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  • feedwordpress 16:15:15 on 2018/06/21 Permalink
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    Staying Energized Throughout The Week 

    As you know, I usually share tips on combating the Monday-morning “blahs,” especially after a nice, relaxing weekend. I recently met someone who says she has a different problem: “Monday, I am refreshed from the weekend and ready to tackle just about anything,” she explains. “But by Friday, I am usually struggling to finish what I started. I’m pooped!”

    That’s an interesting twist on the same theme and a challenge that some of you probably face as well. So this week, let’s look at a few effective ways to replenish your energy during the week:

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    These ideas are just a start. What else can you do to stay energized all week long? Ask your colleagues and friends for their best ideas.

     

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    The post Staying Energized Throughout The Week appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 15:52:45 on 2018/05/21 Permalink
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    Life Reframed 

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    As we come upon Memorial Weekend, I thought I would share something very personal and deep with you but with a happy ending.

     

    For 10 years, I have not enjoyed Memorial Weekend. Why is that when throughout my life I always enjoyed every holiday? It was because ten years ago, on Memorial Weekend I was in the emergency room with my husband David who was very sick. We did not find out until 4 months later that David had pancreatic cancer. He fought a good fight for 3 years but it was on another Memorial weekend when Dave was taken to an emergency room because the cancer came back with a vengeance. That was to be Dave’s last Memorial Weekend on this earth. Even though I have been with family and friends on Memorial Day, I never really enjoyed myself.

     

    Another holiday I have not liked at all since 2014 is 4th of July! I always loved fireworks but on July 4, 2014, I was taken to the emergency room in Las Vegas because I had severe head and neck pain and became very sick. That night lying in the hospital bed (while fireworks were going off), I was told there was a large mass in my head. Oh dear God! Not me. This can’t be happening. Many of you do not know the full story but I will be brief. I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called a clival chordoma. It was massive. I was very ill. Eventually, my sister and son took me to California where I had an excellent medical team from John Wayne Brain Cancer Institute. I was gone an entire month. My 10-hour surgery was a success. They removed about 95% of the tumor. The other piece was too close to my brain stem. I go for regular MRIs. The great news is I am now able to go once a year and all my reports have been outstanding.

     

    But the point is… I have not enjoyed hearing fireworks. They have only brought back bad memories for me.

     

    When something catastrophic happens in your life, you are deeply affected and it can take years for the bad memories to leave or be replaced with new, wonderful memories. I know because I have worked at it and I have found great joy the past 4 years.

     

    Life Reframed:

    My life and thinking have been reframed because of something that happened in April and something that is happening Memorial weekend. In April, I had my first visit for training at Walt Disney World. It was a magical experience and week for me. The first night I watched the fireworks and I felt happy to see them because this was really great news that I was working with Disney. The next night, something magical happened to me while the fireworks went off and I will never forget that night. So you see, now I like fireworks again. I am crying as I am writing this for you but I have tears of great joy.

     

    Today, I am heading to Disney World in Orlando for more training. On Memorial Weekend, my daughter and granddaughter are coming down to be with me for 4 days. Wow. No more sad Memorial weekends. I will now have beautiful new memories of this holiday.

     

    Why am I sharing this with you?

     

    Because I want you to know that your life can be reframed no matter what happens to you. And to never, ever lose hope.

     

    I thank all of you for being in my life, even if I don’t personally know you.

     

    Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day holiday.

     

    joan_burge_signature

    The post Life Reframed appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:33:29 on 2018/05/05 Permalink
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    Interacting with the World and Work 

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    During a class I was teaching, a high-level executive assistant that I admire said to her peers, “At our company, we insulate ourselves. We think we are the best executive assistants alive, but we are not. We have much to learn.” This executive assistant is a seasoned professional with 25+ years of experience in the administrative profession. Her statement came after she had attended the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence where she interacted with hundreds of executive and administrative assistants from around the globe. It took courage for her to admit that which shows that she is a mature individual.

     

    The good news about working in an organization for 15+ years is that you really know your organization. You have history, experience, industry knowledge; you know where to find information and how to utilize your resources; you are comfortable. The downside is that a person begins to believe that this is the only way the world works. And so you can have a group of executive assistants who believe they operate at the very highest level, yet they have not exposed themselves to assistants outside of their realm.

     

    Are you insulated?

     

    How many external networks do you have? How many administrative conferences have you attended in the past 5 years? What is the number of external executive assistants you have met outside your city and/or state? Are you uncomfortable around assistants who don’t think exactly like you do? Are you open to hearing new ideas? Do you believe that you have more room to grow and excel? Whatever your belief is, that is what you are living.

     

    I remember when I first moved away from Cleveland, Ohio after living there for 24 years, I believed every other city in the USA was like where I grew up. I traveled with my parents to nice places for vacations and I attended administrative conferences outside of Cleveland and considered myself fairly worldly. But when I started moving around to different states because of my husband’s great career in outdoor advertising, I learned that wasn’t so. I’ve lived in 8 states in 25 years ranging from North Carolina to Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan to Nevada and more. I learned a great deal from every place we lived, the people I met, and by opening my eyes. I am thankful that my husband, Dave, urged me to leave Cleveland, OH and go on an exciting adventure with him. I have hundreds of people to thank for enriching my life.

     

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    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

     

    The post Interacting with the World and Work appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:30:52 on 2018/04/09 Permalink
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    Dreams Do Come True 

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    Dreams do come true and I am so excited this week that I can hardly contain myself. This week I am living a dream that I had about 20 years ago! I am going to work with one of the most highly respected and well-known companies in the world! I am going to be teaching our flagship training program for assistants, the Star Achievement Series®. And I won’t only be teaching this week, but I will be going to this company six times between now and September. I will be teaching 12 full-day workshops with three levels of learning. The point I want to make is that your biggest dreams can come true…. with hard work, commitment, persistence and keeping the faith.

     

    In the early days of starting my business, I dreamed of working with this company because in the training industry they are tops! No one trains their employees better than this organization. In the early years, I tried to think of ways to get into this company but I didn’t try real hard because I thought it was impossible. So what did I do? I went to work at building my craft. I spent years devoting myself to writing an impressive in-depth curriculum for administrative professionals of all levels and all walks of life. I was teaching that course in numerous organizations and I kept improving the curriculum time and time again. In fact, the Star Achievement Series® has had 16 revisions in 27 years. It has stood the test of time and thousands of assistants have attended the course and received their CEAP (Certified Executive Administrative Professional) designation.

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    About one year ago, I got a call from an individual from this amazing organization inquiring about the Star Achievement course. Now, after almost 12 months of conversations and tons of hours of back and forth emails, I am on a plane heading there today!

     

    This is really about you, though. It’s about you dreaming big, working hard, keeping the faith, never giving up and being a rock star at your calling. So here is my advice:

     

    1. Dream big! Often we dream way too small.
    1. Keep dreaming.
    1. Don’t let the naysayers squash your dream.
    1. Take your work, your gift, seriously. What have you been blessed with? Are you using your talents or are they just fading away?
    1. Polish your craft.
    1. Always put your best foot forward.
    1. Build a reputation of excellence.
    1. Set goals and monitor your progress.
    1. Enjoy the journey!

     

    What is your big dream? Deep down, what do you hope will happen in your life or your career? Have you given it any thought? Have you ever thought, “Wow, if this happens, it will be the ultimate?” You have to set these ideas in your mind so your subconscious can go to work. Just remember that it may take years for that dream to come true. But it is well worth the wait!

     

    Joan Burge

    The post Dreams Do Come True 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:

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

     
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