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  • feedwordpress 17:00:05 on 2018/04/17 Permalink
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    Multigenerational Communication & Cross-mentorship 


    By Dana Buchanan

    The professional world of administrative and executive assistants and support staff is an exceptional melting pot of backgrounds, experience, knowledge, gender, age, education and personalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 there were 22 million administrative support occupation positions recorded in the United States alone! Worldwide the number rises to make the profession one of the largest groups ever! This unique blend offers countless opportunities for multigenerational communication and cross-mentorship.

    Each generation and career level offer valuable knowledge. It’s an exciting and unique time in history that we work with such a diverse group of peers; varied age ranges, varied technologies and learning levels, traditional and experienced based education, etc. Cross-mentorship is a necessity. Whether I work with someone 20 years younger or older than me, I not only share and teach through my own work experience, but I also learn through their background and knowledge. This type of multigenerational communication and cross-mentorship not only keeps an experienced professional learning and excited about the profession, but also provides an opportunity to create a work legacy.

    When given the opportunity to meet with someone fairly new to the profession and someone embracing an upcoming retirement to explore even more in life, I enthusiastically embrace the moment and ask several questions of each! A willingness to learn and confidence to teach creates the roadmap to keeping our professional world evolving and relevant. We are all contributors to that mapping. The diverse team has combined organizational and time management skills, event and meeting planning, business savvy, continued professional development drive and so much more to ensure success and positive outcomes.

    A multigenerational team offers executives and managers more than just support assistance. The team shares varied views and appropriate input for decision making that helps promote the company’s mission. Cross-mentorship encourages each department and team member to work consistently while staying current on new programs, processes, tips and more.

    Professional and personal development are keys to keeping one of the largest workforce teams educated and invested in not only their own growth, but the growth and success of the company and field they have chosen to share their knowledge with.

    There are a variety of ways administrative professionals and the companies they work for can support multigenerational communication and cross-mentoring. Below are a few suggestions:

    • Communicate with a wider variety of professionals face to face at local chapter meetings or with virtual connections


    • Attendance to national or international conferences together or individually


    • Time to read and share professional blogs, articles, books, and webinars (most are free!)


    • Companies can invite or designate an in-house speaker to meet with the group quarterly & provide industry-specific professional development training


    • Encourage and seek program training from in-house IT employees as a team or individually

    Gaining knowledge and confidence by supporting, learning from, and teaching one another not only helps each of us develop personally and professionally, but also productively supports the executive teams.

    Knowledge is power. All of us have knowledge to share and new knowledge to learn. Seek answers, ask questions, share your skills…never stop learning.

    What is one piece of knowledge you would like to share with other professionals today?

    What is one question you would like to ask others in our chosen profession?




    Dana (right) with Joan Burge at the 2017 Conference for Administrative Excellence

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.


    The post Multigenerational Communication & Cross-mentorship appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:31 on 2018/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Who's In Your Corner   

    The People You Have in Your Corner Matter 

    We’re surrounded with people most of the time—the people we work with, family, friends, romantic partners. Whether we’re aware of it or not, these people all have a tremendous impact on our thinking, being and living. That makes it worth pausing to ask yourself, Are these the people I want in my corner?

    Here are a few of the different kinds of people who may have an effect on your life. See if any of them seem familiar, and then decide how much influence you want them to hold over you. Remember that it matters who you surround yourself with.

    People who bring value. Many people in this world desire to help others. They are the makers—the ones who are all about bringing and adding value. They understand that the purpose of our lives is to add value to the people around us. They’re a consistently valuable presence in your life, so make sure you bring value to them as well.

    People who take from you. Most people are fairly quick to give and a few are wildly generous, but there will always be some who are wholly devoted to taking. They’re the ones who put on a warm friendly exterior to hide their calculated motives. It’s not unusual to have a taker somewhere in your life, but you can set firm boundaries to limit their influence and keep them from draining you.

    People who expand you. Some people seem to have a gift for building others up. Their faith in you makes you feel you can be bigger, stretch further, achieve more than you ever have. They’re constantly challenging you to be your best as they help you embrace your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. If you’re fortunate enough to have one of these people in your life, consider their influence a treasure and keep them close.

    People who shrink you. It’s rarely intentional, but some people have a way of letting you know you’ll never be quite good enough or smart enough for them, that you’re not living up to their idea of your potential. They behave in ways that are hurtful and harmful, all in the guise of caring about you. If you’re close to someone like this, it can be painful to realize their true nature. It requires that you be strong and consistently resist their messages, both the subtle and the not-so-subtle. You never know—sometimes the best path to connecting with your own strengths is for someone else to try to take advantage of you.

    Who’s in your corner? What kind of people do you surround yourself with? Remember that while everyone in your life is there for a reason, you need to know whose influence to embrace and whose to resist.

    Lead from within: Be picky about the people who you keep around you. You are a product of those you surround yourself with, so make sure it’s the best people.

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The People You Have in Your Corner Matter appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:39 on 2018/04/10 Permalink
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    How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You 

    Steve Jobs, who was famous for his hiring and recruiting practices, believed a small team of A+ players could run circles around a giant team of B and C players. He was thoroughly convinced that the quality of the team was everything.

    Many leaders are reluctant to hire as Jobs did. They settle for dependable but less stellar teams—in part because they feel threatened or intimidated at the prospect of leading someone smarter than they are.

    Leading a team of exceptionally bright people does require skill, but as Jobs proved again and again, the payoff is well worth it. Here are some pointers for getting the most out of your own A+ employees:

    Don’t be intimidated. Leaders tend to think they need to have all the answers—and to be terrified when they don’t. But your role as leader is not to know everything; it’s to set the stage. That means working to sustain and support people who are more experienced, up to date and talented than you. It may feel disconcerting at first, but it will serve you well in the future. You do have to know enough to be conversant—so let your stars take center stage while you ask the questions, do the reading, learn and investigate.

    Confront your fears. It’s natural to feel fearful when you are leading people who are smarter than you. Whether you’re afraid of being shown up, of looking unprepared and foolish, or even of being passed over for advancement while someone who was below you rises above, face your fears and work through them. Then remember that hiring the smartest people is ultimately an act of confidence and smart leadership.

    Don’t micromanage. I’ve seen this happen a lot: a leader feels insecure so they overcompensate for what they don’t know by becoming a controlling micromanager. Remember, your role as leader is to allow the smart people to do what they do best. Support them but don’t hover. Keep your actions empowering and maintain strong relationships with your team members by providing support and resources and then stepping aside.

    Get educated. I believe it always helps to have a learner’s inquisitive mindset. If you consider yourself a student rather than an authority figure, you can more easily share your concerns and ask others to include you in discussions that will help you learn. Let those around you know you want to learn from them and be deliberate about creating opportunities to make it happen. You don’t have to try and become an expert, but gain insight into what your people do and it will give you the acumen you need to keep up with those around you.

    Stay vulnerable. If you hear that people are questioning your leadership capabilities, be transparent with what you’ve heard, and what you think, and what you plan on doing about it. Don’t go in trying to safeguard your ego. Instead, approach the situation with a mix of vulnerability and strength, and figure out how you are going to work together and support each other.

    Seek good counsel. Find someone who can listen to and advise you. It may be a peer, a coach, or a mentor. Speak to them candidly, share your concerns, ask for help. Sitting with fearful or anxious feelings often makes things worse, but seeking counsel might help ease your emotional load.

    Add value. As a leader, your role is best served when you are able to bring people together and be there for them in ways no one else can. The best leaders don’t always coach, but they do consistently add value by providing support and resources to their team.

    Lead from within: You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room—you just have to have that person on your team, give them the support they need, and get out of their way.

    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


    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.

    buy now



    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    The post How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:46 on 2018/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Self Awareness.   

    The Most Challenging Leadership Skill of All 

    There are a lot of skills that make up good leadership, but there is one quality that is possibly the most challenging, that is self-awareness, because self-awareness requires you to focus on yourself—not the easiest thing to do for an outwardly focused leader.

    Why is self-awareness even important to leaders? Because when you understand your own motivations, you’re able to better understand the motivations of others. When you understand your own shortcomings and the struggle to overcome them, you can better coach others. When you can manage your own emotions, you can better control the emotional climate of your organization.

    Self-awareness makes you a more effective leader in numerous important ways. Here are just a few:

    You can relate to others. When you are self-aware, you understand how you instinctively think, and you’re able to relate to others. Your communication is deeper and your relationships are more meaningful. People gravitate toward leaders who can relate to them and their struggles.

    You can focus on others. A big part of successful leadership involves taking the spotlight off yourself and shining it on others. When you have self-awareness, you’re conscious of how your words and actions influence others. You weigh your words carefully and think about their effect, and you don’t alienate yourself from those around you by taking out your stress, anger, or frustrations on them. You tend to stay positive even in tough situations.

    You can empathize with others. Empathy is the oil that keeps relationships running smoothly and the fuel that keeps leadership going—it’s an ability that’s well worth cultivating. Empathy may feel like a soft, sometimes abstract tool, but it leads to hard tangible results. It allows us to create bonds of trust and gives us insight into what others are feeling or thinking. It sharpens our acumen about people and it informs our decisions. Empathy is more than just sympathizing—it means using your own knowledge of how something feels to improve relationships, situations and circumstances.

    You can receive feedback from others. Feedback is important for developing self-awareness—it’s often the only way you can find out how others perceive you. We all need people who will give us feedback; that’s how we improve, one of the most tried and true forms of leadership. Without it, you’ll find yourself operating in a bubble and not really knowing how well others are doing—or, for that matter, yourself.

    You can coach others. When you’re the kind of leader who understands yourself and what drives you, your team will respect you when you coach them about drive and motivation. This aspect of leadership is so important that the best thing you can do to prepare for coaching is to get a coach yourself. Coaching is great for developing your own self-awareness and helping others develop theirs in turn.

    You can lead others. Once you become aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you have the power to use your strengths intentionally and to manage or leverage your weaknesses. When you can admit what you don’t know and you have the humility to ask for help when you need it, you increase your credibility. Leadership isn’t about being perfect; it’s about admitting what you don’t know and seeking help from others so you can lead each other to success.

    As leaders, we’re inclined to focus on others rather than ourselves. But turning your focus inward is beneficial in numerous ways. By developing self-awareness, you get to know what does and doesn’t work for you, and you learn how to manage your impact on others. Leaders with high levels of self-awareness have a deeper understanding of human nature and are more effective as leaders, because they deal with people positively and inspire trust and credibility.

    Lead from within: Self-awareness is one of the most important qualities you can have as a leader, and developing self-awareness is important in both your personal and professional life.

    N A T I O N A L    B E S T S E L L E R


    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.

    buy now

    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Most Challenging Leadership Skill of All appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 11:55:39 on 2018/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Our Imperfect Self 

    Today’s guest is considered one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world, having worked with hundreds of companies in 14 countries and six different languages.

    Her leadership program is designed to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their own lives, their companies, and the world. She has over thirty years experience in coaching top executives and her leadership continues to help people break new ground and produce exceptional results.

    Some of her recent accolades include being designated by Inc. Magazine as a Top-50 Leadership and Management expert, and one of the top 100 Greatest Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference. She is also the author of “The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness” – a national bestseller.

    The post Our Imperfect Self appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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