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  • feedwordpress 17:00:05 on 2018/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills, ,   

    Multigenerational Communication & Cross-mentorship 

     

    By Dana Buchanan

    The professional world of administrative and executive assistants and support staff is an exceptional melting pot of backgrounds, experience, knowledge, gender, age, education and personalities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 there were 22 million administrative support occupation positions recorded in the United States alone! Worldwide the number rises to make the profession one of the largest groups ever! This unique blend offers countless opportunities for multigenerational communication and cross-mentorship.

    Each generation and career level offer valuable knowledge. It’s an exciting and unique time in history that we work with such a diverse group of peers; varied age ranges, varied technologies and learning levels, traditional and experienced based education, etc. Cross-mentorship is a necessity. Whether I work with someone 20 years younger or older than me, I not only share and teach through my own work experience, but I also learn through their background and knowledge. This type of multigenerational communication and cross-mentorship not only keeps an experienced professional learning and excited about the profession, but also provides an opportunity to create a work legacy.

    When given the opportunity to meet with someone fairly new to the profession and someone embracing an upcoming retirement to explore even more in life, I enthusiastically embrace the moment and ask several questions of each! A willingness to learn and confidence to teach creates the roadmap to keeping our professional world evolving and relevant. We are all contributors to that mapping. The diverse team has combined organizational and time management skills, event and meeting planning, business savvy, continued professional development drive and so much more to ensure success and positive outcomes.

    A multigenerational team offers executives and managers more than just support assistance. The team shares varied views and appropriate input for decision making that helps promote the company’s mission. Cross-mentorship encourages each department and team member to work consistently while staying current on new programs, processes, tips and more.

    Professional and personal development are keys to keeping one of the largest workforce teams educated and invested in not only their own growth, but the growth and success of the company and field they have chosen to share their knowledge with.

    There are a variety of ways administrative professionals and the companies they work for can support multigenerational communication and cross-mentoring. Below are a few suggestions:

    • Communicate with a wider variety of professionals face to face at local chapter meetings or with virtual connections

     

    • Attendance to national or international conferences together or individually

     

    • Time to read and share professional blogs, articles, books, and webinars (most are free!)

     

    • Companies can invite or designate an in-house speaker to meet with the group quarterly & provide industry-specific professional development training

     

    • Encourage and seek program training from in-house IT employees as a team or individually

    Gaining knowledge and confidence by supporting, learning from, and teaching one another not only helps each of us develop personally and professionally, but also productively supports the executive teams.

    Knowledge is power. All of us have knowledge to share and new knowledge to learn. Seek answers, ask questions, share your skills…never stop learning.

    What is one piece of knowledge you would like to share with other professionals today?

    What is one question you would like to ask others in our chosen profession?

     

     

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    Dana (right) with Joan Burge at the 2017 Conference for Administrative Excellence

    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.

    www.danabuchanan.com

    The post Multigenerational Communication & Cross-mentorship appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:30:14 on 2018/04/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Communication Skills, , , ,   

    Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace 

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    Do you ever find yourself asking “Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace? Why home in (or is it hone in?) on the technicalities? Who notices? Who cares?

    Those who care about productivity, for one. Studies show that 6% of productivity in corporations is affected by poorly written communications. And that number is probably low. Still, it reflects the time wasted going back and forth, back and forth, to clarify messages that should have been clear, concise, and complete in the first place.

    Who else cares?

    Those who sign your paycheck. If your written missives are riddled with errors, you will likely fall short of getting the results expected and could be (or should be) forced to redo the work. Incorrect grammar, misused words, long-winded sentences—all too commonly found in business writing.

    Who else cares?

    The recipients of your message. Perhaps you expect them to take action on something as straight-forward as “attend this meeting,” but your message fails to convey the when, where, and/or why clearly. They’re not sure what to do; you’ve left them wondering about the meeting itself—and about your competence.

    Being impeccable in your writing is essential to doing your job well. The credibility and reputation you arduously build into your career is undermined when sloppiness gets through.

    As you strive for your best during this Administrative Professionals Month, take to heart the importance of a high level of competence in your written communications. You are judged by it constantly. The effort you make perfecting your grammar and writing skills will pay off in increased influence among those who do care.

    Be impeccable in your writing … always.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks.

    To celebrate Administrative Professionals Month, visit www.wordtrippers.com/odi during the month of April for a $30 discount on Word Trippers Tips.

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    The post Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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

    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 

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    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

    The post Do You Have A Problem Saying No? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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

    Setting Healthy Boundaries Today 

     

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    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

    The post Setting Healthy Boundaries Today appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:36 on 2018/03/02 Permalink
    Tags: , Communication Skills, ,   

    Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid 

    grammar_misuses

    by Barbara McNichol

    I love watching the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” but even this escape doesn’t give me a break from grammar glitches. In one episode alone, I counted four times when participants and/or hosts misused the pronouns as they spoke.

    As a society, if we repeatedly hear words used incorrectly on national TV (and all around us), how will we ever know what’s right?

    Without attempting to overcome years of grammar neglect, watch out for certain common pronoun misuses so you get a feel for what’s correct—and what’s not.

    “Me and Jack” finished the report. It should be “Jack and I” finished the report.

    Rule: When the subject is more than one, you need a subjective pronoun (I, she, he, we, they, who). (“Subjective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as a subject.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Jack.” I finished the report. Now it’s easy to tell which pronoun is correct.

    “Bob hired Peggy and I to draft the proposal.” It should be “Peggy and me.”

    Rule: “Peggy and me” is the object of the verb “draft” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom). (“Objective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as an object.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Peggy and.” Does it sound right to say “Bob hired I to draft the proposal”? You know it doesn’t!

    “Between you and I, we got the job done.” It should be “you and me.”

    Rule: In this sentence, “me” is the object of the preposition “between” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom).

    “Roger, Lloyd, and myself finished the drawings.” It should be “Roger, Lloyd, and I finished the drawings.”

    Rule: You can’t use a “-self” pronoun (myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves) unless it refers to another noun or pronoun used earlier in the sentence.

    Clue: Look for the referring word that precedes the pronoun.

    To receive a one-page chart that shows at a glance which pronouns to use where in a sentence, email me with “Proper Pronouns” in the subject line.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    The post Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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