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  • feedwordpress 21:07:37 on 2018/04/16 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , ,   

    Personal Tune-Up 

    tune_up_MMA Personal Tune-up for Peak Career Performance

    If you’re feeling more energized than usual these days, that’s because it’s Spring. As humans, we’re hard-wired to feel the boost that comes with warmer temperatures and fresh, new beginnings everywhere! Even in the cities, there are blooming flowers and baby birds. Life bustles – and we can’t avoid responding.

    To me, Spring is a wonderful reminder that I am not just a “mind” that thinks and focuses on work. I am also a body – of which my mind is a part. Humans are, in a way, a marvelous machine. You can feed your mind with all kinds of great information to benefit your career. But if you don’t feed your body with food (fuel) and exercise (tune-ups), then the machine begins to gum up or break down.

    To remain a star at work, here are some “personal tune-up” tips to put into practice daily for peak career performance:

     

    • Eat breakfast. You’ve heard it’s the most important meal of the day – and that’s right. Without fuel, you’ll crash, no matter how many cups of coffee you drink.

     

    • Walk once a day. Walking is the no-cost, easy way to keep your energy up and lose weight at the same time. Best of all, you don’t have to break a sweat or go to the gym! Just put on your tennis shoes at break time and go.

     

    • Take short breaks throughout the day. Even if you’re busy, step away for a few moments. You’ll return to your work refreshed and better able to focus.

     

    • Get plenty of sleep. Recent studies show that women, especially, are sleep deprived – which, over time, will reduce your effectiveness and career potential.

     

    • Tackle stress. What causes you to worry? What’s weighing you down? Write a list, and try tackling the items one at a time.

     

    Have a great week!

    joan_burge_signature

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  • feedwordpress 00:06:35 on 2018/03/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , ,   

    How To Be Effective In The Office 

    How to be effective in the office

    I’d like to share with you a few little workplace-effectiveness techniques that boost success. Did you know that changing just a few of the everyday words you use while conducting business can actually enhance people’s positive impressions of you? Here are three quick and highly effective linguistic tips you can start using today and learn how to be effective in the office.

     

    1. “Do” or “can” instead of “try.” When you’re a pro at what you do, you understand the importance of managing expectations among the people you support and work within the office. That’s why so many of us use the word “try” (as in, “I will try to have that report finished Tuesday”) to buffer our schedules and communicate parameters on tasks and projects. Problem: “Try” has a somewhat wimpy connotation, as if you’re unsure – even when you aren’t, of course! Solution: Replace with variations of the words “do” or “can” instead – and focus on what is definite: “I’ll do a preliminary outline by Tuesday for review,” or “I will complete a preliminary outline Tuesday.”

     

    1. “Believe” instead of “think” or “feel.” If you’re a careful listener, you’ll often hear people say something like, “I think/feel the best course of action is….” Communication experts agree that replacing “think/feel” with “believe” expresses even more assertiveness and self-confidence to management, colleagues, and clients: “I believe you’re right.” Bonus fact: To communicate even more directly and succinctly, practice dropping the use of “I believe,” and stick with the statement itself: “You’re right.”

     

    1. “And” instead of “but.” Here’s one of my favorites! See if you can tell the difference between these two statements: “I know you’ve missed the deadline, but…” vs. “I know you’ve missed the deadline, and….” The first sets up a negative “but,” which precedes bad news – and since people know this, they tend to get defensive or tune out whatever follows, regardless of its legitimacy. Conversely, the second statement acknowledges the bad news, yet skillfully avoids the sense that a shoe is about to fall. Result? The “and” says, “We can work on a solution, which is more important than the blame right now” – and people are far more likely to listen, meaning communication improves.

     

    Successful professionals focus on what I call the “language of the positive.” There are many, many more examples of this than those I’ve provided. Can you think of any additional ways to change commonly used words or phrases so co-workers and clients respond even better? I encourage you to delve deep and test new ways to communicate verbally. Have a great week!

     

    Joan Burge

     

    monday motivators

    This post is part of Joan’s Monday Motivators, a weekly editorial designed to kick off your week with practical ways to create a new mindset, change behaviors, develop positive relationships and thrive in the workplace with energy, effectiveness, and excellence. Sign up HERE to follow Joan’s Monday Motivators.

    The post How To Be Effective In The Office appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , Assertive, , , , , ,   

    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 

    problem_saying_no

    What are your tips on the best way an assistant can overcome their problem saying no.

    “I have a real problem saying no at work. How do assert myself when I can’t take on any more?” This is one question I frequently here from administrative and executive assistants. I’m sure you many of you have encountered this, so I’d like your advice.

    “I have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone. In the past, climbing up to the position I presently hold, it was an asset and it helped me to get noticed and promoted, but now I find it has labeled me as the go-to person. With all the duties I am expected to perform, I just can’t help everyone, yet I find myself doing it anyway. How do I decline without sounding difficult or rude?”

    Assistants all over the world have struggled with how to say ‘no’ at work.

    My question to my readers: How have you handled or would handle a similar situation?

    We encourage you to share in the comments below.

    Are you an assistant who doesn’t have any trouble saying no? What has that experience been like for you?

    Are you an assistant who has a problem saying no at work? Does that spill over outside of work? What are some of the biggest obstacles for you in saying no when you simply can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a person’s request of you?

    Do you simply being the ‘go-to’ person and yes is your favorite word? Let’s hear it! Please share below.

    Need more help in the area of asserting yourself? We’ve got your back. Check out my entire series of blogs and webinars that can help you build your assertiveness in the workplace.

    Do you think that saying no to someone means you are a terrible assistant? Check out our article: Qualities of a Great Assistant (spoiler – Yes Man/Woman isn’t on the list of qualities).

    Related: How Well Do You Communicate? A guest post by Judi Moreo

    Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For Your Health

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  • feedwordpress 21:30:52 on 2018/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: Assertive, , , , , , , , ,   

    Setting Healthy Boundaries Today 

     

    setting_healthy_boundaries

    Setting Healthy Boundaries

    I was teaching a class two weeks ago from the Star Achievement Series®.  Our theme for that day was the attitude component of Star Achievement. Under that umbrella, we addressed topics such as self-management vs. stress management, learning specific difficult people types and how to handle each of them, the benefits of conflict and much more.  Of course, we had plenty to talk about and one tip an attendee mentioned was, “setting healthy boundaries.”  She definitely got a big star for that one because setting healthy boundaries is important!

    So, what kind of boundaries are we talking about and with whom? After all, as administrative assistants and executive assistants, you sometimes feel like you can’t set boundaries or you might get fired or your leader will think you are not a team player. Some people think when I’m talking about setting boundaries, they have to do with sexual harassment in the workplace.

    When and where to set boundaries

    Boundaries can be set anytime, any place, on anything, and with any person. I’ll give you a perfect example that just happened to me this morning as I was traveling.  I was at the Las Vegas airport in the security line and was in line to pass my carry on through the screening process. (Keep in mind; I’ve been traveling for 20 years about 75% of the time, each year so I know what to do.) I was quickly placing my laptop in the bin, folding my raincoat up, taking off my shoes, and putting my purse on the conveyor when all of a sudden, this young woman who had been in line behind me, stepped right in front of me with 2 suitcases and placed them on the conveyor. She still needed to take off her shoes – and she didn’t know she was supposed to take off her sweat jacket.

    You are probably thinking, “So what?” So what? It was rude that she thought she could just jump in front of me especially when she was not ready herself. It was not as if she said, “May I go ahead of you?” or I looked behind me and said to her, “You can go ahead of me.” I nicely told her that she couldn’t cut in front of me. Of course, she looked at me in shock and made a few comments. (I will spare the details of our back and forth dialogue.) She finally took her items and moved behind me and told me to have a nice day.

    Addressing boundaries

    A boundary in the office for an administrative assistant can be as simple as addressing a coworker or manager who constantly steps into your workspace and takes your pens or pads and does not ask or return them.  If that bothers you, you need to say something.

    Another boundary you might need to set is your accessibility after hours to your leader as far as emails go. This is becoming a huge problem. As I travel the country and talk to hundreds of administrative office professionals ranging from administrators to executive assistants, I’m hearing them say they are spending too much of their personal time (evenings or weekends) managing and/or responding to emails from their leader.  One administrative assistant, who’ll I’ll call Sue for anonymity reasons, said that originally her manager did not expect her to check business emails and take action on non-work hours.  But she wanted to get a jump on things or was curious as to what was going on or wanted to read emails on Sunday night to be prepared for Monday morning. The problem is… she started responding to her leader’s emails and taking action steps if required. Now, she is frustrated because she spends 50% of her weekend working. I told her, “She created the monster.”  It wasn’t required of her and while she thought nothing of it at first, it snowballed and now she will have to say something to her leader.

    Rules to follow

    First, do not create situations that you will later regret.

    Second, people will act as we allow them to. If you don’t say something when something isn’t right, then the person assumes it is okay.

    Third, professionally communicate when setting boundaries yet be firm.

    Setting healthy boundaries is good for you and the other person.  It teaches them how to work with you in a way that stimulates win-win situations. You feel good for reasons that are too many to even mention in this blog. A few are that you feel confident, peaceful, in control (not walked over), respected, like a peer or business partner and viewed as a leader.

    Good luck with setting healthy boundaries!

    Related:

    setting_healthy_boundaries_monday_motivators

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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.

     
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