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  • feedwordpress 15:30:12 on 2019/08/22 Permalink
    Tags: meetings   

    What is a Meeting Planner Exactly? 

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    A meeting planner by MY definition is the go-to person and should be a key member of the design (or planning) team within an organization — be it corporate, association or otherwise — charged with the responsibility of planning and executing a meeting or special event.

    Planners utilize their project management experience, planning skills and attention to detail to help create and deliver events that meet or exceed expectations. They add value to an organization by drawing upon their knowledge of the hospitality industry to manage expenses and minimize risk by negotiating the best all-around rates and paying attention to contract terms.

    A meeting planner has the keen ability to bring the right people and resources together to create and deliver programs that best meet the strategic goals, objectives and key messages to a defined audience.

    A meeting planner is there to partner with team members to take responsibility for the things they do best which gives others more time to concentrate on the things they do best, whether it’s the day-to-day operation of a business unit or the company’s overall bottom line. Planners maximize time spent on the development and delivery of the meeting content to ensure it meets key objectives. The planner is there to help ensure the success of a program. The goal is to make the meeting host and, if applicable, make their organization SHINE.

    Meeting planners are leaders. They are strategic. They are analytical. They are solution-oriented. They are disciplined. They are diplomatic. They have a logical way of looking at a project and understanding what needs to be done to ensure success. They have the innate ability to see the big picture — to take a look at a project as a whole, break it down action item by action item, establish the systematic order within each action item for getting things done, creating an overall time table for completing all tasks and taking the responsibility for following up to make sure everyone stays on task. Their attention to detail is second to none.

    Meeting planners work well independently or as a team member. They look for ways to improve the end product and service. Planners take their craft seriously. They tend to be life-long learners and students of experiential learning. They learn through doing, through the professional organizations they belong to, and through outside studies such as Certified Meeting Professional and Certified Meeting Manager programs. 

    Where exactly the meeting planner sits within the organizational structure varies from organization to organization. It may be a function of HR as easily as it may be of Communications, Marketing or Procurement. Or, a planner could be a small business owner or wear the hat of a bride or groom, or non-profit volunteer heading up a fundraising campaign. 

    The extent to which planners are involved in meetings varies as much as where they fall within the organizational structure. Some may be involved in many or all phases of the planning process; others may be limited to execution only. Sometimes this is a cultural thing within an organization; sometimes it may be the very nature of the meeting itself. The information being shared before, during and after the meeting may be so proprietary that the fewer who know, the better. If it’s more cultural, you will just need to bide your time by doing what you are asked, know when and how to raise questions or offer suggestions and just generally work to gain the trust of the people involved. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and be a little aggressive (in a nice way, of course). For instance, if you’re working with a group who is being asked to coordinate a meeting for the very first time and you’re lucky enough to be asked to sit in on the early planning stages and you see that no one is taking notes much less putting together what I call an “Overall Meeting Action Plan” or “Business Plan” for the meeting, by all means, go ahead and take notes. Develop the best format for the “Overall Meeting Action Plan” and just do it. (There is a template for this document in my book by the way.)

    You should send out the meeting notes along with a draft of what your understanding of the “PLAN” is and ask for feedback. With any luck, people will appreciate what you’ve done.  If they don’t, then you’ll have to decide if you need to take a step back or keep on moving forward. Each group you work with will be different. Personalities and expectations will differ, but how you do your work and the effort you put into it must always be done with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. It takes patience, but little by little, if you keep plugging away at it, you will find yourself growing professionally. Your areas of responsibility may increase, and the trust and respect of your team will likely grow. 

    Mary Jo Wiseman, CMP | Author, “The Meeting Planning Process:  A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings” | https://www.maryjo-wiseman.net


    The Meeting Planning Process — A Guide to Planning Successful Meetings

    Get your copy today!

    The post What is a Meeting Planner Exactly? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 08:00:55 on 2019/08/06 Permalink
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    Make Sure to End Every Meeting with These 3 Things 

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    When you ask someone what they do for a living, it’s not likely that they’ll answer with “Well, I sit in meetings all day.” But when you look at the average businessperson’s schedule, it’s clear that meetings make up a substantial part of many jobs—especially for those in leadership.

    Meetings are often dismissed as a waste of time, but meetings that have a clear purpose and are well run can actually make things go more smoothly and save time.

    And what happens after those meetings is just as important.

    Dealing with meetings is a frequent topic in my work with hundreds of organizations as a leadership coach. I’ve devised a simple system to help my clients have the kind of meetings they need for the best results possible.

    An important part of that system is ending a meeting. Here are the three things you need to make sure you do before adjourning any meeting:

    Confirm key decisions. Make sure everyone is on the same page about any decisions that were made. It’s important that everyone comes away with a shared understanding, because it will help focus everyone to move in the same direction. You can ensure this by putting two quick questions to the group:

    • What topics did we discuss?
    • What decisions did we confirm?

    Agree upon next action steps. Have everyone agree upon next steps and what actions will be taken. Make it clear that you expect each step to be fulfilled as agreed upon, and that any changes or unforeseen obstacles need to be discussed as soon as they emerge. Ask the group these questions related to next steps:

    • What was agreed upon for next steps?
    • What are the deadlines?

    Create commitments. Be clear about the commitments and responsibilities that are made during the meeting so you can follow up by sending everyone involved a communication about the key objectives and actions items. The goal is for everyone to commit to accomplishing their tasks on schedule. Make sure to assign someone to check in at appropriate intervals to ensure that the commitments are being kept and, when necessary, re-evaluated in light of unexpected issues. These three questions ensure that commitments are understood:

    • Who is responsible for what?
    • How will we communicate this information?
    • Who will conduct follow-up?

    One of the biggest complaints I have from the leaders I coach is that they spend much too much time in meetings, leaving them with less time to do their jobs. But I’ve seen firsthand that a good system for meetings can limit distractions and keep everyone focused on what needs to get done so you get the results you want.

    Lead from within: Meetings happen whether we want them or not. It is what we do in our meetings that makes a difference, and with a smarter approach to meetings you can be an even smarter leader.

    #1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post Make Sure to End Every Meeting with These 3 Things appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 08:00:42 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
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    How to Make the Most of One-on-One Meetings with Your Boss 

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    Everyone wants to have good meetings, especially the one-on-one meetings with their boss. Many people dread them, but those meetings are the foundation for success. It’s possible to not only excel in them but to come away from them feeling more productive and energized. Whether you meet with your boss weekly, quarterly, or even just once a year, here are some tips for making the most of that time:

    Create an agenda. The most productive meetings have a set agenda. Establishing an agenda ahead of time gives the meeting structure and allows both of you to prepare. Several days ahead of the meeting, jot down any questions you want answered and items you want to discuss, and provide a copy to your boss.

    Show leadership. Who you are is just important as what you say and how you say it. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your abilities and speak with confidence. When you do, you reinforce the idea that you’re the right person for the job.

    Stay on track. To demonstrate your productivity and effectiveness, don’t get sidetracked by small talk except for a short set of pleasantries at the beginning. Instead, update your boss on your current projects and future plans. Don’t bombard them with too many details; let them know everything they need to stay informed without taking up too much of their time.

    Present new ideas. Show your boss that you are not only working on your current projects but developing other ideas as well. Always focus on solutions instead of problems.

    Ask for feedback. It’s great for your boss to see your strengths, but you want to also show that you’re open to development and growth, so ask for feedback. Be specific—don’t just ask “How am I doing?” but “What do you think I can do to improve in workflow?” (or leadership, management, or another area).

    Make agreements. It’s best to have an agreement with your boss about the next steps in each of the things you’re working on. Agree on the immediate way forward, and be clear about expectations.

    Be of service. End your meetings by asking your boss “How can I support you?” Taking even a few minutes to acknowledge their role can make a big difference. It shows empathy, consideration, and an eye for the big picture—and it will likely build valuable trust and goodwill.

    At the end of the day, the most effective one-on-one meetings are a two-way street: where you and your boss serve and support each other. Don’t ask yourself how you can get the most out of the meeting but how both of you can find ways to work together to advance your organization’s mission.

    Lead from within: Even if your one-on-one meetings are already working well, consider these ideas and other ways to make them more effective and successful.

    #1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Make the Most of One-on-One Meetings with Your Boss appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
    Tags: meetings, , ,   

    Calendar Management for Executive Assistants 

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    Meetings, meeting, and more meetings! In spite of all the technology, meetings have not gone away. Whether your executive is holding a virtual meeting or attending a virtual or live meeting, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you are properly scheduling meetings and making your executive’s life easier.

    As an assistant of 20 years, I had one perspective of meeting management. But now that I am the executive involved in numerous meetings, I can tell you what really is important. You must keep these things in mind when you are managing your executive’s calendar. Calendar management is an important skill. It is more than dropping in appointments on blank dates and times.

    • COGNITIVE task! Meeting planning is a cognitive task. This is something a computer will not do. Just because a date is open, it does not mean it is available. You must think about your manager’s workload, other commitments, travel, upcoming meetings, past meetings, previous week’s schedule. You must think about the time commitment related to each meeting. Some meetings don’t take long to prepare for while other meetings take a great deal of preparation. You must also think consider whether travel was involved—whether local travel or getting on an airplane. You would consider jet lag; personal appointments; time to prepare; time to wrap up a meeting; logistics; travel time. This is not a job for a robot! This takes brains, strategy, and empathy.
    • When scheduling travel or appointments, VIEW the calendar in terms of:
    • What was my leader’s schedule like last week? Did he/she travel?
    • This week’s schedule
      • How many meetings?
      • Who are the meetings with?
      • Virtual or in person?
      • Time consumed in last-minute preparation for the meeting?
      • Travel?
    • Next two weeks’ schedule
      • Travel? If so, how many days? Arriving home late? Jet lag?
      • In office—how much free time is available? What about time for my leader to work on:
        • projects
        • return phone calls
        • respond to e-mails
        • delegate
        • work on presentation?
      • Level of meetings: high-level meeting with high-level prep; low-level meetings with minor preparation time?
    • ASSESS if the meeting is necessary/essential before booking meeting. Does your executive really need to attend this meeting? Can anyone else on his/her team attend in their place? Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the meeting planner; get details before committing your executive to a meeting. 
    • KNOW your leader’s preferences and occasionally confirm preferences. While there are certain parameters for better meeting scheduling such as:
    • Don’t schedule meetings the first thing Monday mornings
      • Don’t schedule meetings after 2:00 p.m. on Friday
      • Stay away from meeting that will run into lunch hours
      • Leave time at the end of the day for your manager or executive to wrap up unfinished business; prepare for the next day; return phone calls or respond to e-mails . . .

    Every manager and executive has their personal preferences. Some executives will run like crazy going from meeting to meeting, starting early in the day and going late into the evening. Other executives want their executive or administrative assistant to set parameters. I know one executive who has a 90 minute drive into the office and does not want any meetings scheduled before 10:00 a.m. Learn your executive’s preferences and make it work!

    Even if your executive is willing to run from meeting to meeting, he or she will appreciate you leaving them space to work on a presentation or project, allow for quiet time or preparation time, and being able to go through their e-mails.


    Do you find yourself still running in circles around your executives day? Are they ricocheting from meeting to meeting? Are you having a hard time keeping up? Access our online learning video series, Managing Your Executive’s Day and start “wowing” your executive today!

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

  • feedwordpress 19:00:24 on 2019/02/27 Permalink
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    How do I Deal with an Executive that Always Says Yes? – Ask an Admin 

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    Welcome to Ask an Admin! This is where any administrative assistant or executive assistant can submit any question they have and your peers can weigh in on the conversation with their advice. There is more than one way to approach a situation or problem so we would love to hear your input!

    This week Karen asks:

    How do Administrative Professionals deal with an executive who says yes to everything?

    Background info: Our new CEO says yes via meeting requests via email, text, LinkedIn, Facebook and many other social media channels and then in an email or other post tags me asking me to set up a meeting. I’m struggling since the new CEO started in November, I have a Google doc with all of the requests have come through, ranked them via importance. He isn’t making it a priority to prioritize his schedule and also he doesn’t look at his schedule, I can email, print out or text meetings and he only wants to know what meeting is next. He can also get upset if he’s not prepped properly, but if he’s not making our meetings a priority how can I prepare him properly for success in his role?

    So it sounds like Karen may have a “button masher” (someone that just clicks approve or yes without looking) and isn’t taking the time to prep himself. Wow! This is a tough one…

    Well what does Karen need to do? What can she do?

    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!

    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.


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    The post How do I Deal with an Executive that Always Says Yes? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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