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  • feedwordpress 18:28:14 on 2018/03/16 Permalink
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    Do You Have A Problem Saying No? 

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    What are your tips on the best way an assistant can overcome their problem saying no.

    “I have a real problem saying no at work. How do assert myself when I can’t take on any more?” This is one question I frequently here from administrative and executive assistants. I’m sure you many of you have encountered this, so I’d like your advice.

    “I have a problem saying ‘no’ to anyone. In the past, climbing up to the position I presently hold, it was an asset and it helped me to get noticed and promoted, but now I find it has labeled me as the go-to person. With all the duties I am expected to perform, I just can’t help everyone, yet I find myself doing it anyway. How do I decline without sounding difficult or rude?”

    Assistants all over the world have struggled with how to say ‘no’ at work.

    My question to my readers: How have you handled or would handle a similar situation?

    We encourage you to share in the comments below.

    Are you an assistant who doesn’t have any trouble saying no? What has that experience been like for you?

    Are you an assistant who has a problem saying no at work? Does that spill over outside of work? What are some of the biggest obstacles for you in saying no when you simply can’t or shouldn’t accommodate a person’s request of you?

    Do you simply being the ‘go-to’ person and yes is your favorite word? Let’s hear it! Please share below.

    Need more help in the area of asserting yourself? We’ve got your back. Check out my entire series of blogs and webinars that can help you build your assertiveness in the workplace.

    Do you think that saying no to someone means you are a terrible assistant? Check out our article: Qualities of a Great Assistant (spoiler – Yes Man/Woman isn’t on the list of qualities).

    Related: How Well Do You Communicate? A guest post by Judi Moreo

    Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For Your Health

    The post Do You Have A Problem Saying No? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:30:21 on 2018/03/14 Permalink
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    How to Maximize Time with Your Children 

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    Like most working mothers, I just never seemed to have enough time with my two children. Trying to balance work, with raising a family, keeping up with laundry, shopping, cleaning, cooking (the list is endless) was always a challenge.

    As with all working mothers, my biggest concern was for my children. I knew that the time with them had to be quality time well spent. I needed to maximize every moment we had together, just as I know you want to maximize your time with your children.

    Drive time seemed to be the best opportunity since it seemed that a lot of time we spent together was in the car. I decided not to let the kids play with their video games, I turned off my cell phone (NOTHING was more important than my children – whoever it was could wait), and any other distractions.

    One simple thing you can start doing to maximize time with your children.

    I had their full attention and they had mine (of course, I kept my eyes on the road)! So, we started playing quiz games. I would quiz them, they would quiz me. For fun, we kept score. “What is the capital of Florida? Who was the first president of the USA? Annapolis is the capital of what state? If I had $5 and bought a book for $3.75, how much change would I get back? Name five animals that are mammals.” It became so much fun for them (and for me) that they would race to the car so we could start playing our game.

    After school, they couldn’t wait to quiz me on information they had learned that day. I must say, some of their questions really stumped me! This was even instrumental in building their self-esteem. We did this on road trip vacations, as well.

    Amazingly, they grew to become excellent students, with a high level of self-confidence. (At the time of this post.) My son is now finishing his second year at Johns Hopkins Medical School and my daughter has her master’s degree from Northwestern University.

    This post was contributed by Office Dynamics Certified Trainer and Speaker, Kathy Tosoian.

    Working parents, we’d like to hear from you. This is just one idea but there are so many ways we can build stronger connections with our children and maximize our time together. What are some special things you do to maximize time with your children? Please share in the comments below.

    The post How to Maximize Time with Your Children appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:30:52 on 2018/03/09 Permalink
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    Setting Healthy Boundaries Today 

     

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    Setting Healthy Boundaries

    I was teaching a class two weeks ago from the Star Achievement Series®.  Our theme for that day was the attitude component of Star Achievement. Under that umbrella, we addressed topics such as self-management vs. stress management, learning specific difficult people types and how to handle each of them, the benefits of conflict and much more.  Of course, we had plenty to talk about and one tip an attendee mentioned was, “setting healthy boundaries.”  She definitely got a big star for that one because setting healthy boundaries is important!

    So, what kind of boundaries are we talking about and with whom? After all, as administrative assistants and executive assistants, you sometimes feel like you can’t set boundaries or you might get fired or your leader will think you are not a team player. Some people think when I’m talking about setting boundaries, they have to do with sexual harassment in the workplace.

    When and where to set boundaries

    Boundaries can be set anytime, any place, on anything, and with any person. I’ll give you a perfect example that just happened to me this morning as I was traveling.  I was at the Las Vegas airport in the security line and was in line to pass my carry on through the screening process. (Keep in mind; I’ve been traveling for 20 years about 75% of the time, each year so I know what to do.) I was quickly placing my laptop in the bin, folding my raincoat up, taking off my shoes, and putting my purse on the conveyor when all of a sudden, this young woman who had been in line behind me, stepped right in front of me with 2 suitcases and placed them on the conveyor. She still needed to take off her shoes – and she didn’t know she was supposed to take off her sweat jacket.

    You are probably thinking, “So what?” So what? It was rude that she thought she could just jump in front of me especially when she was not ready herself. It was not as if she said, “May I go ahead of you?” or I looked behind me and said to her, “You can go ahead of me.” I nicely told her that she couldn’t cut in front of me. Of course, she looked at me in shock and made a few comments. (I will spare the details of our back and forth dialogue.) She finally took her items and moved behind me and told me to have a nice day.

    Addressing boundaries

    A boundary in the office for an administrative assistant can be as simple as addressing a coworker or manager who constantly steps into your workspace and takes your pens or pads and does not ask or return them.  If that bothers you, you need to say something.

    Another boundary you might need to set is your accessibility after hours to your leader as far as emails go. This is becoming a huge problem. As I travel the country and talk to hundreds of administrative office professionals ranging from administrators to executive assistants, I’m hearing them say they are spending too much of their personal time (evenings or weekends) managing and/or responding to emails from their leader.  One administrative assistant, who’ll I’ll call Sue for anonymity reasons, said that originally her manager did not expect her to check business emails and take action on non-work hours.  But she wanted to get a jump on things or was curious as to what was going on or wanted to read emails on Sunday night to be prepared for Monday morning. The problem is… she started responding to her leader’s emails and taking action steps if required. Now, she is frustrated because she spends 50% of her weekend working. I told her, “She created the monster.”  It wasn’t required of her and while she thought nothing of it at first, it snowballed and now she will have to say something to her leader.

    Rules to follow

    First, do not create situations that you will later regret.

    Second, people will act as we allow them to. If you don’t say something when something isn’t right, then the person assumes it is okay.

    Third, professionally communicate when setting boundaries yet be firm.

    Setting healthy boundaries is good for you and the other person.  It teaches them how to work with you in a way that stimulates win-win situations. You feel good for reasons that are too many to even mention in this blog. A few are that you feel confident, peaceful, in control (not walked over), respected, like a peer or business partner and viewed as a leader.

    Good luck with setting healthy boundaries!

    Related:

    setting_healthy_boundaries_monday_motivators

    The post Setting Healthy Boundaries Today appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:30:24 on 2018/03/07 Permalink
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    What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? 

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    Are assistant certification courses necessary?

    At Office Dynamics, we are noticing a tremendous amount of interest in executive assistant certification or administrative assistant certification courses or programs. We regularly see interest in our certificate-based designation programs, World Class Assistant™ Certification program or our Star Achievement Series® Certification and Designation curriculum. This proves assistants are getting serious about their career and training and HR departments are valuing continued education for this role.

    More and more, administrative professionals are asking my opinion on having a certification. I hear questions like, “Will this give me an advantage in the workplace?” “Will I get more money with a certification?” “Is certification for the administrative profession becoming a requirement in the business world?”

    I am pleased that there is an interest in this topic because I am working with some top-notch organizations who are thinking the same thing – as they look to the future and what they will require of individuals coming into their organization and want to make a career in the administrative field. The good news for you is I have a lot of opinions and facts to share with you. So let’s just begin; my ideas are in no particular order, except for the first one.

    Assistant_CertificationFirst and foremost, it is not a document, paper, degree, certification or designation that makes a world class or star assistant. I have seen many assistants who have a designation from a well-known association and are not star performers in their job. I have observed on the job, at their workstation (for 2 days), executive assistants who have been in the field for 20+ years and are not stars or have ‘prima donna’ attitudes; feeling they have no more to learn or they arealready at the top of their game. I have seen young people in the profession who are smart, bright and great administrative or personal executive assistants who are very successful. In fact, in the past week, I was surrounded by 4 young, bright administrative professionals who are truly going to be successful as they continue to mature in the profession and as individuals.

    Second, I believe in all training, learning, and education. It will not hurt you to have a certification and to a potential employer, demonstrates you take your profession seriously and like to learn. When I interview people for any type of administrative position within Office Dynamics, I always look to see if they have any kind of continued learning or education on their resume. Then I focus in on whether the interviewee has taken workshops or classes in the administrative profession.

    Related Posts:

    Ok, now that I have that off my mind…

    What is going on out there with assistant certification and career paths?

          1. I am working with a few very large organizations that are going to require an administrative certification or 2-year college degree in business administrative coupled along with administrative-specific training such as our Star Achievement Series®.
          2. Understand the difference between Certificate of Completion, Certification, and a professional designation. Normally, attendees receive a Certificate of Completion for attending a seminar, workshop, online course, even webinars and more. In most cases, Certifications are obtained through associations and meeting specific requirements. There are some special situations, though, as with our Star Achievement Series® course and World Class Assistant course. We offer a Curriculum-Based Certification and Designation. Both of these programs are a series or have multiple parts. Our clients “begged” me to figure out how this could be offered as more of their administrative employees attended either program. After a tremendous amount of research and discussions with the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) (Update: now known as Association for Talent Development-ATD), I learned how Office Dynamics could offer this. In addition to attendance, there is a list of objectives students have to meet; students have to demonstrate newly-learned skilled in the class; obtain a letter from their leader stating the behavior changes observed in the workplace and more. These are “no fluff” classes, although we have great fun while learning.
          3. Be prepared for big changes in the future as employers realize their baby boomer executive assistants will be leaving the workforce in about 5 years; the administrative role has shifted tremendously in the past 10 years, and managers are technically savvy and become more independent. You will have to support leaders in a new way and the bar has definitely been raised.
          4. The need for interpersonal skills is at an all-time high and its prominence will grow. When you look for administrative classes, be sure to seek out these competencies. This role is not just about technical skill. Yes, you need to be tech savvy and learn the numerous programs. Just remember, behind the technology is a person. When you send an email, a person is opening that email. When you leave a voicemail, a person is listening to your message. Even when you IM, a person is reading it.
          5. Certification seems to have more prominence today as we daily see the interest in Office Dynamics classes that provide a certification.

          Bottom line… if I were interviewing you today, I would not require a certification or even initials after your name. It’s who you are and how you perform on the job. But since the world is now saying this is important, then a professional certification in the administrative profession could serve you well.

          What are your thoughts? Do you have an administrative designation or some special type of certification? If so, has it helped you in the workplace? Any suggestions for our readers?

    The post What Assistant Certification Courses Are Best For You? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:30:36 on 2018/03/02 Permalink
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    Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid 

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    by Barbara McNichol

    I love watching the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” but even this escape doesn’t give me a break from grammar glitches. In one episode alone, I counted four times when participants and/or hosts misused the pronouns as they spoke.

    As a society, if we repeatedly hear words used incorrectly on national TV (and all around us), how will we ever know what’s right?

    Without attempting to overcome years of grammar neglect, watch out for certain common pronoun misuses so you get a feel for what’s correct—and what’s not.

    “Me and Jack” finished the report. It should be “Jack and I” finished the report.

    Rule: When the subject is more than one, you need a subjective pronoun (I, she, he, we, they, who). (“Subjective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as a subject.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Jack.” I finished the report. Now it’s easy to tell which pronoun is correct.

    “Bob hired Peggy and I to draft the proposal.” It should be “Peggy and me.”

    Rule: “Peggy and me” is the object of the verb “draft” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom). (“Objective” refers to the pronoun’s place in the sentence—as an object.)

    Clue: Say the sentence without “Peggy and.” Does it sound right to say “Bob hired I to draft the proposal”? You know it doesn’t!

    “Between you and I, we got the job done.” It should be “you and me.”

    Rule: In this sentence, “me” is the object of the preposition “between” and therefore requires an objective pronoun (me, her, him, us, them, whom).

    “Roger, Lloyd, and myself finished the drawings.” It should be “Roger, Lloyd, and I finished the drawings.”

    Rule: You can’t use a “-self” pronoun (myself, yourself, himself, herself, themselves, ourselves) unless it refers to another noun or pronoun used earlier in the sentence.

    Clue: Look for the referring word that precedes the pronoun.

    To receive a one-page chart that shows at a glance which pronouns to use where in a sentence, email me with “Proper Pronouns” in the subject line.

    Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping administrative professionals add power to their pen. To assist in this mission, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent weekly resources in your inbox, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.wordtrippers.com/odi

    The post Blatant Pronoun Misuses You Want to Learn and Avoid appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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