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  • feedwordpress 15:48:20 on 2019/07/12 Permalink

    Five Questions to Ask Before Saying “I’m Done” (Writing Tips) 

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    Suppose you’re writing a sensitive email, article, or letter—one that’s extremely important in your world. The message must be as clear and concise as possible.

    Ask these five questions and follow the examples to make changes that will immediately improve your prose.

    1. Have you put in filler words that don’t add meaning to your sentence? E.g., Starting a sentence with “there are” or “here is” or a variation of that. “Here are excellent points to consider” becomes “Consider these points.” More direct!

    2. Can you spot and eliminate extraneous phrases? Omit “the fact of the matter is…” or “it’s important to remember that…” or “it’s all about…” Like filler words, they take up space without adding meaning.

    3. Where can you use noun modifiers to be more concise? E.g., “Tips on writing” becomes “Writing tips” and “Details regarding the conference” becomes “Conference details.”

    4. How can you streamline sentences without changing the meaning? Look for “who” and “which” phrases. E.g., “Dee, who is our new manager, just had surgery” becomes “Our new manager, Dee, just had surgery.” “Our report, which we finished, is on your desk” becomes “We put our finished report on your desk.” Bonus: we’ve changed it to an active verb!

    5. How can you use commas sparingly but when needed to clarify the meaning of your sentences? E.g., “You can overlook punctuation rules and people will have trouble reading your writing and your ideas will get lost.” Without a comma after rules, this can be misread to say: “You can overlook punctuation rules and people…” That’s why you need the comma after rules. Even better would be: “If you overlook punctuation rules, people will have trouble reading your words, and your ideas will get lost.”

    What questions would you add to these five to help you hone your writing to perfection before saying, “I’m done”?


    Want more writing tips to hone your skills and advance your career? Subscribe to Word Trippers Tips, a 52-week program focused on clear, concise, and correct business writing. It includes a webinar, crossword puzzles, Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks, and more.

    Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created resources that include Word Trippers E-Book, 18 Days to Better Writing, and Word Trippers Tips.

    The post Five Questions to Ask Before Saying “I’m Done” (Writing Tips) appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 15:20:02 on 2019/07/11 Permalink
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    My Boss is Leaving: How Can I best Help her Transition Out? – Ask an Admin 

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    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individuals problem but we know some of you might. Please read the question and comment below.

    Alice S. asks:

    My beloved manager/leader/friend is leaving our company at the end of July.  Her departure is going to be shocking to her peers and direct reports.  She is well-loved, unique in her approach and will be missed.  My question is, how can I help make her transition smooth?  What things should I focus on?  Processes to create or follow?  I’m anticipating a lot of stress around this for our company once they find out next week, and want to help her prepare for it.  I almost don’t know where to begin. In over 20 years of experience, this is a first for me.

    Please share your thoughts and advice in the comments below.

    Want to learn more about Ask an Admin and how to submit your own question? Click here

    The post My Boss is Leaving: How Can I best Help her Transition Out? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 16:00:44 on 2019/06/17 Permalink
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    Love What You Do 

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    Last week Office Dynamics International turned 29! I can’t believe my company is 29 years old. It has not been an easy journey, especially since I started a niche business of specialized training for administrative professionals of every title, age, and experience level. 29 years ago, there was no robust training for assistants.

    I am very blessed to be doing work I love with people I care about. Assistants are near and dear to my heart. Helping assistants improve the quality of their work life (and personal) is always at the forefront of my work. Over these 29 years, I have met tens of thousands of administrative professionals.

    What I love more than anything is being in a classroom with assistants. This is the place where I can really make a difference. That is why I have always emphasized onsite training. However, I realized that many assistants were missing out on my guidance and experience because their companies would not bring me in or they would not be permitted to travel to Las Vegas for our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence.

    In 2018, we started taking our World Class Assistant™ certification and designation course out to different cities. I also realized that I could not be everywhere to teach these classes and reach others so, I enlisted Julie Reed as an ODI Elite Trainer because I knew Julie cared as much about the profession as I did. And I guess what really matters most is that my 49 years of experience will not go to my grave with me when that day comes. Holding on to what I know just because I physically can’t be everywhere does the world no good.

    And so, it is with that thought that I am proud to be holding our World Class Assistant™ course in other cities and want to expand our reach in 2020.

    When you love what you do, it isn’t work. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have bad days and tough seasons, but you are willing to tough it out because, deep down, you love your work and how it helps others.

    I know there are many assistants in this world who are in this profession because they want to support and serve others; their greatest joy comes from being of help. Thanks to all of you for being there so I can do what I love most—helping you!


    The post Love What You Do appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/06/12 Permalink
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    Getting Things Done 

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    Getting things done in the workplace is one of my favorite topics to speak on and write about. I have been passionate about this topic for 28 years. Administrative assistants continue to struggle with how to keep up with all the demands placed upon them in a time-compressed world and yet maintain quality.

    I will share with you some of my favorite tips. And you can get more tips on this subject by going to Office Dynamics YouTube Channel.

    Coping with Conflicting Priorities

    • Ask for specific deadlines. Do not accept the “a.s.a.p.” answer. How many times do you ask a manager or someone who is giving you a task, “How soon do you need this?” The typical response is “as soon as possible.” Change your question and you will get a different response. Instead ask the person, “By when is the latest I can get this to you?”
    • Early in the day, clarify with your manager(s) what are the most important priorities. I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning as what you thought was a priority at 5:00 pm the day before, could have totally changed because your manager (like many others) is working at night and early morning. Always clarify the top 3 priorities for the day.  
    • When struggling with which “A” priority to do first, ask yourself, “What is the impact of not getting this done today?”

    Organizing Your Workspace

    An organized workspace reduces stress, gives the impression to others that you are on top of things, and saves you time.

    • Remember your workspace is a part of your professional image.
    • Your workspace is not storage space.
    • Place the most frequently used items closest to you.
    • Use desk trays to keep paper items and folders neatly organized.
    • Your inside drawers matter too.

    Neutralize Information Overload

    We are exposed to a tremendous amount of information in a day.

    • Don’t read everything that comes your way. Learn to scan information and determine which items really need attention.
    • Assess your information sources. Make sure the source of information is credible.
    • Use your highlighter to mark important information, deadline dates, or aha information. (electronic or hard copy)

    Tips to be Productive

    • Standardize your processes.
    • When given a project or task, try to get all the information at once. Many times, your manager just gives you bits of information. Be assertive and ask for more details or get the bigger picture to reduce back and forth time or going off on the wrong tangent.
    • Establish some quiet time throughout the day to re-assess your priorities.
    • Recognize the time of day you are most productive. At that time of day, do your most intense work or the work that will take a great deal of focus or brainpower.
    • Throughout the day, as you are doing your work, search for simpler and faster ways to do that task.

    Don’t confuse. . .

    . . . activity with results

    . . . hard work with results

    . . . efficiency with results.

    You can be active and very busy but running around in circles. A professional is someone who cares about the results, not just the activity.

    The post Getting Things Done appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 15:15:34 on 2019/06/06 Permalink
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    5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? 

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    You are a top-performing, high-achieving administrative assistant who has accomplished much. You have the fundamentals down pat and even demonstrate advanced skill sets. So where do you go from here? What might be missing from your bag of skills? Here are 5 areas that are sure to challenge you:


    • Accountability is about being responsible, being present.
    • We are accountable to each other and to ourselves. Even if no one is watching over your shoulder or your executive travels 90% of the time, you have to answer to yourself. When you don’t follow through—not doing your job—the department or group you support falls apart.
    • Being an accountable person means you know this life is no dress rehearsal! This is a one-shot life and you are giving it your all, every day.

    Why is accountability important?

    • Credibility—your reputation is on the line.
      • Your executives need to know that even though things shift, change, plummet, switch up or fall apart, you are the glue that will hold it together.
      • Credibility means never cutting corners. No shirking duties.


    • Whatever you talk about, you need to demonstrate.
    • Meet deadlines.
    • Be diligent.
    • Don’t make excuses.

    Change Agent

    A change agent:

    • Is someone who adds value by strategically thinking about what has always been done.
    • Adds new thought and wisdom to mundane or critical tasks.
    • Solves problems and improves the world, one day at a time.
    • Has the courage to see things that are and know they could be better.


    • Be a peacekeeper.
    • Accept fresh, new ideas.
    • Present new ideas.
    • Teach yourself to think “yes” instead of “no” when listening to others’ ideas.

    Creative Thinking

    There are numerous applications for using creativity in the workplace:

    • Improve communication.
    • Become more organized.
    • Build stronger teams.
    • Reduce costs.
    • Make a better decision.
    • Conquer the challenge of change.


    • Get comfortable with not thinking status quo.
    • Quit looking for the perfect answer.
    • Put your ego aside and quit worrying that other adults are going to think you are silly or frivolous.
    • Place a picture by your desk that speaks to your creative side.

    Decision – Making

    • Decisions are made daily, often without even realizing it.
    • Decision making is key for productivity and growth.


    • Understand the objectives and situation surrounding the issue.
    • Educate yourself on your leader’s decision-making style.
    • Consider potential blind spots and biases you may have. What areas are you ignorant about?
    • Generate possible solutions.
    • Think through and evaluate potential outcomes, possible barriers, and risk vs. advantages.
    • Decide and then evaluate your decision.
    • Avoid making emotional decisions, with only your heart. Use your head.

    Future – Focus

    • Think of the future in terms of:
      • new projects
      • outcomes
      • goals
      • your executive’s calendar
      • important upcoming event
      • potential business
    • Consider trends and changes in technology.
    • Read blogs, articles and materials written by trend analysts. Studying the movers and shakers who create the curve, set the trends and define what the future might be in a week, month or year, makes you valuable to your managers and organization.
    • Being a future thinker will decrease your pressure and stress.
    • For seasoned assistants, future thinking helps ensure you do not become obsolete.


    • Pay attention to the present.
    • Read and anticipate the domino effect.
    • Listen.
    • Visualize your desired results.

    I hope that these tips will help you become that high-achieving administrative assistant!

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    The post 5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

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