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  • feedwordpress 18:12:44 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , Multiple Managers, ,   

    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.

  • feedwordpress 18:45:49 on 2019/04/09 Permalink
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    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 19:31:01 on 2017/02/27 Permalink
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    Fighting Office Dragons – Managers (1 of 3 part series) 

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    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?


    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?


    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.


    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.


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

  • feedwordpress 22:20:07 on 2017/02/07 Permalink
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    Building A Star Partnership – Free Webinar For Administrative Assistants 

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    Administrative professionals are in a unique position to build incredibly powerful partnerships with the person or people they support. The bond that exists between executive and assistant can be truly special and it can create a distinct competitive advantage in the business world.

    However, this kind of partnership doesn’t just happen. Assistants who don’t know the right strategies may find they struggle with poor communication and unclear expectations, which ultimately lead to dysfunctional relationships and lackluster performance.

    Thankfully, Joan Burge has coached more than 200 executive and assistant teams, and she has the magic formula to create the kind of partnership you never even dreamed possible! With her guidance, you’ll learn how to approach this invaluable relationship strategically, and you’ll gain priceless insight to help you reach your professional goals. Together, you and your leader will leverage your combined strengths while minimizing shortcomings, and you’ll both experience greater job satisfaction and results.

    Even those who already have strong partnerships know there is always room for improvement. Don’t miss this free webinar—the essential guide to building your star partnership.

    As an attendee, you will learn…

    • The difference between teamwork and a strategic partnership.
    • How to think like an executive. (Hint: Figure out what keeps him/her awake at night!)
    • Strategies to support multiple managers with finesse and ease.
    • Tools to help clarify your manager’s expectations.
    • Tips for resolving communication issues and getting valuable one-on-one time.
    • How to provide positive upward feedback to your manager and continue growing together.

    Build the kind of relationship you (and your executive) really want!

    Watch The Replay

    Handout: Download
    Certificate Of Attendance: Download
    Chat History: Download

    The post Building A Star Partnership – Free Webinar For Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 14:00:43 on 2017/01/30 Permalink
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    Executives and Assistants Working in Partnership — The Magic Formula 

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    executive_assistant_trainingThe most important team in the workplace is that of the executive and his or her administrative assistant. Just think about it…. they work together more closely than any other team; the assistant is responsible for running her executive’s life in addition to her own job; most executives rely heavily on their executive assistant to get the job done, be the gatekeeper, information flow manager, department liaison, decision maker, sounding board, organizer and Chief of Everything Officer.

    I have been very fortunate to have coached hundreds of executive and assistant teams over 26 years. I just finished a powerful 3-day executive and assistant coaching project with a large financial firm in Minneapolis. In addition to a formal executive training session on how to maximize the time and talents of your assistant, I privately worked one-on-one with 10 executive and assistant teams for 90 minutes each session. It was amazing and valuable!

    There are so many facets of the executive and assistant partnership that I’d like to spread my tips and advice over 2 or 3 blogs. Regardless of which side of the desk you sit, I hope you find this informative and will share this with your assistant peers, executives and managers.

    Today, let’s focus on my magic formula: People + Processes = Success! For an executive and assistant to work in tandem, they need the “people” side of the relationship and they have to have the absolute best processes and use those processes consistently. Consistency is the key word. Assistants will tell me, “Yes, I meet with my executive once and awhile.” That is not going to bring the highest level of efficiency and productivity to your team. Star executive and assistant teams meet/speak on a regular basis. This is how they keep the work and information flowing. The people side includes excellent, ongoing, regular communications (and I don’t mean texting and IM). I mean talking in person whether at the office, on the phone, or via Skype or Facetime. Of course, there are many facets that fall under communications but here is one of the most important secrets I will share with you.

    Communicating Expectations and Perceptions

    To prepare for my one-on-one coaching sessions with the executives and their assistants, each person had to complete our Office Dynamics Administrative Skill Competency Assessment. The executives completed the assessment on how they viewed their assistant’s performance; the assistants completed the assessment on how they viewed their own performance.

    There were 12 main competency areas, including appointment coordination, manager support, meeting preparation and coordination, and office communications. Under each main competency, there is a list of behaviors performed by stellar assistants. In all, there were 83 behaviors the assistants were rated on.

    Here is the interesting but not surprising part to me: 9 out of 10 executive and assistant teams were not on the same page in 48 or more areas! That means that 9 out of 10 teams were not viewing the assistant’s support or meeting the executive’s expectations in the same way. This is not unusual. I see this all the time.

    A key area of miscommunication, poor communication, and mistrust between executives and assistants is around the topic of expectations and perceptions. Many executives have a difficult time honestly and adequately expressing expectations of their assistants. In truth, they often don’t have the awareness or tools to do so. They believe they don’t have the time. These executives either know they don’t feel as supported as they would like, or they’ve come to believe that this is all there is—that their assistant is only capable of so much.

    As a result, assistants are left frustrated, wondering how they’re doing and what they’re missing. Often, assistants misinterpret signals regarding what’s needed. They don’t fully understand their role and receive little useful feedback. Most under-leveraged or under-performing assistants falsely believe they’re meeting expectations.  Others are well aware deficiencies exist but unable to determine exactly what they are, and how to improve.

    In short, executives and assistants aren’t on the same page.  This leads to resentment, anger, and lack of motivation on both sides. Understanding the written job description is not enough for Assistants to be successful. Most Human Resource professionals agree that a well-written job description still only accurately describes 50% to 75% of the actual job.

    Two-way communication is required to build a true partnership.

    Executives must gain the self-awareness to know what they need and want from their assistants. They must honestly, promptly, and clearly articulate this information. Without communicating, the executive is cheating his assistant out of important information that she needs to do the job well.

    Assistants must gain the self-awareness to know what they are delivering and whether or not that matches expectations. They must listen and inquire. They must learn to be a conduit of information. Without communicating, the assistant is cheating her executive out of the support experience he deserves.

    The idea is to work together as a team, running the ball down the field toward the same goal. Picture a football game and the players on the field. In a partnership, the assistant is helping the executive run the ball down the field rather than sitting on the sidelines just cheering him on. The assistant has skin in the game. In order to make this happen, the Assistant must understand the “score” of the work, the goals, and what qualifies as a touchdown in the executive’s eye. All of this requires exceptional two-way communication.

    As you approach this week, I’d like to challenge you to get more face-to-face or phone time with your executive or assistant.

    • Identify the top 3 – 5 day’s priorities (because they are constantly changing).
    • Discuss the day’s calendar but not just who or what is on the calendar. Executives need to give their assistants more context around each meeting so the assistant can increase her awareness. This allows the assistant to be more proactive.
    • Look at next week’s schedule and discuss what needs to be prepared this week to be ready for the following week. Does your executive need items from other people? For executives: what do you need your assistant to help you with to prepare for those meetings?
    • Debrief yesterday’s meetings that the executive attended. What action items came from each of those meetings? These would go on the executive’s or assistant’s to do list or follow up list.

    Please be sure to check our blog in the next few weeks as I will provide valuable and life-long strategies on how to create a rewarding, productive executive and assistant team.

    We are also having a FREE WEBINAR on Building A Star Partnership and you can register here.

    Joan Burge

    P.S. I will be in Chicago April 24, 2017, to kick off Administrative Professionals Week with a full day workshop for assistants called Building a Star Partnership! This workshop is sponsored by Shure Inc. and will be held at the corporate theater in Niles, IL. Learn more here.

    The post Executives and Assistants Working in Partnership — The Magic Formula appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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