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  • feedwordpress 14:30:00 on 2019/11/15 Permalink
    Tags: , Communication Skills, , ,   

    7 Ways Executives Can Improve Communicating with Their Assistants 


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    executive_and_assistant_training

    I have been fortunate to gain a three-dimensional view of communication between executives and assistants:

    I was an assistant for 20 years thus understanding what I needed from my executive so I could be effective. I worked with a variety of managers and executives, each with different personalities and communication styles.

    Since 1990, I have been the CEO of my own company and have worked with several of my own assistants. I have noticed the impact my communication (or lack of) has on my assistant’s ability to do a great job.

    Since 1990, I have been teaching executives and assistants how to improve their communications with each other. While technology is a wonderful tool to use, it creates much confusion and depending on the sender, many details can be left out.

    As an executive, if you want better results from your assistant, you need to be a better communicator. Here are 7 tips I highly advise.

      1. Be precise with the details of a project. When you provide more information about a project to your assistant, your assistant can put the pieces of the puzzle together. Your assistant will be more proactive and able to schedule the timing for the project. Plus, your assistant will be less inclined to waste time going down the wrong path.
      2. Assistants often tell me they want more direction from their executives. Yes, a rock star assistant should not need much direction but in reality, they do need direction.
      3. Clarify your expectations when it comes to tasks. What do you expect your assistant to do? Do you expect your assistant to write that thank you card? Or schedule personal appoints? Do you expect your assistant to be the lead assistant for the department? What about doing research on topics for an upcoming meeting? Many executives think assistants are mind readers. You and your assistant should have sporadic conversations throughout the year to discuss who handles what.
      4. Communicate the future. As an executive, I often have ideas in my head as to what I want to do or what is coming up in the next 3 to 6 months. Instead of waiting until we are on the heels of that particular thing, I have quarterly meetings with my assistant. In the quarterly meetings, I share what I see on the horizon over the next 3 months. We discuss these items in detail and identify the who, what, when, and where. I determine if we have the bandwidth to even do what I want to do. This list then becomes our monthly and weekly Action Item list. In our quarterly meeting, we also set priorities.
      5. Open communication is a must if you want to build a strategic partnership with your assistant. Your assistant should feel comfortable in being able to express his or her ideas and thoughts. You should be comfortable discussing areas your assistant needs to improve or if you were not satisfied with something your assistant did. You know you have a strategic partnership when you are “comfortable with the uncomfortable” conversations.
      6. Keep your assistant in the loop. I’ve always said, “The more in the loop an assistant is, the better job the assistant can do.” Your assistant needs to know what is going on. This is very difficult today as more and more executives handle their own emails, schedule their own appointments, and make their own plans. Be sure to copy your assistant on emails. Talk to your assistant about the outcomes of a meeting. Make assistant aware of special projects you will be involved in.
      7. Be interested in your assistant as a person. Do you know about their family? Hobbies? Their favorite color or food? Is your assistant dealing with a family crisis that may affect your assistant’s ability to be focused at work? There are ways to learn about your assistant as a person, without getting personal.

    There is no greater relationship in the workplace than that of an executive and an assistant. They can be a powerhouse team that impacts the business. Like any good relationship, it takes time, effort, and a desire to create that dynamic. Communicating more effectively will ensure that happens.

    Joan Burge

    Founder and CEO

    Office Dynamics International

    executives and assistants working in partnership

    The post 7 Ways Executives Can Improve Communicating with Their Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:00:52 on 2019/11/12 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills, , Telephone   

    Telephone Screening and Etiquette Skills for Administrative Assistants 


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    Top-notch telephone screening and etiquette skills are paramount regardless of industry, company size, or geographic location. Their importance hasn’t diminished in our modern world of text messages, e-mails, and online chats. What exactly am I talking about? Necessary telephone skills for assistants include how to answer the phone, take accurate messages, carefully screen calls, protect corporate and personal information, seamlessly transfer callers, use a polite and proper tone of voice, and know-how to tactfully handle difficult callers.

     

    Every time you answer the phone, you are accepting responsibility for the relevant interests of others. You are entrusted by them to use good judgment when responding to the caller’s requests for information. As a telephone gatekeeper, you are a keeper of information. It is a role of extremely high importance and one that absolutely cannot be taken lightly. As you grow and your role evolves over time, the telephone skills you develop will become increasingly vital. A gatekeeper has an incredibly high level of responsibility to ensure that they:

     

    1. Gather accurate information from the caller
    2. Clearly understand the nature of the call
    3. Recognize when a call is truly urgent
    4. Build a rapport and goodwill with the caller
    5. Use good judgment in determining what and how much information should be divulged to the caller
    6. Use tact and professionalism in all dealings

     

    At Office Dynamics, we believe this is one area where you should never stop improving. Your telephone skills have the power to either create and build or diminish and destroy valuable relationships. They can show you represent your leader with intelligence, professionalism, and courtesy. You must protect the personal privacy, security, and safety of others. There is a fine line between building rapport with the caller and guarding employee and company information.

     

    Every stellar assistant must learn to be an excellent gatekeeper for their executive and company. Accurate and efficient screening will benefit your managers, co-workers, and their families. Joan’s revolutionary new eBook, The Gatekeeper’s Guide: How to Effectively Screen Calls, will get you where you need to be. Click here to get your copy!

    The post Telephone Screening and Etiquette Skills for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:15:05 on 2019/11/05 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills, , , ,   

    Quick Tip #93: Moving With Purpose 


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    Moving with purpose is important when speaking and presenting. When done correctly, it can spell the difference between engaging and distracting listeners. The next time you have to give an important talk, try these simple tips.

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  • feedwordpress 16:08:02 on 2019/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills,   

    Give Your Readers a Break—Pick One! 


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    In wanting to cover many aspects of a topic, business writers sometimes throw down so many variables that readers have no way to gauge the importance of each. They feel weighed down trying! Look at these examples:

    1. The professor included and provided a methodology for continuing the effort.
    2. The state and local leaders developed and drafted numerous statutes.
    3. We need to appreciate and understand the factors affecting the time and place.

    The “Pick One” Principle

    You can lighten your readers’ load by applying the “pick one” principle. You’ll find it works for all kinds of writing—emails, reports, manuscripts, and more.

    The “pick one” principle asks: “Which word better describes what you want to say—the word before or after the and?” Then pick the one that adds more emphasis to your meaning.

    In Example 1, which word better conveys the meaning—included or provided? In this context, provided can cover the meaning for both—that is, if something is provided, we can assume it’s included. Pick one: provided.

    The professor provided a methodology for continuing the effort.

    Example 2 has the word and in two places, making the sentence long-winded. For developed and drafted, the more apt word is drafted because something can’t be drafted without being developed first. Pick one: drafted.

    “Pick one” also applies to making a single-word substitution. For example, state and local could be changed to government without altering the meaning in this context.

    The government leaders drafted numerous statutes.

    In Example 3, because appreciate and understand are so close in meaning, using both is like saying it twice. “Pick one” to streamline the writing. For time and place, we could substitute a single word: situation.  

    We need to understand the factors affecting the situation.

    Good Rule of Thumb to Follow

    When you reread anything you’ve written, find all the places you’ve used and, then apply the “pick one” principle wherever possible. That way, you won’t dilute the meaning of your message or needlessly weigh down your readers.

    Give them a break. Pick one!

    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 to quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent resources in your inbox, including a webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    wordtrippers_grammer_course

    The post Give Your Readers a Break—Pick One! appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:15:32 on 2019/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , Communication Skills, , ,   

    6 Ways for Assistants to Gain Respect 


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    A powerful, but underutilized, way for administrative and executive assistants to gain respect and be taken seriously is to exude executive presence. Forbes.com define executive presence as the ability to project gravitas–confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness. Furthermore, communication—including speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or situation—and appearance contribute to a person’s perceived executive presence.

    When you create executive presence, you are taken more seriously in the workplace and your voice is more clearly heard. Executive presence is a combination of business expertise, competence in a chosen profession and ability to build or connect with others. You do that by:

    1. Delivering information in “headlines.” In my World Class Assistant™ course, attendees will ask me what this means. Just think of a newspaper. We see headlines, right? So, when you are communicating with executives or managers, keep it short, simple, and to the point. They don’t have time for the back story.

    2. Communicating with passion and energy. You get people’s attention when you do this. A goal in communicating is to get people to listen to us. Maybe our goal is to get them to buy into an idea or try something new. Even daily, you can speak with more liveliness. I notice when I speak with more energy, I actually feel energized!

    3. Speaking up. Use strong and clear language. You can do this in a way that does not make you appear to be aggressive.

    4. Using a confident tone. It’s very hard to convince or persuade someone when you come across as hesitant just by the tone of your voice. I recently worked with a CEO of a top Fortune 500 company and coached his assistant. The CEO told me he does not like it when his assistant does not sound confident about something when he asks her a question. The example had to do with a meeting whereby the assistant did not sound sure of the information when questioned by her executive.

    5. Engaging people in conversation. Don’t wait for people to ask you question or start a conversation. We project confidence when we reach out to others and initiate conversation. You will be amazed at how positively people will respond to you when you pay attention to and show an interest in them.

    6. Learning to read your audience or the situation and adapt as necessary. It’s just like what I must do as a speaker and trainer. If I am good at my craft, I pay attention to my audience. I don’t just keep going ahead with what I want to say without noticing how my audience is responding. Your audience may be one or two people. But if you are to be successful, you need to be aware of what is going on with the other person and adapt, if necessary.

    In my World Class Assistant™ course, attendees get to practice projecting executive presence. We do this on the third (last) day of class. They present as a team and discuss the benefits they derived from attending the WCA course. To make it real, the assistants pretend they are presenting to their executives. Each person in the group demonstrates their newly learned skills.

    I hope you will practice the above-mentioned techniques. I am positive you will see results.

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    “Of all the programs offered by other training companies that I’ve attended, World Class Assistant™ was much more comprehensive and intense. This program is head and shoulders above the rest! It continues to help raise the bar.”

    – Jennie Forcum, CWCA

    Our World Class Assistant™ course typically sells out so act fast!  In order to deliver a cutting edge, unique experience, we intentionally keep class sizes small.  Don’t spend too long on the fence.  You’ll miss the opportunity of a lifetime!

    Learn More and Register Here.

    The post 6 Ways for Assistants to Gain Respect appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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