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  • feedwordpress 17:30:40 on 2019/11/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development   

    Administrative Assistants Broaden Your Skillset 


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    administrative_skill_setsAt our recent Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, I surveyed 350 attendees about the topics they would like me to address at future conferences or training events. I wanted to know the areas the assistants were interested in growing and learning about.

     

    We had each attendee write their idea or ideas on an index card; we collected the cards; and I read every single card, some of which had more than one topic listed. From the index cards, I created a chart.

     

    What surprised me after looking at the list was that many of the requests had to do with the typical administrative skills or tasks such as: managing multiple managers, dealing with difficult people, managing stress, calendar management, and troubleshooting. I hardly saw requests for advanced competencies or areas of interest.

     

    As we get to the end of this year and are on the cusp of a new decade, I want you to seriously give thought to your career. Make some time for you! Assistants are great at taking care of everyone else and not making time for themselves. While this is admirable, it’s not cool! If you want to be viewed as a strategic partner and considered an extension of the management team, you need to make time to look at your own development.

     

    Here is my advice in step order.

     

    1. Over the next few months, make time to consider where you need to grow in 2020. Break it into two main areas:
      1. Soft skills
      2. Hard skills (be specific)

     

    When it comes to figuring out your soft skills, enlarge your vision; don’t just look at the tasks such as meeting planning or calendaring. For example, what are the skills you need to be excellent at meeting planning?

    • Excellent communication skills
    • See the big picture
    • Attention to detail
    • Analytical skills
    • Critical thinking
    • Persuasion
    • Problem solving
    • The ability to execute

    These will give you a clue as to the skills you need to develop.

     

    1. What is your learning preference? Do you prefer live classes or online? Think about how you learn BEST not necessarily what is easy and convenient. I surveyed our administrative conference attendees about their preference, and I was pleasantly surprised to see live classroom training still far outweighed live webinar, online courses, and blogs/articles. Personally, I prefer live classes or conferences over online.

     

    1. Take into consideration your budget. However, there are exceptions. Your organization may not have a budget for your training but that does not mean you can’t take training. Learn to invest in yourself. It is the best investment you will ever make.

     

    1. Research learning opportunities. When I started Office Dynamics 30 years ago, there was not one training company solely devoted to administrative and secretarial training. Today, there are hundreds of options for assistants to learn and grow.

     

    At Office Dynamics, we offer A – Z when it comes to programs, courses, materials, and events. We have learning tools that accommodate every budget. Find what is right for you.

     

    Word of Caution: While there are hundreds of choices for administrative assistants today, do your homework. Everyone out there does not know what to teach assistants. Some have never even been an assistant. Be a good researcher and get accurate information. Also, ask for referrals.

     

    1. Write a plan. This is the hard part and most people (of all walks of life) don’t want to take the time to write a plan. Yes, this is the most difficult part. However, once your plan is in place, it is easy. You can break down your plan to quarterly or monthly if that makes it easier.

     

    1. Find an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who will tell you what you need to hear and nudge you when you get complacent.

     

    1. Execute! Don’t make excuses. We all are busy and can easily say, “I’m too busy. I don’t have time for this.” Or a popular one for assistants is, “I can’t leave my desk. My executive just won’t function without me.” Believe me, they will be fine, and, in fact, they will appreciate you even more.

     

    Make a commitment now to yourself. You deserve it!

     

    Joan Burge

     

    P.S. Some of the requests I saw from the survey that I liked were career pathing, diversity/inclusion, garnering respect, A. I., leading admin groups, and marketing yourself.

    The post Administrative Assistants Broaden Your Skillset appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:15:32 on 2019/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Self Development,   

    6 Ways for Assistants to Gain Respect 


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    A powerful, but underutilized, way for administrative and executive assistants to gain respect and be taken seriously is to exude executive presence. Forbes.com define executive presence as the ability to project gravitas–confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness. Furthermore, communication—including speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or situation—and appearance contribute to a person’s perceived executive presence.

    When you create executive presence, you are taken more seriously in the workplace and your voice is more clearly heard. Executive presence is a combination of business expertise, competence in a chosen profession and ability to build or connect with others. You do that by:

    1. Delivering information in “headlines.” In my World Class Assistant™ course, attendees will ask me what this means. Just think of a newspaper. We see headlines, right? So, when you are communicating with executives or managers, keep it short, simple, and to the point. They don’t have time for the back story.

    2. Communicating with passion and energy. You get people’s attention when you do this. A goal in communicating is to get people to listen to us. Maybe our goal is to get them to buy into an idea or try something new. Even daily, you can speak with more liveliness. I notice when I speak with more energy, I actually feel energized!

    3. Speaking up. Use strong and clear language. You can do this in a way that does not make you appear to be aggressive.

    4. Using a confident tone. It’s very hard to convince or persuade someone when you come across as hesitant just by the tone of your voice. I recently worked with a CEO of a top Fortune 500 company and coached his assistant. The CEO told me he does not like it when his assistant does not sound confident about something when he asks her a question. The example had to do with a meeting whereby the assistant did not sound sure of the information when questioned by her executive.

    5. Engaging people in conversation. Don’t wait for people to ask you question or start a conversation. We project confidence when we reach out to others and initiate conversation. You will be amazed at how positively people will respond to you when you pay attention to and show an interest in them.

    6. Learning to read your audience or the situation and adapt as necessary. It’s just like what I must do as a speaker and trainer. If I am good at my craft, I pay attention to my audience. I don’t just keep going ahead with what I want to say without noticing how my audience is responding. Your audience may be one or two people. But if you are to be successful, you need to be aware of what is going on with the other person and adapt, if necessary.

    In my World Class Assistant™ course, attendees get to practice projecting executive presence. We do this on the third (last) day of class. They present as a team and discuss the benefits they derived from attending the WCA course. To make it real, the assistants pretend they are presenting to their executives. Each person in the group demonstrates their newly learned skills.

    I hope you will practice the above-mentioned techniques. I am positive you will see results.

    training_for_executive_assistants

    “Of all the programs offered by other training companies that I’ve attended, World Class Assistant™ was much more comprehensive and intense. This program is head and shoulders above the rest! It continues to help raise the bar.”

    – Jennie Forcum, CWCA

    Our World Class Assistant™ course typically sells out so act fast!  In order to deliver a cutting edge, unique experience, we intentionally keep class sizes small.  Don’t spend too long on the fence.  You’ll miss the opportunity of a lifetime!

    Learn More and Register Here.

    The post 6 Ways for Assistants to Gain Respect appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:30:42 on 2019/09/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development   

    How Can I Start a Group for Administrative Assistants? – Ask an Admin 


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    tips_for_administrative_assistants

    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individuals problem but we know some of you might. Please read the question and comment below.

    Emily K. asks:

    I live in a town close to admin groups (like Meetup or non-profit groups) but each is at least 1.5 hours away. I would like to start something similar in my town. How would I go about starting a group that will be more than just me, sitting in a coffeehouse by myself?

    Does anyone have any experience putting together and administrative group? Please comment below.

    The post How Can I Start a Group for Administrative Assistants? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:20:32 on 2019/08/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Certification and Designation, , , Self Development   

    Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor 


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    world_class_assistant

    Some executive assistants have it. Some executive 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™ Certification and Professional Designation 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).

    The post Executive Assistants –Developing Your “Wow” Factor appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 13:00:04 on 2019/08/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Self Development   

    Emotional Intelligence for Administrative Assistants 


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    I have grown to love speaking on and teaching assistants about emotional intelligence. This definitely is a skill every assistant needs to know. This is a skill you can use every single day!

    In our World Class Assistant course, we cover this topic and participants work on real work world case studies. They are scenarios that assistants can relate to. I reference Daniel Goleman for my classes and want to share this with you. Please quickly evaluate your level of emotional intelligence in each of the four dimensions.

    Daniel Goleman, author of Working with Emotional Intelligence says, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.

    Daniel also says:

    False:

    • The common view is that emotions are things that happen to us.
    • Emotions don’t belong in business.

    True:

    • Emotions are an inner source of energy, influence, and information.
    • They are inherently neither good nor bad. It is what we do with emotions that make the difference.

    The 4 Dimensions:

    #1:    Self-Awareness (I know me.)

    • Recognize how your feelings affect your performance.
    • You are open to candid feedback.

    #2:    Self-Management (I manage me.)

    • Self-control.
    • Admit mistakes.

    #3:    Social Awareness (I try to know you.0

    • Pay attention to emotional cues.
    • Adapt communication style to compliment others.

    #4:    Relationship Management (I attempt to facilitate situations for a positive outcome.0

    • Step forward as needed, regardless of your position.
    • Model the change you expect from others.

    One of our top trainers, Julie Reed, has been teaching several of our World Class Assistant™ certification/designation courses. When I asked Julie, what were her favorite lessons from emotional intelligence, she shared the following:

    • I manage me. I am in charge of my attitude.
    • I choose to not react.
    • I am resilient; I practice positive self-esteem, and I chose to ignore the haters.
    • I am confident in my skills and aware of my weaknesses.
    • I stay true to my North Star.
    • I manage me – I hold myself accountable and, I mitigate risks to my reputation and build my credibility equity. This, in turn, has gotten me invited to the table, as an active participant, confidant, and leader.

    Which dimensions of emotional intelligence do you need to work on? Why not start today?

    Joan Burge

    training_for_executive_assistants

    What it means to be a World Class Assistant™:

    • You’re a career-minded administrative professional looking to build powerful partnerships with your executive(s) and organization.
    • You’re a power player who wants to reap more rewards from your efforts – and you’re not afraid to do what it takes to get there.
    • You’re committed to the administrative profession as well as your career growth and you’re eager to demonstrate this.
    • You’re a high-performing individual who wants to succeed both in your professional and personal life.
    • You’re ready to have the kind of breakthrough experience that takes you off the sidelines and puts you right in the middle of the game.

    What are you waiting for?

    The post Emotional Intelligence for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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