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  • feedwordpress 13:45:56 on 2017/05/01 Permalink
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    The Power of One 

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    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.

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

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:08 on 2017/04/26 Permalink
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    Today’s Administrative Assistant Has Power 

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    (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

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    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.

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    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
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    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:13 on 2017/04/10 Permalink
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    Time For Administrative Professionals To Stay Vigilant! 

    training_for_administrative_professionals

    What if you had Donald Trump as a boss?

    Even if you are a Trump supporter, you cannot deny that our new President ran his entire campaign exhibiting Class A, typecast bully behavior.

    This may lead one to ask: Is this the new paradigm of acceptable behavior in the workplace today?

    From his constant barrage of insults and attacks on his opponents (and anyone else in his wake) on through his disrespectful and unapologetic attitude (both alleged and documented) toward women and minorities, Trump ran true to form to a bully personification. The message was clear: If you don’t agree with me – you’re not only wrong, you’re history!

    Even though one could claim this was “campaign mode” based on his Celebrity Apprentice playbook, he was still applying for top employer in the free world. Do bosses now have a new role model?

    In a word, NO! We have made great strides in combatting harassing behavior in the working environment. Today, if an employee (at any level of responsibility) exhibited such disrespectful conduct, the gears would be set in motion for that individual to be corrected, disciplined and maybe even fired. And, if it was a CEO who owned the business, the situation still could escalate into a hostile and costly environment.

    Employees can take heart. We have safeguards in place today and they will not be revoked (not even by an executive order). We have an established anti-harassment law with teeth in it, specific policies and guidelines in place, along with ongoing awareness training and, most importantly, swift consequences for poor behavior. Corporate America has embraced the harassment-free workplace and is not reversing its position.

    COSTS TO MANAGEMENT
    One of the reasons Corporate America is taking the respectful working environment seriously is the high cost of harassment of any kind. Unchecked, the effects are: increased stress, lower self-esteem and poor productivity among the abused, which in turn damage any organization’s effectiveness, stability and profitability. The costs rise incrementally when victims fight back because the employer allowed the situation to exist or persist.

    Harassing behaviors tend to be combinations of the following: sexual harassment verbal harassment, physical harassment and emotional harassment (the latter often referred to as “bullying below the radar”). Some behaviors can be argued as legally actionable and some cannot. However, harassment of any kind is illegal if it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Then, you may quickly go down the rabbit hole of legal action.

    Regardless, if any such behavior dominates an environment, fresh ideas are eliminated and employees are reduced to “yes people” who keep their heads down and their mouths shut. This may work in the short run – but not the long run (think Wells Fargo).

    If bullying behavior is tolerated, the company is damaged from the inside out by chewing up its people. Add to that, if employees have not already headed for the exits, there is what I call the “I quit but I forgot to tell you” syndrome: employees show up for work physically but check out mentally and emotionally – further draining a company’s progress.

    EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITY
    It’s a fact of business life that employees will never have the same power that their bosses have. But, this does not mean they don’t have any power.

    No professional can operate with blinders on. If you encounter or witness bully behavior you have a responsibility to follow your company’s procedures regarding a harassment complaint.

    What you do not get to do is look the other way and/or (even worse) suffer your own circumstances in silence, remember the frightening words of the German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “You become what you tolerate!”

    Unfortunately, there will always be huffing and puffing bosses and, also, ethically impaired peers who actually believe their browbeating intimidation tactics achieve legitimate business objectives. But, organizations today are working hard to keep their employees safe and avoid the costly “hostile working environment.”

    This does not mean, however, that we should not remain focused and vigilant in our efforts to maintain such an ethical environment. Organizations today are ramping up their ethics training (both on-line and in-house), establishing Ethics Departments and/or Ethics Point Persons and proactively emphasizing their Codes of Ethics/Conduct, Mission Statements and policies – benefiting us all. Most importantly, they are recognizing employees need (and deserve) a blueprint on how they are expected to behave at their particular workplace.

    How President Trump treats his own employees is an unknown to us, and how he will choose to govern as our president will unfold in the time ahead. Hopefully, he does not parody his campaign bully behavior. But, what IS known is – he does NOT get to redefine and redesign what is and what is not considered acceptable behavior in the workplace today.

    This is my challenge to all admin professionals for 2017 Admin Professionals Week: Now is the time to dial up your professional selves. We all have a responsibility to maintain an ethical and harassment-free working environment –which we can only achieve by respecting those around us – at any level of responsibility.

    This is not the “politically correct” thing to do. It’s just the right thing to do.


    Nan_DeMarsAbout the author: Nan DeMars CAP is an internationally-recognized speaker, trainer and author on the topic of Workplace Ethics. Her latest book is: You’ve GOT To Be Kidding! How to Keep Your Job and Your Integrity! (John Wiley Publishing). Contact Nan at 952-835-1148 or www.office-ethics.com

    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.

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    The post Time For Administrative Professionals To Stay Vigilant! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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