Tagged: Uncategorized Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 18:28:21 on 2018/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: Uncategorized   

    Conference for Administrative Excellence – Gala Event 

    administrative_conferenceFollowing a full training day, we reconvened for the Glam and Glitz Gala. Since administrative professionals are usually the ones planning events, managing catering, speakers, binders, and AV/tech, it was wonderful to celebrate their learning achievements through a great event celebrating each of them as a stellar assistant!

    In the lobby, guests walked a red carpet between tall red pillars while overhead, a marquee announced Office Dynamics International’s 25th Conference for Administrative Excellence. Guests had an opportunity to take photos and leave a video message about their conference experience.

    Inside the ballroom, the meeting space had been magically transformed as only ODI can do, into a vintage Hollywood heyday event featuring Elvis, Michael, Marilyn (Monroe), Sonny & Cher, Peter Pan, Pocahontas, Mr. Mouse, Hans Solo and Princess Lea, and a cast of many others singing “Be Our Guest” near a huge lighted Hollywood sign!

    The percussion band featured Rodney, who was amazing. We danced, we sang along, we participated in fun moments like an acrobat leaping over three crouching administrators!

    We gathered at beautifully decorated tables in black, gold and red, to enjoy an awesome dinner!

    Each of the dance entertainers provided a solo experience, and probably ‘Michael’ was the favorite, receiving a standing ovation for his dancing and choreography.

    Next, a fabulous “True Lies Meets Bond” dance story featured the good guys battling the bad guys over the contents of a silver metallic briefcase. Luckily, (whew!) good triumphed over evil in the end: we watched “Bond” and his lady love walk into the sunset, rightful owners of the silver briefcase, harmony restored.

    The entire event, start to finish, was high-quality entertainment befitting an event to honor administrative professionals.

    ODI is renown for their annual Gala event featuring the highest-quality entertainment Las Vegas has to offer. We had a grand time networking and bonding, which enabled us to enjoy the new friends we’d made at the conference.

    If you want to check out videos of this year’s Gala event, look on Twitter for #adminconf and #stellarconf. You will be amazed!

    When YOU come to the conference, don’t miss the Gala event! It’s affirming, magical, high-quality, creative, innovative and rewards admins for their hard work, dedication to learning and achieving stellar status in their careers.

    Friday morning began with a networking breakfast. On this final day, after sharing 2.5 days of learning, collaboration, networking, relationship building, concurrent sessions, and hands-on learning labs, admins happily exchanged business cards and contact information as we prepared to close out the event.

    Attendee certificates were laid out for retrieval in the beautiful Success Store. The morning’s activities began with opening remarks by Joan Burge, CEO and founder of Office Dynamics International. She thanked everyone for coming and talked about the quality, dedication, perseverance and talent of the Gala performers, and how they, like admins, constantly honed their gift to keep learning and growing.

    We then broke for the second set of concurrent labs, a final opportunity not to be missed, to learn and gain information to build our toolboxes.

    The attendees returned to the main room for the final segment: turning to the 30-day planning tool at the back of our binders to record the biggest takeaways and goals to implement in the next month in each of the four areas of the conference theme: attitude, skill, teamwork, and strategy. Everyone diligently created an implementation plan to finalize their conference experience.

    With the writing completed, the notebooks were safely tucked away to carry back to 327 offices located around the globe, where they will be read and re-read, and referred to many times over the coming years.

    Another spectacular conference had concluded – the 25th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence – focusing on The Stellar Assistant. 

    As I headed to the airport, I wondered how many lives and careers changed as a result of attending this conference. Throughout the event, I watched admins step out to courageously be interviewed on camera. I saw admins connect with others to share best practices. I heard people ask for help on daunting issues and pesky questions that troubled them. I noticed how attendees reached beyond their borders to network with others from across the world – finding similarities in their work and dedication to excellence. (Hello to Canada, Palua, Brazil, Liberia, Bermuda, UK, Barbados! And the wonderful new friends I connected with from South Carolina, Canoga Park, San Antonio, Minneapolis, and Murray.)

    Thank you, Joan and your amazing team: Gina, Brian, Melia, Ernan, and Jill, for creating such an amazing, career-enhancing conference.

    Your Reporter in the Field


    Previous 25th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence Articles:

    Conference for Administrative Professionals – Welcome Reception

    Conference for Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistants – Opening Session

    Office Dynamics Administrative Conference – Wednesday Sessions

    Office Dynamics Administrative Conference – Thursday Sessions

    Conference For Administrative Excellence – Gala Event



    The post Conference for Administrative Excellence – Gala Event appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 20:43:26 on 2018/10/29 Permalink
    Tags: bison, , , Karen, negotiation, Uncategorized   

    Don’t get buffaloed in negotiations: Use bison logic to achieve your ends. 

    We just returned from vacationing in Wyoming. Hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking through Grand Teton mountains and Yellowstone Park. What a great trip!

    Everywhere you go, you see bison, also known as buffalo. Like cows here at home, they calmly graze in the meadows, occasionally looking your way. Typically, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. Only in Wyoming, these 2000-pound animals occasionally come down from the hills and out of the meadows to stroll along the side of the road alongside the traffic.

    On this particular day, our tour group was on bicycles, single file in a bike lane on a busy road. As we round the corner, we see them in front of us, less than 100 yards away. Not sure what to do, we quickly put on the brakes. Little by little, traffic on both sides of the road also comes to a standstill. Not knowing how these giant animals will react, you can’t exactly drive around them.

    As our guide pulled up, I asked, why do they do this, to which he answered because they can. What are you going to do, he joked, negotiate with them?

    I thought about it for a minute and answered yes because everything is a negotiation. That doesn’t mean acting foolishly. Like a chess game, it means paying attention, being patient and carefully calculating your next move.

    Let me tell you what I learned about negotiating with bison and how you can apply the same protocols in your life.

    1. Give them space

    Bison Protocol: Be patient and wait for them to cross the road or move ahead. Don’t beep your horn or try to pass them as you might agitate or scare them.

    People Protocol: When you are faced with an uncomfortable situation, it’s also important to be patient. That means being comfortable with the silence. Communicating, like negotiating is not always about talking.

    2. Don’t underestimate your opponent

    Bison Protocol: A bison, despite its enormous size, can run up to 35 mph if it feels like chasing you. It’s estimated the average human jogs at approximately 8 mph. So, it’s not likely you can outrun a bison. If he catches you, the outcome won’t be pretty.

    Earlier this year, a man was caught on video being chased by a bison after getting out of his car and taunting the animal as it walked on the side of the road in Yellowstone National park. The man is seen continually teasing the animal until it charged at him. He stopped, and the bison walked away. In July, a woman wasn’t so lucky. She was gored by a bison after she got too close.

    People Protocol: Think about the consequences of your words and actions in advance. This will prevent you from acting impulsively or saying whatever comes to mind at the moment. Even a few seconds of thoughtful preparation can help you gain greater control over the conversation.

    3. Provide value

    Bison Protocol: Writer Ayn Rand said, “a creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” When we put others first, outcomes are often different. Last year, tourists saw a baby bison and thought it was cold, so they picked it up and put it in the car. Unfortunately, when mommy came back, she wanted nothing to do with her baby and left it alone. Park rangers had to euthanize the animal because it would not have survived on its own.

    People Protocol: In business, the key to success is the value you provide for others. The people who put the bison in the car may have genuinely been trying to help. Unfortunately, they failed to anticipate reactions, responses and objections. When we do that in business, we are no longer seen as trusted advisors who have the best interest of others at heart.

    What’s interesting about the American bison is that they were almost hunted to extinction at the end of the 19th century. Earlier, in the 16th century, tens of millions of buffalo grazed in North America. Because they roam in herds, when one bison is killed, the other bison gather around it, making them easy targets. Public preservation efforts ultimately brought them back, but even today, the United States wild bison population is less than one percent of what it was in pre-colonial times.

    Yet, they are survivors. Their resilience and ability to overcome adversity is a great lesson for all of us.

    Lesson 1: The bison had a strong support network of people who wanted to save them. People also need to create strong networks to thrive.

    Lesson 2: Despite frigid winter temperatures, biting winds and land blanketed in snow, bison find alternative ways to survive. They move to lower elevations, grow a woolly undercoat and eat different vegetation. While most of us don’t have to survive such harsh elements, developing coping skills in different areas of our lives can help us overcome adversity.

    Lesson 3: Today, public and private groups actively help identify opportunities and create places where bison can safely thrive in large herds. Continually identifying new opportunities, educating ourselves and seeking solutions to challenges will help us flourish in our own environments.

    Even though I kept my distance, I learned a lot from the bison I saw. Their physical endurance, coping skills and ability to adapt through the centuries was truly inspiring and reminded me that anything is possible.

  • feedwordpress 18:00:54 on 2018/10/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , Uncategorized,   

    Look at Your Written Messages Through an Editor’s Lens 

    Whenever you write something—a report, proposal, or sensitive email—you naturally don a writer’s hat. But don’t stop there. You’re not finished! It’s time to scrutinize and then fine-tune what you’ve crafted.

    Start with this question: Does every word contribute to conveying your intended message?

    To answer it, be sure to reread your piece (three times or more) as if you’ve never seen it before. It’s akin to “thinking like an editor” by examining every phrase/sentence and asking:

    Is it NECESSARY?

    Is it CLEAR?

    Is it CONCISE?

    If you can’t confidently answer YES to these questions, pay attention to the following fixes and use them wherever it’s appropriate.

    NECESSARY: Be picky and picky again. Delete whichever elements don’t support the piece’s meaning.

    CLEAR: Ensure subjects and verbs agree; no mixing singular and plural. For example,

    • Incorrect: A group of writers were in town. (“Group” is singular while “were” is plural.)
    • Correct: A group of writers was in town. (“Group” is the subject here, not “writers.”)

    CONCISE: Whack wordiness by getting rid of extraneous phrases and words that add no value—e.g., really, some, great, very, that. Change these wobbly words to something specific and/or descriptive that gives readers more information. For example,

    • Let’s add some examples to the report.
    • Let’s add 12 examples to the report.

    By looking through your editor’s lens, you can make sure every word counts toward getting your message across.



    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 to 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 webinar, crossword puzzles, and a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Enjoy a $30 discount at checkout with the code ODI at www.wordtrippers.com/odi.

    The post Look at Your Written Messages Through an Editor’s Lens appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 16:15:28 on 2018/10/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Uncategorized, ,   

    7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants 

    Being an Administrative or Executive Assistant is not always a walk in the park. There is always a fire to be put out, there is the juggling of 9,000 different tasks, and sometimes you are an assistant to more than one executive or manager.

    Simply put, not everyone can handle the position of Administrative or Executive Assistant.

    With that said, there are tips and tricks out there that are being used by assistants to make life a little less hectic. I’d like to share some of our practices here at Office Dynamics.


    Make A List

    Making a list simply allows you to organize your thoughts and decide what tasks need to get done ASAP versus those that can wait until the end of the day.

    There are several different ways you can do this. You can use one of those fancy digital apps or you can physically write out a to-do list. I’ve found that when I write things down I’m not being distracted by emails popping up or different notifications. Also, I found that starting my to-do list first thing in the morning, before I check my emails, allows me to think about everything I have to get done for the day. I encourage you to try different techniques and find what works best for you.


    To Multitask Or Not To Multitask

    As I write this I know many readers will think to themselves, “I work best when I multitask.” When in fact that may not be as true as you think it is. Studies have shown that those who multitask experience an IQ score decline similar to those that have stayed up all night.

    Another study shows that performing multiple tasks is less efficient because of the extra time it takes to shift mental gears. Joshua Rubenstein, Ph.D., of the Federal Aviation Administration says that your brain must actively decide to switch tasks, then choose a task to switch to. Once you’ve switched tasks your brain needs to “shut off” the rules from the old task and “turn on” the rules for the new task. All of this leads to inefficiency in the workplace.

    Think of someone filling out a finance form in excel then switching to writing an email that concerns the items needed for a meeting.

    Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, has written and spoken about avoiding multitasking as well. Read her article, Why I Think We Should Kill Multitasking.

    I understand that being 100% free of multitasking is impossible and it’s tough to go from multitasking to not multitasking but I can personally say my work efficiency has increased since making the change.

    To read more about this, visit the link below!



    Email Conversations

    How often have you had a conversation with your Executive or Manager, discussed the details of a particular project or a meeting and then you both forget what was discussed and agreed upon?

    By sending a quick “FYI/follow up email” that confirms your conversation, you will avoid confusion and have a record of what was said.


    Passwords and Logins

    Let’s be real with ourselves. We have more logins and passwords that we know what to do with. To add on top of that, when we forget a password and have to make a new one they ask for so much to be included in the password like a capital letter, a lowercase letter, a symbol, a hieroglyph, the wing of a dragon, and your first born child’s fingerprint. Well, it’s not that bad but you get my point.

    There are several things you can do to alleviate this stress/pain.

    • Use Password Managers such as 1Password or LastPass. This will help manage all your passwords and keep them in a safe digital location. (My highest recommendation)
    • Rely on major companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google. A lot of the time you can use these platforms to create an account and use as a login.
    • Write them down. This is a bit “old school” and some people may say that this isn’t a great idea, however, if you treat this document like any other valuable document then you could use this idea.


    Get Used To Saying No

    It is OK to say no…well, depending on who you are saying no to.

    There are many people in the workplace that feel the pressure to say “yes” to anything when they are asked. Whether it is to be more liked, to show they can take the extra responsibility, or just because they can’t say no.

    But whatever the reason is, you need to realize that saying no is ok. By learning to say no (more often) you are doing multiple things. You are:

    • Setting boundaries.
    • Lightening your workload by not taking the workload of others.
    • Reducing stress by taking on less work.
    • Not agreeing with opinions you don’t believe in, you are not putting your own morals in question.
    • Showing respect for yourself, and others will respect you as a result.
    • Not putting yourself last.


    Stay On Top Of Trends and Technology

    Let’s face it. The advancement of technology today moves so fast that we have a hard time keeping up with it. By the time you get the new iPhone or Android model, there is already another one announced. If you buy a laptop that is one month old you have to update it several times just to be up to date.

    Mobile apps are being added to the app-stores every day without notice.

    It really is overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. When you stay on top of technology and take the time to read on the latest trends (in your area of business) or find an expert that can recommend the best tech to use, it really will help your learning curve and cut down on the “catch up” research.


    Weekend Bucket List 

    Take the time to make time for the important stuff in your life. Whether you do this on your lunch, at home, or part of your morning routines, you need to do it. If you head into your weekend with the idea of getting something done, more than likely you will do it.

    By completing your Bucket List or part of it, you will walk into the new week with a sense of accomplishment, clear head, and weight off your shoulders.

    Side note, it is ok to pamper yourself a little for the crazy week you just put in, make sure to do this every once in a while.



    These tips and tricks are here as suggestions and if you decide to try them out that is great but what we would love is to hear some tips and tricks that you could share!

    We are a growing workforce and the more help from each other, to each other, the better.

    So, what are some tips and tricks that you can recommend to your peers? Let us know in the comments below!

    For other tips and tricks read, 9 Ways to Improve Your Organization Skills.

    The post 7 Tips for Administrative and Executive Assistants appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 16:00:27 on 2018/09/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Uncategorized   

    Make Your Meetings More Engaging 

    Whether you have been coordinating meetings for decades or days there are some simple tips to follow to make any meeting more productive and the attendees feel welcomed. There are times when meetings seem to plan themselves especially when the majority of the week is spent attending or planning several meetings! People may quickly migrate to an open room and start discussing random topics, etc. or an agenda is created, the room is reserved, but the topics are not clear. The planning doesn’t stop once an invite is sent out, does it?

    So how can you make your meetings more engaging?

    • Create a clear agenda
      • Note who needs to attend and why (their role, involvement, etc.)
      • Define a timeframe
      • Clarify the main topic and any subtopic points
      • Categorize or assign topics to attendees if appropriate
      • If necessary, provide background data before the meeting in a bullet point format
      • Develop a few questions that need to be answered (to stay on topic)
      • Request special equipment/room setup if required


    • Room setup
      • Reserve the room/location if necessary
      • Make sure room is set up appropriately for the specific meeting (if another meeting was there prior, can that format work for your meeting)
      • Provide a few notepads and pens in case they are needed
      • Test the equipment, monitors, lighting, temperature, etc.
      • Provide a pitcher of ice water and cups for guests


    • The Extras
      • If a meal is required ask about food restrictions, etc. (and provide mints or gum)
      • Provide trash/recycling bins and cleanup options
      • If guests are coming from out of town or outside the organization ensure they have directions, clear instructions on where to check in, who to ask for, etc.
      • Inform security or receptionist of incoming guests if necessary
      • Create a building map, contact sheet, etc. for invited guests
      • Make copies or provide data via a shared drive, jump drive, email, etc.
      • Take detailed minutes if appropriate
      • Keep the meeting focused on the topic during the allotted time and schedule additional meetings as needed

    I realize some of these may seem time consuming or simple, but it’s the little extras that can make a meeting more productive and the attendees more comfortable and ready to focus. With a clear agenda and appropriate setup, a meeting can be spent on the main topic, not on distractions or rearranging a room.

    What process do you always use to ensure a meeting is engaging?



    Dana Buchanan is a 20 plus year professional assistant with a passion for writing and offers a unique and professional perspective to projects and brainstorming sessions! She enjoys helping others discover key steps toward their career focus, job search, or self-employment exploration by creating or editing resumes, researching a particular type of job search, discovering business ideas and the action needed to succeed and loves sharing interviewing tips! Dana is also available to speak to small groups.

    You can read and follow Dana’s blogs at Success Encourager

    The post Make Your Meetings More Engaging appeared first on Office Dynamics.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help