Updates from October, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 20:51:00 on 2018/10/14 Permalink
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    Quick Tip #82: Power of the Pause 

    The PAUSE is one of the most powerful tools in your speaking toolbox. Learning to pause when speaking can change the way you are heard and perceived.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:38 on 2018/10/09 Permalink
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    Tips for the Tourist in All of Us: The Savvy Admin’s Guide to Travel! 

    Tips_for_the_Tourist_in_All_of_Us_The_Savvy_Admin’s_Guide_to_Travel!

     

    I have been hosting the Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence for 25 years. I also host a high-end training program for executive assistants and administrative assistants called World Class Assistant, in Las Vegas. I have observed hundreds of assistants travel and heard numerous stories about their travel experiences both while in transit to Las Vegas and during their stay in Las Vegas.

    Since I travel most of the year and every trip is an adventure, many of the things I hear attendees complain about are typical, yet they appear to be larger than life to the attendee. What is most interesting is that administrative professionals are the ones who are very involved in their executive’s travels yet are not road warriors. It is for this very reason that I had Nancy Fraze, an Office Dynamics journalist, write, a list of Travel Tips. While these were written for our administrative professional conference attendees, they can apply to any trip you may whether it be a business trip or vacation. It will certainly reduce any travel stress you may experience.

    First and foremost: No trip is perfect! You must expect the unexpected and go with the flow. Adapt quickly and bring lots of reading materials for downtime at the airport.

    Town Cars vs. Taxi:
    Your choice should depend on the city you are traveling to, the distance you will be going from the airport to the hotel, and any other local traveling you will be doing—such as going from a hotel to a restaurant; plus the time of your arrival (are you arriving after dark and traveling alone?). I travel to many cities where a town car is not much more than a taxi and it is safer travel. Plus the town car is usually very professional, assists with your bags and pampers you by providing water, newspapers, and mints and shares good information about what to do in town, where to eat, where not to go. As a woman traveler, my safety is the #1 value I hold highest and I am willing to pay more for feeling safe.

    Hotel Shuttles:
    You need to find out if that hotel shuttle has specific times airport pick-up times. Does that schedule fit with your arrival? Or if it is a half hour out from your arrival time, is it worth it for you to sit around the airport and wait? It depends on what you need to do upon your arrival. Do you have lots of free time? Or do you need to get to your hotel, quickly unpack, and get to a meeting? It also depends on whether your flight arrived on time or not.

    Share Ground Transportation:
    Sharing a taxi or town car with other attendees from your organization may be a cost-effective alternative. Be organized and schedule your flights where you arrive within 15 or 20 minutes of each other or travel on the same flight. If you are traveling alone, find out who else is attending that administrative conference or a training event, coordinate arrival times and share your transportation. It takes being proactive and organized.

    Download Our Free Comprehensive Business Travel Planning Checklist Here.

    Hotel Requests or Repairs: Most hotels do their best to provide good customer service, neat and fully functional sleeping rooms, efficient staff, and tasty food. However, with that said, the hotel staff are people and people are not perfect. Equipment does burn out or needs maintenance. This is just a simple truth. Fire alarms inadvertently go off while you are in the shower! Air conditioners stop working. Walls are thin and you can hear the person in the other room talking. Guests will be outside your bedroom door at 11:00 p.m. laughing and showing no consideration that you have to get up at 6:00 a.m. for a full day at a conference or training.

    While it is upsetting when these things happen, and you may have been traveling all day only to arrive late, your room is too cold or too hot, you have not eaten all day, and your luggage did not arrive . . .

    • Remain calm.
    • Call the front desk from your hotel room phone and state your issue.
    • If you do not get a satisfactory response within 10 minutes (the repair person or a call that they are being dispatched), call the front desk again. Request to speak to the “Manager on Duty.”
    • For repairs such as burned out light bulbs, be aware that hotels often change them during the day while the cleaning staff is servicing your room. Simply report it and go on about your schedule.
    • Do not sit in your room waiting! The engineers often come into the room while I am at dinner or off to my training session.
    • Request a credit or $20.00 off your dinner if they have really messed up! Be assertive in a professional fashion.

    Ambiance: Hotels, restaurants, and spas spend thousands of dollars planning an ambiance that will please you. Most hotel rooms create an ambiance with lighting that is not as bright as you are used to at home. You may find the task light at the bedside table or desk area is necessary in order to enjoy reading in bed or to check emails at the desk. Hotels are designed for the vacation traveler even though the majority of their business is the business road warrior.

    Be flexible and remember to savor the unfamiliar and find the joy and beauty in it. You can also sink into a deliciously deep tub for a long soak; enjoy the marble shower or the marvelous scenery, not to mention the lighted makeup mirror! Or if these are not provided (find out ahead of time), then bring your own makeup mirror or little reading light.

    Expect the unexpected:
    When traveling, you must expect the unexpected. Perhaps your flight is delayed or overbooked. Perhaps you miss the shuttle, your baggage is delayed or lost; the hotel room is not quite ready when you arrive. This happens to every traveler at some point. When it happens to you, how will you respond?

    • Remain calm! (Again, we’ve all witnessed the cranky traveler – you don’t want to be that person.)
    • Prepare: pack a good book or your MP3 player so you can entertain yourself during downtime.
    • Consider it a learning experience that will help you know how best to help your executives when someday it happens to them!
    • Use your administrative skills and a winning attitude to find the joy in that unexpected moment, no matter what.
    • Remember: people are human and mistakes sometimes happen.
    • Keep a positive outlook throughout the unexpected experience. It feels much better than going through it any other way!

    Happy travels!

    joan_burge_signature
    Travel tips provided by Nancy Fraze.

    Download Our Free Comprehensive Business Travel Planning Checklist Here.

    The post Tips for the Tourist in All of Us: The Savvy Admin’s Guide to Travel! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 22:14:32 on 2018/10/05 Permalink
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    How to Change Someone’s Bad Attitude 

    As you know, I am big on attitude! I believe in what Charles Swindoll once wrote, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.” Being positive or negative about any situation will have its inevitable conclusion because you’ve already framed the end result.

    If you’re like most people reading this weekly column, you choose to surround yourself with positive thinkers. Your continuing success reflects that. Still, we can’t always avoid working with (or sometimes, living with) negative thinkers. Therein lies a problem: What can we do to change a person’s inherently bad attitude, in part so it doesn’t affect us? And should we try?

    Here are a few observations that can help:

    • People are who they are. Like spouses or children, they don’t “change” because you will it. So exerting your influence and expecting the response you want is foolhardy at best and potentially disastrous for your relationship at worst.
    • Try to empathize, even a little. Remember: Life is not fair, and it can be harder on some than others. People who feel defeated or alone in the world still have to wake up each morning and eke out a living like the rest of us. We don’t have to know the exact reasons behind their troubles to see the cloud that surrounds them at work, and to pause a moment and wish that weren’t so- for their sakes more than ours.
    • Reach out as you’re able. Make an effort to connect and be friendly- more than once, if need be. People with poor attitudes tend to be protective and distrusting- and may not initially welcome your friendship, perhaps because they fear there are “strings” attached. Be gentle in your persistence: It’ll reinforce your sincerity, likely earning their trust and a better attitude in the process.

    One final note: When a person’s bad attitude cannot be tempered by the above methods, yet still needs to be addressed for the benefit of the workplace, you may want to consider constructively confronting the situation or suggesting that a manager do so. Many times, informing people of their bad attitude in a positive way (i.e., “I thought you’d want to know the impact X, Y or Z is having on the staff, because I’m confident that’s not how you meant to be perceived…”) can help influence change, simply by making them aware.

    Have a great week- and remember your attitude impacts others, too! So share your positivity, and help everyone you encounter make the most of every day!

    joan_burge_signature

    The post How to Change Someone’s Bad Attitude appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:28 on 2018/10/02 Permalink
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    7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    Being an Administrative or Executive Assistant is not always a walk in the park. There is always a fire to be put out, there is the juggling of 9,000 different tasks, and sometimes you are an assistant to more than one executive or manager.

    Simply put, not everyone can handle the position of Administrative or Executive Assistant.

    With that said, there are tips and tricks out there that are being used by assistants to make life a little less hectic. I’d like to share some of our practices here at Office Dynamics.

     

    Make A List

    Making a list simply allows you to organize your thoughts and decide what tasks need to get done ASAP versus those that can wait until the end of the day.

    There are several different ways you can do this. You can use one of those fancy digital apps or you can physically write out a to-do list. I’ve found that when I write things down I’m not being distracted by emails popping up or different notifications. Also, I found that starting my to-do list first thing in the morning, before I check my emails, allows me to think about everything I have to get done for the day. I encourage you to try different techniques and find what works best for you.

     

    To Multitask Or Not To Multitask

    As I write this I know many readers will think to themselves, “I work best when I multitask.” When in fact that may not be as true as you think it is. Studies have shown that those who multitask experience an IQ score decline similar to those that have stayed up all night.

    Another study shows that performing multiple tasks is less efficient because of the extra time it takes to shift mental gears. Joshua Rubenstein, Ph.D., of the Federal Aviation Administration says that your brain must actively decide to switch tasks, then choose a task to switch to. Once you’ve switched tasks your brain needs to “shut off” the rules from the old task and “turn on” the rules for the new task. All of this leads to inefficiency in the workplace.

    Think of someone filling out a finance form in excel then switching to writing an email that concerns the items needed for a meeting.

    Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, has written and spoken about avoiding multitasking as well. Read her article, Why I Think We Should Kill Multitasking.

    I understand that being 100% free of multitasking is impossible and it’s tough to go from multitasking to not multitasking but I can personally say my work efficiency has increased since making the change.

    To read more about this, visit the link below!

    https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/to-multitask-or-not-to-multitask/

     

    Email Conversations

    How often have you had a conversation with your Executive or Manager, discussed the details of a particular project or a meeting and then you both forget what was discussed and agreed upon?

    By sending a quick “FYI/follow up email” that confirms your conversation, you will avoid confusion and have a record of what was said.

     

    Passwords and Logins

    Let’s be real with ourselves. We have more logins and passwords that we know what to do with. To add on top of that, when we forget a password and have to make a new one they ask for so much to be included in the password like a capital letter, a lowercase letter, a symbol, a hieroglyph, the wing of a dragon, and your first born child’s fingerprint. Well, it’s not that bad but you get my point.

    There are several things you can do to alleviate this stress/pain.

    • Use Password Managers such as 1Password or LastPass. This will help manage all your passwords and keep them in a safe digital location. (My highest recommendation)
    • Rely on major companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google. A lot of the time you can use these platforms to create an account and use as a login.
    • Write them down. This is a bit “old school” and some people may say that this isn’t a great idea, however, if you treat this document like any other valuable document then you could use this idea.

     

    Get Used To Saying No

    It is OK to say no…well, depending on who you are saying no to.

    There are many people in the workplace that feel the pressure to say “yes” to anything when they are asked. Whether it is to be more liked, to show they can take the extra responsibility, or just because they can’t say no.

    But whatever the reason is, you need to realize that saying no is ok. By learning to say no (more often) you are doing multiple things. You are:

    • Setting boundaries.
    • Lightening your workload by not taking the workload of others.
    • Reducing stress by taking on less work.
    • Not agreeing with opinions you don’t believe in, you are not putting your own morals in question.
    • Showing respect for yourself, and others will respect you as a result.
    • Not putting yourself last.

     

    Stay On Top Of Trends and Technology

    Let’s face it. The advancement of technology today moves so fast that we have a hard time keeping up with it. By the time you get the new iPhone or Android model, there is already another one announced. If you buy a laptop that is one month old you have to update it several times just to be up to date.

    Mobile apps are being added to the app-stores every day without notice.

    It really is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. When you stay on top of technology and take the time to read on the latest trends (in your area of business) or find an expert that can recommend the best tech to use, it really will help your learning curve and cut down on the “catch up” research.

     

    Weekend Bucket List 

    Take the time to make time for the important stuff in your life. Whether you do this on your lunch, at home, or part of your morning routines, you need to do it. If you head into your weekend with the idea of getting something done, more than likely you will do it.

    By completing your Bucket List or part of it, you will walk into the new week with a sense of accomplishment, clear head, and weight off your shoulders.

    Side note, it is ok to pamper yourself a little for the crazy week you just put in, make sure to do this every once in a while.

     

    Finally

    These tips and tricks are here as suggestions and if you decide to try them out that is great but what we would love is to hear some tips and tricks that you could share!

    We are a growing workforce and the more help from each other, to each other, the better.

    So, what are some tips and tricks that you can recommend to your peers? Let us know in the comments below!

    For other tips and tricks read, 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills.

    The post 7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:27 on 2018/09/27 Permalink
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    Make Your Meetings More Engaging 

    Whether you have been coordinating meetings for decades or days there are some simple tips to follow to make any meeting more productive and the attendees feel welcomed. There are times when meetings seem to plan themselves especially when the majority of the week is spent attending or planning several meetings! People may quickly migrate to an open room and start discussing random topics, etc. or an agenda is created, the room is reserved, but the topics are not clear. The planning doesn’t stop once an invite is sent out, does it?

    So how can you make your meetings more engaging?

    • Create a clear agenda
      • Note who needs to attend and why (their role, involvement, etc.)
      • Define a timeframe
      • Clarify the main topic and any subtopic points
      • Categorize or assign topics to attendees if appropriate
      • If necessary, provide background data before the meeting in a bullet point format
      • Develop a few questions that need to be answered (to stay on topic)
      • Request special equipment/room setup if required

     

    • Room setup
      • Reserve the room/location if necessary
      • Make sure room is set up appropriately for the specific meeting (if another meeting was there prior, can that format work for your meeting)
      • Provide a few notepads and pens in case they are needed
      • Test the equipment, monitors, lighting, temperature, etc.
      • Provide a pitcher of ice water and cups for guests

     

    • The Extras
      • If a meal is required ask about food restrictions, etc. (and provide mints or gum)
      • Provide trash/recycling bins and cleanup options
      • If guests are coming from out of town or outside the organization ensure they have directions, clear instructions on where to check in, who to ask for, etc.
      • Inform security or receptionist of incoming guests if necessary
      • Create a building map, contact sheet, etc. for invited guests
      • Make copies or provide data via a shared drive, jump drive, email, etc.
      • Take detailed minutes if appropriate
      • Keep the meeting focused on the topic during the allotted time and schedule additional meetings as needed

    I realize some of these may seem time consuming or simple, but it’s the little extras that can make a meeting more productive and the attendees more comfortable and ready to focus. With a clear agenda and appropriate setup, a meeting can be spent on the main topic, not on distractions or rearranging a room.

    What process do you always use to ensure a meeting is engaging?

     

    dana_buchanan

    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.

    You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager

    The post Make Your Meetings More Engaging appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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