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  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, Assertive, , , , , , , passive, , , workplace communication,   

    7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive 

    Assertive_vs_Aggressive_Communication

    Do you want to be more assertive?

    Learning how to tactfully voice your opinions and assert your needs as an executive assistant is important. Many assistants have crossed the line from assertive to aggressive. So what is the difference between assertive and aggressive? Isn’t being aggressive good?

    Many people confuse assertive and aggressive behavior. This is especially true of women, who until recent years, were often taught to associate passiveness with femininity. As a result women often are reluctant to take the initiative in the workplace – whether to resolve a conflict, solve a problem, or present an idea—for fear of being labeled pushy or obnoxious. 97% of administrative professionals are female.

    What’s the difference between being assertive and aggressive?

    Before I go on, let me clarify the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive. By explaining the 3 of these, it will help you better understand the differences.

    Passive: A passive person only cares about others and what they think and making sure everyone else’s needs are met. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that a good thing?” No. Not when we sacrifice ourselves or what we need to get done for the sake of others. Passive people can become resentful or blow up later, which then becomes aggressiveness.

    Aggressive: An aggressive person only cares about themselves; therefore, they don’t care what they say or how they say it as long as they get what they want.

    Assertive: An assertive person cares that their own needs are met AND cares about others. So they think about how they will communicate in a caring way and get what they need.

    We all have needs to be met in the workplace so we can do our job and finish projects on time. We also have to make sure people do not walk all over us or be a cupcake! Assertiveness is the way to go because it is the happy medium. You care about yourself and your care about others.

    Benefits of Being Assertive

    • Reduces anxiety.
    • Provides a feeling of control.
    • Increases self-esteem.
    • Builds confidence.
    • We get resolution of the situation.
    • Less stress and wasted time.
    • You choose when to push a situation or not.
    • Protects you from being taken advantage of.

    We all know the famous Mayo Clinic. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about being assertive. “Being assertive is typically viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. On the flip side, it can also help you from steamrolling others.”

    Risk is Involved
    Being assertive involves some risk because you aren’t guaranteed of the outcome. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing the situation may not turn out like you hope it will. However, you have a better chance of having your needs met with assertive action than by being passive or aggressive.

    When communicating assertively, it’s a good idea to start at the end—what you want to see happen and then work back. Make sure you clearly communicate your needs or desires. When these are communicated in a direct, tactful manner, you most likely will see the result you expected in the beginning.

    Weigh the Pros And Cons
    If you are doubtful as to whether to assert yourself in a particular situation, you should weigh the pros and cons. It is not the number of pros vs. cons that is as important as the impact of each pro and con.

    7 Steps to Be More Assertive

    1. Outwardly confront something instead of holding it in or stewing over it. Passive people hold things in. They keep their feelings buried and do not like confrontation. Therefore, they are walked over and stressed out. While you may want to take some time to think about the situation and how you want to respond, do not sit on it for days and weeks. In fact, the sooner you confront a situation or something someone said to you, the better. Just choose your words carefully.
    2. State their opinions clearly. You are entitled to your opinion. We are not clones of each other. When communicating with others take time to be clear when expressing your opinions and especially do not say anything that would hurt another person’s feelings.
    3. Walk away at your choosing. Passive people walk away because they feel intimated by a person or the situation. An assertive person walks away because “it’s” just not worth their time or energy.
    4. Are active, not reactive. Assertive people take action but they also stop and think before they take action. Again, they craft the message they want to deliver so the other person will be open to what they say.
    5. Establish deadlines. You can start this today! Many executive and administrative assistants will ask, “When do you need this?” Of course, the common answer is, “As soon as you can get it to me?” Or, “As soon as possible.” Learn to ask people, “By when do you need this?” Get the people who assign you tasks or special projects to commit to the latest date by which they need something, not the soonest. This helps the person giving you the assignment set their own priorities and helps you prioritize your workload.
    6. Do not accept inappropriate behavior. If there is anything that does not feel right or appropriate to you in the workplace, you must tell the offending person their action or words are not acceptable to you. A very simple example for assistants is the person who always comes into the assistant’s workspace and takes pencils or pens or whatever. If you don’t like that, then say something. That is a very simple example. My point is you do not have to accept behaviors that make you frustrated, stressed, or uncomfortable. My favorite saying is, “People will continue to treat you as you allow them to.”
    7. Go to the source. People have a tendency to complain to their friends or co-workers about someone at work who upset them or who they don’t like. That does not change the situation or how you feel—at least not permanently. When something arises with another person, you need to go directly to the source. Again, use positive communication skills. If you hear something via third party, make sure you have all your facts before going to the source.

    “We are learning to find a balance between being too passive and/or too aggressive, instead, learning to be assertive when presenting ideas and/or suggestions.” – World Class Assistant Part 1 Graduates (For more wisdom from these class participants check out the slideshare below by my World Class students.

    Joan Burge

    Benefits of Attending the World Class Assistant Certificate Program (as shared by course participants)

     

    Find More Information About World Class Assistant Training

    The post 7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:56 on 2017/05/01 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Power of One 

    admin_training

    Welcome to May! Such a lovely time of year. I hope everyone has recuperated from an exciting Administrative Professionals Week. We did a lot of celebrating at Office Dynamics. On Wednesday, April 26 I hosted a Facebook Live where I spoke about what I love about the administrative profession and gave tips on how to shine in the profession. In case you missed it, you can access it here.

    Well, last week was very exciting for me because once again, I witnessed The Power of One. For more than 2 decades I have been talking to assistants about The Power of One. The concept is that it only takes 1 person to create change or 1 person to create something awesome. I use a visual of candles on a table. I light the first candle. This represents 1 person who has an idea. They take action on their idea and talk to another assistant or someone else in the company. Then another candle is lit representing the spark created from the first person. Then those 2 people go out and talk to others and light the fire in them about their idea. And then those 4 or 6 people go out and light a spark in others and before you know it . . . BAM! Something wonderful occurs that can change the life of many.

    I want to thank Cindy McConnell, EA to the CEO of Shure Incorporated for approaching me last October. Cindy said that Shure Incorporated had a beautiful auditorium and that they would like to be a host site for me to hold a one day workshop or mini-conference. Well, of course, I said yes. The great part of having a host site like Shure was that they provided the venue and all the A/V so Office Dynamics was able to keep the registration cost very reasonable.

    After I said yes to Cindy and we decided on a date, Cindy went into action and enlisted her administrative team. The fire was lit and it spread like wildfire. We ended up having 120 assistants from 20 states attend our full day program, Building a Star Partnership, in Chicago at Shure Incorporated. The administrative team went above and beyond what I imagined and I am eternally grateful to the ladies who put love and attention into the event. I’d like to give thanks to: Christine Clark, Claire Dorner, Janet Higgins, Nicole Rok, and Grace Sikora.

    So what does this mean to you? It means you can create a wildfire in your organization. It means you don’t have to just sit on the sidelines and watch life go by at work. You can be a catalyst for change. You can create something that will touch the lives of many. It means you will fulfill using some of your greatest assets and talents. Cindy McConnell loves putting on events as they do that often at Shure. I could certainly tell Cindy and her team love being hosts and doing an excellent job.

    During my 20 year career as an assistant, I had many opportunities where I was the “1” creating change. I started administrative training in a few of the companies where I worked. I started a special group for Assistants to CEO’s in 1990 in Virginia Beach and the group is still together—the group I started! Wow. Do you know how good that makes me feel? But it’s not about me. It is about others and utilizing your talents to help others.

    I started Office Dynamics in 1990, when there was no one company specializing in in-depth training for administrative professionals. There were training companies like Skillpath and AMA but they offered tons of programs for all types of careers. I saw a gap. I wanted to only focus on the administrative profession. There was a lack of quality, meaty training for assistants. It made no sense. So I lit my own fire with passion, enthusiasm, hard work and a desire to improve the quality of work life for assistants around the world. Here I am 27 years later. We have touched the lives of tens of thousands of assistants around the world. Not only have we touched lives, but now there are many others getting on the bandwagon to educate and support assistants.

    Do you see the power just 1 person can have? Do you see you can make a difference in the world? But it does take certain behaviors and characteristics. Here is a checklist for you.

    • Passion
    • A desire to make a difference
    • Hard work; willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in
    • Patience (tons)
    • Energy
    • Persuasion skills
    • Enthusiasm
    • A desire to learn in the area you are passionate about
    • Craft your skill
    • Good communication skills
    • Organizational skills
    • Self-management
    • Building a strong network

    What have you noticed in your workplace that needs changing? Or maybe what is missing for your administrative community? What about a process that can increase productivity?

    I bet if you took 15 minutes to think about it, there is something you are longing to do or change. What are you waiting for? Life is short. Move into action.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post The Power of One appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:08 on 2017/04/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Assertive, ,   

    Today’s Administrative Assistant Has Power 

    administrative_assistant_training

    (Excerpt from Become an Inner Circle Assistant book, Joan Burge)

    For the first time in history, the administrative professional’s job description hints at the full engagement of cognitive powers. When the job description includes identifying goals for the coming year; meshing them with your executive’s goals and department and organization goals; being prepared to track progress at specific intervals; and being accountable for success or lack thereof, it’s easy to tell this is not a job for dummies!

    You’re not a puppet, and someone else is not pulling the strings. You’re in charge. You have power. And if you’re to attain the inner circle assistant spot and maintain it, your intellect plays a large part in your success. So if the best career advice you’ve received so far is to dress for success, get ready to think bigger. And “think” is the operating word.

    I am talking subtle power; not “walk-all-over-everyone” kind of power. As an administrative or executive assistant, your power will come from your brilliance! It comes from your thinking and fully engaging all your senses every day throughout the day. This is no easy feat but you can do it. Here are a few tips:

    Look for ways to add value to the company. Several years ago at the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, we had 249 assistants collaborate on how an assistant could add more value at work when he or she is already adding value. The group came up with over 400 ideas which later became the now Amazon-best-seller, Who Took My Pen . . . Again?

    Don’t settle for “top of the mind” thinking. I often see this in my training classes. I assign various activities throughout the day and there may be one group who is always done first. They are so excited and “brag” about being the first ones to finish. However, what they don’t realize is that their ideas are not nearly as rich as the team who really massaged the question or issue and gave deep thought to it. Don’t be a surface thinker. Dig deep and you will find a treasure of great ideas.

    Powerful assistants self-manage. Remember power in the subtleties. Self-management is being very aware of your feeling, emotions, attitudes and knowing how you tend to respond to things. In what ways can you manage your thoughts, especially when you feel upset or work is chaotic?

    Commit to quality performance. There is no way around this one. In today’s casual world, people are becoming quite slack in their writing, set up of emails, and attention to detail. If you will take the extra time to dot every “I” and cross every “t”, you will be far ahead of the crowd. Being a top performer in the administrative profession is powerful. You will gain respect; be viewed as that person who goes the extra mile; who really cares. You will build a reputation of excellence that will take you places the rest of your working days!

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    Joan Burge

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Today’s Administrative Assistant Has Power appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:28 on 2017/04/25 Permalink
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    Strategies for Advancing Your Career Outside of Administrative Services 

    My good friend and fellow expert in the administrative field, Julie Perrine, has a saying that goes something like this, “In admin, you can start here and go anywhere!”

    Incidentally, if you don’t know Julie, you should. She’ll be at the annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this year and she is an absolute wealth of knowledge and insight.

    But back to the point: Being an administrative professional, the world is your oyster. This is a career that can, should you desire, be a fantastic stepping stone into a wide variety of other careers.

    Here at Office Dynamics, we focus a lot on those who have chosen administration as their career path. It’s a noble, exciting, ever-evolving world that can be incredibly fulfilling and lucrative. However, it’s not for everyone.

    Some people may find that it’s not a good fit. Others may enjoy it for a period of time, but eventually feel called to other fields.

    The skills you gain as an administrative professional can easily transfer to other roles. For example, here are a few of the most common roles that may be a great fit for assistants, depending on your skills and interests:

    • Project Manager
    • Event Planner
    • Training Coordinator
    • Virtual Assistant
    • Database Administrator
    • Graphic Designer
    • Human Resources Assistant

    Looking at this list, you probably already do many of these things on a daily basis!

    So, what are your next steps if you’re currently working as an assistant, but aiming for something different? Well, use your time wisely! Here are some recommendations.

    Take on “Future Focused” Projects

    As an assistant, you have many opportunities to stretch your skills and try on different “roles.” Take advantage of that by volunteering to own projects that leverage and develop specific skills you’d like to use in the future.

    For example, if you’re interested in graphic design, offer to redesign a PowerPoint presentation for your executive, or create a new cover sheet for reports. If you’re interested in database administration, get involved with the database systems at your disposal. Learn how to run reports and queries, or maybe offer to help creating procedures for others to do the same.

    Whatever skills you’ll need in your next role, find ways to develop them now. Get creative! But remember you still have to “sell” the idea to your executive, so always identify the value the work offers to the organization. It’s not all about you and your needs.

    Note Your Accomplishments

    Throughout your career, it’s important to keep a running list of your professional accomplishments. This is a tool you’ll use in many different settings including job interviews and performance reviews.

    As you prepare for the next phase of your career, you’ll want to be able to highlight the specific things you achieved using the transferrable skills you’re looking to leverage in the future. This will show others that you have what it takes to do the job, even if you’ve never held that specific title in the past.

    Remember: It’s one thing to tell people you can do something. It’s an entirely different thing to show them you’ve done it successfully in the past. Capture those accomplishments now and you’ll use them later.

    Get Involved in Professional Associations

    Many professional groups allow “outsiders” to attend events, especially if you’re exploring the field as a potential career path. This is a great way to get insider information regarding what it’s like to do the job you’re considering. It’s also useful for making connections! You can get to know people in the field who might be able to help you in a future job search. Having a personal referral can help you overcome the barrier of transitioning from administration to a new field.

    Regardless of where you’re going in the future, remember that being an assistant is an important role. Take it seriously and respect your job duties. Don’t get so focused on the future that you let your primary responsibilities fall by the wayside. That can give you (and the administrative field in general) a bad name.


    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Strategies for Advancing Your Career Outside of Administrative Services appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:35 on 2017/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Assertive, , , , ,   

    Strategies for Advancing Your Career in Administrative Services 

    As a career-minded assistant, it’s easy to get to a place where you wonder, “Where do I go from here?”

    Advancing as an assistant can take many different forms. For some, it involves climbing to the next level, becoming a “senior” support staff member or an administrative manager. For others, it means moving into a support position for a higher-level executive, assisting a CEO or CFO for example.

    Regardless of what path you’re on, if you’re interested in moving up the ladder as an assistant, there are several strategies to better position yourself for success. These tips will help demonstrate your higher-level abilities and support your bid for promotion when the time comes.

    Master the Fundamentals
    As Joan says, “You have to master the fundamentals!” You can’t expect to move up if you aren’t already fully and completely (even exceptionally) competent with the basic duties and responsibilities of the role. If you’re still struggling with time management, organization, professional presence, and communication, focus on amplifying your skills in these key areas.

    There’s no substitution for mastery. Proficiency isn’t enough. Become an expert in everything you do.

    Take the Lead & Self-Manage
    Demonstrate your ability to take charge, influence others, and see a project through from beginning to end. These kinds of leadership skills are only gained through practice and yet, they’re essential for advancement.

    Show that you know how to collaborate and rally a group around a common goal. Prove that you can manage many moving parts with high-pressure stakes and deadlines and without a lot of supervision. The more you can self-manage and work independently, the more valuable you become to your executive(s) and the organization.

    Be Vocal
    Become an advocate for yourself! Promote your accomplishments in a way that is honest and confident, without going overboard. Cite specific achievements and the impact they had on the organization. The more you speak about facts and results, the easier it is. You’re not “self-promoting;” you’re simply sharing information.

    Remember that people are busy, and they often don’t know the great things you do each day. You have to bring those things to light. Don’t hide in the shadows and hope that someone notices all you do.

    Mentor Newbies
    As you grow in your own role, help others to do the same. Don’t hoard your knowledge. Share it with others, especially those who are struggling. Mentoring shows you are team-oriented and not afraid of helping other people shine. You’ll establish a reputation for being a go-to resource—and you’ll probably gain all kinds of new insights along the way.

    Ultimately, all of these strategies will show that you are at the top of your field right now, and that you can leverage your skills to support the entire team’s success. That’s exactly what managers are looking for when they promote employees.


    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Strategies for Advancing Your Career in Administrative Services appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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