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  • feedwordpress 09:25:44 on 2017/01/18 Permalink
    Tags: #adminconf, , A Company of Owners, , Admin Nation, attendee perspective, , , Dr. Daren Martin, ISIPHO, lessons learned at conference, Lucy Brazier, , ownership, Peggy Vasquez, revolutionary thinking, , Tara Browne,   

    Lessons in Revolutionary Thinking 

    Guest post by Tara Browne, DTM, 2016 Conference Scholarship Winner. 

    When I was awarded one of three scholarships for the 2016 Conference for Administrative Excellence, I was beyond excited. I looked forward to acquiring strategies and tools to advance my administrative career. I expected to be totally blown away by insights and techniques from thought leaders on the cutting edge of the administrative professions: new measures for peak performance; creative methodologies for problem solving; fresh perspectives for relating to those I work with every day.

    What I got was all of the above…and so much more.

    As speaker after speaker challenged our assumptions about administrative work, and I found myself being inspired by a profession that I had so long ago wandered into with neither purpose nor ambition. There were so many “AHA!” moments in this conference that it would be impossible to do justice to them all in a single blog post, but I’d like to share my top three with you here. These were paradigm-shifting moments that sharpened my sense of mission, strengthened my commitment to cultivating professional community, and expanded my vision for our potential to impact our careers, the companies we work for and the communities we serve.

    Ownership and Mission

    Dr. Daren Martin’s presentation on showing up like an owner – and not “just an admin” – provided many great examples of how we can choose to show up, from dress and grooming to meeting etiquette to original professional contributions.  At the heart of it all, though, he underscored that we must become clear on our personal mission.

    In my “other life” as an artist, I have a clearly defined mission statement: I create art and experiences that help others to recognize their creative potential, and I help them to manifest and celebrate that potential in ways that make our world more beautiful, joyful, loving and abundant.   As an administrative professional, however, applying this mission statement to my daily work is a stretch, to say the least. Often I feel torn between my personal mission and my professional reality. So when Dr. Martin casually remarked, “In fact, I have a couple of mission statements,” he kind of rocked my world.

    Wow. You mean I can have more than one?!

    I was, however, concerned about diluting my effectiveness by having conflicting missions. Instead, I realized, I could translate my artist mission statement to the fit the needs of specific focus areas. First, I broke it down into three parts:

    • What I Do: I create art & experiences…
    • Why I Do It: that help others to recognize, manifest and celebrate their creative potential…
    • End Result: in ways that make our world more beautiful, joyful, loving and abundant.

    Then I translated that to fit a task at hand – developing MentorsAndMasterminds.com:

    • Experience I Create: I help administrative professionals connect…
    • Activate Creative Potential: through the power of their stories…
    • Make Our World Better: to become heroes of their careers and mentors to others.

    I help administrative professionals connect through the power of their stories to become heroes of their careers and mentors to others. 

    Now that feels like a mission I can accomplish!

     

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • What are the core elements of your personal mission statement: the “What”, “Why” and “End Result”?
    • Are there areas of your life that might call for a supplementary mission statement?

     

    Part of the Admin Nation

    Of all the presentations, I was perhaps most excited to hear Peggy Vasquez expand on her May 2016 webinar and the subject Develop the Power of Your Inner Circle: after all, it was her webinar that inspired me to create Mentors And Masterminds! As she shared her stories, I was transported right along with her, from her earliest DECA mentoring experience, to the challenge of writing her first book, to her vision for an #AdminNation. It was this third element that truly inspired me.

    In particular, Peggy talked about the concept of Ubuntu, which Wikipedia describes as “a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “’human kindness’…often used in a more philosophical sense to mean ‘the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity’”. Further, Peggy argues, “human beings didn’t become the dominant species by competing, but by collaborating.”

    Certainly in my own career I have to avoid the most prevalent forms of competition in our profession: information hoarding, adherence to obsolete processes, and the vicarious exercise of executive privilege, to name a few. Unfortunately, many colleagues still seem to struggle to understand the value of collaboration, and that’s where this succinct value statement fits in.  This message – “Human beings didn’t become the dominant species by competing, but by collaborating.” –  paints a powerful word-image of how collaboration creates success that I can share to bring still more administrative professionals on board the “Admin Nation”.

     

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • Where would you like to see more collaboration among your administrative peers? 
    • What methods – both direct and indirect – could you try to help foster that increased collaboration?

    A Revolutionary Vision

    The most impactful moment of the conference, however, did not come from one of the scheduled presenters, but from surprise guest and Marcham Publishing CEO, Lucy Brazier, whose presentation about the Isipho Admin Bursary in South Africa created a true paradigm shift in the way I see the administrative support professions as a whole.

     

    I understand the value of the work that we as administrative professionals do, of course…but the tribute paid to that value by colleagues and executives has often felt like little more than lip service. Many administrative professionals provide years of service with ever-increasing skills and responsibilities, but no corresponding path for career advancement and compensation. Having wandered accidentally into this career, I saw no way forward, up or out…and I struggled to rid myself of an underlying sense of professional deficiency and self-doubt.

     

    When Lucy shared the life-changing impact that the Isipho Admin Bursary will have for the scholarship winners, I could not help but feel appreciation for the privilege I have to be secure in my own job.  Moreover, I was reminded of Erick Gray’s famous words:

     

    Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

     

    According to the US Department of Labor, Secretary/Administrative Assistant remains the #1 job for women in the United States, and although recent data is harder to find, a 2011 Monster.com article estimates that 95%+ of administrative support roles are held by female employees. Given that so many women rely upon this profession, I realized that this role holds the potential to change the lives of not only women and the families they support, but even for healing communities around the world.

     

    In just a few short minutes, I gained a completely different perspective on the value of this work we do. For the first time ever, I felt truly proud to call myself an administrative professional, and inspired with a conviction that yes, I am a Revolutionary Assistant, and I can help change the world.

     

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT

     

     

    Did you miss the conference this year? Check out the following programs:

    The post Lessons in Revolutionary Thinking appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 00:21:33 on 2017/01/11 Permalink
    Tags: , #adminconf, , accelerated assistant, , , , , , , goal setting for assistants, , , professional development plan, , smart goals, , ,   

    The Accelerated Assistant Webinar Replay and Conference for Assistants 

    In our free webinar program, The Accelerated Assistant, we shared more about this year’s upcoming theme for our administrative assistant conference held every fall. The workplace is accelerating faster than anyone ever thought possible. Every day, we absorb more information, connect with more people, and utilize more technology than our ancestors did in their entire lives. In the coming year, we’ll experience more in a single day than we did in two days in the previous year. That is just the pace of modern life.

    We invite you to tune into the free replay of this webinar because an attendee you will learn:

    • The 7 key areas we need to accelerate and what that really means.
    • How to control the rate of acceleration (and why you have to take responsibility!).
    • Useful strategies for managing approaching “curves” in the road ahead.
    • The many ways in which your role is similar to that of a race car driver. (Hint: It’s a cool analogy that really works!)
    • Why slowing down is a counterintuitive but effective strategy for managing acceleration–and when you should do it.

    Watch the Webinar Replay: The Accelerated Assistant

    The Accelerated Assistant, conference for assistants

    Important Webinar Resources

    Other resources mentioned during the webinar

    • The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy

     

    Special Offer (Time Sensitive) – Join our conference for assistants this October!

    For a limited time, we are offering bonus items with your event registration. No coupon code necessary. When you register you will be sent access to the following programs. Early Bird seats are available at $100 off for a limited time. Regular price is $1,595.

     

    We hope to see you there!

    The post The Accelerated Assistant Webinar Replay and Conference for Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:28:23 on 2017/01/05 Permalink
    Tags: #adminconf, , , , , , , possibility, , , professional assistant, , , , team building, The Leadership Challenge, , think tank, ,   

    From Possibility to Reality 

    This past October, I was honored to be part of the 2016 Office Dynamics International Conference, The Revolutionary Assistant. If you had asked me several years ago if it were possible to pull off a 400-person think tank, I’m not sure how I would have responded. Happily, I believe in exploration thinking, so today, I can say, “Absolutely!” And here’s why.

    About a year ago, I found myself on a catch-up call with Joan Burge, something we’ve done regularly in our relationship over the past 18 years or so. We were talking about my new company, 84.51°, and how my new building was designed to support innovation in our work with Kroger. I was sharing how I had started doing think tanks in our new “creative thinking space” using Compression Planning®, which sparked a conversation on helping assistants be more revolutionary, the theme Joan was planning for her 2016 Conference for Administrative Excellence. The seed of possibility was planted.

    Often we miss the opportunity to germinate the seed of possibility because we stick to only Yes-or-No questions. Without an explorer’s mindset, we might inadvertently rule out a great innovation. Typically, Compression Planning® think tanks are done with groups of 8-12 people. I had personally done sessions with up to 40, but certainly not 400 or more. If we focused on the question, “Can we do Compression Planning with 400 or more administrative professionals?”, we may have missed the opportunity.

    Often, questions come to us in yes-or-no formats, after all, it’s a much quicker conversation—the trick to making cool things happen, though, is re-framing questions in our own minds to a “How” format. “How can we make that work?” “How might we pull it off?” “How” questions nurture possibility. Compression Planning® founder, the late Jerry McNellis, liked to say, “If only people would take more time exploring how we can make something work instead of focusing on all of the reasons why something won’t work—we could accomplish so much more in so much less time!”

    Shortly after my initial conversation with Joan, I started enlisting a support network on how we might pull off a 450-person think tank. I called Pat McNellis at the Compression Planning Institute—had they ever done something on that scale before? I called my sister (and fellow Compression Planning Specialist)—would she be interested in helping me pull off something super cool? I reached out to the assistant to my CEO—would she and the 84.51° assistants be open to attending the conference and supporting the session onsite? In their book, The Leadership Challenge, authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner call out “enlisting others” as an important leadership behavior. Very rarely do we accomplish big things by ourselves.

     

     

    Having an explorer’s mindset and enlisting others created the possibility for taking something designed for 40 people and making it work for over 400. But one other factor came into play that helped move it from possibility to reality. About three weeks before the conference, I did a “test run” with the 84.51 assistants, who helped surface the need for some adjustments from what was originally planned. I reached out to some additional experts to help tweak and refine the plan. And my sister provided regular encouragement and advice. By connecting with and expanding my support network and staying open-minded to feedback and changes, we moved from possibility to reality and ultimately pulled off a cool and successful 450-person think-tank teambuilding event.

    In the end, the seed of possibility bloomed into a successful teambuilding session. It was a collaborative effort to move from possibility to reality by focusing on “How” instead of “if,” enlisting others in the vision, and being open-minded to feedback, other ideas and changes.

     

    Guest Post by Annette Brown

    Annette Brown is a master-certified McNellis Compression Planning specialist with over 20 years’ experience helping teams tackle complex business challenges. She started her career in administrative roles where she leveraged her Compression Planning skills to lead award-winning administrative teams, execute special projects and help her leaders deliver value and results for the company. With 17 years in the learning and development arena, Brown currently helps lead the learning organization for the highly innovative new division of Kroger known as 84.51° in Cincinnati.

    When not at work, she enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter, sewing, crafting and making traditional Italian dishes. Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana Wesleyan University.

    The post From Possibility to Reality appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:17:57 on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: #adminconf, , , , admin professional, , , assistant webinar, , , , , , , executive assistant conference, , , , , , , , the accelerated assistant, , ,   

    12 Days of Christmas Webinar: The Accelerated Assistant 

    In our program today we talked about seven ways to become an accelerated assistant. Below you will find our replay link, program notes, certificate download and access to our deal of the day. If you haven’t already registered for our 12 Days of Christmas Webinar Series, you can register here. Links to the programs will be sent daily.

    Watch the Replay for The Accelerated Assistant

    Program Notes for Webinar

    Special Offer from the Webinar

    Conference-The-Accelerated-Assistant

    When you add this item to your shopping cart the price will be reduced automatically. This offer expires December 31, 2016 and is good while Early Bird Seats are still available. To learn more about this event, please visit www.officedynamicsconference.com.

    The post 12 Days of Christmas Webinar: The Accelerated Assistant appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:29:12 on 2016/12/02 Permalink
    Tags: #adminconf, , , administrative assistant programs, administrative training, assistant continued learning programs, , , goals for 2017, learning and development, learning and development for assistants, , seminars, , , VILT, virtual training, webinars for assistants, , workshops   

    Choosing Administrative Training That’s Right for You 

    As 2016 comes to an end, I hope you are working on your goals for your 2017 development. The challenge may come when you realize there are a plethora of training programs, conferences, webinars and other learning events for administrative assistants and executive assistants. So how do you determine what is best for you? After all, you will have to invest time for your development and in many instances, your company will have to make a financial investment.

    It’s best to start with your end in mind. For example, when assistants ask me which training would be best for them between our conference and World Class Assistant Certification live course, I ask them “What are your goals?” “What are you trying to accomplish?” Our conference and World Class Assistant™ our very different learning events. At our conference we have numerous speakers, it’s a much larger event and shorter sessions. Our World Class Assistant™ Certificate course is limited to 20 attendees. I am the only person teaching, we go very deep into the material and there is ample time for skill practice. Do you see the difference?

    I thought I would give you a quick overview of the various training platforms for assistants and a few words of wisdom.

    Conferences for Administrative Professionals

    conference-for-assistants

    There are conferences and then there are conferences. They are not all created equal. I am amazed at how many assistants (and even training companies) intertwine verbiage when talking about training or conferences. For those of us in the training/adult learning industry, there is a difference. Even within conferences there are differences. I see some offer a one-day workshop with no frills and title it a conference.

    A conference usually has the following elements:

    • A Welcome Reception or some type of gathering the night before the main learning event.
    • Multiple speakers and I don’t mean 2 people. At our administrative conference, we usually have about 11 – 13 speakers. Really big conferences have 40 or more speakers.
    • Often have concurrent sessions. However, we do not offer concurrent sessions every year because we like it when attendees are in the same room hearing the same great presentation. Our past attendees have really liked this feature.
    • Exhibitors ranging from big exhibit halls to small tables. Again, this is where we differ a bit. Historically we have only allowed our speakers to set up tables and sell their books. Last year, we had several companies interested in setting up a display in our Success Store and it was great. We will be doing this in the future.
    • Conferences usually have 50 or more people.
    • Presentations usually last 60 – 90 minutes. There may be some half-day workshops, but not too many.
    • Last several days.
    • Low-level engagement from attendees.
    • Usually have some sort of special event one night for attendees.
    • Sometimes the day before the conference actually starts, the hosting organization may offer full-day certification training.

    Conferences are great if you want to network with a lot of different people, and hear many different speakers.

    Live Training Event (such as a workshop, seminar, or certification course)

     

    workshops-for-assistants

    Elements of a Live Training Event or Administrative Workshop include:

    • Usually only 1 or 2 individuals are presenting and facilitating.
    • Limited number of attendees. We limit our on-site training classes to 25. We limit our WCA certification and designation course to 20 so that each attendee gets personal attention from me.
    • Focused content.
    • Skill practice for attendees.
    • High-level engagement from attendees.
    • Variety of learning activities such as mind-mapping, brainstorming, role playing, and creative exercises.
    • Accountability after the class by the attendee.

    Webinars for Administrative Professionals

    free-webinar-career-fear

    Paid or Free? As you know there are paid and free webinars. One is not better than the other. Of course, free webinars sound enticing because they are free. Again, not all free webinars are created equal. It depends on the presenter and their ability to keep you engaged.

    Also, the topic is important. Will the topic being covered help you achieve your goals? What are the learning objectives of the webinar? Do they align with the skills you need to develop or enhance?

    Live or Replay? For me, attending the live webinar is great. I can almost feel the energy through the technology of the presenter or attendees. A replay is useful in case you can’t attend the live event or you want to hear the information more than once. Often I am taking notes during a webinar so I might miss the way something was said. I encourage you to at least sign up for the webinar so you will get the replay link in the event you miss it.

    Video or PowerPoint Presentation? I have watched many webinars where I only see a still picture of the presenter and hear their voice as they go through all their slides. Personally, I want to see the presenter’s face. It’s just my personal preference. I am less apt to be distracted with something else in my office when I see their face as they present. I also feel a connection with the person.

    At Office Dynamics, we have been offering free monthly webinars since January 2015. Most often it is a video presentation where you see me or me and my guest presenter. (And Jasmine, too.) It’s great! What works best for you?

    Before participating or watching a replay of a webinar, write some specific goals related to the topic being covered. Be sure to take good notes as you watch the webinar because it’s hard to remember everything afterward. Try to immediately identify which action steps you are going to take from what you learned while the information is fresh in your mind.

    Online Learning vs. On Demand

    These formats are often interchanged. They are basically the same. At Office Dynamics, when we say “online learning,” we are referring to actual training courses.

    Then we refer to the video-taped sessions from our conference as Conference On Demand. It is an online learning program but it only focuses on our conference for that particular year.

    Virtual Instructor-Led Training [VILT]

    VILT

    I bet you never heard of this. VILT is Virtual Instructor-Led Training. That is where I would be present a live workshop from Las Vegas to a group of assistants in a company in another location. It is as if we were in one room together. I can see the participants and they can see me. It is live. Participants can ask me questions and I can ask them questions.

    VILT is a cost effective way to present training. There are no travel expenses involved. A company can even have assistants from multiple locations/offices attend the program.

    What’s Next for You?

    Of course, you want to take advantage of free training. Then you should supplement that with formal training. I highly recommend live conferences, workshops, retreats and boot camps because you gain so much from talking to people face to face. You have opportunities to talk to the speakers after they have presented; can ask your personal questions in private with the presenter.

    Plus 99% of assistants say the one thing they love about attending live classes or conferences is the networking! By far, assistants love sharing with their peers, hearing about challenges other assistants face and learning best practices.

    You might also consider how you best learn. I learn best by seeing what someone is explaining to me or seeing it in writing or seeing the person presenting. I learn best in a live event or if someone works with me one-on-one.

    I am an avid reader and especially like to read hard copy information because I flag important pages, highlight important tips and techniques, and underline information that I want to revisit.

    Steps toward planning your administrative development in 2017.

    1. Write your goals for 2017 in terms of skills you need to develop; skills you want to take to the next level; and gap areas where you have little to no knowledge.
    2. Prioritize your learning goals. What do you need to tackle first, second, third and fourth?
    3. What does your manager think you should focus on? You should always get your manager’s perspective, especially because you want them to support you with your training and development?
    4. create a spreadsheet that lists your areas for development and then crosswise list the platforms you will use to develop that skill. You can even make a column to list resources as you find them.
    5. You can really make this fun. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Take one bite at a time. Of course, you can’t do everything at once.
    6. Research. Really read a website. I can’t tell you how many assistants and executives don’t know all the education programs and products Office Dynamics offers because they don’t take the time to look around our website. Even clients who have worked with us for years don’t know I offer private coaching or that we offer a full-day workshop for managers and assistants.
    7. Read bios. Who is teaching? What is their level of expertise?
    8. What do you hope to get out of the time you spend?
    9. Track your progress throughout the year. Give yourself a star or reward when you accomplish a goal. If you get off track, get back on track.

     

    Something we did to make it easier for assistants to determine what is best for them with all the options Office Dynamics offers was to create a page on our website listing all the training options based on an assistants’ or managers’ goals. You might want to check it out here.

    Good luck!

    Joan Burge

    The post Choosing Administrative Training That’s Right for You appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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