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  • 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!

    joan_burge_signature

    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

    • 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.

    How?

    • 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.

    How?

    • 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.

    How?

    • 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.

    How?

    • 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.

    How?

    • 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!

    SALE! 30% OFF!

    Offer valid June 6, 2019 through June 10, 2019
    Use Promo Code: JUNE30

    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:12:44 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
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    Being an Administrative Assistant for Two Different Types of Managers – 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 the best answer to each individuals problem but someone else might! That’s why we invite you to voice your opinion and thoughts with each post that is submitted to us.

    This week Carrie S. asks us:

    I am Carrie S., an administrative assistant for two different types of managers. Two fire departments, one Chief each. One of the Fire Chief’s is younger and would like to become more organized with appointments, messages, meetings, and tasks. The drawback to my position with working at both fire departments the work week consists of two days and every other Friday. I am not in the office daily from 8-5, so I feel it is hard for me to know what his schedule is on a daily basis. He does not use Google Calendar but has an iPhone. 

    The other Chief, older, but very organized and uses online calendars and his phone as well. I set reminders on my cell and Google Calendar. When a reminder pops up, I text the Chief to let him know of the upcoming meetings. I prepare files with the documentation he will need for the meetings and leave on his desk. He uses Outlook Mail and I will add reminders to the Outlook Calendar in hopes he will see if when I am at the other fire station.

    My post is longer than I anticipated, but I want to assist the Chief anyway I can to make his life easier and more organized! 

    What are your thoughts?

    It sounds like Carrie is the administrative assistant for two different types of managers. One Chief, although older, seems to be savvier with technology and scheduling while the other Chief is struggling with that.

    What should Carrie do?


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

    The post Being an Administrative Assistant for Two Different Types of Managers – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:15:39 on 2019/05/21 Permalink
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    Conference for Administrative Assistants – How to Get Your Executive’s Approval 


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    Most of the time assistants tell me they can’t attend our conference for administrative assistants or training because of budget cuts or not getting financial support. Sometimes it really is a budget issue. I understand that perfectly as a business owner and CEO. But often, it’s just lack of knowing how to sell the conference to the executive. Have the courage to go after what you want. That in itself is a learning experience. Below are strategies that really work. I used them when I was an assistant and needed to convince my executive to send me to a conference for administrative assistants.

    Points to Consider
    1. You need to continually learn and grow. In today’s competitive marketplace and at the pace this profession is changing, if you do not continually enhance your skills, build new ones, and have a strategy for your career, you will get left in the dust.

    2. Don’t feel guilty about being out of the office to attend a program or conference that will make you better equipped, faster, smarter, and sharper. 

    3. Get your executive to see the long-term payoff. Often executives think about the number of days you will be out of the office. You need to help them see that while you may be gone three or four days, you will gain skills and knowledge that will take you, and them, into the future. 

    4. Executives travel all over the country. Why shouldn’t you? Some assistants tell me they can only attend seminars that take place in their city or state. That is not 21st Century thinking. Assistants should be a business partner to their executive, so start acting like a business partner and convince your manager why you should be allowed to travel out of state.

    5. Don’t give up. If you really believe this training will help you professionally or even just rejuvenate your enthusiasm about your career, realize it may take three or four attempts to convince your manager. You may have to try different ways or formats to persuade your executive and, remember, timing is important.

    Principles of Persuasion

    1. Know exactly what you want to accomplish by attending a conference for administrative assistants. List your objectives alongside each topic in the curriculum and how that will tie into your current job or prepare you for the future.

    2. To be a good seller, consider the buyer’s viewpoint. Try to put yourself in your executive’s position. What key selling points would be important to your executive? How will your executive benefit from you attending the conference?

    3. Learn what motivates your executive. Is your executive motivated by ROI (return on investment), the skills you will develop or you learning from an acclaimed expert in the field? Does your executive believe in personal development and growth? If not, it will be a harder sell but don’t give up; be persistent.

    4. Keep in mind the format you will use to present your case. Try to gauge your receiver’s communication style preference. Does your executive prefer information short and to the point or does your executive like details? Is your executive a visual person? If so, provide graphs or charts to make your point. Or for example, use visuals from the administrative conference site and pull them into PowerPoint or mini-posters to communicate with your executive.

    5. Tie key learning points of the conference for administrative assistants to your professional development plan for the year and to the goals of your department.

    6. Show your executive how what you will learn will help you in specific areas of your job. For example: Let’s say one of the topics covered will be learning and understanding communication styles. Tell your executive you will use that information to be a better communicator by tapping into the receiver’s style; build rapport with internal and external customers; and complement your executive’s and his or her staff’s communication styles.

    7. If your executive still says no to the conference for administrative assistants, sincerely ask your executive why he or she believes this is not a good investment. You may be able to counter that perception.

    8. It always helps to let your executive know that you will share what you have learned with other assistants in your organization. But be absolutely cognizant of copyrights.

    9. Emphasize the benefits of networking at the conference with peers and learning from others in the field.

    10. Negotiate if necessary. Ask your executive to pay the registration fee and hotel and you’ll pay your airfare. Or you pay for your hotel stay and ask your executive to pay for registration and airfare. Be creative!

    11. If all else fails, maybe you need to make the financial investment in yourself. Yes, I said you make the investment. I know several high-performing assistants who have spent thousands of dollars on their development and have reaped tremendous rewards over the years.

    GOOD LUCK!

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Conference for Administrative Assistants – How to Get Your Executive’s Approval appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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