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  • feedwordpress 16:00:27 on 2018/09/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Problem Solving, ,   

    Make Your Meetings More Engaging 

    Whether you have been coordinating meetings for decades or days there are some simple tips to follow to make any meeting more productive and the attendees feel welcomed. There are times when meetings seem to plan themselves especially when the majority of the week is spent attending or planning several meetings! People may quickly migrate to an open room and start discussing random topics, etc. or an agenda is created, the room is reserved, but the topics are not clear. The planning doesn’t stop once an invite is sent out, does it?

    So how can you make your meetings more engaging?

    • Create a clear agenda
      • Note who needs to attend and why (their role, involvement, etc.)
      • Define a timeframe
      • Clarify the main topic and any subtopic points
      • Categorize or assign topics to attendees if appropriate
      • If necessary, provide background data before the meeting in a bullet point format
      • Develop a few questions that need to be answered (to stay on topic)
      • Request special equipment/room setup if required

     

    • Room setup
      • Reserve the room/location if necessary
      • Make sure room is set up appropriately for the specific meeting (if another meeting was there prior, can that format work for your meeting)
      • Provide a few notepads and pens in case they are needed
      • Test the equipment, monitors, lighting, temperature, etc.
      • Provide a pitcher of ice water and cups for guests

     

    • The Extras
      • If a meal is required ask about food restrictions, etc. (and provide mints or gum)
      • Provide trash/recycling bins and cleanup options
      • If guests are coming from out of town or outside the organization ensure they have directions, clear instructions on where to check in, who to ask for, etc.
      • Inform security or receptionist of incoming guests if necessary
      • Create a building map, contact sheet, etc. for invited guests
      • Make copies or provide data via a shared drive, jump drive, email, etc.
      • Take detailed minutes if appropriate
      • Keep the meeting focused on the topic during the allotted time and schedule additional meetings as needed

    I realize some of these may seem time consuming or simple, but it’s the little extras that can make a meeting more productive and the attendees more comfortable and ready to focus. With a clear agenda and appropriate setup, a meeting can be spent on the main topic, not on distractions or rearranging a room.

    What process do you always use to ensure a meeting is engaging?

     

    dana_buchanan

    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager

    The post Make Your Meetings More Engaging appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:45:11 on 2018/09/26 Permalink
    Tags: , Problem Solving, ,   

    Set Stretch Goals 

    From Joan Burge’s new book, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed (2018)

    THE BROCHURE PROMOTING AN administrative training pro­gram said, We will never make you do anything you don’t want to do. Oh heavens, I thought! Really? How do you think a person grows? This was in a brochure from a company who hosts supposedly high-level classes for assistants. Pleeeaazzz!

    Since 1990, I have been stretching assistants out of their comfort zones. I have asked them to write and give three-minute presentations; role play with participants; challenged them to think beyond the typical answer in class; project their voice; write diffi­cult development plans; and even come up on stage with me at our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. And do you know what? As scared or nervous as they were, they stepped up to the plate and they were proud of themselves afterward. Do you know what else? They got promotions, salary increases, developed bet­ter relationships with their executives; they joined committees and chaired events; they set healthy boundaries; they gained immense confidence! That’s what stretching can do for you.

    Don’t you dare settle for mediocre goals. You were not born to be mediocre. Staying in a comfort zone will eventually be your career death. Nothing great comes without discomfort.

    What is a stretch goal? It is a goal that causes you to go beyond what you know. It is a goal that challenges your thinking and basi­cally makes you uncomfortable. Please trust me on this one. It is okay to feel discomfort. Don’t be afraid of it; rather, lean into it. I would not be where I am today professionally and personally had I not set stretch goals throughout my life. Do they hurt? Yes! Sometime you will want to scream and run away and say, “I don’t want to do this.” But if you stop or if you quit, you will never know the beauty that lies on the other side.

    I will never forget when my husband, Dave, and I moved away from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I had lived in Cleveland all my life. It was my home. I had a huge family in Cleveland and I loved growing up there. I met Dave Burge when I was working for Fabri-Centers of America in Cleveland. I was a secretary working at the corporate office in Cleveland and Dave reported to my boss. Dave lived in Minneapolis. He was a District Supervisor, who with all District Supervisors, reported to my boss and had to give me their weekly travel schedules. Yes, it ended up being an ‘office romance.’ For Dave and me, it was our second marriage. When we were mar­ried, I moved to Minneapolis where Dave lived. That didn’t last too long as I was so homesick for my family in Cleveland. Dave was so in love with me, he gave up an awesome job and we moved to Cleveland where Dave worked for my dad’s company. That lasted eight years, which was really long because Dave was ready to move away after a few years.

    When we finally moved from Cleveland with our two little chil­dren, I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I had never lived away from family and Cleveland for any length of time. On top of it, we moved to South Carolina to live with Dave’s parents for a while until we found jobs. Yep, we left Cleveland with NO jobs and two kids! The little old South was nothing like the big city I grew up in. I kept wondering, “Where are the disco clubs?” After several months of pounding the pavement every day, Dave found an amaz­ing position and we moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where we lived and thrived for five years.

    Over our 34-year marriage, Dave and I moved out of state eight times and lived in twelve different homes. I tried various jobs until I finally started my own company, which was definitely out of my comfort zone. Now that I reflect on my life, it seems that I have rarely lived in a comfort zone for very long.

    The most incredible things happened to me over all those years of change and moving around. I met and still have very good friends in different states. My perspective of the United States broadened. My appreciation of diverse personalities, religions, cultures, and ethnicities has grown. I am confident traveling and going to unfa­miliar places. I have incredible memories, many good times, many hard times, but most of all, I am eternally grateful.

    Do you see I would know none of this if I didn’t venture out? I would not be who I am today without all those experiences. I would not have tons of friends and a huge support group had we not moved around. Of course, I’m not saying you should move out of state. I am saying you have to move out of your comfort zone! You can do that right where you live and where you work. Go to lunch with new people. Take on a course that challenges you. Travel to Las Vegas and attend our fabulous conference and meet assistants from countries around the world.

    The world is waiting for you—what are you waiting for?

     

    NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

    The post Set Stretch Goals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:22 on 2018/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , Problem Solving, ,   

    Getting Monday Motivated 

    We all know that Monday can be the most challenging day of the week. We also know that our mentality has a lot to do with this. But why?

    According to studies and surveys conducted over the years, there are several reasons why most of us dislike Mondays.

    We are leaving a life of being in charge. Over the weekend we have had the opportunity to be in charge of our own life. Make our own decisions and do what we want. When we come to work on Monday, some of us lose that sense of “being in charge.”

    We are leaving our family and friends. You may have spent the entire weekend with your family and friends. Laughing and having a good time but now you have to let it go and focus on work.

    We do not like our jobs. Spending time at a place you do not like being at, doing what you do not like doing, can be daunting.

    We do not like the “Office Dragons.” Office Dragons can bring us down and make the workday feel like a work week if we do not know how to “deal” with them.

    Whatever the case may be, we actually do have a choice in how we feel when it comes to a “case of the Mondays.”

    Office Dynamics offers a solution that thousands of people, just like yourself, refer to every Monday.

    MONDAY MOTIVATORS

    I greatly appreciate the Monday Motivators! How on earth does she know exactly how we are feeling sometimes???? ~ Deb C.

    Every Monday, Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics International writes an inspiring, motivational, and down to earth email that allows you to jump-start your week with a sense of empowerment and electricity that will carry you through the week.

    Let Office Dynamics help jump-start your week with words of inspiration and motivation with our Monday Motivators.

     

     

    The post Getting Monday Motivated appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 10:30:32 on 2018/08/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Problem Solving,   

    Manager Support 

    Two to Tango

    You and the person you support make up a team, even if it’s a small team. There are three stages in a team relationship. The first is learning to work together. Within that stage, each person tries to understand the other person’s work habits, communication style, and attitude. It’s a getting-to-know-you stage.

    The second stage revolves around partnership development. That encompasses knowing each other on a deeper level, such as knowing each other’s work values, specific likes and dislikes, the scope and depth of each other’s jobs, working in concert and seeing differences as assets vs. liabilities to the team.

    The third stage and probably the most rewarding one; I call synergy. It’s when two people click in spite of having different views and opinions. It results in anticipating the next step before your work partner tells you what it is or anticipating the next question he or she is going to ask.

    In this chapter, we’ll focus on the earliest stages. Stage three is often a by-product or, bonus, which comes from honing the other two stages.

    Keep Dancing

    In over 27 years of working with, interviewing, and coaching executives and office staff, I have realized that stellar teams work at building and maintaining a good relationship. They build it step-by-step and continuously monitor that relationship. There are very few teams enjoy instant rapport and work in unison. Whether you work together for one month or one year, it’s rewarding to create a star team. It makes work more enjoyable, reduces stress, and benefits the entire organization.

     

     

    This excerpt is from the book, Become An Inner Circle Assistant by Joan Burge. This is available for purchase at the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    The post Manager Support appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:28:55 on 2018/08/02 Permalink
    Tags: , Problem Solving, ,   

    Creating A Friendly Work Atmosphere 

    Create a Friendly and Approachable Atmosphere

    In our fast-paced world, people are becoming detached and desensitized. We are more transaction-based, unfocused on how our interaction is affecting other people. When you have that style of interaction with others, the world becomes decidedly colder. You must be aware of when that happens and take the steps necessary to turn it around:

    • Your body language and facial expressions provide visual clues, whether you intend them to or not. You need to be aware of messages you might be sending that you don’t want to send. You should not assume you are communicating what you think you are! You must be open to inventorying your communication style and be aware of cultural diversities that could work for, or against, you.
    • It is important to be genuinely interested when a person is communicating with you. Stopping, listening, and asking questions demonstrates your interest.
    • Assess what kind of environment you work in. Do you post a warning sign that states, “Stop. I am in a bad mood,” when you are having a rough day? Some assistants will say that is exactly the message they want to send. However, even when you are in a bad mood, which is very possible, you want to be very cautious of the message you send to peers or your manager. Sending this message is not conducive to controlling your attitude or choosing what attitude to wear each day.
    • What kinds of things do you surround yourself with that make you look unapproachable? (Your job is to support people whether you want to be bothered or not.)

    Come In with Zeal, Leave with Zen

    You go to work with zeal, having a mindset that you will conquer the day. Then you get into the office and find it is like a zoo.

    You want to leave with Zen, so you approach work by being excited about what you are doing. You approach your work with a good attitude, no matter what happens!

    You find that your work improves, and as that happens, you feel good about what you are accomplishing and how the work is moving forward.

    You are now adding value every day, and it isn’t dependent upon everything at work being perfect. You are managing your attitude (in spite of the zoo!) and so, when it’s time to go, you leave with a Zen-like peacefulness, knowing you cannot be moved by what’s happening around you.

    You form your own emotional “environment,” and in so doing, you work better and have more peacefulness. That’s how you come in with zeal and leave with Zen.

     

    This excerpt is from the book, Who Took My Pen…Again? by Joan Burge. This is available for purchase at the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    The post Creating A Friendly Work Atmosphere appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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