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  • feedwordpress 15:30:00 on 2020/03/31 Permalink
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    Administrative Professional’s Day: Best Gift for Your Assistant 

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    When I worked as an executive assistant, I was always flattered on Administrative Professional’s Day when my leader would generously give me a gift in recognition for my service and hard work. It made me feel special and truly meant a lot to me. Now as an executive myself, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both sides, and I have a much different suggestion for recognizing your stellar assistant today.

    That’s right. I would like to address the leaders and executives out there and give you a word of advice. This year for Administrative Professional’s Day, reconsider the bouquet of flowers and rethink the gift cards. Yes, they are appreciated, but to put it bluntly, your assistants are hungry for more. More enrichment. More skills. More preparation. And quite honestly, you’re going to be asking more of your assistants in the coming years, so it behooves you to ensure your administrative team is prepared and well-equipped for the future.

    What is my suggestion instead of traditional gifts? Provide them with continuing education and professional development opportunities. Consider sending your assistant to a workshop, conference, or designation course. A stellar event can be transformative for an administrative assistant. If you pick the right event, you’ll see your assistant come back more confident, capable, and eager. As an executive myself, I believe this is a wise investment because:

    1. You’ll become more efficient without needing to lift a finger. A top-tier assistant can make your life easier. When a team member begins to work more effectively, everyone around them will reap the rewards.

    2. You’ll have the chance to watch someone grow. You likely hired your assistant because you saw potential in them. Next, you need to supply the water to someone you felt was a good seed. Now watch what happens.

    3. It allows you to invest in the business as a whole. As leaders, we’re always looking for the most bang for our buck. If you consider the perspective that an investment in your administrative assistant equates to an investment in the growth of your business, the dollars and cents add up.

    Take a look at the Office Dynamics website to see all of the events and conferences we host throughout the year. This is our industry, and we know it inside and out. I can assure you that sending your assistant to one of my events will yield many more dividends than any bouquet of flowers ever could.

    The post Administrative Professional’s Day: Best Gift for Your Assistant appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 14:30:00 on 2019/11/15 Permalink
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    7 Ways Executives Can Improve Communicating with Their Assistants 

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    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 14:00:16 on 2019/07/23 Permalink
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    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.?



    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 19:15:36 on 2018/11/28 Permalink
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    Administrative Training Sources – Friends of Office Dynamics 

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    We recently posted a blog that listed free training sources we provide;

    6 Free Training Sources for Administrative and Executive Assistants

    At Office Dynamics, it is our goal to elevate the level of the administrative profession through knowledge and training but that got us thinking, “What else can we do?”

    So, we are going to provide you with links to some of our friends that you can use for your professional and personal life.




    Word Trippers – Barbara McNichol

    Barbara and Office Dynamics have been working together to help improve the ability of the administrative and executive assistant with Barbara’s writing expertise.

    Barbara provides several different resources for you to enhance your writing ability and take you to the next level. Please visit her site and learn how you can improve your writing skills.

    Visit Word Trippers



    All Things Admin – Julie Perrine

    Julie Perrine is another affiliate of Office Dynamics that we just love to have around.

    Julie’s printed books, The Innovative Admin, The Organized Admin, and Become a Procedures Pro can be found in our Success Store.

    Another great source of information and knowledge!

    Visit All Things Admin


    Executive Secretary Magazine– Lucy Brazier

    With a history of cross-promotion, the Executive Secretary Magazine and Office Dynamics team have been working very hard to encourage the administrative field with forward progress and thinking.

    Lucy has a database of blogs, information, and education.

    Visit The Executive Secretary


    Admin to Admin – Lisa Olsen

    Lisa Olsen is not only the CEO of Admin to Admin but also the talented and entertaining emcee of multiple Office Dynamics Conferences.

    Admin to Admin offers a large selection of programs to learn from as well as the Admin to Admin Book Club!

    You would be missing out if you didn’t visit!

    Visit Admin to Admin


    AdminUniverse™ – Joanne Linden

    Joanne Linden is President and Master Trainer at AdminUniverse™ as well as an authorized user and training facilitator for the Star Achievement Series® created by Joan Burge, founder and CEO, of Office Dynamics International. We are very privileged to call Joanne and AdminUniverse™ our friends!

    AdminUniverse™ offers a great blog for admins to pull extensive knowledge from.

    Be sure to visit their website!

    Visit AdminUniverse™




    The post Administrative Training Sources – Friends of Office Dynamics appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 15:41:09 on 2018/08/23 Permalink
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    Understanding the Stages of Growth 

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    This infographic is created from the Executives & Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide To Success, by Joan Burge.

    To better understand the people side of the partnership equation, it’s helpful to first understand the stages of growth. Below is a slightly adapted excerpt from Joan’s Star Achievement Series® training.

    Please feel free to comment and share with your friends or colleagues. To save the photo, right click and select Save Image As.

    To order a copy of the Executives & Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide To Success, CLICK HERE.





    The post Understanding the Stages of Growth appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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