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  • feedwordpress 15:30:12 on 2019/08/22 Permalink

    What is a Meeting Planner Exactly? 

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    A meeting planner by MY definition is the go-to person and should be a key member of the design (or planning) team within an organization — be it corporate, association or otherwise — charged with the responsibility of planning and executing a meeting or special event.

    Planners utilize their project management experience, planning skills and attention to detail to help create and deliver events that meet or exceed expectations. They add value to an organization by drawing upon their knowledge of the hospitality industry to manage expenses and minimize risk by negotiating the best all-around rates and paying attention to contract terms.

    A meeting planner has the keen ability to bring the right people and resources together to create and deliver programs that best meet the strategic goals, objectives and key messages to a defined audience.

    A meeting planner is there to partner with team members to take responsibility for the things they do best which gives others more time to concentrate on the things they do best, whether it’s the day-to-day operation of a business unit or the company’s overall bottom line. Planners maximize time spent on the development and delivery of the meeting content to ensure it meets key objectives. The planner is there to help ensure the success of a program. The goal is to make the meeting host and, if applicable, make their organization SHINE.

    Meeting planners are leaders. They are strategic. They are analytical. They are solution-oriented. They are disciplined. They are diplomatic. They have a logical way of looking at a project and understanding what needs to be done to ensure success. They have the innate ability to see the big picture — to take a look at a project as a whole, break it down action item by action item, establish the systematic order within each action item for getting things done, creating an overall time table for completing all tasks and taking the responsibility for following up to make sure everyone stays on task. Their attention to detail is second to none.

    Meeting planners work well independently or as a team member. They look for ways to improve the end product and service. Planners take their craft seriously. They tend to be life-long learners and students of experiential learning. They learn through doing, through the professional organizations they belong to, and through outside studies such as Certified Meeting Professional and Certified Meeting Manager programs. 

    Where exactly the meeting planner sits within the organizational structure varies from organization to organization. It may be a function of HR as easily as it may be of Communications, Marketing or Procurement. Or, a planner could be a small business owner or wear the hat of a bride or groom, or non-profit volunteer heading up a fundraising campaign. 

    The extent to which planners are involved in meetings varies as much as where they fall within the organizational structure. Some may be involved in many or all phases of the planning process; others may be limited to execution only. Sometimes this is a cultural thing within an organization; sometimes it may be the very nature of the meeting itself. The information being shared before, during and after the meeting may be so proprietary that the fewer who know, the better. If it’s more cultural, you will just need to bide your time by doing what you are asked, know when and how to raise questions or offer suggestions and just generally work to gain the trust of the people involved. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and be a little aggressive (in a nice way, of course). For instance, if you’re working with a group who is being asked to coordinate a meeting for the very first time and you’re lucky enough to be asked to sit in on the early planning stages and you see that no one is taking notes much less putting together what I call an “Overall Meeting Action Plan” or “Business Plan” for the meeting, by all means, go ahead and take notes. Develop the best format for the “Overall Meeting Action Plan” and just do it. (There is a template for this document in my book by the way.)

    You should send out the meeting notes along with a draft of what your understanding of the “PLAN” is and ask for feedback. With any luck, people will appreciate what you’ve done.  If they don’t, then you’ll have to decide if you need to take a step back or keep on moving forward. Each group you work with will be different. Personalities and expectations will differ, but how you do your work and the effort you put into it must always be done with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. It takes patience, but little by little, if you keep plugging away at it, you will find yourself growing professionally. Your areas of responsibility may increase, and the trust and respect of your team will likely grow. 

    Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author, “The Meeting Planning Process:  A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings” | https://www.maryjo-wiseman.net


    The Meeting Planning Process — A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings

    Get your copy today!

    The post What is a Meeting Planner Exactly? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 11:20:32 on 2019/08/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Certification and Designation, , ,   

    Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor 

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    Some executive assistants have it. Some executive 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™ Certification and Professional Designation 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).

    The post Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 13:00:04 on 2019/08/14 Permalink
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    Emotional Intelligence for Administrative Assistants 

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    I have grown to love speaking on and teaching assistants about emotional intelligence. This definitely is a skill every assistant needs to know. This is a skill you can use every single day!

    In our World Class Assistant course, we cover this topic and participants work on real work world case studies. They are scenarios that assistants can relate to. I reference Daniel Goleman for my classes and want to share this with you. Please quickly evaluate your level of emotional intelligence in each of the four dimensions.

    Daniel Goleman, author of Working with Emotional Intelligence says, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.

    Daniel also says:


    • The common view is that emotions are things that happen to us.
    • Emotions don’t belong in business.


    • Emotions are an inner source of energy, influence, and information.
    • They are inherently neither good nor bad. It is what we do with emotions that make the difference.

    The 4 Dimensions:

    #1:    Self-Awareness (I know me.)

    • Recognize how your feelings affect your performance.
    • You are open to candid feedback.

    #2:    Self-Management (I manage me.)

    • Self-control.
    • Admit mistakes.

    #3:    Social Awareness (I try to know you.0

    • Pay attention to emotional cues.
    • Adapt communication style to compliment others.

    #4:    Relationship Management (I attempt to facilitate situations for a positive outcome.0

    • Step forward as needed, regardless of your position.
    • Model the change you expect from others.

    One of our top trainers, Julie Reed, has been teaching several of our World Class Assistant™ certification/designation courses. When I asked Julie, what were her favorite lessons from emotional intelligence, she shared the following:

    • I manage me. I am in charge of my attitude.
    • I choose to not react.
    • I am resilient; I practice positive self-esteem, and I chose to ignore the haters.
    • I am confident in my skills and aware of my weaknesses.
    • I stay true to my North Star.
    • I manage me – I hold myself accountable and, I mitigate risks to my reputation and build my credibility equity. This, in turn, has gotten me invited to the table, as an active participant, confidant, and leader.

    Which dimensions of emotional intelligence do you need to work on? Why not start today?

    Joan Burge


    What it means to be a World Class Assistant™:

    • You’re a career-minded administrative professional looking to build powerful partnerships with your executive(s) and organization.
    • You’re a power player who wants to reap more rewards from your efforts – and you’re not afraid to do what it takes to get there.
    • You’re committed to the administrative profession as well as your career growth and you’re eager to demonstrate this.
    • You’re a high-performing individual who wants to succeed both in your professional and personal life.
    • You’re ready to have the kind of breakthrough experience that takes you off the sidelines and puts you right in the middle of the game.

    What are you waiting for?

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

  • feedwordpress 16:40:12 on 2019/08/13 Permalink
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    Do You Have an Internal Admin Site or Hold Lunch N Learns Where You Work? 

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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.

    Admin on SF Peninsula asks:

    Looking forward to your replies!

    Do you have an internal admin site where you work? Or maybe you’re thinking of creating one?

    I co-designed one at my company and am interested in collaborating with you.

    An internal admin site is the main company site with all the links that admins find useful for their jobs centralized in one place.

    Additionally, I am considering starting a monthly Admin Lunch N Learn at my place of work. My current vision would be to rotate topics and have a combination of speakers coming in. Topics related to the administrative profession would be discussed. Admins and outside speakers would have the opportunity to share their skills, experience, knowledge, etc.

    If you have been a part of, or have attended anything such as these, I would like to connect with you to discuss.

    I’m looking forward to your responses!

    Admin on SF Peninsula

    The post Do You Have an Internal Admin Site or Hold Lunch N Learns Where You Work? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 15:00:55 on 2019/08/07 Permalink

    The Assistant as a “Center of Influence” 

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    I created the above visual as an image of the ideal situation between an executive and their assistant, especially when it comes to communication. Because of all the technology today, assistants have a very hard time staying “in the loop.” When an assistant is aware of what is going on or what is on the horizon, she or he can better anticipate, be proactive, plan better, foresee barriers, look more professional, and reduce stress. I know this from being an executive assistant for 20 years before starting Office Dynamics.

    Some executives resist this concept for a few common reasons. Executives are independent. They certainly can manage many of these items on their own, but should they? Is that where their attention rightly belongs? In some cases, they add confusion and overlap by being involved in things their assistants should be managing. They can even create embarrassment when it becomes clear to others that they aren’t on the same page.

    By allowing everything to flow through you, your executive can use you as a buffer or filter—a conduit for collecting information, processing it, and sending it back out in the appropriate fashion. It frees your executive to focus attention where it is needed. It allows you, the assistant, to truly be involved in all aspects of your executive’s business, giving you a more holistic point-of-view. Over time, you develop the ability to anticipate needs and truly act as an “alter ego” for your executive.

    Being the Center of Influence requires a deep level of continual communication from and to both parties. Your executive must freely and promptly share information. You must clearly and accurately do the same.

    This concept creates deep interdependence between the two parties.

    One of our VIP trainers, Julie Reed, for our World Class Assistant™ designation and certification course adds:

    • Do you have the right tools and are you using them effectively?  (i.e., email, calendar, phone lines on your desk)
    • Develop a healthy curiosity.  Make time to investigate. If your executive is not bringing you into the conversation, then insert yourself. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
    • Have an active mind – be observant, alert and engaged.

    I highly encourage you to discuss this visual with your executive. At first, they might be resistant so ask them to try disseminating information to you for three weeks and see what happens. If you can get your executive to stay with this process for three weeks, I believe you both will see the benefit.


    Never settle for less in your career.  Set yourself apart with a World Class Assistant™ designation and certification. Register now for our next World Class Assistant™ course to propel your career, expand your network, and become a strategic business partner at your organization!

    The post The Assistant as a “Center of Influence” appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

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