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  • feedwordpress 18:00:41 on 2019/05/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development   

    Choosing the Best Administrative Assistant or Executive Assistant Conference 


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    An administrative conference should feed your brain and soul!

    You have finally gotten the approval to attend an administrative conference, maybe you have decided to invest in yourself by attending an administrative conference but choosing the best administrative assistant or executive assistant conference is no easy task.

    Attending an administrative conference is a big investment of your time and money. You should choose wisely. There are numerous factors to take into consideration when deciding which administrative conference to attend.

    1. Start with the end in mind. What is your goal or goals for going to an administrative conference?
      • Education wise: What skills do you need to grow? What new skills do you need to learn/develop?
        • The problem with this is sometimes we don’t know what we need to develop. It’s called our blind spot. To understand this further, Google Johari Window.
        • For the last several years of hosting our administrative conference, we have had themes that most assistants would not even consider. That is because our intent is to develop assistants for what is to come! To be ahead of the curve. Some of our administrative conference themes have been: collaboration; resiliency; revolutionary; and empowerment.
      • To network and meet new people
      • Learn best practices from administrative peers
      • Learn best practices from subject matter experts
    2. Do your research. Make a comparison spreadsheet, if necessary
      • Topics to be covered – do they align with your goals?
      • Speakers – are they polished professionals? Do they walk their talk?  Do they understand the administrative profession? Or are they a thought leader in a particular area of focus?
      • The flow of the agenda – is there time for networking? Hallway conversations?
      • Location/Dates
      • The number of conference attendees is important. Do you want to be with thousands of assistants or just a few hundred? Both have their benefits, however, at smaller group administrative conference, you get to know more of the attendees and it is less chaotic allowing for enhanced networking. (You may not always see this number listed on the conference web site but you can call to ask how many people usually attend the conference.)
        • The pros and cons of large vs. intimate conferences.
      • WHO is hosting the conference? This is really important. Today there are several people who don’t understand the administrative profession but are hosting conferences for them. Normally for these individuals or organizations, they are hosting an administrative conference just to make money. It is better to choose an administrative conference where the host or hosting organization is on a real mission to help assistants.
      • What is the value of the program? What are you getting for your money? Any extra events such as a welcome dinner?  What meals are included? Of course, the content should always be the most important but when you are comparing one seminar to another and can only attend one, you need to consider these other aspects.
      • Inquire about the quality of the workshop materials? Some administrative conferences are cutting back on hard-copy participant materials to save money. Many speakers will not even create a handout for attendees. So attendees have to take a bunch of photos of the PowerPoint slides as the speaker presents. This is a pain as you can’t concentrate on what the speaker is saying. I view this as a speaker being lazy. Easy for them, more work for the conference participant. Will you be able to use the conference as a reference guide after the conference? Do they provide robust information? What about post-class follow-up activities for ongoing learning?
    3. Identify your learning style to help you choose the administrative conference that is best for you.
      • High energy or slower pace?
      • Hands-on; experiential or sit and listen?
      • Talked to or involved and be able to do activities with other attendees when a speaker is presenting
    4. When you attend a conference you are going to be surrounded by people for two or more days. What kinds of people do you relate to?
      • Low key vs. high energy. I personally love being around high-energy individuals.
      • Passionate about the profession or it’s just a job.
      • Committed to making personal change through developmental opportunities or someone who just wants to get out of the office and learn some basic stuff.
      • Do you want to be surrounded by people who will make you better? Or agree with you all the time?
      • Do you want to be around sharp, professional speakers and attendees or ho-hum people?

    The above list are things I personally consider when I am choosing the best administrative assistant or executive assistant conference. Be really selective when searching and choosing an administrative conference.

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    The post Choosing the Best Administrative Assistant or Executive Assistant Conference appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:45:50 on 2019/05/09 Permalink
    Tags: , Self Development,   

    If I Were (Was?) Rich… 


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    The play Fiddler on the Roof recently came through my city, and my friend kept singing her dad’s favorite song from that hit: “If I Were a Rich Man.”

    My comment? “I’m glad the lyricist got the grammar right!”

    Why is the use of “were” (not “was”) correct in this song title and similar phrases? Consider the conditional meaning associated with using an “if” clause. In this case, the lyrics “if I were a rich man” reflect a wishful condition, not a true statement.

    You may recall how Tevye, the character who sang this song, lamented his lowly position as a milkman and wondered what wealth would bring to his life. If at one time he had been rich, he could factually say, “When I was a rich man.” But in this context, he could only hope to be rich.

    What about the song “If I Were a Carpenter”? Here, the lyricist correctly uses “were” to depict a hope or dream, not a current fact.  

    When “Was” is Correct

    So when would you use “was” (not “were”) in an “if” clause? When it introduces an indirect question or statement of fact. Examples:

    • The boss asked if I was (not “were”) finished with the report. This factual statement is based on what’s true or possible, not something hypothetical.
    • If he was (not “were”) guilty, he would have remained silent. This states a fact that’s likely true, not something conditional.

    In the statements you make, remember to use “were” when the situation calls for being conditional, hypothetical, or wishful. And like Tevye, it’s how you can make a plea for the wealth you wish for!

    Want more tips like this to hone your writing skills and advance your career? You’ll find 18 Days to Become a Better Writer an easy-to-use e-guide. Start today by clicking here.

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    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 to 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 webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    The post If I Were (Was?) Rich… appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:15:01 on 2019/04/24 Permalink
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    Administrative Professionals Day 2019 – A Message from Dana 


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    I recently received an email from Joan in her trademark professional encouraging style. I realize many of you received this email and maybe additional emails celebrating Administrative Professionals Day and our profession.

    Joan stated – Expand your mind; add to your skill set; challenge your thinking; look at your day in a new way; be a life-long student. You will amaze yourself! Who you are today is not all of what you are capable of becoming. Trust me. I congratulate you on how far you have come and where you are today. I encourage you to think bigger and become all you were created to be.

    Reading through Joan’s encouraging words I recalled the numerous amazing women that I met during the past two Conferences for Administrative Excellence and the opportunities I have had to talk with Joan and the Office Dynamics team. The themes of those interactions always encourage learning and challenging yourself while realizing how far you have already come.

    I am truly grateful for the recognition of this amazing profession that I have chosen for over 20 years. I admire and appreciate the diversity of our group; there is so much to learn from every experience level. By having opportunities to connect whether through social media, at conferences or through forums such as Ask an Admin we learn and grow from one another.

    Our profession is unique in the sense that so many of our skills are not only utilized professionally but personally as well. I have been focused on self-paced personal and professional growth & learning this year and I would love to know how you personally and/or professionally:

    • Expand your mind
    • Add to your skill set
    • Challenge your thinking
    • Look at your day in a new way
    • Be a life-long student

    I am grateful to everyone that I have had the opportunity to work with, connect with, learn from, mentor and be mentored by, and share best practices with along with sharing some amazing stories and several laughs and memories!

    Please enjoy Administrative Professionals Day. Even when the days have passed, I hope you continue to acknowledge your amazing abilities and take Joan’s advice to – think bigger and become all you were created to be.

    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 Administrative Professionals Day 2019 – A Message from Dana appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:05:22 on 2019/04/18 Permalink
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    9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants 


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    Organization skills for administrative assistants are one of the most valuable skills to have as an administrative assistant.

    Without the ability to organize your work and your resources, you could be twisting in the wind in no time. You may have been able to muddle along back in the day, but in today’s competitive environment, you need to work any advantage in your favor.

    Fortunately, there are at least 9 ways to improve your organization skills as an administrative assistant without too much effort on your part.

    Be proactive

    Most people take the work one day at a time, coming in ready to take on whatever happens. However, that means you are reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it in advance. The best way to make the most of your day is to prepare for it in advance. Know what you need to do for the next day and make preparations for them before you leave for the day. This not only takes the guesswork out of your workday, it might even give you some insights or ideas of how to do the work better.

    Make a list

    Part of being proactive is making a list of all the things you need to do for each day. The benefits of this are of course so you don’t forget anything. An added bonus to making a list is crossing it out. It gives you not only a concrete way to keep track of the tasks you need to do, but it motivates you to keep doing it because it gives you such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishing crossing each item on your list. This is putting all your ducks in a row, and you shoot them down one by one, metaphorically speaking.

    Make a schedule

    At the same time you are planning the day and making your list of tasks, you should make a schedule, giving each task a prescribed time to do each one. You can ensure you meet all your deadlines, and nothing is left by the wayside.

    Be an early bird

    You are more likely to get more things done, and in time, if you start early. Of course, this should reflect on the work schedule you make, but getting started early also means there are other things you can do to keep you on your toes, such as daily exercise and a good breakfast. Starting early also means you avoid stress by having plenty of time to get to work and do anything else you need to do.

    Establish a filing system

    Most of your files are probably going to be digital, but you still need to know where everything you need is stored. Looking for lost files will take up as much of your time as looking for misplaced items. You need to make sure all your files are in its proper place. You should also have a master document of all your files, and the location of those files.

    Make the most of your prime time

    Everybody has a certain time of the day when they are most productive. Some work better early in the morning, while others work best in the evening. You should schedule all your most demanding or challenging work during this time. Of course, if your business involves meeting with other people, you need to coordinate your prime time with theirs.

    Minimize interruptions

    You may think it is obvious, but you waste a lot of time dealing with interruptions to your work. This is why it is important to make a schedule. Follow the schedule and avoid distractions as much as possible. Turn off your mobile phone, close the door to your office, and avoid useless meetings. If you travel frequently, you should travel in as comfortable surroundings as you can so you can do work.

    Learn to delegate

    You might think you are saving money by doing everything yourself. The fact is, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort by delegating tasks to the right people and focusing on core activities that will make you money.

    Organize your workplace

    Whether you work alone, or you have employees, you want to arrange your work area so you can be more efficient. You can minimize the time and effort it takes to get things done. Even putting the photocopier next to where you keep your paper supplies can help save a few steps and trips that ultimately increase your productivity, and that of your employees.

    Organizational skills for administrative assistants are crucial to the success of any business. Some people are naturally organized, but even if you aren’t, you can develop them. These 9 ways can help you improve your organization skills in practical and workable ways.

    We want to hear from you, what are your favorite tips for better organization? Share some of your organization skills, tips, and tricks in the comments below.


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    Learn more administrative professional skills that will launch you further into career success by attending our World Class Assistant™ course and obtaining the Certified World Class Assistant designation.

    The post 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:15:34 on 2019/04/10 Permalink
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    Dana’s Administrative Professional Advice – Ask an Admin 


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    From Ernan:

    When we created Ask an Admin we had hopes that we’d get questions from administrative professionals having trouble finding answers to their problems. We also hoped that we’d get answers from administrative assistants and executive assistants that wanted to help. Needless to say, it has gone better than we anticipated! (NICE JOB ALL OF YOU) That is why we decided that we are going to have one of our Guest Bloggers, Dana Buchanan, give her administrative professional advice. Dana is a 20+ year veteran of the administrative field and a good friend to Office Dynamics so we thought this would be a great fit! Enjoy Ask an Admin – Dana’s Thoughts.


    The January 10th Ask an Admin was from Barb about setting goals at work. There were so many great responses and this is always such a hot topic of discussion we wanted to discuss it a bit further!

    Sometimes it is difficult to set specific time-bound goals for administrative professional roles. When setting goals, a typical guideline method is S.M.A.R.T.E.R (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluate, Readjust), but this does not always make the process easier. One suggestion is making a spreadsheet with the SMARTER method keywords as tab headers to help set focused goals and prepare for your next evaluation.

    In a previous post about performance evaluations, I shared a few of my ideas for setting goals, general tips and some specific goals. In addition to great webinars, articles, and blog posts one of the best resources is always communicating with one another.

    I want to highlight some of the great answers from our peers that were given as responses to Barb. There were several great tips and suggestions, I wish we had time to dive into them all, but please take a moment and re-read the post to see all of the great responses! I greatly appreciate all those who responded and helped answer Barb’s question.

    Pauline’s response included examples of how she put some of her goals into action and what the outcomes of those forward-thinking goals were. In summary, she aligned her goals to the company’s strategy; setting goals that support and add value to the business and future thinking about how to support the growth of the company. Pauline’s goals directly support the values and goals of the company. She obviously researched the company’s desired future growth and asked management what their goals were, she then proactively created objectives to develop ways to support her team and company. This works because it focuses on facts and outcomes, requires communication, and encourages action outside the typical day-to-day routine.

    Mindy’s response included a great question to ask ourselves. She stated – “I always try to ask myself these proactive questions: What do I want to learn or be included in? What tasks have been on other’s back burner forever; it would be great if we did or had ___ in place? It’s an opportunity for me to take the reins to implement.” We all hear discussion about ‘one day we should…’ or ideas being thrown around in meetings, but never followed up on. With this suggestion from Mindy, these back burner items are now opportunities and even catalysts for goals. I suggest keeping a journal, electronic spreadsheet, worksheet, etc. and write down these suggestions as they pop up, create a SMART goal if possible, and discuss this new opportunity with your manager during your evaluation or take action and turn the ‘one day we should’ into ‘let’s do this now’.

    Maggie, SK, and Jean discussed administrative support team meetings. The meeting topics include: best practices, interacting with other departments, networking, a mentor program for new hires, training, speaker presentations, cross department discussion opportunities, and much more! If your company does not currently have a monthly or quarterly administrative professional meeting opportunity this project is a great goal to set. If you do have meetings set up already, some of the topics Maggie, SK, and Jean discussed could be great additions to add.

    Top response takeaways –

    • Be in tune with your company’s goals and future direction
    • Find opportunity in ‘back burner’ items
    • Don’t be afraid to set action steps and start something new
    • Track opportunity throughout the year and set goals as opportunities arise
    • Ask questions and talk to other administrative professionals
    • Communicate with your manager and/or team about their goal focus
    • Create an opportunity for your team or other professionals to meet or add to the typical agenda. This not only a goal in itself, but also a way to discuss ideas for future goals

    Thank you all for making Ask an Admin so popular and a great platform for discussion! If you have any other specific goal ideas please share them below.

    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 Dana’s Administrative Professional Advice – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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