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  • feedwordpress 13:45:04 on 2017/04/10 Permalink
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    It’s Not the Destination . . . It’s the Journey 

    Administrative_professional

    It’s not where you end up that means as much

    As the road that you travel along.

    And it’s not the result that counts as much

    As the progress that makes you strong.

    Since it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.

    It’s not meeting your aim that matters as much

    As the course that you take day by day.

    And it’s not reaching your goal but who you touch

    As you share from your heart along the way.

    Because it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.

    It’s not the objective that’s important to meet

    As the trail’s challenge that you weather.

    And it’s not making the finish but who you greet

    As on the highway, you work together.

    You see, it’s not the destination. . . It’s the journey.

    — Arlene Alpert

    Monday Motivators, it has always been my belief that we should have mountains to climb (goals to achieve). I believe that if you do not plan where you are going, you will end up where everyone else wants you to be and that may not be what you want. We should have 1, 3 and 5-year goals; career, home, personal, health, social and spiritual goals.

    With all that said, I agree 100% with Arlene Alpert. What you do every single day along the way, who you touch, and how you contribute is critically important. And when you do reach the “goal,” it will be so much sweeter and fulfilling because it wasn’t just about you along the way. It’s about what you did that impacted your leader, peers, children, networks, clients, vendors, the receptionist at your doctor’s office, and your neighbor, that will leave a legacy; that will make you smile at the end of the day and be proud of the wonderful person you are and meant to be.

    There are people who have achieved great goals and they are empty inside. This week, see how many people you can touch because you have dreams and you want to climb mountains.

    This blog is from our Monday Motivators and is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

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    The post It’s Not the Destination . . . It’s the Journey appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:14 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
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    Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! 

    Joan_BurgeWelcome to April. Wow, where is the time going?

    April is one of my favorite months because, here at Office Dynamics, we get to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of those in the administrative profession! In case you are not aware, Administrative Professionals Week is April 24 – 28. But we celebrate the entire month of April. One of the major ways we do that is to host our annual blog-a-thon whereby we post a blog every work day in the month of April. Aside from my blogs, we have several guest bloggers providing amazing information!

    To kick off the celebration, I hosted a webinar yesterday for 5,000+ assistants worldwide whereby I revealed my secrets to success in the profession. I had 29 secrets! I would like to share just a few of them with you. If you would like to hear all of them, you can watch the replay of the live event.

    1. I didn’t always play by the rules. That doesn’t mean I did things that were unethical or illegal. I liked breaking the status quo (and I still love doing that today.) Look at work and situations in a different light. Keep your eyes open for processes that need to be changed or new processes that need to be implemented. Shake things up! One way to stand out is to shake things up in a good way.

    2. Inserted myself into my executive’s world. I didn’t wait for my executives to invite me into their world. When I was an assistant, I would take home the trade journals and periodicals my executive read so I could understand his world and understand the language. While I didn’t read every page, I certainly gained perspective. This is a strategy anyone in any profession can use.

    3. Set healthy boundaries. It is really important to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. If someone is doing something or saying something that is unacceptable to you, then you need to speak up in a professional and assertive manner.

    4. Thirst for knowledge. For some reason, I have always embraced a growth mindset. Since I got out of high school and went right into the workforce, I was hungry to learn in any way possible. I did not go to college by choice and it did not stop me from being successful in my work because I am a sponge.

    I have identified 3 levels of learning.

    1. Peer to peer (Basic, Foundational)—these are the great tips you learn from your peers; the people who are in the same job family as you.
    2. Senior assistants (Advanced)—this is when we learn from people who are in our profession but a level or two above us. When I was new in the profession, I looked to the senior assistants. I watched everything they did and how they acted (good and bad).
    3. Outside of my profession (Master)—this is where you really gain an advantage over others. You have to step outside your narrow world and learn from subject matter experts. There are millions of them! Some of my favorite people are Daren Hardy, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and Simon Sinek.

    With my thirst for knowledge, I was willing to invest in myself. Thousands of employees tell me they can’t attend training because their company won’t pay for it. That is short-term thinking and it makes me sad because it tells me that an individual doesn’t think enough of themselves to invest in their own education. As Brian Tracy says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.” I agree 100%. When you invest in yourself, you will take what you learn with you the rest of your life. And no one can ever take it away from you!

    5. Always took my administrative career seriously from early on and saw it as a profession. This is important for all assistants, managers and coworkers to remember the administrative profession is a true profession! These are the people who run the lives of top executives. These are the individuals who put up with all the stuff every day, put themselves second and third on the list, manage a multitude of responsibilities, make their executives look good, and are confidantes. They should be treated with courtesy and respect.

    If you are an assistant reading this, I hope you have a fabulous month! Please sign up for the Blog-a-thon by subscribing to the blog in the upper right corner and you will automatically receive the daily post in your inbox. Comment on the blogs and share them so you can be entered to win prizes all month long.

    If you are not an assistant and you’re reading this, please be sure to sincerely recognize the administrative support professionals in your organization. And remember to not ask your assistant to order her own flowers; which by the way, assistants don’t just want flowers and lunches. They want a long-lasting gift. If you are looking for ideas, go to the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    Happy April everyone!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    The post Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:44:45 on 2017/03/13 Permalink
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    Don’t Be a Dragon to Yourself (Part 3 of 3) 

    Self-Reflect

    If you read the past two blogs, you will know that I have been talking about office dragons. I have already written about managers as perceived dragons and co-workers.

    Today, I am talking about the third and most dangerous species: ourselves!! You can do more harm to yourself with negative thinking than any outside dragon. It is your thought process and attitude that controls your internal dragon. You have the power at any time to tame your dragon and put out the fire of any dragon-like qualities.

    Here are some ways in which we are a dragon to ourselves. Take a minute to rate yourself as you read them.

    You . . .

    • Don’t focus on the job. When you don’t focus on your work, then you make mistakes, get behind schedules, become stressed and maybe you aren’t patient with others. This is something you can control, even when others have disrupted your work flow.

     

    • Let others damage your attitude. I see this a lot in the workplace. We can’t always choose who we work with but we can choose how we respond. Don’t let other people’s negativity drag you down.

     

    • Lack assertiveness. The problem with not being assertive is we let people walk over us. Then we get upset. Our needs are not met. If you don’t feel you are assertive, take some classes. They will do you a world of good. Assertive is about getting your needs met while being considerate of others.

     

    • Don’t see your own potential. Then you don’t fulfill your dreams and become the wonderful person you were meant to be. Every person has a special gift to bring to the world. What is yours?

     

    • Try to please everyone. Of course star performers want to make sure everyone is happy. But that is unrealistic to expect that of yourself every day, every hour. You will burn out. I always say, wake up with an attitude of doing your very best but be easy on yourself when you can’t do it all in the day. And remember, sometimes it’s not your job to please every person; sometimes they have to work things out for themselves.

     

    • Take criticism personally. It’s one thing if someone is criticizing the way you look or your hair or body shape. But when you are being critiqued about your work or how you handled a situation, try to look for the lesson. I bet 75% of the working population doesn’t know how to effectively give feedback. So that means you need to disregard their body language, tone of voice, facial expression and focus on the context of what is being said. Ask yourself: “Could this person be right? Could I have done better? Should I have handled that situation differently?”

    Take the Are You a Dragon to Yourself Assessment. Are You A Dragon To Yourself?

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    The post Don’t Be a Dragon to Yourself (Part 3 of 3) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:45:37 on 2017/03/06 Permalink
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    Fighting Co-Worker Dragons (2 of 3 part series) 


     
    Hopefully, you read part 1, Fighting Manager Dragons, where I introduced and explained the topic of office dragons. In case you did not open that issue, you may want to check it out as I discussed employees’ perceptions of manager dragons and tips to success.

    Today, I want to address co-worker dragons. When I teach my Star Achievement Series® classes, I ask participants, “What are some of the things co-workers do that make them “appear” to be dragons?” Here are the common responses I hear:

    • Gossip
    • Convey a bad mood at the office
    • Bring personal problems to the office
    • Don’t perform their part of a job
    • Aren’t a team player
    • Don’t share necessary information
    • Complain
    • Have a “that’s not my job” attitude

    As I think back to my days as an employee working in various organizations, I would agree with the above responses. There really were some difficult people. But often, it is just our perception and maybe lack of knowing how to deal with people who are different from us.

    On the other side of this, we want to make sure we aren’t being a co-worker dragon. We don’t want to be the very person we don’t like. It’s not that we do the above things on purpose; it sometimes just happens because we had a bad morning at home or something is going on in our personal life or we feel overwhelmed.

    Here are some steps you can take to ensure you are not a co-worker dragon:

    1. Focus on your job.
    2. Cooperate as a team player.
    3. Avoid complaining.
    4. Show enthusiasm for your job.
    5. Keep confidential information to yourself.
    6. Show respect for co-workers.
    7. Avoid gossiping.
    8. Produce high-quality products.
    9. Assist co-workers when they need it.

    Now, what strategies can you use to handle difficult people?

    Here are some of my favorite strategies that we teach in our Star Achievement Series® course. Sometimes one strategy will work and other times, you need to use multiple strategies.

    Act … Don’t React

    Reaction cycles never end. Only when you decide to think and act independently will you progress toward your goal. Reacting is responding to your immediate feeling. It puts you at the mercy of the dragon.

    Acting is pro-active. It’s thinking through what is happening and taking positive steps. It seeks a win/win, not a win/lose. This makes you feel good about what could be a negative situation. You probably will respond differently to a situation if you act rather than react.

    Stop the Mindreading!

    Face it, we all move so fast that we seldom take the initiative to clarify things with others. Instead, we ponder a scenario, rolling it over and over in our minds. We “determine” i.e., mind read, what that person was thinking/motivated by/perceiving, without simply asking them to clarify.

    Educate the Dragon

    Some dragons don’t even know they are dragons. Think about how, when, and where you can approach the dragon to talk about his or her behaviors. Try to help the dragon see the negative impact of these behaviors, and provide positive techniques the dragon can use to combat them.

    Confront the Dragon

    There are certain dragon species you have to confront head on. You have to be careful how and when you confront the dragon, and what words you use. You want the person to know you are serious and want the dragon-like behaviors to stop.

    Keep in mind the following:

    • Make sure you have all the facts about the situation.
    • Have a plan before confronting the dragon face to face. Decide when and where you will talk to the dragon, how you will do this, and what you will say.
    • Use non-threatening language. You don’t want to lower your standards and be like the dragon. You can make your point by selecting appropriate words and being firm.
    • Let the dragon know by your speech, body language, and facial expression that you mean business.
    • Make eye contact with the dragon.
    • State your expectations for future behavior.
    • If it happens again, confront the dragon again.

    Focus on Self-change vs. Changing Others

    A good first step is communicating with the dragon. Informing someone and offering suggestions can sometimes be helpful because people don’t always see their negative attitude or behavior. In the final analysis, however, every adult does as he or she chooses. When you can’t change a situation or a person’s behavior, look at changing your view about this person. You can still control your attitude.

    Take Independent Steps Toward Your Goals

    Determine what your goals are and write them down. List the one thing you can do toward achieving those goals each day. Doing this combines the winning strategies of independent action and self-change. Setting and achieving goals gives you a sense of accomplishment. This is a positive feeling. When you feel good about who are and what you do, it naturally flows over to others.

    In closing, I would like to encourage you for this upcoming week to:

    1. Make sure you aren’t being a co-worker dragon.
    2. Professionally manage relationships that have been challenging to you in the past or new situations that might arise during this week.

    Best of luck!


    Register for the 2017 Conference For Administrative Excellence by March 31, 2017 and be entered to win the Luxury Las Vegas Package.

    Conference_for_administrative_assistants

    The post Fighting Co-Worker Dragons (2 of 3 part series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:31:01 on 2017/02/27 Permalink
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    Fighting Office Dragons – Managers (1 of 3 part series) 

    problems_with_my_managerImage Designed by Freepik

    Did my title get your attention? Last week I certified 7 people to teach my Star Achievement Series® curriculum for administrative professionals in their organizations. I spent 3 full days with these wonderful individuals who are going to create change in their companies. One of the modules in Star Achievement is all about attitude and events and feelings that affect our attitudes such as fear and intimidation.

    One of the topics I cover in that module is called Fighting Office Dragons. Participants discuss 3 species of dragons: 1) Manager, 2) Co-workers, and 3) Themselves. I have participants discuss things people in those categories do that make them appear to be a dragon. Today, I will focus on the manager dragon. Here are some common responses I hear. See if any of your responses are like theirs.

    Leaders can appear to be dragons when they:

    • don’t communicate one the employee’s level
    • give poor direction
    • don’t provide necessary information
    • show favoritism
    • don’t follow through on what they say
    • set unrealistic expectations
    • procrastinate
    • don’t resolve conflicts
    • are inflexible

    Let’s take a closer look. There really are some dragon leaders, but most of the time, leaders are not dragons. They just appear to be that way to employees. People in management positions usually have good reasons for taking certain actions and for making the decisions they make.

    Here are some questions to consider when you feel your leader or other managers are portraying dragon-like behaviors.

    What school did this dragon go to?

    Consider

    There are many management styles. Some leaders believe the best way to get people to do what they want is through intimidation and fear. Other leaders believe in empowering employees and motivating them through positive feedback. Which school of thought do your leaders follow?

    Consider

    Who were their teachers? The people your leaders worked for during their careers had an impact on them, positive or negative. Look at each leader as an individual. Consider such things as their background, who they worked for, and what kind of training they received, if any.

    Consider

    They are individuals with unique backgrounds and experiences. Each was raised in a different environment with various circumstances. What we experience as we grow up and live in a household with parents or family influences who we are as we get older unless we actively choose to change our beliefs.

    What is your dragon’s communication style preference?

    Employees who think their leaders don’t communicate clearly or provide enough information may not be taking a close look at their leader’s communications style. We all have our own way of taking in information and sending it out.

    Get to know your leader’s style of communication. Does she like information short and to the point? Does she need facts and detail? Once you identify your leader’s style, you can communicate in the way that will be most effective. Your leader will be more open to input if it’s presented in a format she likes. By not tapping into your leader’s style, you reduce openness to your information or idea. You will learn about four communication styles in Star Achieving Techniques™ (Level I, Module 2).

    Sometimes leaders are just too busy and don’t realize they aren’t communicating something of importance to their employees. They have major projects on their minds, meetings to attend, phone calls to make, and employee problems to handle. You can improve the communication process by asking questions.

    Other times employees just aren’t supposed to know everything that is going on. Leaders use their best judgment as to when to share information with staff.

    How would you like to be a leader?

    It is not an easy job. Just think of the many decisions your leader has to make. What about the people she has to supervise? Put yourself in the role of a leader for a moment. Many of the decisions your leader has to make impact people. So, as an employee, while you might think it is easy to be a manager, it is not.

    Do Leaders Really Have Unrealistic Expectations?

    Today everything moves at hypersonic speed. No matter how fast it is, we want it to go faster! Yet with the drive for speed is an equal necessity for quality. Companies can’t afford to sacrifice quality or re-work. Companies strive to have skilled, knowledgeable employees with the best products and services. They need employees who continually seek improvement and higher quality. Your company shouldn’t have to tell you to do this; you need to embrace a philosophy of continuous improvement in your work.

    It is natural for a leader to expect the best of people. It can be seen as a compliment. The leader is saying, “I believe you can do great things. I believe in your skills and abilities. I believe in you.” Is that so bad?

    An interesting facet of life in the fast lane is that due to that speed, no one stops often or long to think long and hard about what they are asking you to do really means or entails fully. Specifics and details may be unknown to your leader, or even glossed over, unintentionally.

    Your leader doesn’t always know every little detail a request might create or moment by moment, what your job entails. They don’t see that their request causes a domino-like effect, a cascade of additional workflow.

    Leaders see your position from their perspective and you see their position from your perspective. Neither of you realizes how long it may take to perform a particular task or the small army of people who may be needed. And, leaders may not recognize the demands put on you by others in activities that swirl around your desk.

    I hope you found this helpful. This week when you feel like you are dealing with a “manager dragon,” question if your perception is just your perception or a reality.

    conference_for_administrative_assistants

    The post Fighting Office Dragons – Managers (1 of 3 part series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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