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  • feedwordpress 10:15:00 on 2017/05/22 Permalink
    Tags: best practices for administrative professionals, Communication Skills, effective communication, , email management, managing your executive's email, , , receiving email, sending email   

    Email That Works: Best Practices for Truly Busy People 

    email that works best practices for assistants

    How would you describe your e-mail situation lately?

    Are you getting so much that it’s sometimes impossible to manage it properly and still be productive? Do you worry you’ll hit the “send” button too soon, and deliver a message before its ready? Take heart….You’re not alone!

    E-mail technology has been great – but it has also wreaked havoc on the way we communicate. For example, you can shoot back a reply to an e-mail in lickety-split time. The question is, should you? Thinking about what the message ought to say often becomes secondary to our ability to communicate immediately. And whenever action precedes thought, trouble will likely follow at some point or another, as you know.

    When you’re a “Star” in your profession, you take the time to think before speaking or sending any kind of message – in electronic or written form. These tips can help you be an even more effective communicator – and prevent e-mail problems that can impact your impressive professional image:

    When receiving e-mail:

    • Sort incoming messages according to importance and the need to act on them. Some people create folders within their email programs. Others print off messages and track them that way. Hint: If your e-mail program permits you to “manage” messages – sending them to folders without showing up in your inbox, for instance – you may want to explore that option. Talk to your office’s IT person.
    • Respond only when necessary. If no action is required, save everyone’s time and avoid replying with something generic like “OK.”
    • Act within 24 hours, if possible. If you must reply, try to do so within one day. This isn’t always feasible, of course – but it’s a best practice we can all strive to achieve.
    • Check email several times a day, rather than constantly, to prevent interruptions that decrease productivity.

    When sending e-mail:

    • Decide if e-mail is the best way to communicate. Time-sensitive information, as well as potential conflicts, should be handled either face-to-face or on the phone. Remember: E-mail may be “instant” but not for everyone. And e-mails don’t always deliver your tone of voice properly, which can result in miscommunication at critical, sensitive times. In those cases, verbal communication is preferable.
    • Consider your recipients’ learning styles. How would they prefer to receive the information you’re sending? If they’re “to the point” people, rely on short sentences and bullets. For detail-oriented readers be specific – but consider placing a “nut paragraph” at the top of the e-mail that boils down the essence to one short statement. That way, they’ll know if they need to read or act upon the message ASAP.
    • Insert recipient names in the “To” field only when you’re finished writing your message. This is the best way to prevent sending e-mails too soon with a mistaken click of the “send” button.
    • Reread for tone. We’ve already addressed how e-mails are prone to “tone problems.” So, before sending any message, read it from the recipient’s point of view. If you find anything that could be misunderstood or taken the wrong way, carefully reword that sentence for greater clarity\
    • Keep emails short and to the point.
      If the information can be conveyed in a paragraph or two, send an email. If it takes longer than this, the information may warrant a phone call or personal interaction.

    It’s your turn! What are your best practices for email management? Are you a fan of Inbox Zero? Let’s talk about it below.

    The post Email That Works: Best Practices for Truly Busy People appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:56 on 2017/05/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Communication Skills, , , , , , , , ,   

    The Power of One 

    admin_training

    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.

    administrative_assistant_conference

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

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:26 on 2017/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Communication Skills, , , , ,   

    Teamwork Strategies for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    There is no great month than April to talk about the power assistants create when they work together. In April, we honor administrative around the world for one full week. What does that tell you about the importance of the role?

    For more than two decades I have been teaching assistants about the benefits of working together. While I often hear about the challenges and issues assistants have with their peers, assistants can find strength in community and unity.

    When administrative professionals work together . . .

    • There is less duplication resulting in savings to the company and increased productivity.
    • You can learn streamlining techniques from each other.
    • Gain a new perspective. (Provided you keep an open mind.)
    • Add fun to your ho-hum routine.
    • Working together can mean consistency for out of office coverage.
    • Expansion of what the team together can accomplish that one person alone cannot do.

    So what can you do to promote teamwork and collaboration across your administrative community?

    1. Put the company first. Let co-workers know that your concern is for the success of the company—not just successful fulfillment of your job responsibilities or career goals.
    2. Share your ideas. Make suggestions whenever appropriate.
    3. Welcome input from others. Respect the ideas of others, just as you would like them to respect yours.
    4. Ask for help. If someone in the office is an expert in an area, ask for his or her advice.
    5. Remain committed. Problems and frustrations may arise, but don’t give up. Be supportive of your colleagues—you need them as much as they need you.
    6. Trust your colleagues. You and your co-workers are working toward one common goal—a successful company.
    7. Remember no man is an island. Whether there are two administrative professionals in your office or 200, joining forces with your administrative peers will contribute to greater success for your organization.

    What do you or your peers do to create administrative unity and synergy?

    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

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Teamwork Strategies for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:35 on 2017/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Communication Skills, , ,   

    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 20:27:02 on 2017/04/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Communication Skills, , , , , ,   

    5 Reasons Why You Need Emotional Intelligence 

    Emotional_Intelligence_workplace

    Sure, having a high IQ is great, but how does your EQ (emotional quotient) at work stack up? Nearly all HR managers (95 percent) and employees (99 percent) surveyed by OfficeTeam said it’s important for staff to have strong emotional intelligence. In addition, more than one in five workers (21 percent) believe EQ is more valuable in the office than IQ.

    What is Emotional Intelligence?

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “emotional intelligence” before and dismissed it as the latest buzzword. You may have even assumed team hugs and trust falls were involved. But emotional intelligence deserves your attention because it plays an important role in your overall career success. In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.

    Why You Need It 

    Having a high EQ comes in handy in today’s workplace, especially for administrative professionals. Here are five reasons why:

    1. In most jobs, collaboration is the name of the game. And to quote Liam Neeson in the movie “Taken,” regularly interacting with a wide range of personalities inside and outside the company requires “a very particular set of skills.” Being able to respond calmly and diplomatically to difficult people or challenging situations is a must.
    2. Losing control of your emotions isn’t a good look. It’s not uncommon to get a little stressed or upset at work: More than six in 10 employees we polled (61 percent) admitted they’ve let emotions get the better of them in the office. Unfortunately, others could be judging you when you can’t keep your cool. Eighty-six percent of workers said when a colleague doesn’t control his or her emotions, it affects their perception of that person’s level of professionalism.
    3. There are always bound to be conflicts and disagreements at work. If you’re an effective communicator, you’ll listen to what coworkers have to say, show empathy and come up with solutions to issues. Problem-solvers get a big thumbs-up.
    4. No one likes a Negative Nelly. When you’re a motivated individual, you strive to get things done, and that enthusiasm spreads. What office couldn’t benefit from a little positivity?
    5. You’ll make a good impression on others. Let’s face it, people who have strong interpersonal skills, maintain a friendly tone and show a genuine interest in their coworkers are just more likable. When you tap into your emotional intelligence, you also make a better leader.

    There’s a Webinar for That

    OfficeTeam is hosting a free webinar during Administrative Professionals Week on April 25 to delve more into why it’s so important for workers to have emotional intelligence, how to up your EQ and ways to show off your abilities in this area. You’ll hear from these amazing speakers:

    • Sarah Jubinville – Practice Director, OfficeTeam
    • Joshua Freedman – CEO, Six Seconds EQ Network
    • Joan Burge – Founder and CEO, Office Dynamics International
    • Kemetia Foley –  Coordinator, Research, American Staffing Association

    As if that weren’t enticing enough, the live webinar is eligible for one Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) recertification point through the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

    Register for the webinar today!

    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.


    Brandi_Britton_OfficeteamBrandi Britton is a district president for OfficeTeam, the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. OfficeTeam has 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at roberthalf.com/officeteam. Connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and the OfficeTeam blog.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post 5 Reasons Why You Need Emotional Intelligence appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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