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  • feedwordpress 12:00:13 on 2019/08/06 Permalink
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    Set Healthy Boundaries at Work 


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    An important component to self-management versus stress-management is to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. In this article what kind of boundaries and with whom.

    As administrative assistants and executive assistants, you can often feel like setting boundaries might get you fired or your leader will think you are not a team player. Some people think when I’m talking about setting boundaries, it has to do with sexual harassment in the workplace.

    Boundaries can be set any time, any place, on anything, and with any person. I’ll give you a perfect example. I was at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas waiting in the security line and was in line to pass my carry on through the screening process. (Keep in mind; I travel quite frequently for business, so I know what I’m doing.) I was quickly placing my laptop in the bin, folding my raincoat up, taking off my shoes, and putting my purse on the conveyer when all of a sudden, this young woman who had been in line behind me, stepped right in front of me with 2 suitcases and placed them on the conveyer. She still needed to take off her shoes – and she didn’t know she was supposed to take off her jacket.

    You are probably thinking, “So what?” So what? It was rude that she thought she could just jump in front of me especially when she wasn’t ready. It was not as if she said, “May I go ahead of you?” I nicely told her that she couldn’t cut in front of me. Of course, she looked at me in shock and made a few comments. (I will spare the details of our back and forth dialogue.) She finally took her items and moved behind me and told me to have a nice day.

    A boundary in the office for an administrative assistant can be as simple as addressing a coworker or manager who constantly steps into your workspace and takes your desk supplies without asking and doesn’t return them.  If that bothers you, say something.

    Another boundary you might need to set is your accessibility after hours to your leader as far as emails go. This is becoming problematic for assistants all over the world. As I travel and talk to hundreds of administrative office professionals ranging from administrators to executive assistants, I’m hearing them say they are spending too much of their personal time (evenings or weekends) managing and/or responding to emails from their leader.  One administrative assistant said that her manager did not expect her to check business emails or take action on non-work hours.  But she wanted to get a jump on things or was curious as to what was going on or wanted to read emails on Sunday night to be prepared for Monday morning. The problem is… she started responding to her leader’s emails and taking action steps if required. Today, she is frustrated because she spends 50% of her weekend working. I told her, “You created the monster.”  It wasn’t required of her and while she thought nothing of it at first, it snowballed and now she will have to say something to her leader.

    • First, do not create situations that you will later regret.
    • Second, people will act as we allow them to. If you don’t say something when something isn’t right, then the person assumes it is okay.
    • Third, professionally communicate when setting boundaries yet be firm.

    Healthy boundaries are good for you and those you work with.  It teaches them how to work with you in a way that stimulates win-win situations. You enjoy your work environment and are more enjoyable to work with. You are confident, peaceful, in control (not walked over), respected, like a peer or business partner and viewed as a leader. Consider what types of boundaries you might need to implement this week.

    Learning Highlights
    You will learn: 

    • How to evaluate your current communication and boundary-setting style so you can build on your strengths and address areas for improvement.
    • Why assertiveness in the workplace matters, especially for assistants, how it benefits you and what it really means. (Hint: It is often totally misunderstood!)
    • How to recognize and minimize the risk involved so your message is received and your professional image remains intact.
    • How to appropriately set limits, voice your ideas and opinions, and articulate your needs using thoughtful, diplomatic communication techniques.
    • 7 essential action steps for becoming a more assertive assistant. (You will hear examples and learn specific language to use in common challenging workplace situations.)

    60% OFF until 8/9/19 – Use code: HEALTHY

    The post Set Healthy Boundaries at Work appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:00:38 on 2019/08/05 Permalink
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    How to Develop a Strong EA Group in a Company – 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.

    Katrien B asks:

    We are a start-up company with offices in EMEA and in the US. In EMEA (HQ) we have 2 EA’s and in the US 3.

    As EA we encounter numerous challenges in working together due to different times zones, but we do our best to let our executives shine.

    I would like to develop a strong EA group in the company as I believe this is important to our role, our business, as well as to our own professional and personal growth.

    We should be able to build a relationship of trust, help each other with a servant’s heart (as we do towards our execs) and show the importance of our role.

    To enhance good collaboration and communication I set up virtual coffee meetings with all EA’s.

    The first meeting was good as a “get to know each other better in an informal way” although one EA did not find it important to attend.

    For our second meeting, there are no topics…
    I prefer not to cancel the meetings as that may seem as if they are not important.

    How can I stimulate other EA’s to be more active and communicative?

    How can I build a relationship of trust and understanding with them?

    Due to different communication styles and cultural differences misunderstandings happen. EA’s in EMEA (as I am) often feel bad because of the language style of our peers in the US. Some do not feel the same way about the EA role.

    How can I make other EA’s aware of the importance of our role during this virtual coffee?

    How can I stimulate them to attend? 

    It saddens me that some don’t care.

    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 How to Develop a Strong EA Group in a Company – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:31:12 on 2019/08/01 Permalink
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    Why Certification and a Designation are Important for Executive and Administrative Assistants 


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    Great administrators are known as those who do their best, work at the top of their game and who work like they are in a profession of choice. One of the strongest ways to send that message is when you choose to certify.

    Certification is a choice to complete a full program of study. Besides the actual skills and competencies you learn through a certification program, it also demonstrates to those around you that you can set goals and achieve objectives – you can be trusted to go the distance.

    A very important quality in business today is the “stick-to-it-ness” that is so lacking in society. People start and stop things constantly. We commiserate with those who have repeated annual resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking or stop gossiping; the truth is that very few people can actually dream, envision, research, analyze, decide, execute, complete, and succeed what they set out to do.

    So why should you choose to certify?

    1. You build confidence! Having that certificate on your wall sends a great positive message to everyone you work with. It means you are hungry for more! It teaches you that you are still teachable.
    • You gain new skills and competencies. The world is moving faster! Today’s garage startups will be the industry standard next year. You need to become – and remain – competitive.
    • You reinvent yourself. Reinventing yourself means you remain current and viable; you transcend age. This is critical because no matter your chronological age, you need to be adaptable.
    • You broaden your perspective. When you grow, you gain new insights that allow you to approach your work in a new, fresh way. You think more creatively and strategically.
    • You gain reputational prowess within your company. When you enter someone’s office, don’t you look around and see what they have posted? Framed certificates communicate that you care, that you “get it” and are serious about the business.
    • You master your time. When you decide to go the second mile for your career, you learn how to harness all that “free time” spent surfing the television and Internet, at the water cooler chatting — none of which are inherently bad, but they may be a poor choice when you could instead be focused on creating a better future.
    • You decide to value yourself more highly. Yes, it takes effort to work a certification through to completion: turning in every assignment, reading, analyzing, expansion of your mind and tools. But it’s so worth it!
    • You can compete. In this competitive job market, you need every tool and resource in your toolkit.
    • You may even pay for it yourself. Hear me out on this one. You may need to split costs with your employer, such as using a vacation to attend a conference they pay for, etc. Seeing yourself as an investment will increase your face value. You’ll carry yourself well, have professional poise and presence. You’ll walk into any boardroom or office with confidence that you are more than capable to perform with excellence.

    A Professional Designation is a Bonus

    There are many certification classes and online courses offered for assistants today, but there are few that offer a professional designation. A designation takes you to a totally different level in your career.

    We offer a very special designation with our World Class Assistant™ course. It is called a curriculum-based designation. Curriculum-based means that a person must attend the class and go through the curriculum, practice the skills learned, and pass a quiz. Because assistants have to attend this course to get the designation, it is a very elite designation. Not anyone can just get it. Once an assistant passes the quiz (which is given in class), the assistant receives the CWCA initials to place after his or her name.

    A professional designation will stand out. It will show that you truly have gone the extra mile in your profession. Plus, you will be proud to place those credentials after your name. If you receive any type of credentials, be sure to place them after your name on your signature line, LinkedIn profile, letterhead (if you use that), and anywhere else that is appropriate.

    training_for_executive_assistants

    “Of all the programs offered by other training companies that I’ve attended, World Class Assistant™ was much more comprehensive and intense. This program is head and shoulders above the rest! It continues to help raise the bar.” – Jennie Forcum, CWCA

    Learn More Here

    The post Why Certification and a Designation are Important for Executive and Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:32:51 on 2019/07/30 Permalink
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    Time Management for the Modern Assistant 


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    Year after year, one of the biggest struggles executive assistants report to me is effective time management. Let’s face it: your days are chaotic. You’re pulled in a million different directions, and many of you have multiple leaders to support. Deadlines press down on you, distractions steal valuable time, and there never seems to be quite enough hours in the day to get it all done! I know what you’re up against. There are many things throughout the day that can waste our time. They may not seem significant by themselves but can add up to hours of wasted time!

    Get Your Mind in the Right Place

    There is no process, no to-do list, no time tracking trick that will help you until you begin your day with a positive frame of mind. That’s right: attitude is everything. Starting each day with confidence, positivity, and passion for progress often equates to a successful day. If your body and mind are in sync, you may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in a day.

    But you can’t just start the day in the right frame of mind. You should actively cultivate and protect that positivity (trust me…your day will try to steal it!). In order to maintain that outlook, make sure you make time for quiet in your day. Taking a few minutes to reevaluate and refocus on your work gives your mind and body the brief respite it needs to stay energized and in control. Find a place at your work that’s quiet (it may even be your own desk). Sit and breathe. Take stock of your day. Think about what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to get done. You can ask yourself these questions:

    1. What must get done before day’s end?
    2. What is the negative impact if I do not get this done?
    3. Am I currently focusing on the most important item in my leader’s eyes?
    4. What is coming up in the next few days that I must act on today?

    Be future-focused while being in the moment! These five-minute breaks may be the most valuable time you spend all day. The day can’t wash over you if you stay more aware of yourself!

    Being more aware of your habits will also help you structure your day. I recommend working on your most complex projects and tasks during your most productive time of day. For some, that may be early morning and others may be most productive in the afternoon. Whatever your sweet spot is, ensure that your daily tasks are structured in such a way that you reserve simple, mundane tasks for your less productive times and the more complex, pressing projects for your most productive times. Take a minute to think about what time of day you are most productive. If you would like more time management tips, get a copy of my downloadable eBook, Time Management for the Modern Assistant: Proven Tactics for Taming Your Day.

    Time_Management_for_the_Modern_Assistant_eBook

    In this innovative eBook, Joan provides insightful and life-changing time management techniques for the modern assistant. Learn how to take control of your day and master what you’ve learned with concise tips and engaging activities.

    The post Time Management for the Modern Assistant appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:20:25 on 2019/07/25 Permalink
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    Focusing on Providing Exceptional Service as an Administrative Professional 


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    Focusing on providing exceptional service at work can be a struggle especially if you are not feeling appreciated. I have shared several discussions about this topic with my peers throughout my years as an administrative professional. The key is to focus on providing an exceptional level of service rather than the feeling that no one is acknowledging your service.

    Stating facts about your performance is a form of professionalism and confidence. Your performance and track record define you for yourself and those you work with and work for. Providing quality work and taking pride in your performance encourages professional growth; whether advancing within or moving on to a better-suited career opportunity.

    Whether you are or are not planning a job/company change tracking your projects, career education, extra duties, and tasks learned (or expanded) should be added to your resume/career portfolio. Updating your experience at least once a year not only prepares you for a possible job change, but it also reminds you how much you have accomplished and why you have chosen this profession. Resume/portfolio updates should go hand in hand with your yearly evaluation process; supporting professional and personal advancement.

    Providing exceptional service both professionally and personally encourages confidence and growth. Focusing on your abilities and strengths and enhancing areas that need attention empowers you to strive for your personal best and beyond. When you recognize your abilities, experience, and skills you lead by example (even if you think that no one is watching). You become a mentor to others and prepare yourself for growth that will inevitably happen throughout your professional and personal life.

    Key reminders and tips:

    • Focus on your accomplishments; your own facts.
    • Track your achievements for your yearly evaluation process and to update your own portfolio.
    • Research titles and job descriptions at similar companies to present suggestions to your manager.
    • Strive for your personal best by providing exceptional service in your personal and professional life.
    • Set up trainings and/or meetings for your administrative professional team and teach them what you know and share best practices; be a mentor – focus on providing exceptional service as a team and individually.

    If you have any other tips or ideas about this topic, please share them below.


    Dana BuchananDana_Buchanan has 20 plus years of administrative professional experience with a passion for writing that offers a unique and professional perspective to a variety of projects. She enjoys sharing what she has learned from work experience, conferences, workshops, and other professional and personal development opportunities. Her blog topics include interviewing tips, career best practices, evaluation outlines, and the importance of self-care and goal-setting. Dana is available to speak to small groups and coordinates workshops to encourage others by sharing professional and personal enrichment tips and goal-setting action plans. She recently published a goal-focused journal guide and creating additional versions which will be available soon.

    You can discover new and archived posts by following Dana’s blog at Success Encourager and connect via Instagram (successencourager) to discover more tips and encouraging quotes.

    The post Focusing on Providing Exceptional Service as an Administrative Professional appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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