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  • feedwordpress 16:15:13 on 2018/09/06 Permalink
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    An Interview with the Office Dynamics Team 

    It’s been almost a full year since I attended the Conference for Administrative excellence. The conference was a game changer for me. I have over 20 years of administrative professional experience and proud of my personal and professional accomplishments, yet the conference provided new perspectives, opportunities to talk with others in my chosen field and a reminder to embrace my unique talents and skills. I have never attended such a relevant and inspiring conference!

    I have shared my unforgettable conference experience & excitement about the material presented and the speakers with coworkers and via blog posts. I’m just as excited and grateful about attending again this year since it is the 25th Annual Conference – The Stellar Assistant! There are so many new learning opportunities and amazing speakers to look forward to! If you are attending this year, please connect with me!

    If you are looking for justification to attend the 25th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence October 23rd – 26th, please click here and here.

    I recently had the opportunity to ask Joan some questions, if you have not had an opportunity to read those please do! There is an entire team that works hard to coordinate this conference and they have shared their answers to a few candid questions and provided a glimpse behind the scenes!

    Meet the entire Office Dynamics International Team

    • Joan Burge – Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics International since 1990
    • Melia Amira – Administrative Assistant
    • Brian Burge – Creative Director
    • Ernan Paredes – Marketing Specialist
    • Jill Wilhelm – Director of Operations

    Since all of you are part of the conference planning process, what is your favorite theme and/or part of the conference each year; Melia, Brian, Ernan, and Jill?

    Brian: My favorite part is the Gala Event. Hands down. It’s a ton of fun and everyone gets to let loose.

    Ernan: Since this is my first Conference I can’t say which part is my favorite yet. However, I can say I’m the most excited to see what JJ Villar, our Entertainment Director, has in store for our attendees. I’ve been clued in on what is going on and from the sounds of things, it sounds awesome!

    Jill: My first ODI conference was last year but the part that surprised me (other than the fact that everyone hugs each other!) were the friendships made.  I saw it during the welcome reception, all day during the trainings, and as we finished, the admins were sharing emails, phone numbers, and business/personal cards to keep in touch.  And they do!   Having friends who understand you and your work and the shared experience of training here in Vegas is a wonderful thing.

    Melia: I am on the phone and helping people and groups all year by answering questions, helping with registration, assisting with hotel information, etc. There have been some really unique situations and times where I have worked with a person or persons over several weeks to get their registration(s) taken care of. It is so rewarding to meet these people in person and see their smiling faces and their excitement! All throughout the conference, people are coming up to me and introducing themselves to me, I love it! 

    Q: Melia – As the assistant to Joan and contact for the conference and other trainings, what do you find the most exciting aspect of the conference and why? Can you share any tips to help attendees through the registration process?

    A: Besides getting to meet everyone as I stated in my first answer, I guess the most exciting aspect would be to witness the interaction of our attendees. People who never knew each other before networking together, sharing thoughts, working together at their tables during the sessions, and exchanging information to stay in touch. Because our conference is smaller and more intimate than most, it gives the attendees the opportunity to let their guard down and open up to other attendees. I have even met some people who have stayed in touch with other people they have met at our conference and make it their “thing” to meet up again at our other conferences.

    Registration is easy, all you need to do is visit our conference website: https://officedynamicsconference.com/ scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the purchase button of the product you wish to buy. If you have any problems at all with purchasing, you are welcome to call me at (800) 782-7139 for assistance. 

    If you are joining us for the Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening, we will have clear signage for you to follow to where the reception is. Outside the reception, find the table with the letter that your last name begins with, that is where you can register and receive your name badge. There is a separate table for all the VIP attendees no matter what your last name begins with, if you are a VIP, please find that table for your badge.

    If you are not joining us for the reception, please do not worry. We will have tables set up just outside the main conference room for you to register and obtain your badge before the first session begins.

    Q: Brian – As the creative director, can you explain the process of developing themed material for the conference? Also, can you explain what items we can expect to find in the success store?

    A: First, Joan decides on a theme and explains her vision and reasons for choosing that theme.

    I visualize what I think that might look like and start with a blank canvas. I work with different fonts, colors, and styles and then move things around until I find a layout that looks and feels right. This process can be very time consuming and take days, even weeks to complete. Creativity is a process that can’t be forced.

    I then put a rough design together and run it by the team to get their thoughts and feedback. Once the look and logo have been nailed down, I construct a list of everything that needs to be created from the website banners to the workbook cover.

    The process is both fun and stressful at the same time but seeing it all come to life on the website, in emails, and on printed materials is the best part.

    The Success Store is definitely a place you will want to visit while at the conference. The store is open during the breaks and is just down the hall from the main conference room. So, you can shop and get some of your steps in for the day!

    You will enjoy special event pricing on most of our items, including the 2019 Conference. You will find books, journals, thank you and gratitude card sets, Star Wear™ Jewelry, star scarves, and much more. It’s a great place to find gifts for your co-workers or perhaps the person or people who are covering for you while you are away.

    There is always something going on in the store such as speaker book signings, meet and greets, and vendor tables. It’s a great place for networking opportunities or to speak with our staff about products and training options.

    I am usually in the store helping out and taking pictures, please make sure to stop by and say, “hi”!

    Q: Ernan – as the Marketing Specialist, what are some of the best ways for attendees to share their experience while attending the conference?

    A: Wonderful question! There are a few different ways the Conference attendees can share their experiences but the best way is through the use of social media.

    If you are on any of these platforms I suggest including the hashtags #StellarAdmin #Odi and #AdminConf and be sure to tag Office Dynamics in your photos and videos. When you properly hashtag a photo, video, or post, it allows other users to click on that hashtag and view all posts that have used that hashtag. Every day we will be selecting the best photos and videos from Conference, the winners will get a special prize, so be sure you are posting and sharing!

     Another fun thing to do is using the “Live” feature on Instagram and Facebook. This allows you to stream live video that your friends and family can watch.

    Office Dynamics will be posting and sharing on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Our username is @OfficeDynamics for all social media platforms.

    Q: Jill – as the Director of Operations, how do you decide what training opportunities to focus on for administrative professionals?

    A: Two main sources. The admins that we talk to every day and Joan’s inspirations from her love of education for admins. Also, having recently come from a decade in the C-Suite, I know the life administrative and executive assistants lead. This helps us select relevant topics and teachings that are current and needed to help our admins be ahead of the curve.

    Thank you all for your great answers and insight! I can’t wait to see you all this year and the other administrative professionals.


    Not that you need even more reasons to attend, but did you know that there are so many new opportunities this year –

    Best Practices Sharing:

    Peer-to-peer sharing is essential to being a star in the administrative profession. This session will leave you armed with great ideas shared by conference attendees and give you an opportunity to share your “rock star” tips.


    4 Hands-On Learning Labs:

    Roll up your sleeves and engage yourself in 1 of 4 topics ranging from creating a career portfolio to goal setting and professional branding. Your facilitator will walk you through step-by-step as you work on your project.


    8 Concurrent Sessions:

    Based around Office Dynamics flagship program, the Star Achievement Series®, concurrent sessions will revolve around 4 main components: Skill, Attitude, Teamwork, and Strategy.


    Star-Studded Panel:

    Learn about administrative excellence, the payoffs and why you should care. This star-studded panel of high-achieving assistants has been hand-selected by Joan Burge!


    Star Assistant™ Award:

    Could you be the star we are looking for? This Award is comprised of 4 categories to align with the Star Achievement components: Skill, Attitude, Teamwork, and Strategy. Apply here.


    Free Conference on Demand:

    You’ll receive unlimited online access to the videos, participant guide, and any bonus materials with your conference registration. ($499.00 Value)


    Wall of Empowerment:

    Write encouraging words to your fellow admins and be mutually inspired.


    Please let us all know if you plan on attending this amazing experience this year and what you are looking forward to the most!



    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 An Interview with the Office Dynamics Team appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 16:15:13 on 2018/09/05 Permalink
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    Assistants Must Excel at the Fundamentals 

    From Joan Burge’s new book, Joan’s Greatest Administrative Secrets Revealed (2018)

    I know many seasoned executive assistants who think they do not need to focus on or pay attention to their basic skills, what is also known as the fundamentals. They feel they have been managing calendars or planning meetings forever so why pay attention. This is not smart.

    For 28 years, I have been teaching assistants to pay attention to the fundamentals such as meeting planning, travel planning, calendar maintenance, organizational skills, follow-up systems, time management, and communications. Every career has certain core fundamental skills. They are the foundation on which everything else is built. I have been a professional speaker since 1990. I never take for granted the basic ‘platform’ skills I learned in the early days as a speaker. I pay as much attention as ever and have meticulously polished those basics.

    You must do the same. Don’t ever rest on your laurels. The world is moving at a much faster pace today so you have to be more organized, manage your projects better, take control of calendars, and cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ when it comes to travel planning. Executives’ expectations are high today and these are the key areas they want their assistants to excel in. They include:


    • Appointment Coordination
    • Manager Support
    • Managing Office Technology
    • Meeting Preparation and Coordination
    • Office Communication
    • Problem Solving
    • Professional Behavior and Image
    • Professional Development
    • Supporting Multiple Managers
    • Task and Project Management
    • Time Management


    At Office Dynamics, we are consistently surveying executives, managers, CEOs, human resources professionals, and organization development professionals on what skills, attitudes, and behaviors they look for in an assistant. Do you know what? The fundamentals always rise to the top. After that list, I see advanced competencies such as negotiation or persuasion skills. Over and over, time and again, there is proof that your fundamentals are critical to being successful in the administrative profession.

    Also, when we conduct activities in our training classes with assistants and ask them what skills, attitudes, and behaviors are important for an assistant, 90 percent of the time they list the fundamentals.

    I highly encourage you to become a rock star at the fundamentals. There are always new ways of doing things and you can always streamline or fine-tune your current processes. Think about how you can wow people in each of the areas I listed above.




    The post Assistants Must Excel at the Fundamentals appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 16:15:36 on 2018/08/28 Permalink
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    Uplifting Positive Self-Talk 

    When you are feeling “less than best” (and we all do from time to time), it helps to rely upon a technique I call Uplifting Positive Self-Talk. This will increase your confidence and allow you to approach the day with a positive frame of mind.

    It is fairly simple to do – which is why I’m amazed more people don’t use it!

    Here’s how Positive Self-Talk works:

    First, you make a conscious choice to cut off negative thinking when it strikes. Negative thoughts happen to all of us. But it’s how well we manage them that ultimately determines the degree to which we’ll succeed in life.

    Next, you intentionally replace the negativity with a positive thought – one you truly believe. This puts your mindset back on the right track so you remain even more productive, effective and satisfied in your job and personal life.

    Related: Be even more successful by using these three little words.

    Here are some examples of Positive Self Talk that will lift your spirits:

    • “I can handle this situation.
    • “I value excellence, not perfection.”
    • “I offer a unique perspective that’s worth sharing.”
    • “I am capable of greatness- in character, ability, confidence, and potential.”
    • “If other people can do this, so can I.”
    • “I can and will learn something from every piece of feedback I receive.”
    • “I am able to manage my thoughts and myself.”
    • “I can change my perspective any time I choose.”
    • “I am intelligent, worthwhile and strong.”
    • “My confidence makes the difference between success now or success later.”
    • “I can accomplish almost anything if I put my mind to it.”

    Note that the key is putting yourself first! The words “I” or “my” can be found in every sentence and above- as it should be when choosing confidence. Think of yourself like an engine that runs, not on gas, but on positive energy. The more good energy you feed yourself, the farther you’ll go- making an even greater impact in the workplace and on your personal life.

    Enjoy your week – one that’s negativity-free and positive through and through!


    P.S. Let us know what your Uplifting Positive Self-Talk phrases are to boost your personal level of confidence. Share by commenting below.

    The post Uplifting Positive Self-Talk appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 15:41:09 on 2018/08/23 Permalink
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    Understanding the Stages of Growth 

    This infographic is created from the Executives & Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide To Success, by Joan Burge.

    To better understand the people side of the partnership equation, it’s helpful to first understand the stages of growth. Below is a slightly adapted excerpt from Joan’s Star Achievement Series® training.

    Please feel free to comment and share with your friends or colleagues. To save the photo, right click and select Save Image As.

    To order a copy of the Executives & Assistants Working In Partnership: The Definitive Guide To Success, CLICK HERE.





    The post Understanding the Stages of Growth appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 10:30:32 on 2018/08/21 Permalink
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    Manager Support 

    Two to Tango

    You and the person you support make up a team, even if it’s a small team. There are three stages in a team relationship. The first is learning to work together. Within that stage, each person tries to understand the other person’s work habits, communication style, and attitude. It’s a getting-to-know-you stage.

    The second stage revolves around partnership development. That encompasses knowing each other on a deeper level, such as knowing each other’s work values, specific likes and dislikes, the scope and depth of each other’s jobs, working in concert and seeing differences as assets vs. liabilities to the team.

    The third stage and probably the most rewarding one; I call synergy. It’s when two people click in spite of having different views and opinions. It results in anticipating the next step before your work partner tells you what it is or anticipating the next question he or she is going to ask.

    In this chapter, we’ll focus on the earliest stages. Stage three is often a by-product or, bonus, which comes from honing the other two stages.

    Keep Dancing

    In over 27 years of working with, interviewing, and coaching executives and office staff, I have realized that stellar teams work at building and maintaining a good relationship. They build it step-by-step and continuously monitor that relationship. There are very few teams enjoy instant rapport and work in unison. Whether you work together for one month or one year, it’s rewarding to create a star team. It makes work more enjoyable, reduces stress, and benefits the entire organization.



    This excerpt is from the book, Become An Inner Circle Assistant by Joan Burge. This is available for purchase at the Office Dynamics Success Store.

    The post Manager Support appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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