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  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Self Development,   

    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 

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    What are your tips on the best way an assistant can overcome their problem saying no.

    “I have a real problem saying no at work. How do assert myself when I can’t take on any more?” This is one question I frequently here from administrative and executive assistants. I’m sure you many of you have encountered this, so I’d like your advice.

    “I have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone. In the past, climbing up to the position I presently hold, it was an asset and it helped me to get noticed and promoted, but now I find it has labeled me as the go-to person. With all the duties I am expected to perform, I just can’t help everyone, yet I find myself doing it anyway. How do I decline without sounding difficult or rude?”

    Assistants all over the world have struggled with how to say ‘no’ at work.

    My question to my readers: How have you handled or would handle a similar situation?

    We encourage you to share in the comments below.

    Are you an assistant who doesn’t have any trouble saying no? What has that experience been like for you?

    Are you an assistant who has a problem saying no at work? Does that spill over outside of work? What are some of the biggest obstacles for you in saying no when you simply can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a person’s request of you?

    Do you simply being the ‘go-to’ person and yes is your favorite word? Let’s hear it! Please share below.

    Need more help in the area of asserting yourself? We’ve got your back. Check out my entire series of blogs and webinars that can help you build your assertiveness in the workplace.

    Do you think that saying no to someone means you are a terrible assistant? Check out our article: Qualities of a Great Assistant (spoiler – Yes Man/Woman isn’t on the list of qualities).

    Related: How Well Do You Communicate? A guest post by Judi Moreo

    Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For Your Health

    The post Do You Have A Problem Saying No? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:30:52 on 2018/03/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Self Development, , ,   

    Setting Healthy Boundaries Today 

     

    setting_healthy_boundaries

    Setting Healthy Boundaries

    I was teaching a class two weeks ago from the Star Achievement Series®.  Our theme for that day was the attitude component of Star Achievement. Under that umbrella, we addressed topics such as self-management vs. stress management, learning specific difficult people types and how to handle each of them, the benefits of conflict and much more.  Of course, we had plenty to talk about and one tip an attendee mentioned was, “setting healthy boundaries.”  She definitely got a big star for that one because setting healthy boundaries is important!

    So, what kind of boundaries are we talking about and with whom? After all, as administrative assistants and executive assistants, you sometimes feel like you can’t set boundaries or you might get fired or your leader will think you are not a team player. Some people think when I’m talking about setting boundaries, they have to do with sexual harassment in the workplace.

    When and where to set boundaries

    Boundaries can be set anytime, any place, on anything, and with any person. I’ll give you a perfect example that just happened to me this morning as I was traveling.  I was at the Las Vegas airport in the security line and was in line to pass my carry on through the screening process. (Keep in mind; I’ve been traveling for 20 years about 75% of the time, each year so I know what to do.) I was quickly placing my laptop in the bin, folding my raincoat up, taking off my shoes, and putting my purse on the conveyor when all of a sudden, this young woman who had been in line behind me, stepped right in front of me with 2 suitcases and placed them on the conveyor. She still needed to take off her shoes – and she didn’t know she was supposed to take off her sweat jacket.

    You are probably thinking, “So what?” So what? It was rude that she thought she could just jump in front of me especially when she was not ready herself. It was not as if she said, “May I go ahead of you?” or I looked behind me and said to her, “You can go ahead of me.” I nicely told her that she couldn’t cut in front of me. Of course, she looked at me in shock and made a few comments. (I will spare the details of our back and forth dialogue.) She finally took her items and moved behind me and told me to have a nice day.

    Addressing boundaries

    A boundary in the office for an administrative assistant can be as simple as addressing a coworker or manager who constantly steps into your workspace and takes your pens or pads and does not ask or return them.  If that bothers you, you need to say something.

    Another boundary you might need to set is your accessibility after hours to your leader as far as emails go. This is becoming a huge problem. As I travel the country and talk to hundreds of administrative office professionals ranging from administrators to executive assistants, I’m hearing them say they are spending too much of their personal time (evenings or weekends) managing and/or responding to emails from their leader.  One administrative assistant, who’ll I’ll call Sue for anonymity reasons, said that originally her manager did not expect her to check business emails and take action on non-work hours.  But she wanted to get a jump on things or was curious as to what was going on or wanted to read emails on Sunday night to be prepared for Monday morning. The problem is… she started responding to her leader’s emails and taking action steps if required. Now, she is frustrated because she spends 50% of her weekend working. I told her, “She created the monster.”  It wasn’t required of her and while she thought nothing of it at first, it snowballed and now she will have to say something to her leader.

    Rules to follow

    First, do not create situations that you will later regret.

    Second, people will act as we allow them to. If you don’t say something when something isn’t right, then the person assumes it is okay.

    Third, professionally communicate when setting boundaries yet be firm.

    Setting healthy boundaries is good for you and the other person.  It teaches them how to work with you in a way that stimulates win-win situations. You feel good for reasons that are too many to even mention in this blog. A few are that you feel confident, peaceful, in control (not walked over), respected, like a peer or business partner and viewed as a leader.

    Good luck with setting healthy boundaries!

    Related:

    setting_healthy_boundaries_monday_motivators

    The post Setting Healthy Boundaries Today appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Self Development,   

    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 16:30:36 on 2018/03/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development,   

    Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid 

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    by Barbara McNichol

    I love watching the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” but even this escape doesn’t give me a break from grammar glitches. In one episode alone, I counted four times when participants and/or hosts misused the pronouns as they spoke.

    As a society, if we repeatedly hear words used incorrectly on national TV (and all around us), how will we ever know what’s right?

    Without attempting to overcome years of grammar neglect, watch out for certain common pronoun misuses so you get a feel for what’s correct—and what’s not.

    “Me and Jack” finished the report. It should be “Jack and I” finished the report.

    Rule: When the subject is more than one, you need a subjective pronoun (I, she, he, we, they, who). (“Subjective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as a subject.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Jack.” I finished the report. Now it’s easy to tell which pronoun is correct.

    “Bob hired Peggy and I to draft the proposal.” It should be “Peggy and me.”

    Rule: “Peggy and me” is the object of the verb “draft” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom). (“Objective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as an object.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Peggy and.” Does it sound right to say “Bob hired I to draft the proposal”? You know it doesn’t!

    “Between you and I, we got the job done.” It should be “you and me.”

    Rule: In this sentence, “me” is the object of the preposition “between” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom).

    “Roger, Lloyd, and myself finished the drawings.” It should be “Roger, Lloyd, and I finished the drawings.”

    Rule: You can’t use a “-self” pronoun (myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves) unless it refers to another noun or pronoun used earlier in the sentence.

    Clue: Look for the referring word that precedes the pronoun.

    To receive a one-page chart that shows at a glance which pronouns to use where in a sentence, email me with “Proper Pronouns” in the subject line.

    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. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    The post Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:58 on 2018/02/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development   

    What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 

    By Anel Martin

    Well, that is a big question!

    Personally, I think what is holding us back from powerful, successful and valuable brands is the same thing that holds us back from fulfilling careers and happy lives. That is a big statement but here goes! I think it is the inability to speak up, trying to fit in, not being able to decide and FOCUS, believing we don’t deserve it (whatever “IT” is for you), lack of self-discipline and confidence.

    So let’s run the list down:

    1. Speaking up

    The old saying goes “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no” so many things in the world just get swept under the carpet, so many opportunities go to waste because we are unable to speak truth to power or make ourselves heard. How many times have you sat in a management meeting and had the most phenomenal idea (but you said nothing)? Well, I rest my case. If you want a strong brand you will need to find your voice. Start small, but start now!

    1. Fitting in

    The Industrial Age wanted us to fit in and be interchangeable because our offices were a factory, a big machine and if you were too special or different you were not replaceable. Remember that in the 4th Industrial Age people will pay more for special, unique and different. The artists and problem solvers will thrive (the people who do “human work” and creative work) they will pay for art but not for painting. So the challenge is to let go of this old wiring of being the same and fitting in. It will not serve you in the future.

     

    One of the most tragic things people say to me once I start working with them on brand is that if they make these radical changes/improvements their team members (most specifically other PAs) will notice and be judgemental (thinking they are trying to suck up to or impress the boss). To me, this speaks to a lack of team cohesion, insecurity (on their part) and a low-performance culture. Remember that it is your career and they don’t pay your bills. So do what you need to do to create the life you really deserve. Don’t let the critics slow you down. Cream floats to the top, always and without exception!

     

    1. Indecision and lack of focus and action

    What do you really want? It is a big question, and for most of us, an open-ended one because we don’t want to commit and make a decision. We happily float along in the grey area which has become our comfort zone. I could change things, improve things but that would require hard work, dealing with resistance and challenge.  So instead of doing what is important, we stay in the “urgent and too busy zone” when it comes to focus areas and priorities. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel stuck and uninspired? Are you living the same day, every day?

     

    1. Not feeling deserving

    I am not special, why should this happen or work out for me? Why should I get the promotion or the praise? Well, if you don’t believe you are good enough, no one else will either. This is an inside job and REAL work needs to be done on correcting and improving our inner dialogues. No one can fix this except you.

     

     

    1. No self-discipline

    Doing the work requires discipline. Standing out from the crowd and excelling requires you to do things, create habits and keep hours that few others would agree to or be able to maintain. This is what separates the good from the GREAT! What is YOUR STANDARD? What do you require from yourself? I am not asking you to strive for perfection but to focus on excellence, quality, and good value for money. I am asking you to do the hard work because the results are worth it! Self-discipline is not for reward or recognition, it is about YOU, your goals and ambitions!

     

    1. Low or no confidence

    Your brand cannot thrive until you can cure yourself from imposter syndrome and from that voice in your head that mistakes assertiveness and confidence for rudeness and arrogance.

    • Learn to say no.
    • Learn to respect yourself.
    • You are a LIMITED EDITION – OWN IT!
    • You only get one chance to do this, there are no do-overs.
    • What is the worst thing that could happen? Keep asking yourself that!
    • That voice in your head is a broadcast from behind enemy lines – tune OUT.
    • Learn to look after yourself physically and emotionally.

    My challenge to you is to break out and break free from these factors. You have unlimited potential, you were born into genius and it is time to escape from mediocre! Build a brand that earns you more money, more respect, more opportunities and creates more impact in the world and in your life. Be brave and walk TALL.

    How Do I Increase My Brand Value? PART 1

    Creating a Brand Story – Part 2

    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 What is Holding Your Brand Back? PART 3 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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