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  • feedwordpress 14:30:14 on 2018/04/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Professional Image, , ,   

    Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace 

    Why_Good_Writing_Skills_Are_Important_In_The_Workplace

    Do you ever find yourself asking “Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace? Why home in (or is it hone in?) on the technicalities? Who notices? Who cares?

    Those who care about productivity, for one. Studies show that 6% of productivity in corporations is affected by poorly written communications. And that number is probably low. Still, it reflects the time wasted going back and forth, back and forth, to clarify messages that should have been clear, concise, and complete in the first place.

    Who else cares?

    Those who sign your paycheck. If your written missives are riddled with errors, you will likely fall short of getting the results expected and could be (or should be) forced to redo the work. Incorrect grammar, misused words, long-winded sentences—all too commonly found in business writing.

    Who else cares?

    The recipients of your message. Perhaps you expect them to take action on something as straight-forward as “attend this meeting,” but your message fails to convey the when, where, and/or why clearly. They’re not sure what to do; you’ve left them wondering about the meeting itself—and about your competence.

    Being impeccable in your writing is essential to doing your job well. The credibility and reputation you arduously build into your career is undermined when sloppiness gets through.

    As you strive for your best during this Administrative Professionals Month, take to heart the importance of a high level of competence in your written communications. You are judged by it constantly. The effort you make perfecting your grammar and writing skills will pay off in increased influence among those who do care.

    Be impeccable in your writing … always.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks.

    To celebrate Administrative Professionals Month, visit www.wordtrippers.com/odi during the month of April for a $30 discount on Word Trippers Tips.

    Good_Writing_Skills

    The post Why Good Writing Skills Are Important In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , Professional Image, ,   

    What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? 

    assistant_certification

    Are assistant certification courses necessary?

    At Office Dynamics, we are noticing a tremendous amount of interest in executive assistant certification or administrative assistant certification courses or programs. We regularly see interest in our certificate-based designation programs, World Class Assistant™ Certification program or our Star Achievement Series® Certification and Designation curriculum. This proves assistants are getting serious about their career and training and HR departments are valuing continued education for this role.

    More and more, administrative professionals are asking my opinion on having a certification. I hear questions like, “Will this give me an advantage in the workplace?” “Will I get more money with a certification?” “Is certification for the administrative profession becoming a requirement in the business world?”

    I am pleased that there is an interest in this topic because I am working with some top-notch organizations who are thinking the same thing – as they look to the future and what they will require of individuals coming into their organization and want to make a career in the administrative field. The good news for you is I have a lot of opinions and facts to share with you. So let’s just begin; my ideas are in no particular order, except for the first one.

    Assistant_CertificationFirst and foremost, it is not a document, paper, degree, certification or designation that makes a world class or star assistant. I have seen many assistants who have a designation from a well-known association and are not star performers in their job. I have observed on the job, at their workstation (for 2 days), executive assistants who have been in the field for 20+ years and are not stars or have ‘prima donna’ attitudes; feeling they have no more to learn or they arealready at the top of their game. I have seen young people in the profession who are smart, bright and great administrative or personal executive assistants who are very successful. In fact, in the past week, I was surrounded by 4 young, bright administrative professionals who are truly going to be successful as they continue to mature in the profession and as individuals.

    Second, I believe in all training, learning, and education. It will not hurt you to have a certification and to a potential employer, demonstrates you take your profession seriously and like to learn. When I interview people for any type of administrative position within Office Dynamics, I always look to see if they have any kind of continued learning or education on their resume. Then I focus in on whether the interviewee has taken workshops or classes in the administrative profession.

    Related Posts:

    Ok, now that I have that off my mind…

    What is going on out there with assistant certification and career paths?

          1. I am working with a few very large organizations that are going to require an administrative certification or 2-year college degree in business administrative coupled along with administrative-specific training such as our Star Achievement Series®.
          2. Understand the difference between Certificate of Completion, Certification, and a professional designation. Normally, attendees receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a seminar, workshop, online course, even webinars and more. In most cases, Certifications are obtained through associations and meeting specific requirements. There are some special situations, though, as with our Star Achievement Series® course and World Class Assistant course. We offer a Curriculum-Based Certification and Designation. Both of these programs are a series or have multiple parts. Our clients “begged” me to figure out how this could be offered as more of their administrative employees attended either program. After a tremendous amount of research and discussions with the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) (Update: now known as Association for Talent Development-ATD), I learned how Office Dynamics could offer this. In addition to attendance, there is a list of objectives students have to meet; students have to demonstrate newly-learned skilled in the class; obtain a letter from their leader stating the behavior changes observed in the workplace and more. These are “no fluff” classes, although we have great fun while learning.
          3. Be prepared for big changes in the future as employers realize their baby boomer executive assistants will be leaving the workforce in about 5 years; the administrative role has shifted tremendously in the past 10 years, and managers are technically savvy and become more independent. You will have to support leaders in a new way and the bar has definitely been raised.
          4. The need for interpersonal skills is at an all-time high and its prominence will grow. When you look for administrative classes, be sure to seek out these competencies. This role is not just about technical skill. Yes, you need to be tech savvy and learn the numerous programs. Just remember, behind the technology is a person. When you send an email, a person is opening that email. When you leave a voicemail, a person is listening to your message. Even when you IM, a person is reading it.
          5. Certification seems to have more prominence today as we daily see the interest in Office Dynamics classes that provide a certification.

          Bottom line… if I were interviewing you today, I would not require a certification or even initials after your name. It’s who you are and how you perform on the job. But since the world is now saying this is important, then a professional certification in the administrative profession could serve you well.

          What are your thoughts? Do you have an administrative designation or some special type of certification? If so, has it helped you in the workplace? Any suggestions for our readers?

    The post What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:11 on 2018/02/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Professional Image, ,   

    Fighting Office Dragons 

    Employee_ConflictI have been speaking about office dragons for years and how to professionally deal with the dragons. Dragons were huge, dominating, fictitious creatures. Medieval writers had vivid imaginations for big, scary things. For many people, work is like a dragon. It can be overwhelming and certainly dominates well over half of our waking hours. Sometimes the people we work with can be pretty “fiery” creatures to deal with, too.

    Please join me on Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT for my LIVE E-Course, Fighting Office Dragons. Reserve your spot now.

    There are many dragon species at work. Three of the most common perceived species are leaders, co-workers, and self. We are going to look at:

    1. The behaviors of each species that makes them appear to be like a dragon. Notice, I said the word appear.
    2. How to professionally deal with your dragons.

    Leaders can appear to be dragons when they:

    • do not communicate on the employee’s level
    • give poor direction
    • show favoritism
    • do not follow through on what they say
    • do not resolve conflicts

    Co-workers can appear to be dragons when they:

    • gossip
    • convey a bad mood at the office
    • do not perform their part of a job
    • are not a team player
    • do not share necessary information

    You can be a dragon to yourself when you:

    • do not focus on the job
    • let others damage your attitude
    • do not see your own potential
    • lack confidence
    • take criticism personally

    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 5 strategies you can use with any of the dragons:

    1. 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.
    2. Stop the Mind Reading! 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 you are and what you do, it naturally flows over to others.
    5. Make Friends. You spend more time with co-workers than you do with your family or friends. People at work must become allies instead of dragons. The work relationship requires respect, honesty, confidentiality, appreciation, communication, and energy.
    6. I personally have used all these strategies and know they work. I wish you the best in dragon fighting this week. The most important thing I want you to remember is that most of the time, the dragon is in our mind.

    Joan Burge

    Please join me on Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT for my LIVE E-Course, Fighting Office Dragons. Reserve your spot now.

    This post is part of Joan’s Monday Motivators, a weekly editorial designed to kick off your week with practical ways to create a new mindset, change behaviors, develop positive relationships and thrive in the workplace with energy, effectiveness, and excellence. Sign up HERE to follow Joan’s Monday Motivators.

    The post Fighting Office Dragons appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:00:47 on 2018/02/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , Professional Image   

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    You know that awkward moment in the interview when they ask you about your areas of excellence, or that moment you need to introduce yourself to someone new at a business networking event (and your response sounds a bit rehearsed) or you run into the CEO in the elevator and they want to know who you are and what you do at the company.

    If you have ever felt vulnerable or embarrassed in these situations you need a Brand Story and Part Two of this series is just for you!

    So what is a brand story?

    Well, it is like an elevator pitch, just not as robotic or plastic! It is a true story about your talents and gifts. It is something that can be recited at will without rehearsal because it is TRUE and comes from your heart.  So let’s get practical.

    Step 1 Make a list of what you are really good at/recent achievements (at least 10).

    I am being literal here, so write down your areas of excellence and recent successes. Doing this on paper or on your laptop takes it out of your head and makes it more concrete.

    Step 2 Stuck? That is totally normal. Time to consult with a friend or colleague.

    It is funny (but maybe sad) that I have done this exercise with hundreds of assistants from across the world and writing down their strengths is a major challenge, but on the flip side you can ask them about their development or problem areas and they can give you two dozen without missing a beat. If you are stuck, know that this is normal.

    The solution is to consult with a trusted friend or colleague to help you compile your list. This is very useful because they might mention things you have not even thought about and also help you do a reality check on your existing list.

    The key is to be open to the feedback.

    Step 3 Trim down the list to 6 (but NOT less than 4).

    Go through the list and pick your top 6. Trim it down for maximum impact. Eliminate similar skills or merge items that can be grouped logically.

    Step 4 Rank from 1 to 6 (1 being best).

    As the title suggests look at your list and prioritize. Again the help of a trusted advisor will be valuable if you are unsure.

    Step 5 Write a concise, strong, short and clear one-liner about this skill.

    Do a one-liner for each of the 6 skills/abilities. Keep it simple and direct (research has proven that people will rate you are more intelligent if you use simple language, so don’t try and be too fancy).

    Avoid clichés like I am an excellent team player, I work well without supervision, I am a perfectionist. All of these things may be true but if you can’t find a more original way of expressing the same idea then please omit it altogether.

    EXAMPLE OF A BRAND STORY

    1. If I commit, I deliver.
    2. I am not shy and I take big risks.
    3. I am a connector of people and ideas.
    4. I have passion.
    5. I am kind and enjoy people.
    6. I am a time management expert and I get things done.

    Step 6 Test this Brand Story on yourself and your inner circle

    Test drive your brand story. Does it feel real? Would you be embarrassed to tell someone your brand story, if yes, it needs more work?

    It should be true, it should be natural and easy to articulate. Get feedback from others once you are ready to share.

    Use your brand story to update your CV, Linkedin or to position yourself for the next opportunity that comes your way. This is a very powerful tool to “sell” your brand in an authentic way and I hope that you find these tips useful.

    If you have questions or problems with creating your brand story you are welcome to reach out to me via my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PA-20-Upgrade-Yourself-530299150373650/ or Twitter @anelmartin I am always happy to help!

    Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post Creating a Brand Story – Part 2 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:00:48 on 2018/01/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , Professional Image,   

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 

    training_for_administrative_assistantsBy Anel Martin

    “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.  I have to thank Jeff, as I have not found a better way to explain personal brands in all the years I have been exploring the subject.

    There are a few things we need to understand (from my point of view and experience) when it comes to brand:

    1. Your brand already exists (whether you know it or not)
    2. Your brand has value attached to it (actual financial and opportunity based benefits)
    3. A successful brand is not created by faking it
    4. The strongest brand is not the one that is sold the most aggressively
    5. Your brand is not your appearance (although it may influence your brand and how you are perceived)
    6. A powerful brand relies on confidence (not to be confused with arrogance)

    So how do we authentically enhance our brand value?

    B –Build skill sets

    The working world has changed so much in the last few years and will continue to do so. In fact, the prediction is that in 5 years’ time, only 15% of what you know right now will still be relevant. So, continuous development is not a “nice to have” but a survival strategy. Development no longer has to cost money; there are tons of free resources available. It will now require time, discipline and commitment.

    We also need to be aware that in the future there will be more focus on what we called “soft skills” a few years ago (as it will be assumed that you already have the technical ability) (See WEF Top 10 Skills for 2020 ) so take that into account when planning your development.

    We have also just entered the Connection Economy (check out Seth Godin’s video for more information about this) which will bring radical shifts in the way we work and connect with others. Creating new skills sets and being able to apply them with generosity and enthusiasm will definitely give you the edge.

    R – Reputation management

    When we look at reputation management we need to think about how we communicate (in the real world and online), the standard of work we consistently produce, our ethics, how organized and punctual we are and most importantly OUR attitude.

    It is not what you do on the days you feel good that determines your reputation; it is what you do daily. The small activities, words and actions accumulate to form the picture. The old saying goes “Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard”

    These are major factors that influence not only our own brands but also the co-brand that we have with our manager/s, but that is a blog for another day.

    A – Authenticity

    No one likes a fake; it is true no matter where you go in the world. A truly amazing brand cannot be a projection, imitation or a mirage. It is ok to talk a good game but you MUST be able to back it up with consistent action. Find your own voice, your own unique talents and contributions and bring them into your work. Don’t be a copy. People pay good money for originals, not cheap knock-offs.

    N- Network

    In our roles “who you know” is extremely important.  Having a strong, reliable network helps you solve problems, find opportunities, grow relationships and organically enhances your brand (IF YOU ARE ADDING VALUE TO YOUR NETWORK).

    Networking should be done online (there is a very dynamic, active and diverse group of assistants online from across the globe and it is easy to plug into these groups via LinkedIn or Facebook) but importantly, networking should also be done in the real world. Take time to attend events, speak to people you have not met before in the office (even just a friendly greeting will do) and take opportunities to grow your circle. Your network = your net worth, it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about you. I am not encouraging you to brag but to be confident and to OWN IT!

    D – Dependability

    A brand is nothing if you are not consistent. Being phenomenal today and poor tomorrow doesn’t serve you, as you are not dependable and you are therefore eroding trust. If you can’t be a star every day then pick a level you are comfortable with and stay in that zone until you are ready to level up. This applies to work that you produce; commitments made and kept, communication, your personal appearance, and emotional intelligence.

    If you are wondering how healthy your current brand is please feel free to do the FREE Brand Health Assessment at http://www.anelmartin.co.za/brand-health-assessment.html

    training_for_assistantsAnel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za

    The post How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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