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  • feedwordpress 17:30:15 on 2018/06/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , Self Development,   

    5 Powerful Communication Strategies for Administrative Assistants 

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    Do have a healthy curiosity that you use in your day-to-day communications?

    I was inspired today to share with you 5 powerful communication strategies for administrative assistants that I often teach in my World Class Assistant™ Certification and Designation Program. However, I want to assure you that if you are not in the administrative profession, you will still greatly benefit from today’s topic. So continue reading.

    In order to excel in today’s workplace, you will need to be a good investigator.

    Why?

    Because so often in the fast-paced world we work in, people do not communicate well or perhaps better said, completely. What seems clear to them is incomplete to us.

    1. Ask Questions

    Learn to ask questions; specifically, the right question. The right question clarifies. It encourages details. The right question grants you the information necessary to perform the task for the purpose of completion with excellence.

    2. Ask The Next Question!

    The next question elaborates. It encourages additional helpful information. It is not badgering in tone; it does not interrupt the speaker (or it may be seen as argumentative). Asking the next question is a technique to gain additional details.

    3. Be Proactive

    There is no way around this one. If you want to sit in your chair and wait to handle “transaction-based” tasks that come all the way to your desk, you won’t be a good investigator!

    Ask, seek, compare, analyze, resource, hunt, gather, glean, and energize your work tasks by building your investigative skills to gain increasing knowledge so that you can make better decisions and become that “go to” person in your organization who will proactively get the information people need and want in an efficient manner.

    4. Be Resourceful

    Glean the Internet for reputable sources of information. Read the Wall Street Journal after your manager is done with it. Scour the publications and journals for pertinent information. Learn what your manager likes to follow, and become her eyes and ears on the subject.

    5. Use Caution In Relaying Potent Information

    Resist the temptation to share what you have heard or know if it will harm someone or break confidentiality. Remember never to harm the trust your executive or manager extends to you. Think carefully about the timing, venue, and reason you are sharing pertinent information with another.

    (content derived from the World Class Assistant™ Program) 

     

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    The post 5 Powerful Communication Strategies for Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:01 on 2018/05/29 Permalink
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    A Story of Inspiration for all Administrative Professionals 

    The Gillie Watson Story

    May 21, 2018

    I will never forget Gillie Watson. Gillie attended my World Class Assistant certification and designation course in Las Vegas many years ago. I was impressed with Gillie the minute she walked in the meeting room as she was polished, professional, and friendly. She was an eager student even though she was a very seasoned executive assistant in a high-level position supporting a President in a large organization in Denver.

    During our World Class Assistant course, I teach the importance of a Career Portfolio. I go into great detail as to why you need a portfolio and what your portfolio should encompass. I also cover how to market yourself with the portfolio. During the class, I allow time for attendees to create the first hard copy draft of their portfolio. Everyone gets a three-ring binder and they assemble a draft. We also talk about resumes and a unique tri-fold marketing piece. Gillie had gotten her draft done and then when she went back home, she created the real portfolio.

    Thank goodness Gillie had her career portfolio, resume and tri-fold marketing piece done. Within a short time of our World Class Assistant course, Gillie went to work one day as she always did. When she arrived, she was told she could not enter the building or go to her desk for a few days. Her executive had been let go. Wow! Gillie was stunned.

    Being a World Class Assistant, Gillie took her CWCA credentials, career portfolio, and everything else she had learned in that class in Las Vegas and within one month found herself being offered a great position in another large organization.

    Over the years, Gillie stayed in touch here and there. She had one or two more job changes and once again armed herself with the right tools. I also need to say that Gillie is an outstanding executive assistant and has always maintained a professional, polished image. Gillie is a life-long student. After her live World Class Assistant course, she continued to learn from my webinars, books, Monday Motivators, and online courses.

    I had not heard from Gillie for a few years. Life got busy for both of us.

    Low and behold on Monday, May 14, 2018 Gillie called my office around 5:00 and said she really needed to talk to me. But I was not in the office. She told my assistant, Melia, that she had very good news to share with me and I would be delighted. Melia gave me the message and I immediately called Gillie.

    Recently the company Gillie had been working for was going through a merger and she was no longer going to have a position. Gillie told me that once again, she used all the tools she had learned from me, plus all her knowledge gained over the past several years and applied for a job in the morning on Monday, May 14. It was for a very high-level EA position to a CEO in Denver. Before the day ended, the CEO offered her the job with a six-figure salary plus stock options, plus, plus! She had landed the job of her life—and Gillie is about to turn 70.

    I was tickled to death when Gillie told me that when she interviewed with the CEO, she was like a mini-Joan. She used the language I had taught her years ago about being a strategic business partner, which the CEO loved to hear. I am extremely happy for Gillie. She deserves this as she has consistently pursued excellence and has continued her learning.

    Gillie said there were many lessons in her story that she wanted me to share with assistants and so that is what I am doing.

     

    1.      No matter your age, always be a student. Your career circumstances can change in a day and you need to be ready to compete. Gillie said this is especially important for baby boomers who may think they are at the end of their career and they don’t need to sharpen the saw. For years, I have told assistants there is no such thing as job security. You must keep learning. If you are not moving forward, you are falling behind and you will be left in the dust.

    2.      Gillie said it is very important for baby boomers to stay modern, look modern, and act modern. Gillie sent me her new materials which included her photo. I was blown away… Gillie looks fabulous! Whatever she is doing, I want some of it. She has completely changed her hairstyle, her face looks youthful, and she has contemporary eyeglasses that suit the shape of her face.

    3.      Gillie emphasized the fact that this CEO wanted someone who was very experienced and seasoned. There is something to be said for years of experience in the administrative field. If you are a young person starting in the profession, make sure you take this career seriously. Strive for excellence and learn from the older generation. Learn business etiquette and protocol. It does matter. Learn excellent communication skills and how to have human moments. You do not build deep relationships on a device.

    4.      The fact that Gillie had a professional designation did matter. For those individuals who attend our World Class Assistant course and complete specific objectives, they can earn their CWCA designation. CWCA stands for Certified World Class Assistant. Credentials do count today. They show you went the extra mile and take your career seriously. If you are interviewing for a position and you and the other candidate are pretty much equal, the credentials will set you apart.

     

    In closing, you are never too old to achieve the job of your dreams! Life is constantly surprising us. You will want to be ready.

     

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    The post A Story of Inspiration for all Administrative Professionals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:47 on 2018/05/23 Permalink
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    Insights from a “Rock Star”: A Conversation with Joan Burge 

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    OSU Administrative Professionals Hosted Joan Burge

     

    Ohio State University Administrative Professionals Group hosted Joan Burge April 23, 2018, in an informal session called Insights From a Rock Star: A Conversation with Joan Burge. Many of the professionals attending had questions about Joan and her accomplishments, however, there were several questions during the event that were asked that are often asked by our own readers.

    We thought we’d share some of those questions that were posed to Joan.

     

    How does one enhance his/her value in a partnership with an executive who has challenges delegating work?

    My number one is don’t ask for permission. Just jump in and engage in the change and do it. As far as the value the second place you can add value is by looking within your own area of the work. Identify the areas in which you excel and leverage them. If you have a good leader, they should be observing your talents and sending work your way that play to your talents.

     

     

    What are a few key strategies for “managing up” when one’s new manager is resistant to change?

    Number one, focus on selling the benefits of the change to your executive. Number two is to ask your executive to try this new process or idea that you are recommending for at least 21 days. The reason for that is because it usually takes us 21 days to feel semi-comfortable with something new. After 21 days, you can ask your executive their thoughts on the new process. Is there anything that should be changed or tweaked?

     

    What challenges do administrative professionals face today compared to ten years ago?

    There is a huge lack of information. Years ago, before all the technology, everything had to cross an assistant’s desk. Therefore, we saw everything, we had to read everything, and we had access to information. Today, information is out in space or in the cloud and assistants don’t have access. That makes their job more difficult. So, my advice for an assistant is you have to ask questions, you have to pull information out of your executive, and you have to get your nose in their business in what they’re doing so you can do your job better and be more proactive.

     

     

    Of all the skills and talents that an Administrative Professional must have in today’s world, which are the most critical and why?

    The most critical skill is resiliency today. You absolutely have to be resilient with all the changes that are taking place. You have to be adaptable, agile, and go with the flow. You also have to be resilient to whatever your executive dishes out to you. Executives need it done now and they need it quick. They are not always going to cushion the words they use or worry about how they say it. They are just going to tell you what they need. So you’ve got to be resilient, you can’t take it personally. You can’t get offended because your executive is not wording their request exactly like you want.

     

    What piece of advice did you not receive that you wish you had?

    It’s not personal. Business is just business, work is just work. The decisions your executives and managers make are just decisions they just make. It’s not personal! It doesn’t have to do with you personally even though it affects you personally. It’s just business. You’ve got to toughen up.

     

     

    Joan Burge has been speaking to small and large groups for over 25 years. Her passion and drive for the administrative field, the women, and men that are involved in it continues to fuel her desire to improve the overall standard of the administrative and executive assistants around the world. With creative teaching techniques, powerful lessons, and high-impact training Joan and Office Dynamics continue to lead and set the standard for all administrative training.

     

    Joan is available to speak at your events. Please call 800.STAR.139 to get more information.

     

    The post Insights from a “Rock Star”: A Conversation with Joan Burge appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:52:45 on 2018/05/21 Permalink
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    Life Reframed 

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    As we come upon Memorial Weekend, I thought I would share something very personal and deep with you but with a happy ending.

     

    For 10 years, I have not enjoyed Memorial Weekend. Why is that when throughout my life I always enjoyed every holiday? It was because ten years ago, on Memorial Weekend I was in the emergency room with my husband David who was very sick. We did not find out until 4 months later that David had pancreatic cancer. He fought a good fight for 3 years but it was on another Memorial weekend when Dave was taken to an emergency room because the cancer came back with a vengeance. That was to be Dave’s last Memorial Weekend on this earth. Even though I have been with family and friends on Memorial Day, I never really enjoyed myself.

     

    Another holiday I have not liked at all since 2014 is 4th of July! I always loved fireworks but on July 4, 2014, I was taken to the emergency room in Las Vegas because I had severe head and neck pain and became very sick. That night lying in the hospital bed (while fireworks were going off), I was told there was a large mass in my head. Oh dear God! Not me. This can’t be happening. Many of you do not know the full story but I will be brief. I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called a clival chordoma. It was massive. I was very ill. Eventually, my sister and son took me to California where I had an excellent medical team from John Wayne Brain Cancer Institute. I was gone an entire month. My 10-hour surgery was a success. They removed about 95% of the tumor. The other piece was too close to my brain stem. I go for regular MRIs. The great news is I am now able to go once a year and all my reports have been outstanding.

     

    But the point is… I have not enjoyed hearing fireworks. They have only brought back bad memories for me.

     

    When something catastrophic happens in your life, you are deeply affected and it can take years for the bad memories to leave or be replaced with new, wonderful memories. I know because I have worked at it and I have found great joy the past 4 years.

     

    Life Reframed:

    My life and thinking have been reframed because of something that happened in April and something that is happening Memorial weekend. In April, I had my first visit for training at Walt Disney World. It was a magical experience and week for me. The first night I watched the fireworks and I felt happy to see them because this was really great news that I was working with Disney. The next night, something magical happened to me while the fireworks went off and I will never forget that night. So you see, now I like fireworks again. I am crying as I am writing this for you but I have tears of great joy.

     

    Today, I am heading to Disney World in Orlando for more training. On Memorial Weekend, my daughter and granddaughter are coming down to be with me for 4 days. Wow. No more sad Memorial weekends. I will now have beautiful new memories of this holiday.

     

    Why am I sharing this with you?

     

    Because I want you to know that your life can be reframed no matter what happens to you. And to never, ever lose hope.

     

    I thank all of you for being in my life, even if I don’t personally know you.

     

    Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day holiday.

     

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    The post Life Reframed appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:43:18 on 2018/05/17 Permalink
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    Lessons from ATD Convention 

     

    There was no shortage of information, lessons, best practices, and thought-provoking conversations at the ATD Convention my team and I attended last week in San Diego. In case you did not see my Facebook posts, there were over 11,000 attendees from around the world; 300+ concurrent sessions; 400+ exhibits in the big convention hall, and an amazing networking night aboard the USS Midway! ATD stands for the Association for Talent Development and is the world’s largest talent development association.

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    I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the notes I took. Beyond my notes, think about how you can apply this information starting this week or at least start planting the seeds in your brain.

    • Purpose matters. People want more out of work than money.
    • Millennials are bringing purpose to the forefront of today’s business culture.
    • Why does purpose matter so much today? #1 Empowerment (shortages in skilled labor; attrition of top talents; short tenures). #2 Engagement (is an effect, not a cause; engagement does drive outcomes). #3 Evolution of Human Consciousness (reinventing organizations)
    • Purpose and meaning are not the same things. Purpose means intention, objective, goals based on your deepest core values. Meaning is of value, significance, and important to me.
    • People with purpose are more comfortable with diversity.
    • Purpose helps us through tragedy and loss.
    • (From DDI research) There is no difference in skills between men and women. Women are better at focusing on their development. Men take on more international assignments; they are more confident.
    • To help increase focus: #1 Focus on an important task for 20 minutes (chunking). #2 Minimize distractions. #3 Take a break to mentally rest between focused tasks.
    • (Marcus Buckingham) You CAN find love in what you do at work. You will want to purchase Marcus’ book when it is released: 9 Lies About Work.
    • (Masie Productions) We have to break rituals.
    • (Rita Allen Associates) Emotional Intelligence in simple terms: #1 Identify your emotions. #2 Assess your emotions. #3 Control your emotions. We have to think of ourselves holistically—we have to take care of all parts of ourselves.

     

    I have a ton more information to digest. I will try to share more great ideas on my Facebook Fridays. You can join me on Fridays at 10:00 am Pacific Time.

     

    Make it an amazing week!

     

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    The post Lessons from ATD Convention appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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