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  • feedwordpress 09:27:11 on 2017/11/09 Permalink
    Tags: , aggressive, , , , , , , , passive, , training for assistants, workplace communication,   

    7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive 

    Assertive_vs_Aggressive_Communication

    Do you want to be more assertive?

    Learning how to tactfully voice your opinions and assert your needs as an executive assistant is important. Many assistants have crossed the line from assertive to aggressive. So what is the difference between assertive and aggressive? Isn’t being aggressive good?

    Many people confuse assertive and aggressive behavior. This is especially true of women, who until recent years, were often taught to associate passiveness with femininity. As a result women often are reluctant to take the initiative in the workplace – whether to resolve a conflict, solve a problem, or present an idea—for fear of being labeled pushy or obnoxious. 97% of administrative professionals are female.

    What’s the difference between being assertive and aggressive?

    Before I go on, let me clarify the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive. By explaining the 3 of these, it will help you better understand the differences.

    Passive: A passive person only cares about others and what they think and making sure everyone else’s needs are met. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that a good thing?” No. Not when we sacrifice ourselves or what we need to get done for the sake of others. Passive people can become resentful or blow up later, which then becomes aggressiveness.

    Aggressive: An aggressive person only cares about themselves; therefore, they don’t care what they say or how they say it as long as they get what they want.

    Assertive: An assertive person cares that their own needs are met AND cares about others. So they think about how they will communicate in a caring way and get what they need.

    We all have needs to be met in the workplace so we can do our job and finish projects on time. We also have to make sure people do not walk all over us or be a cupcake! Assertiveness is the way to go because it is the happy medium. You care about yourself and your care about others.

    Benefits of Being Assertive

    • Reduces anxiety.
    • Provides a feeling of control.
    • Increases self-esteem.
    • Builds confidence.
    • We get resolution of the situation.
    • Less stress and wasted time.
    • You choose when to push a situation or not.
    • Protects you from being taken advantage of.

    We all know the famous Mayo Clinic. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about being assertive. “Being assertive is typically viewed as a healthier communication style. Being assertive offers many benefits. It helps you keep people from walking all over you. On the flip side, it can also help you from steamrolling others.”

    Risk is Involved
    Being assertive involves some risk because you aren’t guaranteed of the outcome. You have to be willing to take a chance, knowing the situation may not turn out like you hope it will. However, you have a better chance of having your needs met with assertive action than by being passive or aggressive.

    When communicating assertively, it’s a good idea to start at the end—what you want to see happen and then work back. Make sure you clearly communicate your needs or desires. When these are communicated in a direct, tactful manner, you most likely will see the result you expected in the beginning.

    Weigh the Pros And Cons
    If you are doubtful as to whether to assert yourself in a particular situation, you should weigh the pros and cons. It is not the number of pros vs. cons that is as important as the impact of each pro and con.

    7 Steps to Be More Assertive

    1. Outwardly confront something instead of holding it in or stewing over it. Passive people hold things in. They keep their feelings buried and do not like confrontation. Therefore, they are walked over and stressed out. While you may want to take some time to think about the situation and how you want to respond, do not sit on it for days and weeks. In fact, the sooner you confront a situation or something someone said to you, the better. Just choose your words carefully.
    2. State their opinions clearly. You are entitled to your opinion. We are not clones of each other. When communicating with others take time to be clear when expressing your opinions and especially do not say anything that would hurt another person’s feelings.
    3. Walk away at your choosing. Passive people walk away because they feel intimated by a person or the situation. An assertive person walks away because “it’s” just not worth their time or energy.
    4. Are active, not reactive. Assertive people take action but they also stop and think before they take action. Again, they craft the message they want to deliver so the other person will be open to what they say.
    5. Establish deadlines. You can start this today! Many executive and administrative assistants will ask, “When do you need this?” Of course, the common answer is, “As soon as you can get it to me?” Or, “As soon as possible.” Learn to ask people, “By when do you need this?” Get the people who assign you tasks or special projects to commit to the latest date by which they need something, not the soonest. This helps the person giving you the assignment set their own priorities and helps you prioritize your workload.
    6. Do not accept inappropriate behavior. If there is anything that does not feel right or appropriate to you in the workplace, you must tell the offending person their action or words are not acceptable to you. A very simple example for assistants is the person who always comes into the assistant’s workspace and takes pencils or pens or whatever. If you don’t like that, then say something. That is a very simple example. My point is you do not have to accept behaviors that make you frustrated, stressed, or uncomfortable. My favorite saying is, “People will continue to treat you as you allow them to.”
    7. Go to the source. People have a tendency to complain to their friends or co-workers about someone at work who upset them or who they don’t like. That does not change the situation or how you feel—at least not permanently. When something arises with another person, you need to go directly to the source. Again, use positive communication skills. If you hear something via third party, make sure you have all your facts before going to the source.

    “We are learning to find a balance between being too passive and/or too aggressive, instead, learning to be assertive when presenting ideas and/or suggestions.” – World Class Assistant Part 1 Graduates (For more wisdom from these class participants check out the slideshare below by my World Class students.

    Joan Burge

    Benefits of Attending the World Class Assistant Certificate Program (as shared by course participants)

     

    Find More Information About World Class Assistant Training

    The post 7 Tips for Executive Assistants Who Want To Be More Assertive appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:33:08 on 2016/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , holiday message, , , training for assistants   

    In Deep Gratitude-Serving the Administrative Profession Since 1990 

    Christmas is just around the corner. I’m sure many of you are scurrying to get your holiday shopping done and attending parties.

    So, I am keeping today’s Monday Motivator short.

    On behalf of the entire team at Office Dynamics International, I want to thank you for contributing to our company’s success and for being a fan! It has been an honor and a privilege to serve all of you, whether we have met you in person, via a webinar or you have purchased one of our books. We greatly appreciate all of your positive feedback. If you have sent us any personal notes this year, thank you for taking the time to write. Your letters and emails of encouragement are appreciated and give us the desire to do more and more for you. And not just more…. But to do a stellar job at everything we do!

    We are wishing you and your families a safe and joyous holiday.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We will see you in 2017.

    Joan Burge and the Office Dynamics International Team

    workshop_for_administrative_assistants_chicago_illinois

    The post In Deep Gratitude-Serving the Administrative Profession Since 1990 appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:29:12 on 2016/12/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , administrative assistant programs, administrative training, assistant continued learning programs, , , goals for 2017, learning and development, learning and development for assistants, , seminars, training for assistants, , VILT, virtual training, webinars for assistants, , workshops   

    Choosing Administrative Training That’s Right for You 

    As 2016 comes to an end, I hope you are working on your goals for your 2017 development. The challenge may come when you realize there are a plethora of training programs, conferences, webinars and other learning events for administrative assistants and executive assistants. So how do you determine what is best for you? After all, you will have to invest time for your development and in many instances, your company will have to make a financial investment.

    It’s best to start with your end in mind. For example, when assistants ask me which training would be best for them between our conference and World Class Assistant Certification live course, I ask them “What are your goals?” “What are you trying to accomplish?” Our conference and World Class Assistant™ our very different learning events. At our conference we have numerous speakers, it’s a much larger event and shorter sessions. Our World Class Assistant™ Certificate course is limited to 20 attendees. I am the only person teaching, we go very deep into the material and there is ample time for skill practice. Do you see the difference?

    I thought I would give you a quick overview of the various training platforms for assistants and a few words of wisdom.

    Conferences for Administrative Professionals

    conference-for-assistants

    There are conferences and then there are conferences. They are not all created equal. I am amazed at how many assistants (and even training companies) intertwine verbiage when talking about training or conferences. For those of us in the training/adult learning industry, there is a difference. Even within conferences there are differences. I see some offer a one-day workshop with no frills and title it a conference.

    A conference usually has the following elements:

    • A Welcome Reception or some type of gathering the night before the main learning event.
    • Multiple speakers and I don’t mean 2 people. At our administrative conference, we usually have about 11 – 13 speakers. Really big conferences have 40 or more speakers.
    • Often have concurrent sessions. However, we do not offer concurrent sessions every year because we like it when attendees are in the same room hearing the same great presentation. Our past attendees have really liked this feature.
    • Exhibitors ranging from big exhibit halls to small tables. Again, this is where we differ a bit. Historically we have only allowed our speakers to set up tables and sell their books. Last year, we had several companies interested in setting up a display in our Success Store and it was great. We will be doing this in the future.
    • Conferences usually have 50 or more people.
    • Presentations usually last 60 – 90 minutes. There may be some half-day workshops, but not too many.
    • Last several days.
    • Low-level engagement from attendees.
    • Usually have some sort of special event one night for attendees.
    • Sometimes the day before the conference actually starts, the hosting organization may offer full-day certification training.

    Conferences are great if you want to network with a lot of different people, and hear many different speakers.

    Live Training Event (such as a workshop, seminar, or certification course)

     

    workshops-for-assistants

    Elements of a Live Training Event or Administrative Workshop include:

    • Usually only 1 or 2 individuals are presenting and facilitating.
    • Limited number of attendees. We limit our on-site training classes to 25. We limit our WCA certification and designation course to 20 so that each attendee gets personal attention from me.
    • Focused content.
    • Skill practice for attendees.
    • High-level engagement from attendees.
    • Variety of learning activities such as mind-mapping, brainstorming, role playing, and creative exercises.
    • Accountability after the class by the attendee.

    Webinars for Administrative Professionals

    free-webinar-career-fear

    Paid or Free? As you know there are paid and free webinars. One is not better than the other. Of course, free webinars sound enticing because they are free. Again, not all free webinars are created equal. It depends on the presenter and their ability to keep you engaged.

    Also, the topic is important. Will the topic being covered help you achieve your goals? What are the learning objectives of the webinar? Do they align with the skills you need to develop or enhance?

    Live or Replay? For me, attending the live webinar is great. I can almost feel the energy through the technology of the presenter or attendees. A replay is useful in case you can’t attend the live event or you want to hear the information more than once. Often I am taking notes during a webinar so I might miss the way something was said. I encourage you to at least sign up for the webinar so you will get the replay link in the event you miss it.

    Video or PowerPoint Presentation? I have watched many webinars where I only see a still picture of the presenter and hear their voice as they go through all their slides. Personally, I want to see the presenter’s face. It’s just my personal preference. I am less apt to be distracted with something else in my office when I see their face as they present. I also feel a connection with the person.

    At Office Dynamics, we have been offering free monthly webinars since January 2015. Most often it is a video presentation where you see me or me and my guest presenter. (And Jasmine, too.) It’s great! What works best for you?

    Before participating or watching a replay of a webinar, write some specific goals related to the topic being covered. Be sure to take good notes as you watch the webinar because it’s hard to remember everything afterward. Try to immediately identify which action steps you are going to take from what you learned while the information is fresh in your mind.

    Online Learning vs. On Demand

    These formats are often interchanged. They are basically the same. At Office Dynamics, when we say “online learning,” we are referring to actual training courses.

    Then we refer to the video-taped sessions from our conference as Conference On Demand. It is an online learning program but it only focuses on our conference for that particular year.

    Virtual Instructor-Led Training [VILT]

    VILT

    I bet you never heard of this. VILT is Virtual Instructor-Led Training. That is where I would be present a live workshop from Las Vegas to a group of assistants in a company in another location. It is as if we were in one room together. I can see the participants and they can see me. It is live. Participants can ask me questions and I can ask them questions.

    VILT is a cost effective way to present training. There are no travel expenses involved. A company can even have assistants from multiple locations/offices attend the program.

    What’s Next for You?

    Of course, you want to take advantage of free training. Then you should supplement that with formal training. I highly recommend live conferences, workshops, retreats and boot camps because you gain so much from talking to people face to face. You have opportunities to talk to the speakers after they have presented; can ask your personal questions in private with the presenter.

    Plus 99% of assistants say the one thing they love about attending live classes or conferences is the networking! By far, assistants love sharing with their peers, hearing about challenges other assistants face and learning best practices.

    You might also consider how you best learn. I learn best by seeing what someone is explaining to me or seeing it in writing or seeing the person presenting. I learn best in a live event or if someone works with me one-on-one.

    I am an avid reader and especially like to read hard copy information because I flag important pages, highlight important tips and techniques, and underline information that I want to revisit.

    Steps toward planning your administrative development in 2017.

    1. Write your goals for 2017 in terms of skills you need to develop; skills you want to take to the next level; and gap areas where you have little to no knowledge.
    2. Prioritize your learning goals. What do you need to tackle first, second, third and fourth?
    3. What does your manager think you should focus on? You should always get your manager’s perspective, especially because you want them to support you with your training and development?
    4. create a spreadsheet that lists your areas for development and then crosswise list the platforms you will use to develop that skill. You can even make a column to list resources as you find them.
    5. You can really make this fun. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Take one bite at a time. Of course, you can’t do everything at once.
    6. Research. Really read a website. I can’t tell you how many assistants and executives don’t know all the education programs and products Office Dynamics offers because they don’t take the time to look around our website. Even clients who have worked with us for years don’t know I offer private coaching or that we offer a full-day workshop for managers and assistants.
    7. Read bios. Who is teaching? What is their level of expertise?
    8. What do you hope to get out of the time you spend?
    9. Track your progress throughout the year. Give yourself a star or reward when you accomplish a goal. If you get off track, get back on track.

     

    Something we did to make it easier for assistants to determine what is best for them with all the options Office Dynamics offers was to create a page on our website listing all the training options based on an assistants’ or managers’ goals. You might want to check it out here.

    Good luck!

    Joan Burge

    The post Choosing Administrative Training That’s Right for You appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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