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  • feedwordpress 08:00:56 on 2020/09/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , productivity, , Team Charter, , , , , ,   

    How to Keep Your Remote Team On The Right Track 


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    Something I’ve been hearing lately from my executive leadership coaching clients is that their teams aren’t functioning as well remotely as they were when they worked face to face. Among the top symptoms productivity and effectiveness have decreased.

    Frustrating as it is, none of this is surprising. Remote teams have a different dynamic then in-person teams. One significant difference: they need a little bit more attention and clarity up front. Here is a simple but meaningful process I use in coaching remote teams to be successful and stay on track:

    Articulate why the team exists. Set aside some time for the team to work together on articulating and communicating their “why.”

    Ask your team
    What kind of team are we and what are we trying to accomplish?
    Does our work reflect our stated purpose?
    Have we gotten distracted, or are we staying true to our purpose?

    Identify the circumstances. Clarify who the team is accountable to and how accountability is reported. List any other individuals and groups that are involved in the team’s work and define their involvement.

    Ask your team
    Are we coordinating well with others who rely on our work?
    Are we meeting stakeholders’ expectations?

    Determine your goals. Define the outcomes that are expected from the team’s work as well as milestones, deadlines, and how results will be assessed.

    Ask your team
    Do the measured results of our work accurately demonstrate its value?
    Is anything getting in the way of our success?

    Decide on roles and responsibilities. Consider each team member’s strengths and perspective as you determine which individuals and small groups will be responsible for which elements.

    Ask your team
    Are roles clearly defined and executed?
    Are we making good use of a variety of skills and perspectives?

    Establish work processes. Decide together how the team’s work will be done. Be concise but make sure the essentials are clearly defined: how often the team will connect and meet and who will manage the agenda, how delays and snags will be handled, and how people working from outside the team will be managed. List things out step by step so everyone has the clarity they need.

    Ask your team
    Are our work processes effective? Do they foster creative thought and innovation?
    Are we sticking to what we agreed to?
    What new processes might help us be more effective?

    Settle on decision-making. Make sure everyone on the team understands their level of autonomy and how decisions at every level will be made. Determine whether the overall approach will be one of seeking consensus among the group’s members or relying on the expertise of those charged with each element. Outline how decision points will be raised and resolved and who has the final say.

    Ask your team
    Are we including the right amount of input?
    What surprises or frustrations have we encountered in the past?
    How might we do it differently?

    Clarify communication. Especially with a remote team, you can never communicate too much, but coordinating communication keeps people from being bombarded with so many messages that they miss things they need to know. Decide how routine and nonroutine communication will take place and determine which conversations will be archived.

    Ask your team:
    How well is our current communication plan working? Are we sticking to it?
    What methods are working particularly well? |
    What are we not doing so well?

    Verify expectations. Make sure that each team member understands what is expected of them and what they can expect of one another, and that operating principles and conflict resolution processes are clear.

    Ask your team
    Are we adhering to the objectives we created?
    Are they helping us achieve our objectives?
    What norms do we want to add or delete?
    How can we be better in the future?

    The better you define your overall objectives, resources, constraints, roles, processes and expectations, the less confusion and the fewer complaints you’ll experience. A great team charter keeps everyone informed and working toward the same goal.

    Lead from within: When you can be clear on where you are going and why, and what you have to do to be successful, people perform at their best.


    #1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Keep Your Remote Team On The Right Track appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:53 on 2020/04/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , productivity, Work Remotely,   

    How to Be Productive While Working Remotely 


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    From a distance, working from home looks great. The illusion is that it gives you more flexibility and agility to get things done. But research has found that working from home can be challenging, especially if you don’t know how to focus your energy or schedule your time.

    In my work as an executive leadership coach I have found that people who work effectively from home share certain habits. Here are some of their techniques to help you stay productive while you’re working remotely:

    They create a routine. People often think that a routine will kill their creativity and make them feel too constrained. But establishing and sticking to a routine is a great way to stay motivated and engaged, which in turns helps you be more productive. Without the structure of a traditional workplace, an individualized routine can help keep things balanced and moving forward.

    They create a to-do list for tasks. You may be going into working from home with a lot of great ideas about what you’ll be able to accomplish, but the best way to make sure those things actually get done is to set an intention and write it down. Create a prioritized to-do list to stay on top of your responsibilities. As a bonus, you’ll get the satisfaction of crossing items off as they’re completed.

    They minimize distractions. Squeeze all the productivity you can out of your work hours. You may not have scheduled meetings, coffee breaks, and impromptu discussions as in the workplace, but you have to learn to tune out housework, laundry, family discussions, and trips to the fridge. Keep yourself focused and on task.

    They set limits on work. Home may have its distractions, but it’s also easy to get lost in your work and let time pass without a clear end to the work day. And when you do, you run the risk of burning yourself out. That’s why it’s crucial to separate work from your personal time. Work hard but set limits, giving yourself healthy breaks and setting time to shut down work and make the transition to personal life.

    They set up a workstation. Designate a place for work and corner it off. That way, when you’re there, your brain is cued to focus on work. And when you need a break or the end of the work day comes, walking away will help you mentally leave work behind until you pick it back up after your break or the next morning.

    They practice self-care. Last, but certainly not least, when you work remotely it is of prime importance to take care of yourself and to stay in tune with your energy levels and mindset. Studies have found that those who work from home tend to keep working even through illness. Give yourself space and time for balance and—when you need it—healing.

    Lead from within: Working remotely can be a challenge, but learning from those who do it best can help us all do it better.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Be Productive While Working Remotely appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:33 on 2020/04/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , productivity,   

    How to Be Focused and Productive in a Crisis 


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    In times of crisis, when everyone is anxious and uncertain about the future, it’s understandably hard for people to stay on track. In those moments it’s especially important that leaders work to keep everyone focused and productive while coping with ambiguity and uncertainty. Here are some tips for helping your employees stay healthy, connected, and focused:

    Begin with yourself. You will be better able to support your team and model resiliency if you can acknowledge and manage your own stress and anxiety. As I have said for years, what you don’t own will end up owning you—so take the time to understand what you are feeling and name your emotions. Ask yourself, “As a leader, who am I going to be in this time of crisis?” and lead by example.

    Tell the truth, even if it’s harsh. Some leaders think they’re protecting people by not acknowledging difficult truths or uncertainty, but that’s not an effective—or ethical—approach. Tell the truth. Acknowledge what’s happening—including what you don’t know—keep communication flowing, and let people know their concerns are being addressed. At the same time, work to help your team stay inspired, connected and motivated.

    Help people manage their stress. Especially if your processes have changed dramatically, some of your team members may be feeling lost, unproductive and discouraged. Do what you can to let them know what they’re feeling is normal, and coach your people on stress management and self-compassion in unpredictable times. In your words and your actions, the message should always be “We’re in this together.”

    Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be. It’s important to stay in close contact with your people. Talk to them and, especially, listen to them. Work to truly understand what they think and feel, and respond to their questions and worries. Genuine listening forms a bond of trust that motivates people and helps in resolving their concerns.

    Focus on what you can control. When things feel out of control, it’s almost impossible for people to maintain focus. Do whatever you can to foster a sense of control in your team members, even if it’s only over their own actions and work schedule. Giving your employees a chance to shift their thinking to manageable issues and areas they can control will help them reduce stress and stay grounded.

    Remind them to care for themselves. It may sound strange and awkward, but when people are caught up in a crisis and the anxiety of tough times part of the leader’s job is to remind them to take care of themselves. Help your team stay focused by encouraging them to sleep, eat, exercise and spend some time outdoors. Model good self-care habits for them and encourage discussion of innovative ways to stay healthy.

    Lead from within: Employees often become unfocused and unproductive when a crisis hits. What you do in that moment will either help them or hurt them, so give them the words and example they need to stay focused so you can weather the crisis together.

     


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness


    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

    The post How to Be Focused and Productive in a Crisis appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:45:00 on 2020/03/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , productivity, , ,   

    11 Effective Ways for Assistants to Work From Home 


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    Rare and unusual times have presented themselves as a result of the onset of Coronavirus COVID-19. As an office, we learned just how many Assistants across the nation and world have become impacted. While we anticipated learning of non-essential business closures leading to working from home, we did not anticipate the high number of Assistants around the world struggling with the uncertainties, isolation and communication barriers brought on by the circumstances.

    Last week, we hosted an Understanding VUCA for Assistants webinar in which we shared adaptation traits to help our viewers navigate through constant change. During that webinar, we asked 800+ attendees around the world what their working situation was like as a result of COVID-19. The poll asked Assistants to select the option that described them: “Working from Home” or “Still Working from the Office.” The results showed that 80% of our webinar attendees are working from home (WFH).

    Furthermore, during the Q&A at the end of our webinar, many assistants shared that the shift is more demanding than working from the office. School closures have added the element of caring for children while addressing workplace demands.

    With homes now serving as a centralized location to work, eat, and sleep, many Assistants are struggling with the lack of human interaction, and being around family 24/7. Even most Virtual Assistants are feeling the demands brought on by COVID-19.

    For these reasons, I wanted to share some tips that have pulled me through times of turbulence. All of them can be applied to working from home and provide agility for these chaotic times.

    Things Not to Do:

    • Watch the news feed all day. While it may feel necessary in order to keep up with developments. Studies have shown that it leads to depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

    • Overreact. When you hear or read bad news globally or within your own family, take a moment to process it so that you can react calmly. Not only will you benefit from this method, but others around you will as well. Be the positive domino effect in the room.

    • Stay up too late or stay in bed too long during the week. You still need good rest. Sleep deprivation combined with anxiety can impact your awareness and job performance in an already overwhelming time.

    • Do not take your anger or frustration out on others. Remember the domino effect mentioned in the last two bullet points. Practice decorum to keep the peace.

    • Use this time to visit friends, online shop or complete errands around the house during work hours. Your employer has made your health and comfort priority and trusted you with your workload. Be considerate and keep with routines to maximize productivity as you normally would.

    What to Do:

    • Read and listen to words of inspiration. Have you ever heard the saying “You are what you read”? Positivity can be an inspirational and uplifting trait for you and those around you.

    • Save money for that much-needed vacation post-COVID-19. Since you are not eating out, getting your Starbucks, going to concerts or events, put aside any money you can. Once this is all over and we get back to living our lives, many of us will want to enjoy a lovely vacation.

    • Keep as much of your workweek routine as possible. One executive assistant suggested wearing your name badge during the day. I thought this was a great idea as it also sends a message to others in the house that “you are at work.”

    • To stay connected to your administrative peers and continue your education, host a book club. Everyone can read a chapter or section of a chapter before you meet online. Maybe attendees can take turns being the leader for the session.

      Talk about how you can apply the information you read to your current situations. You can find several industry-specific books on our website. I would like to suggest a great book for females that I wrote called Give Yourself Permission to Live a BIG Life.

    • Update your professional portfolio. Take time to spruce up your resume and Linkedin profile with recent job titles, courses, and certifications that give you a competitive edge. This benefits you for two reasons: 1) You’ll be ready to present this information at your next performance review. 2) Should your employment status change as a result of current events, you’ll be ready to dominate the employment market.

    • Assistants rarely take lunch breaks. Take advantage of your lunch break when working from home. This would be a good time to destress or spend time with your family, walk the dog or video chat with friends and family.

    • Connect with people using Zoom, Facetime, Skype or any of the other wonderful tools we have. We are uplifted when we see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. If communication has been an issue, suggest weekly 30-minute department meetings so everyone can share their challenges and best practices.

    • Keep very good notes on all the work that has been put on the back burner due to COVID-19. What was once a priority project may now be a back-burner project. Create a running list or add items to your calendar to revisit at a later time. When those projects pick back up, you’ll be organized and ready to go.

    • Take a little time to set up your workspace so it is functional, comfortable, and supplied. Hopefully, you can set it up in an area where you aren’t interrupted. Pinterest has a ton of ideas you can gather inspiration from.

    • Step away from your computer at least every hour and take a short break.

    • This is a good time for self and career development courses. Office Dynamics has a variety of online learning courses for Administrative Professionals.

    I would love to hear some of your ideas.

    Joan Burge

    The post 11 Effective Ways for Assistants to Work From Home appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:27:26 on 2020/03/18 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , productivity, , , , ,   

    Survival Tactics for Administrative Professionals During Chaotic Times 


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    Disasters and chaotic times dramatically impact our personal and professional lives. And while, with time most situations improve, reoccurrence in the future is inevitable.

    How do you manage external responsibilities, such as children and family, keep up with workload demands and safeguard yourself from difficult times in the world? Adaptability.

    At Office Dynamics International, Secretaries, Executive Assistants, and Administrative Assistants alike have approached us on skills, tactics, and traits to implement in order to achieve agility and survive the pressures of today’s society.

    The Administrative Professional Adapting to Working From Home

    Working from home has become a new reality for many US workers. Some of the biggest challenges experienced are isolation, time-management, and communication barriers among staff members. What’s more, as schools shut down across the US, working parents must juggle company and family priorities simultaneously.

    Working from home for an unknown period of time is uncharted territory for many. How do you adjust your routine for maximum productivity and efficiency? What should you do to deal with isolation and your sanity after being home all day with children, spouses, and pets?

    Working from the office is just as complex. Earlier this month you may have been scheduling business trips, events and negotiating with vendors. Fast forward to now; you’re vigorously putting out fires, redoing your Executive’s calendar, receiving cancellations and making them too. Business priorities have shifted, tensions are flaring and expectations are doubling each day. 

    Additionally, financial uncertainties caused by company closures and layoffs impact more than the economy, your livelihood as you know it is at stake. It takes the right mental attitude to navigate through these personal and professional complexities.

    Survival Tactics Series for Administrative Professionals

    Joan Burge has created a micro-learning series called Survival Tactics for Administrative Professionals During Chaotic Times. Receive pertinent, palpable information in 30 minutes, 2 times a week for 3 weeks.

    • Embrace a Warrior Mindset
    • Working in Tandem with Your Leader
    • Timely and Effective Communications
    • Being Resilient During Turbulent Times
    • Riding the Wave of Change
    • Self-Management and Personal Care

    While professional, financial and familial stressors will present themselves through and through, you’ll be equipped with in-demand tools to address them, and at times people, whilst maintaining your patience and decorum.

    The post Survival Tactics for Administrative Professionals During Chaotic Times appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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