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  • feedwordpress 13:45:22 on 2017/04/17 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Stress Management, ,   

    Spring Cleaning For Office Professionals 

    spring_cleaning

    I thought I’d keep this bonus blog on the lighter side.  With the onset of spring, now would be a good time to do a little cleanup.  Here are a few ideas.

    Spruce up your work area with fresh flowers

    Purge files; clean up computer files

    Rearrange furniture

    Inform your team or new concepts

    Negotiate your workload

    Gather information on new office products
     

    Cluster similar tasks and office supplies

    Lose unproductive habits

    Engage in an attitude renewal

    Analyze current workflow

    Neaten your work area and department

    Identify barriers to increased productivity

    Never give up on good ideas

    Gradually organize and straighten all cabinets, drawers, and credenzas.

    Bonus: Something to think about. At Office Dynamics, we have a white board in a central area where any one of our ODI staff members can post a self-fulfilling prophecy or mindset for the day that we all want to embrace. For example, we might have Magnificent Monday, Thankful Thursday, etc.

    Sometimes we select a monthly theme. Our April theme is Awesome April. It’s amazing how what we prophesize positively comes into our lives. You might want to do a similar activity for April for yourself, your department, admin team, or organization.

    Wishing you an Awesome April!

    This information came from this weeks Monday Motivators™.

    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.

    webinars_for_administrative_assistants

    The post Spring Cleaning For Office Professionals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:31:01 on 2017/02/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Stress Management   

    Fighting Office Dragons – Managers (1 of 3 part series) 

    problems_with_my_managerImage Designed by Freepik

    Did my title get your attention? Last week I certified 7 people to teach my Star Achievement Series® curriculum for administrative professionals in their organizations. I spent 3 full days with these wonderful individuals who are going to create change in their companies. One of the modules in Star Achievement is all about attitude and events and feelings that affect our attitudes such as fear and intimidation.

    One of the topics I cover in that module is called Fighting Office Dragons. Participants discuss 3 species of dragons: 1) Manager, 2) Co-workers, and 3) Themselves. I have participants discuss things people in those categories do that make them appear to be a dragon. Today, I will focus on the manager dragon. Here are some common responses I hear. See if any of your responses are like theirs.

    Leaders can appear to be dragons when they:

    • don’t communicate one the employee’s level
    • give poor direction
    • don’t provide necessary information
    • show favoritism
    • don’t follow through on what they say
    • set unrealistic expectations
    • procrastinate
    • don’t resolve conflicts
    • are inflexible

    Let’s take a closer look. There really are some dragon leaders, but most of the time, leaders are not dragons. They just appear to be that way to employees. People in management positions usually have good reasons for taking certain actions and for making the decisions they make.

    Here are some questions to consider when you feel your leader or other managers are portraying dragon-like behaviors.

    What school did this dragon go to?

    Consider

    There are many management styles. Some leaders believe the best way to get people to do what they want is through intimidation and fear. Other leaders believe in empowering employees and motivating them through positive feedback. Which school of thought do your leaders follow?

    Consider

    Who were their teachers? The people your leaders worked for during their careers had an impact on them, positive or negative. Look at each leader as an individual. Consider such things as their background, who they worked for, and what kind of training they received, if any.

    Consider

    They are individuals with unique backgrounds and experiences. Each was raised in a different environment with various circumstances. What we experience as we grow up and live in a household with parents or family influences who we are as we get older unless we actively choose to change our beliefs.

    What is your dragon’s communication style preference?

    Employees who think their leaders don’t communicate clearly or provide enough information may not be taking a close look at their leader’s communications style. We all have our own way of taking in information and sending it out.

    Get to know your leader’s style of communication. Does she like information short and to the point? Does she need facts and detail? Once you identify your leader’s style, you can communicate in the way that will be most effective. Your leader will be more open to input if it’s presented in a format she likes. By not tapping into your leader’s style, you reduce openness to your information or idea. You will learn about four communication styles in Star Achieving Techniques™ (Level I, Module 2).

    Sometimes leaders are just too busy and don’t realize they aren’t communicating something of importance to their employees. They have major projects on their minds, meetings to attend, phone calls to make, and employee problems to handle. You can improve the communication process by asking questions.

    Other times employees just aren’t supposed to know everything that is going on. Leaders use their best judgment as to when to share information with staff.

    How would you like to be a leader?

    It is not an easy job. Just think of the many decisions your leader has to make. What about the people she has to supervise? Put yourself in the role of a leader for a moment. Many of the decisions your leader has to make impact people. So, as an employee, while you might think it is easy to be a manager, it is not.

    Do Leaders Really Have Unrealistic Expectations?

    Today everything moves at hypersonic speed. No matter how fast it is, we want it to go faster! Yet with the drive for speed is an equal necessity for quality. Companies can’t afford to sacrifice quality or re-work. Companies strive to have skilled, knowledgeable employees with the best products and services. They need employees who continually seek improvement and higher quality. Your company shouldn’t have to tell you to do this; you need to embrace a philosophy of continuous improvement in your work.

    It is natural for a leader to expect the best of people. It can be seen as a compliment. The leader is saying, “I believe you can do great things. I believe in your skills and abilities. I believe in you.” Is that so bad?

    An interesting facet of life in the fast lane is that due to that speed, no one stops often or long to think long and hard about what they are asking you to do really means or entails fully. Specifics and details may be unknown to your leader, or even glossed over, unintentionally.

    Your leader doesn’t always know every little detail a request might create or moment by moment, what your job entails. They don’t see that their request causes a domino-like effect, a cascade of additional workflow.

    Leaders see your position from their perspective and you see their position from your perspective. Neither of you realizes how long it may take to perform a particular task or the small army of people who may be needed. And, leaders may not recognize the demands put on you by others in activities that swirl around your desk.

    I hope you found this helpful. This week when you feel like you are dealing with a “manager dragon,” question if your perception is just your perception or a reality.

    conference_for_administrative_assistants

    The post Fighting Office Dragons – Managers (1 of 3 part series) appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:00:14 on 2017/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , career advice, , , , , , , , , , Stress Management, voice your opinion,   

    Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace 

    voicing_your_opinion_at_work

    I hope you had a great week last week and were able to apply the tips I had for communicating with people from different generations. In case you did not read the last two Monday Motivators, I have been writing a 3 part series on communicating for business success. The first one was, Be a better communicator at work and the second was, Bridge the Generational Communication Gap.

    Today I am focusing on tactfully voicing your opinion, which is another topic I cover in our World Class Assistant Certification course.

    Throughout my career as an employee—a few decades ago—I had the need to voice my opinion to my manager, colleague, vendors, peers, and others. As a business owner, leader, trainer, coach…I still have situations occur when I need to voice my opinion. We all experience this in the workplace. For some people, it is easy to voice their opinion and for others, it is hard.

    The caution is just because someone has the courage to speak up, it doesn’t mean they are presenting it in a way that will be acceptable to the receiver. If we want our voice to be heard and to be taken seriously, we have to think about how we communicate and present our case.

    Step #1: Consider these factors. Before you even express your opinion, there are some factors you should take into consideration, such as:

    • What is the other person’s sensitivity to the issue or situation?
    • What is my experience level in the area in which I want to express my views?
    • Is it too late to express my opinion?
    • If the receiver is from a different culture, how will they accept what I have to say?
    • Are there generational differences between me and the person to whom I want to express my views? How might that impact their willingness to be open to what I have to say?
    • My mood? Am I in a low mood? A grumpy mood? Frustrated? That probably is not the time to express my opinion. This could dramatically affect the outcome.
    • Why am I even having this conversation?
    • What is my motive in voicing my opinion? What do I hope to accomplish?

    Step #2: Think about the words you will use. Resist rattling off what’s on your real mind. You want to maintain professionalism and have the receiver be open to your suggestions or views.

    Step #3: Gather facts to back up your opinion. For example, if Joe in another department consistently turns in a monthly report late, you will have a lot more leverage or chance of getting Joe to change if you were to say something like… “Joe, the January report was due on the 18th of the month; I received the report on January 25. In February, the report was due February 14; I received the report February 19.” Do you see having facts is more powerful than saying, “Joe you are always late with the monthly report.”

    Step #4: Make sure you aren’t personally attacking someone. Stay focused on the point or issue at hand or situation. It does us no good to verbally attack a person.

    Step #5: Select the best time. Timing is important. Maybe you wish to express your thoughts in a meeting to one of the attendees but you would be better off waiting until after the meeting or even the next day. Again, if we want people to be open to what we have to offer, we need to consider if this is the right time.

    Step #6: Clearly explain your point of view. Two people can be right and not be in agreement. What do I mean? I see it all the time when I coach executives and assistants. Each person has their view of a situation, expectations or performance. The executive is right and the assistant is right but they have different view or stories about what happened. Take time to explain your thoughts.

    Step #7: Consider your relationship with the other person. How long have you known this person? How will they take your feedback? Are they a superior? (You can still voice your opinion but very carefully.) Do they work within your organization or outside your organization?

    It is both important to express our views and maintain another person’s self-esteem. I encourage you to work on this vital business skill.

    Have an awesome week!

    Joan Burge

    Come see me live in Chicago for Administrative Professionals Week!

    workshop_for_administrative_assistants_chicago_illinois

    Photo Credit: Designed by Katemangostar / Freepik

    The post Tactfully Voicing Your Opinion In The Workplace appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:06:36 on 2017/01/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , admin tasks, adminproforum, , conversation with assistants, question and answer, responsibilities, Stress Management   

    Which administrative task or responsibility would you like to see disappear? 

    administrative_responsibility

    Each month we feature a question from our friends at Business Management Daily’s Admin Pro Forum. Please enjoy engaging in a conversation over this month’s question.

    Which administrative task or responsibility would you like to see disappear?

    Question: “Say your boss came to you tomorrow and said that starting in the new year, one and only one of your admin tasks is going away forever—and you get to pick which it is. What would it be, and what is it about that thing that you just can’t stand?” – the editors of Administrative Professional Today

    See comments below, and send your own question to editor@adminprotoday.com.

    The post Which administrative task or responsibility would you like to see disappear? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:35:21 on 2016/12/12 Permalink
    Tags: #mondaymotivators, , , , , get control of your day, , , , , , , Stress Management, to do list,   

    10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day 

    get-things-done-control-your-day

    I hope you are doing well this second Monday of December. I’ve been having a jolly time hosting daily webinars that started December 1 as a part of our 12 Days of Christmas this year. Office Dynamics is celebrating this month of giving by presenting free 30-minute webinars for 12 business days in a row. That’s a pretty heavy duty schedule but I’m having a blast. My partner-in-crime, Jasmine Freeman and I are making these webinars educational and festive. Each day we think of something new to surprise our attendees plus give away some great gifts such as on-line learning and conferences on demand. The response from our attendees has been tremendous.

    Since this is the busy season I thought I would give you my 10 quick tips from the December 1 webinar

    Ten Ways To Get Control Of Your Day

    1. Early in the day, clarify your top 5 priorities for the day. Priorities can quickly change from the time you left work until the next morning. Many managers work in the evening and even hold conference calls which can easily change the priorities for the next day.
    2. Focus on the task at hand. Truly commit to focusing on the current task, email, call, assignment or conversation. You will be so much more productive and less tired at the end of the work day.
    3. Neutralize information overload. We are bombarded with information. It not only shows up in our email and on our Facebook pages but we seek it out! You do not have to read every single thing or be on Facebook every day.
    4. Ask others for specific deadlines. By when do they need the work they are assigning you? This will help you place this new task in proper priority with your other duties.
    5. Recognize the time of day you are most productive. Are you a morning person? Or late morning person? Try to schedule the most challenging or thought-provoking tasks when you are your best. You will move through the assignment much quicker and probably do a better job.
    6. Search for alternatives; a simpler, faster way. As you go through your day, ask yourself, “How can I streamline this process? How can I get this done faster? Make this easier? Can I delegate this to someone else? Can I totally eliminate this from my to do list?”
    7. Establish some quiet time throughout the day. You should take 5 – 10 minutes around mid-afternoon to review your work load, regroup in your own mind and reorganize your priorities. Do not feel guilty taking some time for this. You will mentally jump back to work refreshed and feeling like you know where you are heading the rest of the afternoon.
    8. Delegate (at work and at home). Especially during this busy year-end and holiday season you need to delegate wherever possible. Partners and children at home can certainly jump in. Once again, do not feel guilty for delegating.
    9. Organize your workspace. This is a great time of year to organize your workspace and digital files. It feels so good to get rid of clutter. You will be ready to go when you start up work in early January.
    10. Plan ahead. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to plan for your next day. It’s also a good idea on a Friday to look at your upcoming week. What is on your schedule at home and at work? What do you need to do to prepare for that upcoming week? Are there conflicting appointments? Do you need assistance with personal errands? Are you going on vacation and need to put a hold on your newspaper? What will your executive need to be prepared for next week’s meeting?

     

    If you can spare 15 – 30 minutes this week, you may want to jump on one of our webinars and get motivated for your day! Attendees have also told me it’s a great break from their mundane tasks. Register to attend.

    The post 10 Ways You Can Get Control Of Your Day appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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