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  • feedwordpress 13:45:37 on 2017/04/11 Permalink
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    Why Do Administrative Teams Have So Much Drama? 

    workplace_drama

    On a recent webinar, Joan noticed a question that caught her attention: Why do so many administrative teams have drama?

    She asked me to weigh in on this topic and I jumped at the opportunity.

    The question of why is interesting, and I’ve found there are several reasons for workplace drama. But first, let’s talk about what that word really means.

    In real terms, “drama” usually refers to interpersonal conflicts—people aren’t getting along, and it’s typically attached to petty, non-substantive reasons.

    On any administrative team, you’re likely to find a wide variety of personalities. When faced with any group of people with whom you have to work collaboratively, and when placed in an environment with those people for 40 hours a week or more, it’s not surprising that drama unfolds.

    Below, I’ve listed the 5 most common reasons I’ve seen for drama amongst administrative teams, along with some recommended solutions.

    1. Turf Wars
    This kind of drama centers around job duties. In some cases, I’ve seen assistants create tension because they’re trying too hard to protect their “territory” or intruding on the territory of others. This makes teammates feel undermined, stepped on, and at times, jealous.

    In other situations, I’ve seen team members who don’t hold up their end of things, causing their colleagues to feel frustrated and put-upon as they struggle to fill in the gaps.

    Solution: Work with others on your team to clarify roles and define individual expectations. Remember that you’re all in this together. In order for you to “win,” you don’t have to make others “lose.” Everyone needs to understand that, by working together, you’re all better off.

    2. Gossip
    I find that gossip usually focuses on other people’s intentions, motives, hidden agendas, or secret activities. When we speak about others behind their backs, we tend to speculate. We take our past bad experiences with people out on others and allow our inner-child to vent our frustrations in very unproductive, toxic ways.

    Solution: Don’t project past experiences onto others; assume everyone has the best intentions. When things go wrong, deal with them directly and at face value. Don’t say something about anyone that you wouldn’t be willing to say directly to them.

    3. Choosing Sides
    As humans, we all crave community, and nothing brings people together like a common enemy. All too often, I’ve seen entire admin teams destroyed because of interpersonal conflicts that really exist between two individuals. The group devolves into an “us versus them” mentality, and before long, the workplace feels like a high school lunchroom.

    Solution: Don’t get involved in other people’s drama. Maintain your relationships with all by being a neutral party. Stay focused on the best interests of the team.

    4. Failure to Address Issues
    When real, substantive disagreements occur, it’s easy to avoid confrontation and stifle your feelings. However, in my experience, this often leads to passive aggressive behavior. Most people are much more comfortable passively showing their emotions in subtle ways, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. Others see the behavior and feel the tension.

    Solution: Learn how to communicate your perspective in a way that is professional and respectful. Turn conflicts into constructive discussions that push the team forward. Avoiding the problems won’t make them go away.

    5. Failure to Adapt
    Finally, the biggest problem I see that creates drama, is a simple failure to adapt to the quirks of others. We are all human. That means we’re inherently flawed, but also innately valuable. On any team, you will find a variety of personalities, many of which you would likely not choose to spend time with in your personal life. That’s okay; you don’t have to! But you do have to work on a team with these people.

    Solution: Respect and accept your fellow teammates, warts and all. No one is perfect. Be willing to adapt your own preferences and natural inclinations for the good of the group. Let minor irritations go and compromise when necessary.

    I’m not a big fan of the word “drama” when it comes to describing workplace dynamics. But I suppose it’s an accurate descriptor in some cases.

    If your administrative team is experiencing drama, consider sharing these techniques in an educational setting. Do your part and remember: This is the workplace. It’s about getting a job done. We all experienced enough drama in our teenage years—and no one wants to relive those days!


    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    Chrissy also has an amazing book called The Proactive Professional and some incredible ebooks and guides.

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Why Do Administrative Teams Have So Much Drama? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:00:14 on 2017/04/03 Permalink
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    Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! 

    Joan_BurgeWelcome to April. Wow, where is the time going?

    April is one of my favorite months because, here at Office Dynamics, we get to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of those in the administrative profession! In case you are not aware, Administrative Professionals Week is April 24 – 28. But we celebrate the entire month of April. One of the major ways we do that is to host our annual blog-a-thon whereby we post a blog every work day in the month of April. Aside from my blogs, we have several guest bloggers providing amazing information!

    To kick off the celebration, I hosted a webinar yesterday for 5,000+ assistants worldwide whereby I revealed my secrets to success in the profession. I had 29 secrets! I would like to share just a few of them with you. If you would like to hear all of them, you can watch the replay of the live event.

    1. I didn’t always play by the rules. That doesn’t mean I did things that were unethical or illegal. I liked breaking the status quo (and I still love doing that today.) Look at work and situations in a different light. Keep your eyes open for processes that need to be changed or new processes that need to be implemented. Shake things up! One way to stand out is to shake things up in a good way.

    2. Inserted myself into my executive’s world. I didn’t wait for my executives to invite me into their world. When I was an assistant, I would take home the trade journals and periodicals my executive read so I could understand his world and understand the language. While I didn’t read every page, I certainly gained perspective. This is a strategy anyone in any profession can use.

    3. Set healthy boundaries. It is really important to set healthy boundaries in the workplace. If someone is doing something or saying something that is unacceptable to you, then you need to speak up in a professional and assertive manner.

    4. Thirst for knowledge. For some reason, I have always embraced a growth mindset. Since I got out of high school and went right into the workforce, I was hungry to learn in any way possible. I did not go to college by choice and it did not stop me from being successful in my work because I am a sponge.

    I have identified 3 levels of learning.

    1. Peer to peer (Basic, Foundational)—these are the great tips you learn from your peers; the people who are in the same job family as you.
    2. Senior assistants (Advanced)—this is when we learn from people who are in our profession but a level or two above us. When I was new in the profession, I looked to the senior assistants. I watched everything they did and how they acted (good and bad).
    3. Outside of my profession (Master)—this is where you really gain an advantage over others. You have to step outside your narrow world and learn from subject matter experts. There are millions of them! Some of my favorite people are Daren Hardy, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, and Simon Sinek.

    With my thirst for knowledge, I was willing to invest in myself. Thousands of employees tell me they can’t attend training because their company won’t pay for it. That is short-term thinking and it makes me sad because it tells me that an individual doesn’t think enough of themselves to invest in their own education. As Brian Tracy says, “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.” I agree 100%. When you invest in yourself, you will take what you learn with you the rest of your life. And no one can ever take it away from you!

    5. Always took my administrative career seriously from early on and saw it as a profession. This is important for all assistants, managers and coworkers to remember the administrative profession is a true profession! These are the people who run the lives of top executives. These are the individuals who put up with all the stuff every day, put themselves second and third on the list, manage a multitude of responsibilities, make their executives look good, and are confidantes. They should be treated with courtesy and respect.

    If you are an assistant reading this, I hope you have a fabulous month! Please sign up for the Blog-a-thon by subscribing to the blog in the upper right corner and you will automatically receive the daily post in your inbox. Comment on the blogs and share them so you can be entered to win prizes all month long.

    If you are not an assistant and you’re reading this, please be sure to sincerely recognize the administrative support professionals in your organization. And remember to not ask your assistant to order her own flowers; which by the way, assistants don’t just want flowers and lunches. They want a long-lasting gift. If you are looking for ideas, go to the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    Happy April everyone!

    This blog is part of our 2017 Blog-A-Thon. Please leave a comment or share the blog for your chance to win one of our amazing giveaways! The more blogs you comment on and share, the more chances you have to win. If you’d like to learn more about our Blog-A-Thon you can do so here. Hint: Subscribe to our blog in the upper right-hand corner so you never miss a blog.

    The post Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed! appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:30:00 on 2017/03/29 Permalink
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    Is It Ever Too Late to Change Your Personal Brand? 

    Personal branding is a topic I’m personally passionate about, and one that’s very relevant in today’s business world—especially for assistants. Your role requires a certain professional presence after all. You need others to respect you and view you as a valuable contributor. Without the power of a positive personal brand, it’s much harder to get things done, influence others, and achieve success.

    Many people wonder if it’s ever too late to change your personal brand. Here’s the good news: No, in my opinion, it’s never too late. However, (here’s the bad news) it’s a process that takes significant effort and time.

    You see, branding is all about perceptions. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, once said that your personal brand is “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” In short, it’s about how others perceive you, which ultimately impacts how they treat you and the opportunities they afford you now and in the future.

    We all know that perceptions can be inaccurate. People can see you one way when, in reality, you’re actually something entirely different. Once they have an idea in their mind, it’s hard to shake—but not impossible.

    Think of a business that has undergone a major rebranding in the past. Perhaps they wanted to appeal to a new audience or shake a bad reputation. Any company that has ever rebranded knows how difficult it can be. Still, sometimes it simply has to be done.

    I once worked with an assistant who had struggled enormously in the role for about a year before she finally broke through and gained confidence in her abilities. But by then, people already had an image of who she was. They viewed her as incompetent and ineffective—regardless of the fact that she was doing quite well presently. As a result, she found that her authority was constantly undermined, her requests sidelined, and her interactions full of condescension.

    She had a major project ahead of her to revise her personal brand. To do it, I recommended a three-step process. If you’re struggling with a brand that doesn’t serve you, this is the same process you should follow.

    Acknowledge It
    Start by acknowledging to yourself that you have a branding problem. If there were specific situations or actions that led up to this, spend some time evaluating your part in things.

    It may also be useful to discuss the situation with others too. For example, the assistant I worked with spoke to her manager and said something like this: “I realize that I struggled for a while when I was first getting my feet wet here. I’m feeling much more confident these days.”

    Her manager was happy to hear this and said that he had, indeed, noticed her progress.

    Sometimes, I think people are afraid of publicly acknowledging their past struggles. But when you do so from hindsight, you can often help others see how far you’ve come. You can snap them out of their pattern of thinking and help them re-evaluate what they’re seeing now.

    Behave Differently
    Remember that actions speak louder than words. If you want to be treated differently, you have to behave differently.

    If your personal brand is that you’re frantic and disorganized, you have to stop that behavior before anyone will stop thinking of you that way. You can’t simply say, “Oh, that was the old me!” and expect others to believe you. You have to develop new, positive behaviors that project your new, positive brand.

    Be Consistent
    Above all, you have to be consistent in your new behaviors. Doing something different once in a while is not enough to change perceptions.

    If you want to upgrade your personal brand by elevating your wardrobe, for example, you can’t wear your nice suit on Monday and then bust out the jeans on Tuesday. People have short memories. It’s better to choose a brand you can commit to and stick it out.

    Finally, it’s worthwhile noting that, once you have a personal brand that you believe serves you well in the workplace, you must do everything in your power to protect it. It’s much easier to keep a positive brand than to repair a damaged brand.


    Chrissy Scivicque is a career coach and corporate trainer who believes that work can be a nourishing, enriching part of the life experience. Her website, EatYourCareer.com, is devoted to that mission. You’re invited to join the FREE Eat Your Career Resource Library where you’ll gain immediate access to dozens of tools to advance your professional skills and achieve career fulfillment.

    administrative_assistant_conference

    The post Is It Ever Too Late to Change Your Personal Brand? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:16:44 on 2017/03/21 Permalink
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    The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out 

    Stand_out_as_an_assistant

    Administrative professionals are always asking us what it takes to really stand out in the workplace. After all, it’s a competitive market out there! If you really want to make a name for yourself and get ahead, it takes more than just skimming the surface. You have to dive deep within yourself to develop that “World Class” status that executives are looking for in their assistants.

    For those who want to shine brighter and get recognized (and rewarded) for your contributions, consider these key strategies.

    Shift Your Paradigm
    First, you have to change how you see yourself in your role. A “paradigm” is simply a mindset, but it plays an important role in how you show up in the workplace.

    If you think of yourself as an assistant, that’s perfectly fine. But in order to really stand out, you need to upgrade your mental image of who you are and what you do. You must begin seeing yourself as a strategic partner—a business ally for the executive(s) you support.

    This subtle shift in thinking will filter through your actions and behaviors. It will boost your confidence and your professional presence. It will positively change the relationship you have with your leaders, and ultimately, it will help you establish a powerful new position in the executive “inner circle.”

    Refine Your Communication
    A savvy communicator knows how to get noticed and get their point across. This is one area where everyone always has more room to improve.

    In order to really stand out, you must continuously hone your ability to communicate your point of view tactfully. You need to practice delivering tough messages in a way that other people can actually hear them. And you need to adapt your natural communication style to meet others where they are.

    Learning to communicate at the executive level is absolutely essential for success and it’s extremely rare. When you have this kind of mastery, you gain a deeper level of respect.

    Hone Your Professional Trademark
    When Joan presents training, she always receives similar feedback: People think she is “poised, polished and professional.”

    These three words are what people think when they hear Joan’s name—it’s her professional trademark, you might say. Do you know why? Because that’s who she is, and she has consciously chosen this as her personal brand.

    Do you have a something you are known for? Have you made the conscious choice to embody specific characteristics and traits as your brand? Or are you letting your professional reputation be shaped unintentionally?

    How others perceive you is such an important and underutilized tool for administrative professionals. Defining your distinct professional trademark—and learning how to leverage that in the workplace—will help you shape how others see you.

    As you can see, these skills go beyond the basics. They are strategies that only a few employ, and those who do reap the rewards. There is much to learn regarding advanced skills for assistants. To truly stand out requires a sincere dedication to your career path and an investment in your personal growth.

    These are just a few of the topics we cover in the World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. This “high-end boot camp” is the only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals on the market. It’s designed to help you stand out and develop the master-level skills you need to become World Class.

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why, on March 29, 2017, Joan will be hosting a live Q&A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post The Top 3 Skills That Make Administrative Assistants Stand Out appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:17:37 on 2017/03/17 Permalink
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    Developing Your “Wow” Factor 

    certification_for_administrative_assistants

    Some assistants have it. Some assistants don’t.

    What is it, you ask? That intangible, invaluable “wow” factor.

    Here’s the good news: It’s a learnable trait! Anyone can develop their own unique wow factor. It has nothing to do with your title or pay grade; it’s about who you are as a professional.

    The wow factor is a term we use in the World Class Assistant™ certificate program to describe the powerful executive presence that the most successful administrative professionals exude. These assistants know how to command a room. They remain poised even under the most intense pressure. They know how to make intelligent decisions on-the-spot.

    In short, they possess abilities that make others say, “Wow!”

    As a result, these assistants enjoy an increased level of respect and even reverence. People look up to them and listen when they speak. People ask for their opinions and guidance. People trust them. They are World Class Assistants.

    Hopefully, you’re reading this and thinking, “Yep! That’s what I want!” If that’s the case, we have a few recommendations to help you get there.

    Build Exceptional Competence
    Your core abilities are the foundation. You have to be an expert at what you do. The wow factor isn’t all about the exterior. It’s what’s inside too. You can’t have it if you don’t first have the skills to do your job exceptionally well.

    Refine Your Professional Style
    Your physical presence is a big part of the wow factor. How you present yourself, your style and your overall look create your total package. There are many elements to consider: how you dress, your body language, your facial expressions, your gestures, and more. Learn to observe the successful people around you and mirror their example. But don’t forget to incorporate your own unique touches too!

    Monitor Your Speech
    Your voice is a critically important tool for communication. It can either enhance your wow factor or detract from it. Listen to your tone, as well as the words you are using. Do you sound authoritative, composed and enthusiastic? Or do you sound scattered, timid, and weak? Others can pick up on things that are subtly hidden in your voice. Remember that the wow factor can be both seen and heard.

    Embrace Serenity
    When things fall apart (which they frequently do in the business world), some assistants fall apart too. They lose all perspective and let their stress filter into every interaction and behavior. But assistants with the wow factor are viewed as a port in the storm. They’re steady, clear-headed and focused, even when others are not. They have peace and serenity because they know, whatever happens, they have the ability to meet any challenge head-on.

    This wow factor idea comes from our World Class Assistant™ Certification and Professional Designation program. If you’re looking to really develop and leverage your own unique wow factor, this “high-end boot camp” might be the perfect next step in your career evolution. The only curriculum based designation specifically for administrative professionals, this program is designed to help you develop the skills required to really WOW your executive(s).

    We know that investing in a comprehensive training program like World Class Assistant is a big decision. That’s why on March 29, 2017, Joan Burge will be hosting a live Q & A session to address your questions and help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. We hope you’ll join us to learn more and have some fun!

    Register Today

    The post Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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