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  • 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.

    administrative_assistant_conference

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

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:14 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
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    Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! 

    Joan_BurgeWelcome to April. Wow, where is the time going?

    April is one of my favorite months because, here at Office Dynamics, we get to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of those in the administrative profession! In case you are not aware, Administrative Professionals Week is April 24 – 28. But we celebrate the entire month of April. One of the major ways we do that is to host our annual blog-a-thon whereby we post a blog every work day in the month of April. Aside from my blogs, we have several guest bloggers providing amazing information!

    To kick off the celebration, I hosted a webinar yesterday for 5,000+ assistants worldwide whereby I revealed my secrets to success in the profession. I had 29 secrets! I would like to share just a few of them with you. If you would like to hear all of them, you can watch the replay of the live event.

    1. I didn’t always play by the rules. That doesn’t mean I did things that were unethical or illegal. I liked breaking the status quo (and I still love doing that today.) Look at work and situations in a different light. Keep your eyes open for processes that need to be changed or new processes that need to be implemented. Shake things up! One way to stand out is to shake things up in a good way.

    2. Inserted myself into my executive’s world. I didn’t wait for my executives to invite me into their world. When I was an assistant, I would take home the trade journals and periodicals my executive read so I could understand his world and understand the language. While I didn’t read every page, I certainly gained perspective. This is a strategy anyone in any profession can use.

    3. Set healthy boundaries. It is really important to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. If someone is doing something or saying something that is unacceptable to you, then you need to speak up in a professional and assertive manner.

    4. Thirst for knowledge. For some reason, I have always embraced a growth mindset. Since I got out of high school and went right into the workforce, I was hungry to learn in any way possible. I did not go to college by choice and it did not stop me from being successful in my work because I am a sponge.

    I have identified 3 levels of learning.

    1. Peer to peer (Basic, Foundational)—these are the great tips you learn from your peers; the people who are in the same job family as you.
    2. Senior assistants (Advanced)—this is when we learn from people who are in our profession but a level or two above us. When I was new in the profession, I looked to the senior assistants. I watched everything they did and how they acted (good and bad).
    3. Outside of my profession (Master)—this is where you really gain an advantage over others. You have to step outside your narrow world and learn from subject matter experts. There are millions of them! Some of my favorite people are Daren Hardy, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and Simon Sinek.

    With my thirst for knowledge, I was willing to invest in myself. Thousands of employees tell me they can’t attend training because their company won’t pay for it. That is short-term thinking and it makes me sad because it tells me that an individual doesn’t think enough of themselves to invest in their own education. As Brian Tracy says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.” I agree 100%. When you invest in yourself, you will take what you learn with you the rest of your life. And no one can ever take it away from you!

    5. Always took my administrative career seriously from early on and saw it as a profession. This is important for all assistants, managers and coworkers to remember the administrative profession is a true profession! These are the people who run the lives of top executives. These are the individuals who put up with all the stuff every day, put themselves second and third on the list, manage a multitude of responsibilities, make their executives look good, and are confidantes. They should be treated with courtesy and respect.

    If you are an assistant reading this, I hope you have a fabulous month! Please sign up for the Blog-a-thon by subscribing to the blog in the upper right corner and you will automatically receive the daily post in your inbox. Comment on the blogs and share them so you can be entered to win prizes all month long.

    If you are not an assistant and you’re reading this, please be sure to sincerely recognize the administrative support professionals in your organization. And remember to not ask your assistant to order her own flowers; which by the way, assistants don’t just want flowers and lunches. They want a long-lasting gift. If you are looking for ideas, go to the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    Happy April everyone!

    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.

    The post Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:16:44 on 2017/03/21 Permalink
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    The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out 

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    Administrative professionals are always asking us what it takes to really stand out in the workplace. After all, it’s a competitive market out there! If you really want to make a name for yourself and get ahead, it takes more than just skimming the surface. You have to dive deep within yourself to develop that “World Class” status that executives are looking for in their assistants.

    For those who want to shine brighter and get recognized (and rewarded) for your contributions, consider these key strategies.

    Shift Your Paradigm
    First, you have to change how you see yourself in your role. A “paradigm” is simply a mindset, but it plays an important role in how you show up in the workplace.

    If you think of yourself as an assistant, that’s perfectly fine. But in order to really stand out, you need to upgrade your mental image of who you are and what you do. You must begin seeing yourself as a strategic partner—a business ally for the executive(s) you support.

    This subtle shift in thinking will filter through your actions and behaviors. It will boost your confidence and your professional presence. It will positively change the relationship you have with your leaders, and ultimately, it will help you establish a powerful new position in the executive “inner circle.”

    Refine Your Communication
    A savvy communicator knows how to get noticed and get their point across. This is one area where everyone always has more room to improve.

    In order to really stand out, you must continuously hone your ability to communicate your point of view tactfully. You need to practice delivering tough messages in a way that other people can actually hear them. And you need to adapt your natural communication style to meet others where they are.

    Learning to communicate at the executive level is absolutely essential for success and it’s extremely rare. When you have this kind of mastery, you gain a deeper level of respect.

    Hone Your Professional Trademark
    When Joan presents training, she always receives similar feedback: People think she is “poised, polished and professional.”

    These three words are what people think when they hear Joan’s name—it’s her professional trademark, you might say. Do you know why? Because that’s who she is, and she has consciously chosen this as her personal brand.

    Do you have a something you are known for? Have you made the conscious choice to embody specific characteristics and traits as your brand? Or are you letting your professional reputation be shaped unintentionally?

    How others perceive you is such an important and underutilized tool for administrative professionals. Defining your distinct professional trademark—and learning how to leverage that in the workplace—will help you shape how others see you.

    As you can see, these skills go beyond the basics. They are strategies that only a few employ, and those who do reap the rewards. There is much to learn regarding advanced skills for assistants. To truly stand out requires a sincere dedication to your career path and an investment in your personal growth.

    These are just a few of the topics we cover in the World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. This “high-end boot camp” is the only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals on the market. It’s designed to help you stand out and develop the master-level skills you need to become World Class.

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why, on March 29, 2017, Joan will be hosting a live Q&A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:44:45 on 2017/03/13 Permalink
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    Don’t Be a Dragon to Yourself (Part 3 of 3) 

    Self-Reflect

    If you read the past two blogs, you will know that I have been talking about office dragons. I have already written about managers as perceived dragons and co-workers.

    Today, I am talking about the third and most dangerous species: ourselves!! You can do more harm to yourself with negative thinking than any outside dragon. It is your thought process and attitude that controls your internal dragon. You have the power at any time to tame your dragon and put out the fire of any dragon-like qualities.

    Here are some ways in which we are a dragon to ourselves. Take a minute to rate yourself as you read them.

    You . . .

    • Don’t focus on the job. When you don’t focus on your work, then you make mistakes, get behind schedules, become stressed and maybe you aren’t patient with others. This is something you can control, even when others have disrupted your work flow.

     

    • Let others damage your attitude. I see this a lot in the workplace. We can’t always choose who we work with but we can choose how we respond. Don’t let other people’s negativity drag you down.

     

    • Lack assertiveness. The problem with not being assertive is we let people walk over us. Then we get upset. Our needs are not met. If you don’t feel you are assertive, take some classes. They will do you a world of good. Assertive is about getting your needs met while being considerate of others.

     

    • Don’t see your own potential. Then you don’t fulfill your dreams and become the wonderful person you were meant to be. Every person has a special gift to bring to the world. What is yours?

     

    • Try to please everyone. Of course star performers want to make sure everyone is happy. But that is unrealistic to expect that of yourself every day, every hour. You will burn out. I always say, wake up with an attitude of doing your very best but be easy on yourself when you can’t do it all in the day. And remember, sometimes it’s not your job to please every person; sometimes they have to work things out for themselves.

     

    • Take criticism personally. It’s one thing if someone is criticizing the way you look or your hair or body shape. But when you are being critiqued about your work or how you handled a situation, try to look for the lesson. I bet 75% of the working population doesn’t know how to effectively give feedback. So that means you need to disregard their body language, tone of voice, facial expression and focus on the context of what is being said. Ask yourself: “Could this person be right? Could I have done better? Should I have handled that situation differently?”

    Take the Are You a Dragon to Yourself Assessment. Are You A Dragon To Yourself?

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    The post Don’t Be a Dragon to Yourself (Part 3 of 3) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:00:14 on 2017/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Assertive, , career advice, , , , , , , , , , , voice your opinion,   

    Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace 

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    I hope you had a great week last week and were able to apply the tips I had for communicating with people from different generations. In case you did not read the last two Monday Motivators, I have been writing a 3 part series on communicating for business success. The first one was, Be a better communicator at work and the second was, Bridge the Generational Communication Gap.

    Today I am focusing on tactfully voicing your opinion, which is another topic I cover in our World Class Assistant Certification course.

    Throughout my career as an employee—a few decades ago—I had the need to voice my opinion to my manager, colleague, vendors, peers, and others. As a business owner, leader, trainer, coach…I still have situations occur when I need to voice my opinion. We all experience this in the workplace. For some people, it is easy to voice their opinion and for others, it is hard.

    The caution is just because someone has the courage to speak up, it doesn’t mean they are presenting it in a way that will be acceptable to the receiver. If we want our voice to be heard and to be taken seriously, we have to think about how we communicate and present our case.

    Step #1: Consider these factors. Before you even express your opinion, there are some factors you should take into consideration, such as:

    • What is the other person’s sensitivity to the issue or situation?
    • What is my experience level in the area in which I want to express my views?
    • Is it too late to express my opinion?
    • If the receiver is from a different culture, how will they accept what I have to say?
    • Are there generational differences between me and the person to whom I want to express my views? How might that impact their willingness to be open to what I have to say?
    • My mood? Am I in a low mood? A grumpy mood? Frustrated? That probably is not the time to express my opinion. This could dramatically affect the outcome.
    • Why am I even having this conversation?
    • What is my motive in voicing my opinion? What do I hope to accomplish?

    Step #2: Think about the words you will use. Resist rattling off what’s on your real mind. You want to maintain professionalism and have the receiver be open to your suggestions or views.

    Step #3: Gather facts to back up your opinion. For example, if Joe in another department consistently turns in a monthly report late, you will have a lot more leverage or chance of getting Joe to change if you were to say something like… “Joe, the January report was due on the 18th of the month; I received the report on January 25. In February, the report was due February 14; I received the report February 19.” Do you see having facts is more powerful than saying, “Joe you are always late with the monthly report.”

    Step #4: Make sure you aren’t personally attacking someone. Stay focused on the point or issue at hand or situation. It does us no good to verbally attack a person.

    Step #5: Select the best time. Timing is important. Maybe you wish to express your thoughts in a meeting to one of the attendees but you would be better off waiting until after the meeting or even the next day. Again, if we want people to be open to what we have to offer, we need to consider if this is the right time.

    Step #6: Clearly explain your point of view. Two people can be right and not be in agreement. What do I mean? I see it all the time when I coach executives and assistants. Each person has their view of a situation, expectations or performance. The executive is right and the assistant is right but they have different view or stories about what happened. Take time to explain your thoughts.

    Step #7: Consider your relationship with the other person. How long have you known this person? How will they take your feedback? Are they a superior? (You can still voice your opinion but very carefully.) Do they work within your organization or outside your organization?

    It is both important to express our views and maintain another person’s self-esteem. I encourage you to work on this vital business skill.

    Have an awesome week!

    Joan Burge

    Come see me live in Chicago for Administrative Professionals Week!

    workshop_for_administrative_assistants_chicago_illinois

    Photo Credit: Designed by Katemangostar / Freepik

    The post Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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