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  • feedwordpress 12:52:59 on 2020/08/11 Permalink
    Tags: Uncategorized   

    Why Agreeing to Disagree is OK When Having Difficult Conversations 

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    In early March, I spoke with a friend who said she believed the coronavirus was “nothing more than a glorified cold”. She went on to say the media was going to send this country into a quick recession if they didn’t stop hyping the story.

    I strongly disagreed and we argued. Like me, she is a former news reporter. She is also one of the smartest people I know. After our disagreement, we agreed to disagree but didn’t speak for a while.

    Two months later she emailed me. Her healthy vibrant Mom had died of COVID. Living in a senior facility, Mom, who had no underlying health issues, contracted the virus. She was gone in six days.

    I reached out to my friend who was clearly devastated. Opinions and political differences aside, we have always been there for each other and still are.

    Weeks later, when we spoke again, we agreed we were both upset with the escalating COVID numbers. She said she was furious that states were making individual decisions that were hurting the economy. She strongly believed businesses should be allowed to open quickly.

    I said if the country had a master plan and stronger leadership at the top, states could follow protocol. She disagreed. We debated some more and said we’d talk soon.

    My mother is also in a long- term care facility that has seen COVID deaths, so like my friend, I have a personal connection to this story. However, as a communications coach who has helped companies navigate a myriad of crises for more than two decades, there are seven basic crisis principles that should be applied in every situation including:

    • Have a plan
    • Act quickly
    • Prioritize those who are affected
    • Be proactive and transparent
    • Take responsibility
    • Communicate early and often

    As a proud citizen and business owner, I understand the importance of economic recovery, but not at the expense of lives.

    New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, and other countries including nations in the Caribbean are now moving forward because they either banned incoming visitors in the early stages of the pandemic or quickly initiated quarantines. Some countries like South Korea developed their own testing systems while others simply responded faster to the pandemic.

    In many of these successful countries, specifically Asia, they believe the government is responsible for solving the problem and instituted national plans that were quickly communicated to their people.

    Putting people first is critical during any crisis and here in America, we failed to do that. In a recent survey by public relations firm Edelman, 71% of respondents said they would lose trust in a brand if they believed that brand was putting profits over people. With the United States leading the world in confirmed cases of coronavirus, the need for empathetic compassionate leadership has never been more important.

    My friend and I haven’t talked in a while. We will. When we do, we’ll again agree to disagree. Fortunately, we care about each other too much to let it ruin our friendship. Unfortunately, nothing will change. She’ll stay on her side and I’ll stay on mine. She’ll hear me and I’ll hear her.

    Yet, like so many on different sides of the discussion, we will be listening, respond and defend our positions, not understand and fix our collective problems.

  • feedwordpress 17:30:00 on 2020/07/10 Permalink
    Tags: Uncategorized   

    5 Grammar Miscues that Undermine Good Writing 

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    Did you know that bad grammar can ruin a good message? You could be missing opportunities to get your point across because your readers have to wade through awkward sentences that set their teeth on edge. Common grammar mistakes can be avoided if you take the time to learn the rules and then apply them.…
  • feedwordpress 14:45:00 on 2020/04/02 Permalink
    Tags: Uncategorized   

    Time Management Skills for Executive and Administrative Assistants 

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    One of the biggest struggles executive assistants report to me is mastering effective time management. Let’s face it: your days are chaotic. You’re pulled in a million different directions, and many of you have multiple leaders to support. Deadlines press down on you, distractions steal valuable time, and there never seems to be quite enough hours in the day to get it all done! I know what you’re up against.

    There is no process, no to-do list, no time tracking trick that will help you until you begin your day with a positive frame of mind. That’s right: attitude is everything. Starting each day with confidence, positivity, and passion for progress often equates to a successful day. If your body and mind are in sync, you may surprise yourself with what you can accomplish in a day.

    But you can’t just start the day in the right frame of mind. You should actively cultivate and protect that positivity (trust me…your day will try to steal it!). In order to maintain that outlook, make sure you make time for quiet in your day. Taking a few minutes to reevaluate and refocus on your work gives your mind and body the brief respite it needs to stay energized and in control. Find a place at your work that’s quiet (it may even be your own desk). Sit and breathe. Take stock of your day. Five minutes is all you need. Think about what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to get done. You can ask yourself these questions:

    1. What must get done before day’s end?

    2. What is the negative impact if I do not get this done?

    3. Am I currently focusing on the most important item in my leader’s eyes?

    4. What is coming up in the next few days that I must act on today?

    Be future-focused while being in the moment! These five-minute breaks may be the most valuable time you spend all day. The day can’t wash over you if you stay more aware of yourself!


    Our new Time Management for the Modern Assistant: Proven Tactics for Taming Your Day eBook will help you take control back. Gone will be the days of feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Are you ready to stand up to the time robbers and chaos causers? Click here learn more!

    The post Time Management Skills for Executive and Administrative Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 19:00:00 on 2020/03/11 Permalink
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    Continuing to Navigate and Remaining Calm Through Difficult Times 

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    The world around us is in a state of pandemonium. The threat of Coronavirus has highlighted our greatest fears and worst nightmares. Its tentacles have a firm chokehold on the economy, and basic infrastructures are grinding to a halt. Times like these remind us of an old concept developed during the Cold War era, VUCA. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. It’s an acronymized way of saying, “Buckle up. It’s a crazy world out there.”

    Executive assistants, however, are probably more prepared than most to deal with crises of all kinds. Here are our suggestions for continuing to navigate and remaining calm through difficult times:

    • Get your news only from reliable sources. This is critical now more than ever. Misinformation is prevalent. For updates on the Coronavirus, seek out sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    • Keep a clear head. Panic has yet to solve a single problem it’s encountered. Don’t let outside noise influence what goes on in your own mind. Simply pay attention and stay focused in trying times.

    • Be willing to adjust, if needed. You can’t be hard-nosed in VUCA times. You must be willing to adapt if conditions necessitate it. Flexibility is a good skill to develop in general as needed adjustments are often called for in both our personal and professional lives.

    On March 19, 2020, Joan will be hosting a webinar focusing on the topic of VUCA and how to best deal with chaotic times. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time we, as administrative professionals and executive assistants, have been forced to navigate a world in turmoil. Joan will use experience and best practices to address and discuss the skills needed to stay on top.

    We’re doing our part too. Here at Office Dynamics, we are working diligently to ensure the safety of each and every one of the administrative assistants who attend our events. We have been and will remain in close contact with all of our vendors including hotels and event locations. They have been incredibly proactive in addressing this health threat and have instituted measures such as employee training initiatives and additional disinfection of communal spaces.

    We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to support you, the administrative professional community, and we’ll stay true to that commitment through good times and bad.


    In uncertain times, stellar assistants must keep a level head. Learn how by registering for our Understanding VUCA for Assistants webinar.

    The post Continuing to Navigate and Remaining Calm Through Difficult Times appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

  • feedwordpress 15:00:00 on 2020/02/06 Permalink
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    How Can I Retrieve Corrupt Documents/Drawers? – Ask an Admin 

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    Ask an Admin was created by Office Dynamics to help administrative professionals with their problems through the help of their peers. We don’t always have an answer to each individual’s problem but we know some of you might. Please read the question and comment below.

    Rose asks:

    The accounting firm I work for converted to digital document management ten years ago. For the most part, things have been going well; however, with the advent of cloud computing and third party IT support, we’ve run into a situation that I need help resolving.

    When a drawer goes corrupt there are only three resolutions – restore from backup, rebuild from paper documents, or a combination of both. The real problem for us comes when the paper is gone (because you converted it to a digital document, verified its integrity, digitally filed it, and shredded it), and the backup is corrupt.

    When I was in charge of backup, I kept a backup from three points throughout the year. These backups were destroyed according to our records retention policy. Backup is no longer in our control.

    What procedures do you have in place to ensure you can retrieve corrupt documents/drawers? 

    Thank you,

    Please share your thoughts and advice in the comments below.

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

    The post How Can I Retrieve Corrupt Documents/Drawers? – Ask an Admin appeared first on Office Dynamics - Executive And Administrative Assistant Training.

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