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  • 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 17:00:54 on 2019/08/28 Permalink
    Tags: , Calendaring, , , Mgr/Asst Team   

    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 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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    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
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    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 18:12:44 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
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    Being an Administrative Assistant for Two Different Types of Managers – 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 the best answer to each individuals problem but someone else might! That’s why we invite you to voice your opinion and thoughts with each post that is submitted to us.

    This week Carrie S. asks us:

    I am Carrie S., an administrative assistant for two different types of managers. Two fire departments, one Chief each. One of the Fire Chief’s is younger and would like to become more organized with appointments, messages, meetings, and tasks. The drawback to my position with working at both fire departments the work week consists of two days and every other Friday. I am not in the office daily from 8-5, so I feel it is hard for me to know what his schedule is on a daily basis. He does not use Google Calendar but has an iPhone. 

    The other Chief, older, but very organized and uses online calendars and his phone as well. I set reminders on my cell and Google Calendar. When a reminder pops up, I text the Chief to let him know of the upcoming meetings. I prepare files with the documentation he will need for the meetings and leave on his desk. He uses Outlook Mail and I will add reminders to the Outlook Calendar in hopes he will see if when I am at the other fire station.

    My post is longer than I anticipated, but I want to assist the Chief anyway I can to make his life easier and more organized! 

    What are your thoughts?

    It sounds like Carrie is the administrative assistant for two different types of managers. One Chief, although older, seems to be savvier with technology and scheduling while the other Chief is struggling with that.

    What should Carrie do?


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

    The post Being an Administrative Assistant for Two Different Types of Managers – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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