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  • feedwordpress 16:15:04 on 2018/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: , Conflict Resolution, , ,   

    Adapting to Change 

    There can never be too many discussions about change. It’s constant, it’s inevitable, unexpected at times, but it can be extremely rejuvenating. No matter how many times change occurs in life, expected or not, it can seem as if you are not in control. Unexpected change disrupts a routine, but if we reevaluate the current routine and what opportunities the unexpected change offers then we take control. With a positive outlook, adapting to change provides control and allows the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

    A few of the types of change:

    • Career
    • Position or duty changes
    • Health
    • Family or home life
    • Monetary
    • Relocation

    Types of change are as vast as the types of personalities we encounter throughout life. And every single type of change can affect each of us uniquely. There are not any magic words to stop change from happening, but there are ways to adapt and be in control.

    Suggestions for adapting to change:

    • Reach out for support. Talk about the situation and listen to supportive feedback.
    • Evaluate the situation and focus on facts. What opportunities can you explore?
    • Remind yourself of accomplishments, skills you have developed and your unique traits; focus on what you do have control of.
    • Explore all options you have – even ones you may think are unlikely…change can be an opportunity to take chances; a chance to leap and focus on a dream. A friend’s daughter lost her job a few years ago and took that as a sign to go for her dream job; she now happily operates a food truck business!
    • Don’t react quickly, take time to breathe and focus. Get a game plan in place.
    • If your job has changed ask yourself if the change will be a positive or if you need to take control and make your own changes. Maybe it’s time to find a better career match.
    • Grow & learn; read, talk to mentors, attend training or a conference, watch webinars, etc. I suggest constant learning before the unexpected change occurs so you can adapt more easily

    Adapting to professional change shows professionalism and confidence. I can recall my first major professional lesson in adapting to change as if it were yesterday.

    Several years ago, I advanced into one of my very favorite career positions. I worked with an amazing team, flexible hours, great manager, excellent benefits and pay, challenges that provided skills I use to this day, an office with a great view, control of developing procedures and next to one of the best coffee shops! After three years, a new director came in, eliminated a few positions and changed my role. It happened quickly; my office was moved, hours extended, job duties increased, my favorite aspects of my job were taken away and I no longer reported to my great manager.

    I went home that evening and cried…I was devastated. I got caught up in the feeling of thinking I was not in control of the situation. After a pep talk from my husband, a great coworker and from my sister I set up a meeting with the director. I may not have control of his thoughts, but I had control over how I reacted and my confidence. Nothing he could do or say took away all of the hard work I had taken pride in and procedures I had developed (that was part of my personal pep talk).

    I typed up a list of accomplishments (quite proudly so and smiling ear to ear) and confidently carried them with me as I walked into the conference room for our meeting. He would just have to change his mind when he got to know me better and saw my wonderful list. Right?

    He was late…I was not distracted through, I stayed focused. I was armed with facts and not letting his busy schedule & late arrival shake my confidence. As the minutes turned into five-minute increments my palms started to sweat and my mouth got dry. I shook my head… ‘you got this’ I told myself as I looked at that amazing list of accomplishments!

    He did show up…25 minutes late, but I was still prepared and ready. He shook my hand, smiled and apologized for being late…we were off to a good start. I explained how I deserved some of my duties back and proposed suggestions that would allow me to keep those duties & my schedule. I spoke clearly, stayed focused on facts, my palms stopped sweating, I was doing great (patting self on back).

    Then, not even halfway through my speech, he stood up and pointed out the window and yelled THAT BIRD. Yes, bird. My heart raced, my palms started to sweat again, my mouth was so dry. I wasn’t sure how to react. He wasn’t listening, he already made up his mind and it didn’t matter what I said. Finally, as he stood behind me pointing out the window, he explained there had been a bird swooping up and down and down and up (yes, he imitated this action). He kept explaining the swooping action and then excused himself to another meeting, after confirming his decisions were final.

    I sat there alone looking out at the bird. Ah, that free bird, swooping from branch to branch, now he was in complete control. I smiled. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get upset. I focused on the things that I did have control over. I was still the same unique person, I was still a professional. My ‘ex’ manager told me he would write me an excellent letter of recommendation if I decided to move on. My coworkers offered support. The next weekend I started looking for another job, a month later I was working closer to home, the new position offered free tuition, great benefits, flexible hours, and duties I loved.

    A few months later I attended an event at the old job and walked up to the director (the birdman) and thanked him. He smiled and asked why…I explained that his decision created a door of opportunity for me and I was grateful.

    One full-time job and a few temp positions came after that one. That entire career journey led me to my current position and I’m grateful for the amazing opportunities the past several years have offered. Each decision in life, even the ones we don’t feel we have complete control over, lead us to the next step of our lives.

    Adapting to change is an opportunity for growth.

    If you stay true to yourself and confident in your uniqueness, then change is easier to appreciate. Don’t let change take charge and control. You’re in control of you and how you react. It’s OK to be disappointed, cry, be upset, but all of those emotions are temporary and should be treated as such. A change will come; expect it…welcome it…control it.

    If you are going through a change right now, especially professional change, that you don’t quite feel in control of, reach out to mentors, friends, and others. Evaluate your options and remember you are not alone, you are unique, but not alone!

    Change is opportunity…share how you deal with change in the comments below!

     

    dana_buchanan

    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

     

     

     

    August 14, 2018

    10:00 AM PT – 11:00 AM PT

    Register Here

    The post Adapting to Change appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:42:18 on 2018/06/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Conflict Resolution, , ,   

    When is it too soon—or too late—to thwart bullying? 

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    Each month we feature a question from our friends at Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Forum. Please enjoy engaging in a conversation about this month’s question.

    Question: “I’ve told myself that if my boss takes a very bullying tone to me again, I’ll speak up about it. But in the heat of the moment, I tend to weaken and not defend myself from it. If I confront him directly, should I come back to his office sometime after it’s over and we’ve both settled down, or deal with the issue right away and risk an escalating argument? Should I report his actions to someone immediately after it happens, or should I wait till I cool down so I get a better perspective and have notes? It’s not so much a question of if I try to put an end to what I think is bullying; it’s when.” – Anonymous Admin

    Feel free to leave your response below!

     

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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!” – Jennie

    The post When is it too soon—or too late—to thwart bullying? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:49 on 2018/04/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Conflict Resolution, , , , ,   

    5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee 

     

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    I’m not sure if you know that 80% of my work is onsite training for administrative office professionals so I do a lot of traveling, in fact, 100% of my clients are out of state. From this point forward, I will be traveling extensively through September.

    While traveling gets old after a while and is tiring, I love what I learn when I go on site into an organization. I see employees in action in their environments. I meet executives and have great discussions. Observing administrative professionals at work is one of my greatest moments. When I’m facilitating a full-day workshop for assistant or executives about maximizing their assistant’s time, I experience several aha moments. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I never grow weary of learning, experiencing, and coming home feeling rewarded!

    One thing I can tell you from working with top-notch organizations nationwide is that the bar is being raised for all employees across the board. Organizations are communicating that it is time to “step up your game” or you may not be in the game in months to come. I know this is hard on those of you who already contribute a great deal and truly are committed. Then we all know there are the slackers appearing to be doing work. But don’t lose hope. As spring brings everything into bloom, this is your time to bloom. This spring, let your brightest colors show through (meaning all your talents) and be in full bloom.

     

    Be a ‘value added’ employee

    How much value would you say your work adds to the organization? Have you ever thought about it? Now more than ever, not only is every employee expected to pull his or her own weight, each person’s work must add value to the organization. There are a number of ways to be what I call a “value-added” partner. Here are a few that can help you earn the rewards and recognition you deserve:

     

    1. Boost productivity. If you can think of ways to streamline your job (or the work processes in a department, for example), it’ll improve overall productivity. That means more can be accomplished in less time – and management is sure to appreciate that.

     

    1. Make money. Is there a profitable opportunity that your employer is not currently taking advantage of? Whether you are a manager or an assistant, if you are familiar with your business, you can often see ways to make money—perhaps by paying attention to competitors or watching trends. Speak up, or prepare a brief summary describing your idea. Profit-generating ideas are a sure-fire way to promote your value.

     

    1. Save money. “A penny saved is a penny earned” applies to the workplace, as well. In what ways could you help save your employer money? Propose them.

     

    1. Be proactive. Ultimately, the best way to demonstrate your value is to show you don’t have to be asked to do something. You do it because it makes sense – because it helps the business and your co-workers!

     

    1. Go the extra mile. You will be noticed. Anyone can do what is expected, but not everyone can go the extra mile. Think of ways you can take that one extra step or add that one extra special touch.

     

    Star Tip: Document your value-added efforts to ensure you reap the rewards over time. Share results with your leader as they occur, and then again at performance review time. Even if your organization has a salary freeze this year, keep doing your best. Trust me, it’ll pay off!

     

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    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

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    The post 5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Conflict Resolution, , , ,   

    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: , , , , Conflict Resolution, , , , ,   

    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:

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

     
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