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  • feedwordpress 15:15:34 on 2019/06/06 Permalink
    Tags: Career Management, , ,   

    5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? 

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    You are a top-performing, high-achieving administrative assistant who has accomplished much. You have the fundamentals down pat and even demonstrate advanced skill sets. So where do you go from here? What might be missing from your bag of skills? Here are 5 areas that are sure to challenge you:


    • Accountability is about being responsible, being present.
    • We are accountable to each other and to ourselves. Even if no one is watching over your shoulder or your executive travels 90% of the time, you have to answer to yourself. When you don’t follow through—not doing your job—the department or group you support falls apart.
    • Being an accountable person means you know this life is no dress rehearsal! This is a one-shot life and you are giving it your all, every day.

    Why is accountability important?

    • Credibility—your reputation is on the line.
      • Your executives need to know that even though things shift, change, plummet, switch up or fall apart, you are the glue that will hold it together.
      • Credibility means never cutting corners. No shirking duties.


    • Whatever you talk about, you need to demonstrate.
    • Meet deadlines.
    • Be diligent.
    • Don’t make excuses.

    Change Agent

    A change agent:

    • Is someone who adds value by strategically thinking about what has always been done.
    • Adds new thought and wisdom to mundane or critical tasks.
    • Solves problems and improves the world, one day at a time.
    • Has the courage to see things that are and know they could be better.


    • Be a peacekeeper.
    • Accept fresh, new ideas.
    • Present new ideas.
    • Teach yourself to think “yes” instead of “no” when listening to others’ ideas.

    Creative Thinking

    There are numerous applications for using creativity in the workplace:

    • Improve communication.
    • Become more organized.
    • Build stronger teams.
    • Reduce costs.
    • Make a better decision.
    • Conquer the challenge of change.


    • Get comfortable with not thinking status quo.
    • Quit looking for the perfect answer.
    • Put your ego aside and quit worrying that other adults are going to think you are silly or frivolous.
    • Place a picture by your desk that speaks to your creative side.

    Decision – Making

    • Decisions are made daily, often without even realizing it.
    • Decision making is key for productivity and growth.


    • Understand the objectives and situation surrounding the issue.
    • Educate yourself on your leader’s decision-making style.
    • Consider potential blind spots and biases you may have. What areas are you ignorant about?
    • Generate possible solutions.
    • Think through and evaluate potential outcomes, possible barriers, and risk vs. advantages.
    • Decide and then evaluate your decision.
    • Avoid making emotional decisions, with only your heart. Use your head.

    Future – Focus

    • Think of the future in terms of:
      • new projects
      • outcomes
      • goals
      • your executive’s calendar
      • important upcoming event
      • potential business
    • Consider trends and changes in technology.
    • Read blogs, articles and materials written by trend analysts. Studying the movers and shakers who create the curve, set the trends and define what the future might be in a week, month or year, makes you valuable to your managers and organization.
    • Being a future thinker will decrease your pressure and stress.
    • For seasoned assistants, future thinking helps ensure you do not become obsolete.


    • Pay attention to the present.
    • Read and anticipate the domino effect.
    • Listen.
    • Visualize your desired results.

    I hope that these tips will help you become that high-achieving administrative assistant!

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    The post 5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 17:30:48 on 2019/05/16 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management, ,   

    How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin 

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    Welcome back to Ask an Admin! The blog series that allows administrative professionals to ask any questions they may have and have their peers give the best advice they can provide.

    This week Stacey asks:

    I am the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, and the only assistant (the only admin, really) at this location. Coworkers leave documents on my desk; the expectation is that I secure the signature of the President and CEO, and then return it to the requestor (who’s assistant am I, anyway?). I would like to know how does an administrative professional set up an official process to obtain signatures and return the documents, but I could use some advice. How do other assistants deal with this? Or am I just being a jerk for not wanting to run other people’s signed documents all over the building to return them?

    Thanks a lot for your time!

    Stacey does ask a great question. This administrative professional has documents that need to be signed by the President and CEO then has to run the signed papers back to her co-workers. So, how does an administrative professional set up an official process?

    Want to learn more about Ask an Admin and how to submit your own question? Click here

    The post How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 17:45:30 on 2019/05/07 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management,   

    What is the Difference Between an Administrative Conference and Administrative Training? 

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    With the plethora of offerings for administrative training and development, there is also a lot of confusion. People are throwing around terminology that can be confusing to the purchaser. I’d like to help you understand better so you can stop asking yourself “what is the difference between an administrative conference and administrative training?”

    Something to remember is that typically if you want to dig deep into administrative training content and practice the skills you are learning, you usually get that in a training course or workshop. The smaller the class, the more attention you get from the trainer thus leading to longer-term behavior change. When choosing an administrative conference or training, choose wisely. I will write about this in another blog.

    Administrative ConferenceAdministrative Training
    Delivered live with audience in the same room (may be streamed or recordedDelivered live with an audience in the room (could be virtual)
    All types of interaction with audience is possibleAll types of interaction with the audience are possible
    Can have direct contact with presenters BUT not all of them because of too many participants or speakers don’t stay for entire eventDefinitely, have direct contact with facilitators because often the class size is small compared to a conference
    Mid-level facilitationHigh-level facilitation by the presenter (Important the presenter is highly experienced to create behavior change)
    Networking with 100 – 2,000Networking with a small intimate group
    Teambuilding – depends on the conference host if they conduct any activities for this (Office Dynamics always conducts an educational, fun team building activity the first day of our event)Team building – the extent of opportunity to do this is up to the facilitator
    Speakers – several speakers presentUsually, 1 or 2 facilitators present and facilitate
    # of Attendees 100 – 2,000+True training classes are usually limited to 25 so the facilitator can give adequate attention to students.
    Skill practice – someSkill practice – ample time to practice newly-learned skills. (With Office Dynamics administrative training classes, participants have lots of time to practice in the classroom. Our training is roll up your sleeves and drill down!)
    Social – most conferences purposely set time for social and extracurricular activitiesMight include a welcome reception or dinner
    General Sessions and Concurrent SessionsUsually, everyone is in one place/room. Might have some small break out groups or rooms
    Usually higher end cost, but not alwaysCould be a higher end; normally affordable
    Held in various cities and countriesHeld in various cities and countries
    Usually comprehensive materialsParticipants SHOULD receive comprehensive materials
    Exhibitors – usually, not allUsually no exhibitors

    I hope this information helps you pursue your goals!

    The post What is the Difference Between an Administrative Conference and Administrative Training? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 19:15:01 on 2019/04/24 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management, ,   

    Administrative Professionals Day 2019 – A Message from Dana 

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    I recently received an email from Joan in her trademark professional encouraging style. I realize many of you received this email and maybe additional emails celebrating Administrative Professionals Day and our profession.

    Joan stated – Expand your mind; add to your skill set; challenge your thinking; look at your day in a new way; be a life-long student. You will amaze yourself! Who you are today is not all of what you are capable of becoming. Trust me. I congratulate you on how far you have come and where you are today. I encourage you to think bigger and become all you were created to be.

    Reading through Joan’s encouraging words I recalled the numerous amazing women that I met during the past two Conferences for Administrative Excellence and the opportunities I have had to talk with Joan and the Office Dynamics team. The themes of those interactions always encourage learning and challenging yourself while realizing how far you have already come.

    I am truly grateful for the recognition of this amazing profession that I have chosen for over 20 years. I admire and appreciate the diversity of our group; there is so much to learn from every experience level. By having opportunities to connect whether through social media, at conferences or through forums such as Ask an Admin we learn and grow from one another.

    Our profession is unique in the sense that so many of our skills are not only utilized professionally but personally as well. I have been focused on self-paced personal and professional growth & learning this year and I would love to know how you personally and/or professionally:

    • Expand your mind
    • Add to your skill set
    • Challenge your thinking
    • Look at your day in a new way
    • Be a life-long student

    I am grateful to everyone that I have had the opportunity to work with, connect with, learn from, mentor and be mentored by, and share best practices with along with sharing some amazing stories and several laughs and memories!

    Please enjoy Administrative Professionals Day. Even when the days have passed, I hope you continue to acknowledge your amazing abilities and take Joan’s advice to – think bigger and become all you were created to be.

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager.

    The post Administrative Professionals Day 2019 – A Message from Dana appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 11:05:22 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: , Career Management, , , , , , , ,   

    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants 

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    Organization skills for administrative assistants are one of the most valuable skills to have as an administrative assistant.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills as an administrative assistant without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits of this are of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organizational skills for administrative assistants are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips, and tricks in the comments below.


    Learn more administrative professional skills that will launch you further into career success by attending our World Class Assistant™ course and obtaining the Certified World Class Assistant designation.

    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

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