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  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, , , , , , , Difficult People, 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 16:00:03 on 2017/09/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , Difficult People,   

    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 20:27:02 on 2017/04/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Difficult People, , ,   

    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:45:37 on 2017/04/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Difficult People, , , ,   

    Why Do Administrative Teams Have So Much Drama? 

    workplace_drama

    On a recent webinar, Joan noticed a question that caught her attention: Why do so many administrative teams have drama?

    She asked me to weigh in on this topic and I jumped at the opportunity.

    The question of why is interesting, and I’ve found there are several reasons for workplace drama. But first, let’s talk about what that word really means.

    In real terms, “drama” usually refers to interpersonal conflicts—people aren’t getting along, and it’s typically attached to petty, non-substantive reasons.

    On any administrative team, you’re likely to find a wide variety of personalities. When faced with any group of people with whom you have to work collaboratively, and when placed in an environment with those people for 40 hours a week or more, it’s not surprising that drama unfolds.

    Below, I’ve listed the 5 most common reasons I’ve seen for drama amongst administrative teams, along with some recommended solutions.

    1. Turf Wars
    This kind of drama centers around job duties. In some cases, I’ve seen assistants create tension because they’re trying too hard to protect their “territory” or intruding on the territory of others. This makes teammates feel undermined, stepped on, and at times, jealous.

    In other situations, I’ve seen team members who don’t hold up their end of things, causing their colleagues to feel frustrated and put-upon as they struggle to fill in the gaps.

    Solution: Work with others on your team to clarify roles and define individual expectations. Remember that you’re all in this together. In order for you to “win,” you don’t have to make others “lose.” Everyone needs to understand that, by working together, you’re all better off.

    2. Gossip
    I find that gossip usually focuses on other people’s intentions, motives, hidden agendas, or secret activities. When we speak about others behind their backs, we tend to speculate. We take our past bad experiences with people out on others and allow our inner-child to vent our frustrations in very unproductive, toxic ways.

    Solution: Don’t project past experiences onto others; assume everyone has the best intentions. When things go wrong, deal with them directly and at face value. Don’t say something about anyone that you wouldn’t be willing to say directly to them.

    3. Choosing Sides
    As humans, we all crave community, and nothing brings people together like a common enemy. All too often, I’ve seen entire admin teams destroyed because of interpersonal conflicts that really exist between two individuals. The group devolves into an “us versus them” mentality, and before long, the workplace feels like a high school lunchroom.

    Solution: Don’t get involved in other people’s drama. Maintain your relationships with all by being a neutral party. Stay focused on the best interests of the team.

    4. Failure to Address Issues
    When real, substantive disagreements occur, it’s easy to avoid confrontation and stifle your feelings. However, in my experience, this often leads to passive aggressive behavior. Most people are much more comfortable passively showing their emotions in subtle ways, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. Others see the behavior and feel the tension.

    Solution: Learn how to communicate your perspective in a way that is professional and respectful. Turn conflicts into constructive discussions that push the team forward. Avoiding the problems won’t make them go away.

    5. Failure to Adapt
    Finally, the biggest problem I see that creates drama, is a simple failure to adapt to the quirks of others. We are all human. That means we’re inherently flawed, but also innately valuable. On any team, you will find a variety of personalities, many of which you would likely not choose to spend time with in your personal life. That’s okay; you don’t have to! But you do have to work on a team with these people.

    Solution: Respect and accept your fellow teammates, warts and all. No one is perfect. Be willing to adapt your own preferences and natural inclinations for the good of the group. Let minor irritations go and compromise when necessary.

    I’m not a big fan of the word “drama” when it comes to describing workplace dynamics. But I suppose it’s an accurate descriptor in some cases.

    If your administrative team is experiencing drama, consider sharing these techniques in an educational setting. Do your part and remember: This is the workplace. It’s about getting a job done. We all experienced enough drama in our teenage years—and no one wants to relive those days!


    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.

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    The post Why Do Administrative Teams Have So Much Drama? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:13 on 2017/04/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Difficult People   

    Time For Administrative Professionals To Stay Vigilant! 

    training_for_administrative_professionals

    What if you had Donald Trump as a boss?

    Even if you are a Trump supporter, you cannot deny that our new President ran his entire campaign exhibiting Class A, typecast bully behavior.

    This may lead one to ask: Is this the new paradigm of acceptable behavior in the workplace today?

    From his constant barrage of insults and attacks on his opponents (and anyone else in his wake) on through his disrespectful and unapologetic attitude (both alleged and documented) toward women and minorities, Trump ran true to form to a bully personification. The message was clear: If you don’t agree with me – you’re not only wrong, you’re history!

    Even though one could claim this was “campaign mode” based on his Celebrity Apprentice playbook, he was still applying for top employer in the free world. Do bosses now have a new role model?

    In a word, NO! We have made great strides in combatting harassing behavior in the working environment. Today, if an employee (at any level of responsibility) exhibited such disrespectful conduct, the gears would be set in motion for that individual to be corrected, disciplined and maybe even fired. And, if it was a CEO who owned the business, the situation still could escalate into a hostile and costly environment.

    Employees can take heart. We have safeguards in place today and they will not be revoked (not even by an executive order). We have an established anti-harassment law with teeth in it, specific policies and guidelines in place, along with ongoing awareness training and, most importantly, swift consequences for poor behavior. Corporate America has embraced the harassment-free workplace and is not reversing its position.

    COSTS TO MANAGEMENT
    One of the reasons Corporate America is taking the respectful working environment seriously is the high cost of harassment of any kind. Unchecked, the effects are: increased stress, lower self-esteem and poor productivity among the abused, which in turn damage any organization’s effectiveness, stability and profitability. The costs rise incrementally when victims fight back because the employer allowed the situation to exist or persist.

    Harassing behaviors tend to be combinations of the following: sexual harassment verbal harassment, physical harassment and emotional harassment (the latter often referred to as “bullying below the radar”). Some behaviors can be argued as legally actionable and some cannot. However, harassment of any kind is illegal if it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment. Then, you may quickly go down the rabbit hole of legal action.

    Regardless, if any such behavior dominates an environment, fresh ideas are eliminated and employees are reduced to “yes people” who keep their heads down and their mouths shut. This may work in the short run – but not the long run (think Wells Fargo).

    If bullying behavior is tolerated, the company is damaged from the inside out by chewing up its people. Add to that, if employees have not already headed for the exits, there is what I call the “I quit but I forgot to tell you” syndrome: employees show up for work physically but check out mentally and emotionally – further draining a company’s progress.

    EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITY
    It’s a fact of business life that employees will never have the same power that their bosses have. But, this does not mean they don’t have any power.

    No professional can operate with blinders on. If you encounter or witness bully behavior you have a responsibility to follow your company’s procedures regarding a harassment complaint.

    What you do not get to do is look the other way and/or (even worse) suffer your own circumstances in silence, remember the frightening words of the German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “You become what you tolerate!”

    Unfortunately, there will always be huffing and puffing bosses and, also, ethically impaired peers who actually believe their browbeating intimidation tactics achieve legitimate business objectives. But, organizations today are working hard to keep their employees safe and avoid the costly “hostile working environment.”

    This does not mean, however, that we should not remain focused and vigilant in our efforts to maintain such an ethical environment. Organizations today are ramping up their ethics training (both on-line and in-house), establishing Ethics Departments and/or Ethics Point Persons and proactively emphasizing their Codes of Ethics/Conduct, Mission Statements and policies – benefiting us all. Most importantly, they are recognizing employees need (and deserve) a blueprint on how they are expected to behave at their particular workplace.

    How President Trump treats his own employees is an unknown to us, and how he will choose to govern as our president will unfold in the time ahead. Hopefully, he does not parody his campaign bully behavior. But, what IS known is – he does NOT get to redefine and redesign what is and what is not considered acceptable behavior in the workplace today.

    This is my challenge to all admin professionals for 2017 Admin Professionals Week: Now is the time to dial up your professional selves. We all have a responsibility to maintain an ethical and harassment-free working environment –which we can only achieve by respecting those around us – at any level of responsibility.

    This is not the “politically correct” thing to do. It’s just the right thing to do.


    Nan_DeMarsAbout the author: Nan DeMars CAP is an internationally-recognized speaker, trainer and author on the topic of Workplace Ethics. Her latest book is: You’ve GOT To Be Kidding! How to Keep Your Job and Your Integrity! (John Wiley Publishing). Contact Nan at 952-835-1148 or www.office-ethics.com

    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.

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    The post Time For Administrative Professionals To Stay Vigilant! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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