the organization’s name correctly (e.g., Ltd, vs. Limited).
      • How letters and memos should be formatted, including salutations.
      • Which rules of punctuation, as well as graphics (e.g., logos), have been set as standard.
    3. Determine your supervisor’s preferences and expectations in these areas:
      • Prefers detailed explanations or “just the facts” in letters and memos?
      • Wants to be copied on everything or only on certain things?
      • Needs to approve every document or only specific kinds before you send them?
    4. Ask around: Who are the excellent writers in your area? Request examples of their work and ask them for feedback on yours. Be specific—e.g., did the benefits and call to action in your message come across clearly? Was anything important left out?
    5. Refresh your writing skills by consulting reference and business writing books. (Strunk & White’s Elements of Style is a perennial favorite.) Subscribe to an online program such as Word Trippers Tips that features 52 weeks of reminders to select the right word every time, plus easy-to-use reference tools.

    With renewed awareness, regular reminders, and supportive mentors, your writing can become clearer, more concise, more accurate, and more compelling. Celebrate Administrative Professionals Month with a fresh resolve to boost your writing skills in the next 52 weeks.

    wordtrippers_grammer_course

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource to 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 webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    The post Celebrate Admin Professionals Month by Resolving to Write “Right” appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:50:33 on 2019/04/16 Permalink
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    Investors Bet on Wellness Tech: Startups Funded $2 Billion 


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    Investors are betting that humans turn to tech startups for wellness solutions.

    Wellness is not just a buzzword, it’s a $4.2 Trillion market and growing. It’s a movement and it’s happening now. Our society has taken a turn and people are more focused on their physical, mental and spiritual health than ever before. Being happy and healthy has evolved into a top priority.

    In walks technology…Apps and startups have enabled this movement by creating technology to address our mind, fitness, sleep, diet, reproductive health, environment and beyond. WellTech has been surging with innumerable apps and companies over the last decade. Investment activity has followed in suit with over $2.2B in investment in the 97 modern wellness startups we’ve identified as of March 2019.

    Why WellTech?
    Rising healthcare costs have created a growing need for alternate options to address our wellness – physical, mental and spiritual. With increased healthcare costs, increased stress and ailments, and a growing trend toward happiness and health, the market is primed for wellness apps and technology. These technologies give users assistance in achieving overall wellness and help them take proactive measures for a healthy lifestyle. Modern wellness startups have stepped up to fill the gap. People are turning to consumer technology from Apple, Google, Amazon and others to solve these needs –they have less barriers to entry, despite some initial costs for hardware.

    Startups Come in Four Flavors
    We have classified these wellness startups into four categories: Mind, Body, Community and Space (check out our detailed infographic on this space here). Mind includes startups addressing emotion recognition, intelligent assistance therapy, mental health, mindfulness, mood shaping and stress. Body includes connected apparel, fitness, health, nutrition, sexual wellness and sleep. Community includes the busy market of on-demand fitness and wellness, cryptofitness and on-demand elder care. Lastly, Space involves air, light, scent, sleep, sound, touch and manipulation of whole space.

    Funding:

    • Community 37%, $811M.
    • Body has 29%, $647M.
    • Mind has 18%, $403M.
    • Space has 15%, $333M.

    There are some outliers, like the newly-crowned $1B+ valued unicorn, Calm, a startup that helps users relax, sleep, or focus. Calm recently raised $88M to total their funding to $116M, a leader in the Mindfulness subcategory of the Mind category.

    Community’s large amount of funding is lead by ClassPass, a subscription-based fitness app, at $239M and Practo, a medical advice and booking app, with $234M. These are both large startups that have matured and have accrued funding over the years.

    Future Changes in WellTech
    The Community category, which incorporates the on-demand fitness and wellness providers, is pretty saturated with lots of emerging startups and investments in the last couple of years. We expect this to flatten out.

    Mindfulness has been heating up, expect more here, especially with Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app that will match funding and valuation to rival Calm. Also, be on the lookout for funding in the Intelligent Assistance Therapy sector, with startups like talkspace, an online therapy app.

    Sleep startups don’t currently have the funding that other subcategories have, but we expect that to change soon. Between wearables and environment management, this is a wildly growing sector. Apple recently acquired Beddit, showing market value/

    In the Body category, we’ll see growth in Nutrition startups like uBiome which provides microbiome testing, and habit that offers personalized nutrition, like highly-anticipated Lumen.

    Growth Categories:
    We’re often asked about the underfunded categories, as these have the most potential to grow. We see three regions that may quickly grow if new innovations are brought forth to market:

    1. New sensors and software. That can measure brain wave activity, galvanic skin response, facial recognition or accurately measure breathing are underfunded categories that may blossom into new business models
    2. Corporate Wellness Technology (CWT) Platforms. Employee wellness solutions that combine multiple features into one suite. Corporations are adopting these technologies for employee wellness, yet they are loosely strung together and lack a cohesive experience.
    3. Data and analytics that measure actual human improvements. There’s a need for analytics that combine biometrics to actually gauge if wellness practices are making a long-lasting effect beyond just simple usage this is for consumer level, crowd aggregation, and at societal level.

    We’ll also see acquisitions that create super apps that offer comprehensive wellness platforms that address mind, body, community and space. Google and Apple are likely contenders in this arena, but there’s certainly room for an independent startup to take this on. Large sports brands like Nike, Under Armour and Reebok have an opportunity to step forward to lead on this, as well.

    We have a spreadsheet tracking these top 100 startups and will report on a periodic basis how this market is shaping up.

    Research assistance by Julie George

     
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