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  • feedwordpress 14:30:00 on 2019/11/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , Executive And Assistant Partnership, ,   

    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 17:00:54 on 2019/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Calendaring, Executive And Assistant Partnership, ,   

    Too Many Meetings!! – Managing My Executives Calendar – Ask an Admin 


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    tips_for_administrative_assistants

    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individuals problem but we know some of you might. Please read the question and comment below.

    April M. asks:

    My executive’s calendar is jam-packed on a daily basis & she’s asking me to come up with a better solution to managing her calendar. She needs time to do work, answer emails, etc, but the requests for meetings are constant and a lot of them are at her request. They are needed. They are necessary to schedule. But how do you balance ‘free’ time with meeting times? I block out time on her calendar, but inevitably a meeting gets put in its place. We’ve tried to do only 5 meetings per day, but more often than not it winds up being 7 or 8 or more! I made the suggestion that decisions/discussions happen over email vs. in person in a meeting – but that’s not possible either most of the time. Does anyone have a good meeting/scheduling hack they use? Any good tips for me?

    Thank you!

    Office Dynamics actually has some info on this subject (see below) but we’d love to hear what tips or advice you have. Please leave a comment below.

    We have an eBook called, Mastering Your Executive’s Calendar, a blog Calendar Management for Executive Assistants, videos, Calendar Management for Executive Assistants—the Holistic Approach, Administrative Assistant – Complex Calendar Control, Executives & Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide to Success and Managing Your Executive’s Day.

    The post Too Many Meetings!! – Managing My Executives Calendar – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:20:32 on 2019/08/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Certification and Designation, Executive And Assistant Partnership, ,   

    Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor 


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    world_class_assistant

    Some executive assistants have it. Some executive assistants don’t.

    What is it, you ask? That intangible, invaluable “wow” factor.

    Here’s the good news: It’s a learnable trait! Anyone can develop their own unique wow factor. It has nothing to do with your title or pay grade; it’s about who you are as a professional.

    The wow factor is a term we use in the World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program to describe the powerful executive presence that the most successful administrative professionals exude. These assistants know how to command a room. They remain poised even under the most intense pressure. They know how to make intelligent decisions on-the-spot.

    In short, they possess abilities that make others say, “Wow!”

    As a result, these assistants enjoy an increased level of respect and even reverence. People look up to them and listen when they speak. People ask for their opinions and guidance. People trust them. They are World Class Assistants.

    Hopefully, you’re reading this and thinking, “Yep! That’s what I want!” If that’s the case, we have a few recommendations to help you get there.

    Build Exceptional Competence
    Your core abilities are the foundation. You have to be an expert at what you do. The wow factor isn’t all about the exterior. It’s what’s inside too. You can’t have it if you don’t first have the skills to do your job exceptionally well.

    Refine Your Professional Style
    Your physical presence is a big part of the wow factor. How you present yourself, your style and your overall look create your total package. There are many elements to consider: how you dress, your body language, your facial expressions, your gestures, and more. Learn to observe the successful people around you and mirror their example. But don’t forget to incorporate your own unique touches too!

    Monitor Your Speech
    Your voice is a critically important tool for communication. It can either enhance your wow factor or detract from it. Listen to your tone, as well as the words you are using. Do you sound authoritative, composed and enthusiastic? Or do you sound scattered, timid, and weak? Others can pick up on things that are subtly hidden in your voice. Remember that the wow factor can be both seen and heard.

    Embrace Serenity
    When things fall apart (which they frequently do in the business world), some assistants fall apart too. They lose all perspective and let their stress filter into every interaction and behavior. But assistants with the wow factor are viewed as a port in the storm. They’re steady, clear-headed and focused, even when others are not. They have peace and serenity because they know, whatever happens, they have the ability to meet any challenge head-on.

    This wow-factor idea comes from our World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. If you’re looking to really develop and leverage your own unique wow factor, this “high-end boot camp” might be the perfect next step in your career evolution. The only curriculum-based designation specifically for administrative professionals, this program is designed to help you develop the skills required to really WOW your executive(s).

    The post Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:00:16 on 2019/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: , Executive And Assistant Partnership, , ,   

    Calling All Assistants—Secret to Building a Strategic Partnership 


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    Executive_Assistant_Strategic_Partnership

     

    For more than 15 years I have been teaching assistants how to build a strategic partnership with their executives. I especially spend a lot of time on this topic in my World Class Assistant™ designation course. A strategic partnership is quite different from just building a partnership with your executive or just working as a team. An example of how they would be different is that in a partnership the assistant and executive will have weekly or daily huddles. In a strategic partnership, the assistant and executive meet quarterly to discuss (in detail) the upcoming quarter. They look at every facet of what is expected to occur, new projects, how much time might they be involved, who is going to manage what, and more. This quarterly meeting will last 2 – 3 hours.

     

    There is a secret I want to share with you. As I reflect on my 20-year career as an assistant, I know something special takes place when you have a strategic partnership. It is more than the work you do. I call it The Anatomy of a Strategic Partnership.

     

    The Brains

    Use them! You and your executive use your skills to the optimum in order to be a successful duo. You arrive at the office with all your senses engaged (aka as a Cognitive Being!). You think through all the steps (i.e., beginning, middle, and finale) related to projects, situations, tasks, actions, and relationships. Your partner must be free to focus on work and think at a high level.

     

    Then to keep everything moving and engage with your executive in working together in tandem, the following skills must operate in high gear:

    • Communication
    • Organization (This includes keeping schedules, files, projects, people, your executive’s work and your own desk, flowing smoothly!)
    • Time and project management (Stop multi-tasking and partition your time for focused action. Know the deadlines to your project and manage them.)
    • Preparation (Do you arrive flustered, scattered, and blow in like the wind? Or do you arrive early, have supplies and meeting tools in place, ready to roll with the demands of business?)
    • Cooperation (This includes managing expectations, knowing where your boundaries are, teamwork, managing perceptions, recognizing you are on stage at all times.)
    • Self-management (You. Own. Your. Moods. Feelings. Thoughts. Actions.)

     

    The Heart

    You genuinely care about each other—your successes and happiness. You are aware when something is going on in the other person’s personal life that can affect their work. You also are excited when your work partner has a success, their child graduates, or their spouse receives a promotion. It is not a “weird” or “getting personal” thing. It’s all on the up and up.

     

    The Soul

    This is about using emotional intelligence (EI) which is not the same as getting emotional. There are four dimensions of emotional intelligence:

    1. Self-Awareness (I know me.)
    2. Self-Management (I manage me.)
    3. Social Awareness (I try to know you.)
    4. Social Skill or Relationship Management (I attempt to facilitate situations for a positive outcome.)

     

    I love it when an executive and his or her assistant both use emotional intelligence in building their strategic partnership. Do you see how much further your relationship will go and be improved if you apply E.I.?

     

    executive_and_assistant_partnership

    Build A Better Partnership Bundle is the perfect combination of tools for you and your executive to strengthen your partnership.

    The post Calling All Assistants—Secret to Building a Strategic Partnership appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:20:02 on 2019/07/11 Permalink
    Tags: , Executive And Assistant Partnership, ,   

    My Boss is Leaving: How Can I best Help her Transition Out? – Ask an Admin 


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    tips_for_administrative_assistants

    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individuals problem but we know some of you might. Please read the question and comment below.

    Alice S. asks:

    My beloved manager/leader/friend is leaving our company at the end of July.  Her departure is going to be shocking to her peers and direct reports.  She is well-loved, unique in her approach and will be missed.  My question is, how can I help make her transition smooth?  What things should I focus on?  Processes to create or follow?  I’m anticipating a lot of stress around this for our company once they find out next week, and want to help her prepare for it.  I almost don’t know where to begin. In over 20 years of experience, this is a first for me.

    Please share your thoughts and advice in the comments below.


    Want to learn more about Ask an Admin and how to submit your own question? Click here

    The post My Boss is Leaving: How Can I best Help her Transition Out? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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