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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 18:45:49 on 2019/04/09 Permalink
    Tags: , Mgr/Asst Team, ,   

    Managing Multiple Managers 


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    Managing multiple managers can be daunting. But that is the norm today. 90% of administrative and executive assistants support more than 1 person. It is a luxury if you only support one executive or manager. I know some administrative assistants who support an entire department of 60. However, they are not providing support every day to each person. Obviously, that is impossible. The tips below are for supporting a group of managers on a regular basis. Being an excellent communicator and being organized are vital skills to managing multiple managers or executives. I hope these tips help you.

    1.   Encourage managers to use uniform procedures. It really helps keep things simpler when everyone uses similar procedures.

    2.   Limit personal tasks for managers. Learn to say “no.”

    3.   Treat each manager fairly and with respect, despite your personal preference. You may not like everyone you support, but you do need to treat each person equally.

    4.   Understand each leader’s unique work style. While you may encourage uniform procedures, do pay attention to the work style that best suits each manager.

    5.   Establish a priority list for all your principal supports to see; update it frequently. Either post this in a common area or distribute it weekly. This allows all the leaders you support to be aware of what and how many project you are involved in, and it helps them understand why their work isn’t turned around in one day.

    6.   Communicate regularly with all your managers. Be sure to inform them of any delays.

    7.   Except for time-critical projects, do the senior manager’s work first.

    8.   If your managers are on the same level, complete the task with the earliest due date first.

    9.   Find out what projects are coming your way so you can plan accordingly.

    10. Ask your managers to give you project materials as sections are ready. This will help avoid any last-minute rush.

    What do you think? Do you have some great tips to share on how to manage multiple managers? 

    The post Managing Multiple Managers appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:30:32 on 2019/03/20 Permalink
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    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:00:05 on 2019/02/03 Permalink
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    Face-to-Face Time with Administrative Assistants 


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    SURPRISE!

    It’s me, Joan Burge.

    Those of you who have followed me for a while know I am a big fan of face-to-face time for executives and assistants. Face-to-face time is also beneficial for any manager who meets on a regular basis with their direct reports. Whether you are an executive or an assistant reading this Monday Motivator, here are ideas on what you can discuss when you have face-to-face time or catch up by telephone, Facetime, or Skype on a regular basis.

    E-mail Communications
    Executives and assistants can update each other on e-mail communications, whether it’s a status update or clarifying new actions to be taken.

    Visitors
    Discuss any events that will involve external visitors and anticipate actions to be taken before and during their visit. Executives: Share any important information that might help your assistant prepare for the event and ensure its success.

    Department Issues
    This is a good time to discuss any departmental problems that need the executive’s attention. Assistants are often privy to information within the department or are aware of potential personnel issues. These should be brought to the attention of the leader before a situation escalates.

    Status Updates
    Discuss updates on projects, meetings, items you are working on, and any other pertinent information. Assistants: Initiate discussion. Executives don’t like to have to ask the status of a specific project or task (nor do they have the time).

    Special Projects
    Discuss any special projects that are happening or coming up in the next few weeks. Assistants should ask what portions of the project they could work on: Is there any research to be done? Will information necessary for the project be coming from others inside or outside the company? If so, can they start assembling that information? Are presentations, graphs or charts required? If so, how many?

    Upcoming Travel
    Discuss upcoming trips so you can anticipate schedules and prepare necessary travel materials. At least bi-weekly, review the calendar for upcoming events as far as three months out.

    Training and Development
    Development happens when we take conscious action to improve. It is not a “check the box” aspect of your career; you must be intentional about it. Discuss your training and development requirements with your executive. Tell him about upcoming seminars and workshops you would like to attend and why. Be prepared to show your leader the information about the workshop, the objectives of the program, how the topics tie in with your job responsibilities, and the benefits of attending.

    Voicemails and IMs
    Discuss requests that need immediate attention or response. An assistant can return calls and take action if provided the appropriate context or required information from the executive.

    I hope you found these ideas useful. Wishing you an awesome week.

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    P.S. By the way, if you are not aware, I host a live Facebook Friday on a fairly consistent basis. So if you want to end your week on a high note and learn a few good quick tips, then follow our Office Dynamics Facebook page to get notifications or watch replays. 


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    This blog post is from Joan Burge’s Monday Motivators series. Monday Motivators is a weekly note offering practical ways to create a new mindset, change behaviors, develop positive relationships and thrive in the workplace with energy, effectiveness, and excellence. You can experience the power of self-navigation toward success. Energize your mind and drop those Monday blues! Subscribe to Monday Motivators.

    The post Face-to-Face Time with Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:41:09 on 2018/08/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Mgr/Asst Team, ,   

    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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