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  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, , , , , Communication Skills, , , passive, , , workplace communication,   

    7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive 

    Assertive_vs_Aggressive_Communication

    Do you want to be more assertive?

    Learning how to tactfully voice your opinions and assert your needs as an executive assistant is important. Many assistants have crossed the line from assertive to aggressive. So what is the difference between assertive and aggressive? Isn’t being aggressive good?

    Many people confuse assertive and aggressive behavior. This is especially true of women, who until recent years, were often taught to associate passiveness with femininity. As a result women often are reluctant to take the initiative in the workplace – whether to resolve a conflict, solve a problem, or present an idea—for fear of being labeled pushy or obnoxious. 97% of administrative professionals are female.

    What’s the difference between being assertive and aggressive?

    Before I go on, let me clarify the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive. By explaining the 3 of these, it will help you better understand the differences.

    Passive: A passive person only cares about others and what they think and making sure everyone else’s needs are met. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that a good thing?” No. Not when we sacrifice ourselves or what we need to get done for the sake of others. Passive people can become resentful or blow up later, which then becomes aggressiveness.

    Aggressive: An aggressive person only cares about themselves; therefore, they don’t care what they say or how they say it as long as they get what they want.

    Assertive: An assertive person cares that their own needs are met AND cares about others. So they think about how they will communicate in a caring way and get what they need.

    We all have needs to be met in the workplace so we can do our job and finish projects on time. We also have to make sure people do not walk all over us or be a cupcake! Assertiveness is the way to go because it is the happy medium. You care about yourself and your care about others.

    Benefits of Being Assertive

    • Reduces anxiety.
    • Provides a feeling of control.
    • Increases self-esteem.
    • Builds confidence.
    • We get resolution of the situation.
    • Less stress and wasted time.
    • You choose when to push a situation or not.
    • Protects you from being taken advantage of.

    We all know the famous Mayo Clinic. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about being assertive. “Being assertive is typically viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. On the flip side, it can also help you from steamrolling others.”

    Risk is Involved
    Being assertive involves some risk because you aren’t guaranteed of the outcome. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing the situation may not turn out like you hope it will. However, you have a better chance of having your needs met with assertive action than by being passive or aggressive.

    When communicating assertively, it’s a good idea to start at the end—what you want to see happen and then work back. Make sure you clearly communicate your needs or desires. When these are communicated in a direct, tactful manner, you most likely will see the result you expected in the beginning.

    Weigh the Pros And Cons
    If you are doubtful as to whether to assert yourself in a particular situation, you should weigh the pros and cons. It is not the number of pros vs. cons that is as important as the impact of each pro and con.

    7 Steps to Be More Assertive

    1. Outwardly confront something instead of holding it in or stewing over it. Passive people hold things in. They keep their feelings buried and do not like confrontation. Therefore, they are walked over and stressed out. While you may want to take some time to think about the situation and how you want to respond, do not sit on it for days and weeks. In fact, the sooner you confront a situation or something someone said to you, the better. Just choose your words carefully.
    2. State their opinions clearly. You are entitled to your opinion. We are not clones of each other. When communicating with others take time to be clear when expressing your opinions and especially do not say anything that would hurt another person’s feelings.
    3. Walk away at your choosing. Passive people walk away because they feel intimated by a person or the situation. An assertive person walks away because “it’s” just not worth their time or energy.
    4. Are active, not reactive. Assertive people take action but they also stop and think before they take action. Again, they craft the message they want to deliver so the other person will be open to what they say.
    5. Establish deadlines. You can start this today! Many executive and administrative assistants will ask, “When do you need this?” Of course, the common answer is, “As soon as you can get it to me?” Or, “As soon as possible.” Learn to ask people, “By when do you need this?” Get the people who assign you tasks or special projects to commit to the latest date by which they need something, not the soonest. This helps the person giving you the assignment set their own priorities and helps you prioritize your workload.
    6. Do not accept inappropriate behavior. If there is anything that does not feel right or appropriate to you in the workplace, you must tell the offending person their action or words are not acceptable to you. A very simple example for assistants is the person who always comes into the assistant’s workspace and takes pencils or pens or whatever. If you don’t like that, then say something. That is a very simple example. My point is you do not have to accept behaviors that make you frustrated, stressed, or uncomfortable. My favorite saying is, “People will continue to treat you as you allow them to.”
    7. Go to the source. People have a tendency to complain to their friends or co-workers about someone at work who upset them or who they don’t like. That does not change the situation or how you feel—at least not permanently. When something arises with another person, you need to go directly to the source. Again, use positive communication skills. If you hear something via third party, make sure you have all your facts before going to the source.

    “We are learning to find a balance between being too passive and/or too aggressive, instead, learning to be assertive when presenting ideas and/or suggestions.” – World Class Assistant Part 1 Graduates (For more wisdom from these class participants check out the slideshare below by my World Class students.

    Joan Burge

    Benefits of Attending the World Class Assistant Certificate Program (as shared by course participants)

     

    Find More Information About World Class Assistant Training

    The post 7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:38:01 on 2017/10/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Communication Skills, , ,   

    How to Improve Your Presentation Skills 

    How_to_Improve_Your_Presentation_SkillsAs you climb the corporate ladder, delivering a business presentation becomes one of the most important skills that you need to learn. A business presentation has to be informative, engaging, influencing, and entertaining at the same time. If one of these four key objectives are not covered well, the effectiveness of the presentation falls down immediately.
    It is a well-established fact that planning and preparation are the two steps that cannot be compromised, and are often not overlooked but most newbie presenters fail at the delivery step. Having a dull opening with a nervous demeanor might throw your audience into an irrecoverable state of disinterest. Showing that you are passionate about the topic and delivering the presentation with full-confidence is quite important.
    Usage of visuals can help expand horizons of your presentation for far better outcomes. If you open your presentation with a jaw-dropping statistics, the chances for your audience to pay attention to the rest of content go up, drastically. The audience tends to remember these figures for a long time and your views also find better acceptance.
    Check out this infographic from Malcolm Andrews to learn how to deliver a presentation effectively and improve your presentation skills. Also, check out various things that you should adopt on and also many others that you need to avoid while delivering a presentation.
    How_to_Deliver_a_World_Class_Presentation

    The post How to Improve Your Presentation Skills appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:03 on 2017/09/07 Permalink
    Tags: Communication Skills, , ,   

    Navigate Controversial Topics In The Workplace 

    Imagine this scenario: You wander into the break room at lunch time to heat up your leftovers and perhaps grab a few minutes with a book or on social media. And then you overhear two co-workers, their voices rising a bit, talking about a controversial subject of the day, or week, or year.

    It happens, right? There’s no avoiding people with different points of view, and some of those people don’t have good boundaries when it comes to sharing those viewpoints with others at work—regardless of differing beliefs. So how do you eat your lunch and not make enemies at the same time when those situations arise?

    Well, for starters, your workplace should and can be the guide. If your workplace rules prohibit certain things, then you should follow those guidelines. You can also decide not to engage in those topics, or even try to best gauge your audience before you share any details. What other steps should you take? This graphic can help you navigate controversial topics in the workplace.

    conference_for_administrative_professionals

    The post Navigate Controversial Topics In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • 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.

     
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