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  • feedwordpress 14:00:14 on 2017/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , career advice, , , , , , Monday Motivators, , , , , voice your opinion,   

    Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace 


    I hope you had a great week last week and were able to apply the tips I had for communicating with people from different generations. In case you did not read the last two Monday Motivators, I have been writing a 3 part series on communicating for business success. The first one was, Be a better communicator at work and the second was, Bridge the Generational Communication Gap.

    Today I am focusing on tactfully voicing your opinion, which is another topic I cover in our World Class Assistant Certification course.

    Throughout my career as an employee—a few decades ago—I had the need to voice my opinion to my manager, colleague, vendors, peers, and others. As a business owner, leader, trainer, coach…I still have situations occur when I need to voice my opinion. We all experience this in the workplace. For some people, it is easy to voice their opinion and for others, it is hard.

    The caution is just because someone has the courage to speak up, it doesn’t mean they are presenting it in a way that will be acceptable to the receiver. If we want our voice to be heard and to be taken seriously, we have to think about how we communicate and present our case.

    Step #1: Consider these factors. Before you even express your opinion, there are some factors you should take into consideration, such as:

    • What is the other person’s sensitivity to the issue or situation?
    • What is my experience level in the area in which I want to express my views?
    • Is it too late to express my opinion?
    • If the receiver is from a different culture, how will they accept what I have to say?
    • Are there generational differences between me and the person to whom I want to express my views? How might that impact their willingness to be open to what I have to say?
    • My mood? Am I in a low mood? A grumpy mood? Frustrated? That probably is not the time to express my opinion. This could dramatically affect the outcome.
    • Why am I even having this conversation?
    • What is my motive in voicing my opinion? What do I hope to accomplish?

    Step #2: Think about the words you will use. Resist rattling off what’s on your real mind. You want to maintain professionalism and have the receiver be open to your suggestions or views.

    Step #3: Gather facts to back up your opinion. For example, if Joe in another department consistently turns in a monthly report late, you will have a lot more leverage or chance of getting Joe to change if you were to say something like… “Joe, the January report was due on the 18th of the month; I received the report on January 25. In February, the report was due February 14; I received the report February 19.” Do you see having facts is more powerful than saying, “Joe you are always late with the monthly report.”

    Step #4: Make sure you aren’t personally attacking someone. Stay focused on the point or issue at hand or situation. It does us no good to verbally attack a person.

    Step #5: Select the best time. Timing is important. Maybe you wish to express your thoughts in a meeting to one of the attendees but you would be better off waiting until after the meeting or even the next day. Again, if we want people to be open to what we have to offer, we need to consider if this is the right time.

    Step #6: Clearly explain your point of view. Two people can be right and not be in agreement. What do I mean? I see it all the time when I coach executives and assistants. Each person has their view of a situation, expectations or performance. The executive is right and the assistant is right but they have different view or stories about what happened. Take time to explain your thoughts.

    Step #7: Consider your relationship with the other person. How long have you known this person? How will they take your feedback? Are they a superior? (You can still voice your opinion but very carefully.) Do they work within your organization or outside your organization?

    It is both important to express our views and maintain another person’s self-esteem. I encourage you to work on this vital business skill.

    Have an awesome week!

    Joan Burge

    Come see me live in Chicago for Administrative Professionals Week!


    Photo Credit: Designed by Katemangostar / Freepik

    The post Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 15:30:41 on 2017/01/16 Permalink
    Tags: , baby boomers, communication gap, , gen-xers, generational communication, , millenials, Monday Motivators, , nexters, , veterans,   

    Bridge the Generational Communication Gap 


    We can bridge the generational communication gap between Gen-Xers, Nexters, Baby Boomers and Veterans. We just have to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of each.

    If you read the January 9 Monday Motivators, you are aware that I am writing a 3 part series on communication to kick off the New Year! Communication is the umbrella of our relationships and interactions. It is at the core of what can help us be successful in the workplace. If we care about having impact and connecting with others, we have to consider the manner in which we communicate—the tools we use, the words, presentation of information, timing and so much more.

    This week I am focusing on generational differences. This is something we cover in great depth at our World Class Assistant™ Certification course in Las Vegas. I’m sure everyone reading this can relate because the various generations are all around us.

    Here are some tidbits for consideration when communicating with these 4 generations.


    Yes, they are still in the workplace and are great contributors. Some of their core values are: dedication, conformity, law and order, patience, respect for authority and believe in logic not magic. If you understand this, do you see how you would change your approach and words you use?

    • Don’t dictate
    • Recognize their hard work
    • Treat them with respect
    • Be precise and organized
    • Emphasis on work process
    • Be practical
    • Communicate in a logical fashion


    Some of the core values of boomers are optimism, teamwork, and personal gratification. They are driven and have a love/hate relationship with authority.

    • Prefer communicating in person
    • Converse with them about their work
    • Be respectful of their needs
    • Show encouragement (remember, they tend to be optimists)
    • Value their years of hard work and experience
    • They want to be kept abreast of trends


    Core values include techno literacy, fun, informality, self-reliance and thinking globally

    • Be informal
    • They love feedback, especially when they have done a good job
    • Make it fun
    • Autonomy
    • They don’t want to be dictated to; want to be a partner.
    • Quality vs. quantity
    • Share the big picture


    (Also referred to as the New Kids, Millennials, Gen Y, Echo Boomers, The Internet Generation) They tend to be optimistic, prefer collective action, social, and value diversity and morality.

    • Create participative conversation
    • Communicate electronically
    • Be supportive of their ideas and feelings
    • Avoid dictating to a Nexter
    • Build their confidence
    • Encourage them
    • Talk to them as a friend/mentor

    It is well worth taking the time to understand the various generations and communicate in a way that the individual needs. This will open more doors; create opportunities; reduce conflict; build rapport and create win-win situations.

    When did you bridge the generational communication back at work? Share with us in the comments below.

    Best of luck!

    Joan Burge

    The post Bridge the Generational Communication Gap appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 17:33:08 on 2016/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , holiday message, Monday Motivators, ,   

    In Deep Gratitude-Serving the Administrative Profession Since 1990 

    Christmas is just around the corner. I’m sure many of you are scurrying to get your holiday shopping done and attending parties.

    So, I am keeping today’s Monday Motivator short.

    On behalf of the entire team at Office Dynamics International, I want to thank you for contributing to our company’s success and for being a fan! It has been an honor and a privilege to serve all of you, whether we have met you in person, via a webinar or you have purchased one of our books. We greatly appreciate all of your positive feedback. If you have sent us any personal notes this year, thank you for taking the time to write. Your letters and emails of encouragement are appreciated and give us the desire to do more and more for you. And not just more…. But to do a stellar job at everything we do!

    We are wishing you and your families a safe and joyous holiday.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We will see you in 2017.

    Joan Burge and the Office Dynamics International Team


    The post In Deep Gratitude-Serving the Administrative Profession Since 1990 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 16:35:21 on 2016/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: #mondaymotivators, , , , , get control of your day, , Monday Motivators, , , , , , to do list,   

    10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day 


    I hope you are doing well this second Monday of December. I’ve been having a jolly time hosting daily webinars that started December 1 as a part of our 12 Days of Christmas this year. Office Dynamics is celebrating this month of giving by presenting free 30-minute webinars for 12 business days in a row. That’s a pretty heavy duty schedule but I’m having a blast. My partner-in-crime, Jasmine Freeman and I are making these webinars educational and festive. Each day we think of something new to surprise our attendees plus give away some great gifts such as on-line learning and conferences on demand. The response from our attendees has been tremendous.

    Since this is the busy season I thought I would give you my 10 quick tips from the December 1 webinar

    Ten Ways To Get Control Of Your Day

    1. Early in the day, clarify your top 5 priorities for the day. Priorities can quickly change from the time you left work until the next morning. Many managers work in the evening and even hold conference calls which can easily change the priorities for the next day.
    2. Focus on the task at hand. Truly commit to focusing on the current task, email, call, assignment or conversation. You will be so much more productive and less tired at the end of the work day.
    3. Neutralize information overload. We are bombarded with information. It not only shows up in our email and on our Facebook pages but we seek it out! You do not have to read every single thing or be on Facebook every day.
    4. Ask others for specific deadlines. By when do they need the work they are assigning you? This will help you place this new task in proper priority with your other duties.
    5. Recognize the time of day you are most productive. Are you a morning person? Or late morning person? Try to schedule the most challenging or thought-provoking tasks when you are your best. You will move through the assignment much quicker and probably do a better job.
    6. Search for alternatives; a simpler, faster way. As you go through your day, ask yourself, “How can I streamline this process? How can I get this done faster? Make this easier? Can I delegate this to someone else? Can I totally eliminate this from my to do list?”
    7. Establish some quiet time throughout the day. You should take 5 – 10 minutes around mid-afternoon to review your work load, regroup in your own mind and reorganize your priorities. Do not feel guilty taking some time for this. You will mentally jump back to work refreshed and feeling like you know where you are heading the rest of the afternoon.
    8. Delegate (at work and at home). Especially during this busy year-end and holiday season you need to delegate wherever possible. Partners and children at home can certainly jump in. Once again, do not feel guilty for delegating.
    9. Organize your workspace. This is a great time of year to organize your workspace and digital files. It feels so good to get rid of clutter. You will be ready to go when you start up work in early January.
    10. Plan ahead. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to plan for your next day. It’s also a good idea on a Friday to look at your upcoming week. What is on your schedule at home and at work? What do you need to do to prepare for that upcoming week? Are there conflicting appointments? Do you need assistance with personal errands? Are you going on vacation and need to put a hold on your newspaper? What will your executive need to be prepared for next week’s meeting?


    If you can spare 15 – 30 minutes this week, you may want to jump on one of our webinars and get motivated for your day! Attendees have also told me it’s a great break from their mundane tasks. Register to attend.

    The post 10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:05:55 on 2016/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , grab bag, manage stress, Monday Motivators, , overcome stress, , reduce stress, , , workplace stress   

    3 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays 

    Christmas is only 3 weeks away.

    manage-stress-during-holidaysEven if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I’m sure you are busy with year-end activities and preparing to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you’re like most of us, you’re feeling the “squeeze” to get it all done. (I’ll let you in on a little secret you already know: Some things will probably not get done. And that’s OK.)

    To help you stay effective, achieve more and reduce stress, here are a few proven tips on managing time during this busy season:

    • Review your approaching deadlines. Take a moment to plot out work projects, activities and events planned over the next three months. What steps do you need to take to ensure you meet those deadlines? Build them into your schedule now! (And accelerate the process if you’re facing year-end deadlines, of course.)
    • Ask clarifying questions about what’s needed and expected of you before you act on someone’s work request. This is an excellent best practice that can prevent mistakes during high-stress times when we’re often asked to “rush” certain projects.
    • Limit interruptions. Co-workers typically love socializing at this time of year, but that can cut into your precious work time. Here’s a helpful suggestion: If you’re bringing a holiday treat to the office, remove it from your desk (where co-workers will congregate) and put it in a common area, such as the lunch room, so your kind act doesn’t unintentionally thwart your productivity and create unwanted stress for you.
      Wishing you all the time in the world for the things that matter most! Remember: You’re in charge of your time – so don’t let it control you, even during the stressful holiday season.

    Joan Burge

    Bonus Tips for Managing Stress

    • Learn to live one day at a time.
    • Start saying “no” more often.
    • Get up 15 minutes earlier every day.
    • Be prepared to wait and have something to read for when you do.
    • Create order out of chaos.
    • Do something that will improve your appearance.
    • Allow yourself time every day for quiet and introspection.
    • Do especially unpleasant tasks early in the day.
    • Learn the negative aspects that go on with your job. Can you change them or do you need to accept them?
    • Set up a daily activity to renew your attitude.
    • Surround yourself with positive people and reading materials.
    • Take a mental break.

    We have some great events going on right now. Join us for the 12 Days of Christmas Webinar Event (12 Free Webinars, Give aways and Special Offers!)



    webinar deal 3

    The post 3 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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