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  • feedwordpress 18:08:16 on 2019/05/02 Permalink
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    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.

    joan_burge_signature

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

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:42 on 2019/03/19 Permalink
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    Administrative Professionals Not Getting Respect – Ask an Admin 


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    Ask an admin is your place to ask your question and have other administrative professionals, from around the world, give you their advice based on their experiences.

    This administrative professional, Seething in the South, asks us:

    What do you do? How do you handle…..a Manager who doesn’t acknowledge or respect my contributions? This isn’t the first time I’ve been dissed.

    Part of me says to put on your big girl pants and ignore it—AGAIN, and part of me says address it to clear the air, but then be labeled a typical, needy, overly-sensitive female (yes, he’s a known chauvinist).

    This happened yesterday:

    One of my responsibilities is coordinating all of our Company finances into a Quarterly Report with a lengthy CEO letter that all gets processed in In-Design. I’ve been doing it for many years.

    I have been requested to cover for the CEO’s EA while on maternity leave. I needed to prepare the Board Presentation and communicate directly with our the EAs of our outside Board members. I was honored as it’s a highly-visible project and was up for the task. It also meant I needed to learn a completely new data-sharing software package. It’s a very busy time for me because the Quarterly Report gets processed at the same time but I knew I could do it and I did.

    Long story, my Manager sent a thank you, great job, presentation was great, etc. and you all can take a day off an email to the entire team working on this, except for me. I found this out because a recipient of the email forwarded it to me. I’m upset because I went above and beyond to get this done and didn’t even get a thank you. No acknowledgment that it was a lot of extra work and learning outside of my normal. I could care less about the day off...but a little thanks goes a long way.

    SEETHING IN THE SOUTH

    Oh my. What an interesting situation. Here we have an administrative professional that sounds like she did an amazing job covering and learning what was necessary but wasn’t thanked accordingly. So, how do we address this? Or do we because it’s expected that have to go above and beyond in situations like this? What do you think this seething administrative professional should do?


    About Ask an Admin:

    Ask an Admin will be a weekly post on our blog that presents a question that you or a fellow administrative professional submitted to us. We will choose one question per week and post it on our blog.

    If you have a question that you would like to submit, please send it to officedynamics.aaa@gmail.com and include the name you would like us to use.

    If you want to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any posts, please visit https://officedynamics.com/blog/ and subscribe in the right-hand column.

    ATTENTION: If you’ve submitted your response on our Ask an Admin blog post, please be patient to see your response and other responses. We have to manually approve them to prevent spammers and profanity. If you do not see your response right away, please give it time and revisit. We apologize for this but this is the best way we can keep YOUR blog clean! Thank you, everyone!

    The post Administrative Professionals Not Getting Respect – Ask an Admin appeared first on Executive And Administrative Assistant Training - Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:37:54 on 2019/03/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , Executive And Assistant Partnership,   

    Communicating with your Executive – Ask an Admin 


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    Welcome back to Ask an Admin, the best place to get peer to peer advice for administrative assistants and executive assistants!

    This question comes from A Very Frustrated Admin, and the question is:

    I am at a loss and am completely frustrated. In the past, I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with executives who have been great at communicating. I’ve always been able to build a good partnership with the many different executives I’ve supported, all with different personalities and quirks, and even communication styles. But I recently had to relocate for health reasons, and take a new job in a new company. My new executive is a very nice person, but his communication is non-existent. I’ve tried speaking to him a few times now about it, but he seems to think I’m worried about my communication with him and not the other way around. And that’s not the problem. For Example, during the two weeks of Christmas and New Years, our office was closed Dec. 24th, 25th, & 26th, open the 27th and 28th. Then open the following week on the 31st, closed the 1st, and open the rest of the week starting the 2nd. 

    He worked the 27th and told me he decided to take the 28th off. No problem, I re-scheduled the meetings on the 28th to the following week. Then all day on the 27th, and the morning of the 28th he emailed me to schedule several meetings for the following week. Which I did. An hour before I was supposed to leave on Friday the 28th, our COO mentions that our CEO won’t be in on Monday, the 31st. (I support the CEO). I was never told by my executive he wasn’t coming in on the 31st, and I scheduled two very important calls for that day based on his previous emails to get the meetings scheduled right away. I texted him, to verify if he was going to come in or not, and never got a response. I texted him again on Saturday, still no response. Monday morning, 30 minutes before that first meeting, he finally texts to tell me he won’t be in and to please reschedule the two calls. I was scheduled to be off that day but was able to call into the office and get another admin to help make the changes.

    This is not the only time something like this happened. It’s a regular issue. I’ve told him many times, I need him to respond to my texts or emails. I need him to sign papers I put on his desk. And it takes days to get anything done. And then I’m the one that looks incompetent!

    Has anyone run into this before and figured out a way to “fix” the communication between you and your executive? I go home wanting to cry every day because I feel like I’m not performing at my best. I know I’m a great executive assistant, but my new executive doesn’t understand that we need to be a partnership. And I can’t get him to communicate.

    A Very Frustrated Admin

    Wow! A failing partnership between an executive assistant and a CEO can be a very tough thing to repair or establish but I know many of you out there have succeeded in accomplishing this so, let’s try to help this Very Frustrated Admin. Give us your thoughts below!


    About Ask an Admin:

    Ask an Admin will be a weekly post on our blog that presents a question that you or a fellow administrative professional submitted to us. We will choose one question per week and post it on our blog.

    If you have a question that you would like to submit, please send it to officedynamics.aaa@gmail.com and include the name you would like us to use.

    If you want to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any posts, please visit https://officedynamics.com/blog/ and subscribe in the right-hand column.

    ATTENTION: If you’ve submitted your response on our Ask an Admin blog post, please be patient to see your response and other responses. We have to manually approve them to prevent spammers and profanity. If you do not see your response right away, please give it time and revisit. We apologize for this but this is the best way we can keep YOUR blog clean! Thank you, everyone!

    The post Communicating with your Executive – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 00:00:59 on 2019/02/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , Executive And Assistant Partnership   

    Teach Your Executive How to Work with You 


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    Today, I thought I’d take a little different spin and share with you an excerpt from a chapter in my newest book for assistants, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed.

    In my early days as a secretary I didn’t know how to teach my executives how to work with me or what I needed. However, at 26, thanks to an awesome executive, I learned how a strategic partnership should work and I taught every executive after that how to work with me. Here are a few quick tips.

    • Ask for challenging assignments. Sometimes executives just don’t think to give you challenging assignments. Or often they are thinking about the time they will have to spend to teach you. I’m here to tell you, I often asked my executives to give me more, teach me, and that I would handle it. This is a huge benefit to you because you grow your skill set. You become a more valuable asset because now they are relying on you for that task or piece of the project. It also keeps you from getting bored at work, which is the worst thing to happen!
    • Maintain your processes even during busy times. You and your executive should have clear processes on every aspect of the typical tasks that need to be performed. For years I have coached executives and assistants how to implement processes on everything from daily huddles to debrief meetings, managing email, travel planning, and holding quarterly strategic meetings. What often happens is when work or business gets really crazy, processes get put aside such as regular huddles. That is when I notice the most problems occur. So first, you must have excellent processes in place. Second, stick with your processes. Or if you get off schedule because of heavy executive travel, get back on schedule as soon as possible.
    • Demonstrate what you can do for them. Don’t always ask for permission. For example, maybe you can think of a better way to spruce up your executive’s PowerPoint presentation. Don’t ask if it’s okay to change it, just change it. Show it to him. Let your executive see what you are capable of doing.
    • Communicate your desire to help and be a business partner. Don’t wait to be asked to the party. Let your executive know you want to create this partnership and the benefits both of you will derive from doing so. Now not every executive or manager will want this partnership. If you support multiple managers, you won’t have the time to build strategic partnerships with each of them. I can safely say, though, that today’s progressive leaders want to have a partnership. They have a more modern approach, which is the perfect opportunity for you to speak up.

    This week, look for ways to teach your executive how to better work with you.

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    This blog is from our Monday Motivators™, which is a weekly email sent from Joan Burge that gives you a little kick start to the week. These emails will include work advice, life advice, and sometimes how to find that good balance. To subscribe to Monday Motivators™ please click the button below.

    The post Teach Your Executive How to Work with You appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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