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  • 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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    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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    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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    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:08:16 on 2019/05/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Executive And Assistant Partnership, , ,   

    How Do I Tactfully Voice My Concern? – Ask an Admin 


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    Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants have to deal with a lot. Whether that is working remotely, working with several managers or executives, and sometimes supporting an entire floor of employees! Usually, these difficult situations bring up situations that leave them asking, “how do I tactfully voice my concern?”

    Heather D. asks us:

    I am a Certified Executive Administrative Professional and have been an Executive Assistant (EA) for the last 15 years to a VP of my former employer where we had a very good Business Partner relationship. I have since been forced to leave that employer almost 2 years ago now due to downsizing and am in a different EA role with a quickly growing company reporting to both the CEO and CFO.

    The role posted was framed up that I would be supporting them in the day to day activities much like an EA role does however since the day I was hired I have simply been a  “taskmaster/office manager” doing miscellaneous office/employee relations type tasks with very little interaction with either the CEO or CFO including my mid-year and end of the year evaluations. Both senior leaders have grown with the company for the last 28+ years and have never had what we know to be a true EA and aren’t interested in my role evolving to that at all. They did, however, hire a VP of Sales this past July that I was told I would be supporting as well and that he is being groomed to replace the CEO within the next 1-2  yrs. As part of this VP’s onboarding, I got to know him well and he had a true EA in the last 15 years with his former employer and would like to have one here.

    The CEO, CFO and this new VP of Sales all agreed that most of my time should be supporting him and that the VP of Sales was given the go-ahead to rewrite my job description however I don’t report to him or sit near him and both of those are necessary, in my opinion, to do this EA role the most efficiently and effectively (not to mention an accurate job description). The problem is that this company is moving and growing so quickly with “multiple hot irons in the fire” all the time that neither the CEO or the VP of Sales has had any time to see this transition through and it has been about 2 months since they last told me this transition was happening.

    My question is should I be approaching my direct leader (who I have no interaction with), the CEO or the new VP of Sales (which is who I have been working 50-75% of the time for in the last 6 months)? How do I approach this respectfully and voice my concerns in a firm manner around the current reporting/relationship structure?

    Well that is actually a very tough question! How do you tactfully voice your concern as an administrative professional without causing trouble?


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

    The post How Do I Tactfully Voice My Concern? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:30:32 on 2019/03/20 Permalink
    Tags: , Executive And Assistant Partnership, ,   

    Coaching for Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants 


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    I am happy to say that more executives are investing in their assistants by providing one-on-one coaching for them. Over the past two years, Office Dynamics has done more on-site coaching for executive assistants than we have done in the past seven years! And we continue to get more calls for this type of work.

    I love it when an executive is willing to make this kind of investment. It says that the executive and organization truly value this assistant and want to give them the tools to help them be even more effective. Typically, how this happens is that an organization will call Office Dynamics and their HR or executive will talk to us specifically about the situation or what skills they would like their assistant to develop. We provide executive assistant coaching on everything from being more assertive to professional image, communications, leadership, time management and building a partnership with the executive.

    When I or one of the Office Dynamics trainers goes on site, we sit at the assistant’s workspace for at least one day and sometimes two days and observe everything that goes on in the space. We learn how the assistant manages day-to-day processes and make recommendations for greater efficiency when necessary. We observe how the executive and assistant interact and how they manage their day. We spend private time with the assistant to learn what works well for him or her and what creates barriers to their productivity.

    After several hours of working with the assistant, we meet with the executive and the assistant to share our observations and our recommendations on how they can work more strategically and increase productivity on both sides. The last step is we help the assistant write a Professional Development Plan. This is detailed and maps out specific action steps the assistant will take. We use this information for a 30-, 60- and 90-day follow-up call with the assistant and the executive to track progress.

    Some of the changes we have seen take place are:

    • Communication with CEO
      • Had business cards made for myself and gave to CEO to travel with and distribute
      • Expressed ideas and opinions to improve processes
      • Clarify instructions to prevent rework
    • Managing CEO’s email
      • Re-edit subject line
      • Archiving old email
      • Set up priority Alert on mobile
    • Calendar Management
      • View calendars with a holistic approach
      • Enforcing my role as manager of the calendars
      • Implemented meeting/events and speaking engagement checklist
      • Pay attention to post meeting action plan, follow up
      • Constantly confirming and reconfirming meetings in case of any changes
    • Managing CEO’s office and personal life more seamlessly
      • Created a process to manage CEO’s life while I’m away
      • Continuous reminders given
      • Implemented ABC priority with work load but priorities constantly get shifted as more tasks are added
      • Successfully organized workspace
    • Create an environment that people are cognitive of my authority
      • Boundaries established
      • Assertive communication with colleagues
      • Redirect people to other resources
      • Reinforcing office policies

    On-site coaching is probably the most effective way to create change specific to an assistant’s situation because we are right here in your space seeing exactly what you deal with and how your day flows. The payoff is huge.

    Should your executive ever bring in a coach for you, see it as a good thing! On the other hand, you might request some private coaching. If in person is beyond your budget, we also provide coaching via conference calls. You may also want to invest your own funds to enlist a coach. I have had various types of coaches since I was in my 20s. They were always a great investment for me.

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    The post Coaching for Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants appeared first on Executive And Administrative Assistant Training - Office Dynamics.

     
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