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  • feedwordpress 16:00:44 on 2019/06/17 Permalink
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    Love What You Do 


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    Last week Office Dynamics International turned 29! I can’t believe my company is 29 years old. It has not been an easy journey, especially since I started a niche business of specialized training for administrative professionals of every title, age, and experience level. 29 years ago, there was no robust training for assistants.

    I am very blessed to be doing work I love with people I care about. Assistants are near and dear to my heart. Helping assistants improve the quality of their work life (and personal) is always at the forefront of my work. Over these 29 years, I have met tens of thousands of administrative professionals.

    What I love more than anything is being in a classroom with assistants. This is the place where I can really make a difference. That is why I have always emphasized onsite training. However, I realized that many assistants were missing out on my guidance and experience because their companies would not bring me in or they would not be permitted to travel to Las Vegas for our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence.

    In 2018, we started taking our World Class Assistant™ certification and designation course out to different cities. I also realized that I could not be everywhere to teach these classes and reach others so, I enlisted Julie Reed as an ODI Elite Trainer because I knew Julie cared as much about the profession as I did. And I guess what really matters most is that my 49 years of experience will not go to my grave with me when that day comes. Holding on to what I know just because I physically can’t be everywhere does the world no good.

    And so, it is with that thought that I am proud to be holding our World Class Assistant™ course in other cities and want to expand our reach in 2020.

    When you love what you do, it isn’t work. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have bad days and tough seasons, but you are willing to tough it out because, deep down, you love your work and how it helps others.

    I know there are many assistants in this world who are in this profession because they want to support and serve others; their greatest joy comes from being of help. Thanks to all of you for being there so I can do what I love most—helping you!

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Love What You Do appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:15:39 on 2019/05/21 Permalink
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    Conference for Administrative Assistants – How to Get Your Executive’s Approval 


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    Most of the time assistants tell me they can’t attend our conference for administrative assistants or training because of budget cuts or not getting financial support. Sometimes it really is a budget issue. I understand that perfectly as a business owner and CEO. But often, it’s just lack of knowing how to sell the conference to the executive. Have the courage to go after what you want. That in itself is a learning experience. Below are strategies that really work. I used them when I was an assistant and needed to convince my executive to send me to a conference for administrative assistants.

    Points to Consider
    1. You need to continually learn and grow. In today’s competitive marketplace and at the pace this profession is changing, if you do not continually enhance your skills, build new ones, and have a strategy for your career, you will get left in the dust.

    2. Don’t feel guilty about being out of the office to attend a program or conference that will make you better equipped, faster, smarter, and sharper. 

    3. Get your executive to see the long-term payoff. Often executives think about the number of days you will be out of the office. You need to help them see that while you may be gone three or four days, you will gain skills and knowledge that will take you, and them, into the future. 

    4. Executives travel all over the country. Why shouldn’t you? Some assistants tell me they can only attend seminars that take place in their city or state. That is not 21st Century thinking. Assistants should be a business partner to their executive, so start acting like a business partner and convince your manager why you should be allowed to travel out of state.

    5. Don’t give up. If you really believe this training will help you professionally or even just rejuvenate your enthusiasm about your career, realize it may take three or four attempts to convince your manager. You may have to try different ways or formats to persuade your executive and, remember, timing is important.

    Principles of Persuasion

    1. Know exactly what you want to accomplish by attending a conference for administrative assistants. List your objectives alongside each topic in the curriculum and how that will tie into your current job or prepare you for the future.

    2. To be a good seller, consider the buyer’s viewpoint. Try to put yourself in your executive’s position. What key selling points would be important to your executive? How will your executive benefit from you attending the conference?

    3. Learn what motivates your executive. Is your executive motivated by ROI (return on investment), the skills you will develop or you learning from an acclaimed expert in the field? Does your executive believe in personal development and growth? If not, it will be a harder sell but don’t give up; be persistent.

    4. Keep in mind the format you will use to present your case. Try to gauge your receiver’s communication style preference. Does your executive prefer information short and to the point or does your executive like details? Is your executive a visual person? If so, provide graphs or charts to make your point. Or for example, use visuals from the administrative conference site and pull them into PowerPoint or mini-posters to communicate with your executive.

    5. Tie key learning points of the conference for administrative assistants to your professional development plan for the year and to the goals of your department.

    6. Show your executive how what you will learn will help you in specific areas of your job. For example: Let’s say one of the topics covered will be learning and understanding communication styles. Tell your executive you will use that information to be a better communicator by tapping into the receiver’s style; build rapport with internal and external customers; and complement your executive’s and his or her staff’s communication styles.

    7. If your executive still says no to the conference for administrative assistants, sincerely ask your executive why he or she believes this is not a good investment. You may be able to counter that perception.

    8. It always helps to let your executive know that you will share what you have learned with other assistants in your organization. But be absolutely cognizant of copyrights.

    9. Emphasize the benefits of networking at the conference with peers and learning from others in the field.

    10. Negotiate if necessary. Ask your executive to pay the registration fee and hotel and you’ll pay your airfare. Or you pay for your hotel stay and ask your executive to pay for registration and airfare. Be creative!

    11. If all else fails, maybe you need to make the financial investment in yourself. Yes, I said you make the investment. I know several high-performing assistants who have spent thousands of dollars on their development and have reaped tremendous rewards over the years.

    GOOD LUCK!

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Conference for Administrative Assistants – How to Get Your Executive’s Approval appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:45:30 on 2019/05/07 Permalink
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    What is the Difference Between an Administrative Conference and Administrative Training? 


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    With the plethora of offerings for administrative training and development, there is also a lot of confusion. People are throwing around terminology that can be confusing to the purchaser. I’d like to help you understand better so you can stop asking yourself “what is the difference between an administrative conference and administrative training?”

    Something to remember is that typically if you want to dig deep into administrative training content and practice the skills you are learning, you usually get that in a training course or workshop. The smaller the class, the more attention you get from the trainer thus leading to longer-term behavior change. When choosing an administrative conference or training, choose wisely. I will write about this in another blog.

    Administrative ConferenceAdministrative Training
    Delivered live with audience in the same room (may be streamed or recordedDelivered live with an audience in the room (could be virtual)
    All types of interaction with audience is possibleAll types of interaction with the audience are possible
    Can have direct contact with presenters BUT not all of them because of too many participants or speakers don’t stay for entire eventDefinitely, have direct contact with facilitators because often the class size is small compared to a conference
    Mid-level facilitationHigh-level facilitation by the presenter (Important the presenter is highly experienced to create behavior change)
    Networking with 100 – 2,000Networking with a small intimate group
    Teambuilding – depends on the conference host if they conduct any activities for this (Office Dynamics always conducts an educational, fun team building activity the first day of our event)Team building – the extent of opportunity to do this is up to the facilitator
    Speakers – several speakers presentUsually, 1 or 2 facilitators present and facilitate
    # of Attendees 100 – 2,000+True training classes are usually limited to 25 so the facilitator can give adequate attention to students.
    Skill practice – someSkill practice – ample time to practice newly-learned skills. (With Office Dynamics administrative training classes, participants have lots of time to practice in the classroom. Our training is roll up your sleeves and drill down!)
    Social – most conferences purposely set time for social and extracurricular activitiesMight include a welcome reception or dinner
    General Sessions and Concurrent SessionsUsually, everyone is in one place/room. Might have some small break out groups or rooms
    Usually higher end cost, but not alwaysCould be a higher end; normally affordable
    Held in various cities and countriesHeld in various cities and countries
    Usually comprehensive materialsParticipants SHOULD receive comprehensive materials
    Exhibitors – usually, not allUsually no exhibitors

    I hope this information helps you pursue your goals!

    The post What is the Difference Between an Administrative Conference and Administrative Training? appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:08:16 on 2019/05/02 Permalink
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    How Do I Tactfully Voice My Concern? – Ask an Admin 


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    Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants have to deal with a lot. Whether that is working remotely, working with several managers or executives, and sometimes supporting an entire floor of employees! Usually, these difficult situations bring up situations that leave them asking, “how do I tactfully voice my concern?”

    Heather D. asks us:

    I am a Certified Executive Administrative Professional and have been an Executive Assistant (EA) for the last 15 years to a VP of my former employer where we had a very good Business Partner relationship. I have since been forced to leave that employer almost 2 years ago now due to downsizing and am in a different EA role with a quickly growing company reporting to both the CEO and CFO.

    The role posted was framed up that I would be supporting them in the day to day activities much like an EA role does however since the day I was hired I have simply been a  “taskmaster/office manager” doing miscellaneous office/employee relations type tasks with very little interaction with either the CEO or CFO including my mid-year and end of the year evaluations. Both senior leaders have grown with the company for the last 28+ years and have never had what we know to be a true EA and aren’t interested in my role evolving to that at all. They did, however, hire a VP of Sales this past July that I was told I would be supporting as well and that he is being groomed to replace the CEO within the next 1-2  yrs. As part of this VP’s onboarding, I got to know him well and he had a true EA in the last 15 years with his former employer and would like to have one here.

    The CEO, CFO and this new VP of Sales all agreed that most of my time should be supporting him and that the VP of Sales was given the go-ahead to rewrite my job description however I don’t report to him or sit near him and both of those are necessary, in my opinion, to do this EA role the most efficiently and effectively (not to mention an accurate job description). The problem is that this company is moving and growing so quickly with “multiple hot irons in the fire” all the time that neither the CEO or the VP of Sales has had any time to see this transition through and it has been about 2 months since they last told me this transition was happening.

    My question is should I be approaching my direct leader (who I have no interaction with), the CEO or the new VP of Sales (which is who I have been working 50-75% of the time for in the last 6 months)? How do I approach this respectfully and voice my concerns in a firm manner around the current reporting/relationship structure?

    Well that is actually a very tough question! How do you tactfully voice your concern as an administrative professional without causing trouble?


    Want to learn more about Ask an Admin and how to submit your own question? Click here

    The post How Do I Tactfully Voice My Concern? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:00:08 on 2019/04/26 Permalink
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    Top 9 Communication Tips for Executive and Administrative Assistants 


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    Establishing rapport is critical to attaining successful business and personal relationships.  While everyone must competently use today’s information technology tools, too many of us are ignoring the proven importance and effectiveness of interpersonal communication skills. That is why we’ve put together a list of the top 9 communication tips for executive and administrative assistants that are pulled from our certification and designation course.

     1.    Try being more specific in what you say.  Speak for yourself; don’t use vague generalizations about people. This would be especially important if you are speaking to someone who needs details. You may not always know if the person you are speaking to is more of a “big picture” or “detailed” thinker. But if you really pay attention to people and listen, you can determine if they have a preference.

    2.    Pay attention to what is happening in the present moment within yourself, in the other person, and between the two of you. This is a good one. How many times are you paying attention to other things or letting thoughts get in your way of concentrating on the immediate? In this age of constant distraction, it takes concentrated effort to be in the moment. But this will be one of the best techniques you can implement.

     3.    To be effective, if you do have a criticism to make, first get yourself taken seriously as an expert or trusted friend. It is very difficult for someone to listen to our critique of them or something they have done if they don’t trust us, respect us or view us as a credible source. First, work on those three things (trust, respect, being credible) and then it will be easier to give feedback.

     4.    People usually want support, approval, and agreement.  Be as generous with these as you can.

    5.    Take time and effort to know what you want to communicate.  Do not operate mouth until the brain is in gear. Make sure you do not just blurt out what is on your mind as you can hurt someone or create a barrier. When we are communicating with others, we want to be heard. We want people to be open to what we have to say or get them to take action. This especially applies in an email. Take your time to craft your message.

     6.    Give your work partner time and space to communicate.  Don’t interrupt or complete his/her sentences. How many times do you jump in before someone has finished their thought? Or you think you know exactly what they are going to say next? We all do it by habit. However, you will get more out of a conversation if you let the other person say what they need to say. Granted, some people babble on and on; just be patient.

    7.    Face the fact that the message you think you are receiving is not always the message sent. It is good to clarify what you think you heard. This can save you rework, errors or moving in the wrong direction on a task or assignment.

     8.    Ask yourself if your goal is to communicate or to win. This is especially important during conflict resolution. When we have conflicting views or opinions, usually our goal is “someone has to win and someone has to lose. I want to win; therefore, you have to lose.” This solves nothing. Often when we focus us making sure the other person understands our message or point of view, we win.

     9.    Watch out for anger and resentment as barriers.  Do you hold grudges? Did someone at work say something that upset you? Or maybe they ignored you and that bothered you. Hidden anger or resentment will create barriers. Use assertive communication skills to manage these situations.

    Best of luck! Use these strategies to improve relationships, get work done, persuade others, negotiate, create win-win situations, and be seen as a world-class administrative professional.

    Certification_Designation_Administrative_Assistants

    This article is an excerpt from the World Class Assistant™ certification and designation course. To learn more about earning you Certified World Class Assistant designation and certification please click here.

    The post Top 9 Communication Tips for Executive and Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

     
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