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  • feedwordpress 16:15:44 on 2019/06/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Problem Solving, ,   

    Getting Things Done 


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    Getting things done in the workplace is one of my favorite topics to speak on and write about. I have been passionate about this topic for 28 years. Administrative assistants continue to struggle with how to keep up with all the demands placed upon them in a time-compressed world and yet maintain quality.

    I will share with you some of my favorite tips. And you can get more tips on this subject by going to Office Dynamics YouTube Channel.

    Coping with Conflicting Priorities

    • Ask for specific deadlines. Do not accept the “a.s.a.p.” answer. How many times do you ask a manager or someone who is giving you a task, “How soon do you need this?” The typical response is “as soon as possible.” Change your question and you will get a different response. Instead ask the person, “By when is the latest I can get this to you?”
    • Early in the day, clarify with your manager(s) what are the most important priorities. I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning as what you thought was a priority at 5:00 pm the day before, could have totally changed because your manager (like many others) is working at night and early morning. Always clarify the top 3 priorities for the day.  
    • When struggling with which “A” priority to do first, ask yourself, “What is the impact of not getting this done today?”

    Organizing Your Workspace

    An organized workspace reduces stress, gives the impression to others that you are on top of things, and saves you time.

    • Remember your workspace is a part of your professional image.
    • Your workspace is not storage space.
    • Place the most frequently used items closest to you.
    • Use desk trays to keep paper items and folders neatly organized.
    • Your inside drawers matter too.

    Neutralize Information Overload

    We are exposed to a tremendous amount of information in a day.

    • Don’t read everything that comes your way. Learn to scan information and determine which items really need attention.
    • Assess your information sources. Make sure the source of information is credible.
    • Use your highlighter to mark important information, deadline dates, or aha information. (electronic or hard copy)

    Tips to be Productive

    • Standardize your processes.
    • When given a project or task, try to get all the information at once. Many times, your manager just gives you bits of information. Be assertive and ask for more details or get the bigger picture to reduce back and forth time or going off on the wrong tangent.
    • Establish some quiet time throughout the day to re-assess your priorities.
    • Recognize the time of day you are most productive. At that time of day, do your most intense work or the work that will take a great deal of focus or brainpower.
    • Throughout the day, as you are doing your work, search for simpler and faster ways to do that task.

    Don’t confuse. . .

    . . . activity with results

    . . . hard work with results

    . . . efficiency with results.

    You can be active and very busy but running around in circles. A professional is someone who cares about the results, not just the activity.

    The post Getting Things Done appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:15:34 on 2019/06/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , Problem Solving,   

    5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? 


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    book_for_administrative_assistants

    You are a top-performing, high-achieving administrative assistant who has accomplished much. You have the fundamentals down pat and even demonstrate advanced skill sets. So where do you go from here? What might be missing from your bag of skills? Here are 5 areas that are sure to challenge you:

    Accountability

    • Accountability is about being responsible, being present.
    • We are accountable to each other and to ourselves. Even if no one is watching over your shoulder or your executive travels 90% of the time, you have to answer to yourself. When you don’t follow through—not doing your job—the department or group you support falls apart.
    • Being an accountable person means you know this life is no dress rehearsal! This is a one-shot life and you are giving it your all, every day.

    Why is accountability important?

    • Credibility—your reputation is on the line.
      • Your executives need to know that even though things shift, change, plummet, switch up or fall apart, you are the glue that will hold it together.
      • Credibility means never cutting corners. No shirking duties.

    How?

    • Whatever you talk about, you need to demonstrate.
    • Meet deadlines.
    • Be diligent.
    • Don’t make excuses.

    Change Agent

    A change agent:

    • Is someone who adds value by strategically thinking about what has always been done.
    • Adds new thought and wisdom to mundane or critical tasks.
    • Solves problems and improves the world, one day at a time.
    • Has the courage to see things that are and know they could be better.

    How?

    • Be a peacekeeper.
    • Accept fresh, new ideas.
    • Present new ideas.
    • Teach yourself to think “yes” instead of “no” when listening to others’ ideas.

    Creative Thinking

    There are numerous applications for using creativity in the workplace:

    • Improve communication.
    • Become more organized.
    • Build stronger teams.
    • Reduce costs.
    • Make a better decision.
    • Conquer the challenge of change.

    How?

    • Get comfortable with not thinking status quo.
    • Quit looking for the perfect answer.
    • Put your ego aside and quit worrying that other adults are going to think you are silly or frivolous.
    • Place a picture by your desk that speaks to your creative side.

    Decision – Making

    • Decisions are made daily, often without even realizing it.
    • Decision making is key for productivity and growth.

    How?

    • Understand the objectives and situation surrounding the issue.
    • Educate yourself on your leader’s decision-making style.
    • Consider potential blind spots and biases you may have. What areas are you ignorant about?
    • Generate possible solutions.
    • Think through and evaluate potential outcomes, possible barriers, and risk vs. advantages.
    • Decide and then evaluate your decision.
    • Avoid making emotional decisions, with only your heart. Use your head.

    Future – Focus

    • Think of the future in terms of:
      • new projects
      • outcomes
      • goals
      • your executive’s calendar
      • important upcoming event
      • potential business
    • Consider trends and changes in technology.
    • Read blogs, articles and materials written by trend analysts. Studying the movers and shakers who create the curve, set the trends and define what the future might be in a week, month or year, makes you valuable to your managers and organization.
    • Being a future thinker will decrease your pressure and stress.
    • For seasoned assistants, future thinking helps ensure you do not become obsolete.

    How?

    • Pay attention to the present.
    • Read and anticipate the domino effect.
    • Listen.
    • Visualize your desired results.

    I hope that these tips will help you become that high-achieving administrative assistant!

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    The post 5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:12:44 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Problem Solving   

    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 17:30:48 on 2019/05/16 Permalink
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    How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin 


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    training_for_administrative_assistants

    Welcome back to Ask an Admin! The blog series that allows administrative professionals to ask any questions they may have and have their peers give the best advice they can provide.

    This week Stacey asks:

    I am the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, and the only assistant (the only admin, really) at this location. Coworkers leave documents on my desk; the expectation is that I secure the signature of the President and CEO, and then return it to the requestor (who’s assistant am I, anyway?). I would like to know how does an administrative professional set up an official process to obtain signatures and return the documents, but I could use some advice. How do other assistants deal with this? Or am I just being a jerk for not wanting to run other people’s signed documents all over the building to return them?

    Thanks a lot for your time!

    Stacey does ask a great question. This administrative professional has documents that need to be signed by the President and CEO then has to run the signed papers back to her co-workers. So, how does an administrative professional set up an official process?


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

    The post How does an Administrative Professional Set Up an Official Process? Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • 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.

     
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