Selecting a Partnership Style that Works with Your Manager

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. These words attributed to Confucius, the famed Chinese Philosopher who died in 479 BC, and since then the quote has been pointed toward more modern-day alumni, never-the-less, the adage still rings true today. But simply doing what you love to do may not be enough when you are part of a corporate environment.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” These words attributed to Confucius, the famed Chinese Philosopher who died in 479 BC, and since then the quote has been pointed toward more modern-day alumni, never-the-less, the adage still rings true today. But simply “doing what you love to do” may not be enough when you are part of a corporate environment.

Whether it’s working directly for the CEO or as part of an administrative team, you will find the “work style” of your boss or manager will have an impact on how you perform and enjoy your job. How many people do you know who have quit a job because of their manager, supervisor or team leader? I am guessing at least a few, or perhaps you left a job because you didn’t fit the mold your boss required? I’ve heard the stories. He was too demanding, she was a micro-manager. I never received any direction or support, or (the other extreme) I work better when left alone. Whatever the reason, disappointment, in many cases, can be cut off at the pass by finding a partnership style that works with your manager at the outset. Here are a few Points-of-Wisdom (POW) to consider:

POW #1 – OBSERVE and MAKE MENTAL NOTES. Gain perspective on your manager’s preference for on-the-job behavior by watching how he or she interacts with others, conveys expectations, evaluates efforts & results, and makes decisions. How does your manager prefer to communicate? Mostly during meetings or one-on-one? Is he or she in control of every aspect of decision making or open to delegating tasks and/responsibility? Over the course of several days or a few weeks, you should have a grasp of your manager’s work style. In the rare circumstance, you find you are perfectly aligned with work ethics and work style, enjoy! Otherwise, there’s some work to be done.

Evaluate your work-style; then list any behaviors that may be out-of-sync with your manager’s expectations. Or if you’re interviewing for a job and don’t have the opportunity to observe them in action, then during your interview process add questions such as “Do you prefer to communicate in one-on-one meetings or via email? Do you delegate tasks and responsibility, or do you prefer to maintain control of all aspects of your job?” Also, ask what his management style is with his direct reports. This will give you a good picture of how he or she would work with an assistant.

POW #2 – ADAPT and EVOLVE. Whether it’s brain-storming with co-workers, submitting your ideas in writing or tackling several tasks at once, approach new ways of doing things as a learning experience that could help you improve your skills. It may be challenging but you just might find yourself stretching yourself beyond what you thought were your limits. And that is not a bad thing. If you are struggling to adapt, but are committed to success, there are “third party” or “executive” coaches you may consult to help you hone the skills needed to achieve your goals.

POW # 3 – STAY CLASSY. If your manager or management style becomes the topic of conversation with co-workers, strongly resist the urge to join in the banter. Whether legitimate or not, discussions regarding any manager or supervisor with other employees could result in dire consequences. And besides, you are better than that. Any issues (no matter the employee) should be discussed directly with the manager, a superior or human resource if warranted, depending on how the chain of command is set up in your workplace.

AdminUniverse™ is proud to offer an Executive and Assistant Workshop, developed by Office Dynamics International® and authored by Joan Burge. The program is an ideal one-day or 3-hour workshop that brings together your Executive/Managers and their Administrative Assistants, demonstrating solutions for understanding how-to-use an assistant to gain improved relationship and communication. For details write me at joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.

Office Hero or Bully? The Choice is Clear!

You’ve heard the phrase, “no one likes a bully” and for the most part, “everyone loves a hero.” A bully wants to gain power and control people, a hero wants to empower people and help them thrive. Which would you rather be?

You’ve heard the phrase, “no one likes a bully” and for the most part, “everyone loves a hero.” A bully wants to gain power and control people, a hero wants to empower people and help them thrive. Which would you rather be?

As an Executive Assistant to a CEO or other high-ranking staff member, you have the opportunity to assume a leadership role in the company’s Administrative Community and accept the unwritten job requirement to be a company champion for Administrative Professionals throughout the organization. As you assume this role and go about managing workflow and/or effecting change to administrative systems, here are some Points-of-Wisdom (POW) for becoming the office hero, not the office bully.

POW #1 – Take a look around and ask for input. Soak in the atmosphere of the workplace and ask others what they like, what they don’t and what could be improved. Really listen to what they say, then decide what is working well, what ideas or changes are worth pursuing and which ones are unlikely to happen. Get started with the small stuff to show you are committed to your team. Tweaks like flavored coffee, a faster printer, employee of the month or birthday recognitions, set you up as an “office hero” who is interested in the comfort and productivity of the team. For larger issues which require more planning to solve and often more money, set up a priority list (see the previous blog post) to take to your boss, along with the “input” received from staff members. Your initiative will likely result in some positive changes and impress your boss too! Nice perk!

POW #2 -Stay calm and assert yourself! We’ve all had those days when nothing seems to go right, or something dreadful occurs. When a missed deadline, a disgruntled client or office drama warrants a confident approach; take hold of the situation with clear thoughts, an even tone, and matter-of-fact demeanor. It is much easier to accept (even from people who don’t agree with you) than an aggressive approach featuring hot tempered orders and pronouncements. One too many outbursts and you could be labeled an “office bully.” On a side note, even though “swearing” seems more commonplace these days, foul language should not be used in an office setting (that goes for acronyms too). It can offend and detract from your professional position.

POW #3 – It’s all about attitude — be an optimist! Studies have shown people who “look on the bright side” are more likely to get help when needed and are generally more “well-liked” that pessimistic types who rely on “woe is me” and negative comments throughout the day. As an executive assistant, a positive attitude definitely comes in handy when juggling many tasks or asking for assistance. As an added incentive, optimists tend to live healthier and longer lives. Be happy, be healthy and be an “office hero.” If you have trouble embracing the “sunny side” seek advice or professional assistance to help turn your viewpoint around. Aspiring you to greatness, AdminUniverse™ offers corporate workshops & seminars, online education and career counseling to help you succeed.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.

Surpassing Career and Work Hurdles

No matter who you are, career & work relationship hurdles will crop up when climbing the ladder of success.

I’ve been fortunate over my career never to have been fired or downsized out of a job. If it’s happened to you, it can be a lonely feeling. With the economy booming and employment on high, now is a great time to dust off your resume and freshen it up with your latest accomplishments. Being prepared for the “just-in-case” you find something better, won’t hurt.

As an administrative professional, educator and mentor for over 30 years, I can say with certainty that no matter who you are, career and work relationship hurdles will crop up when climbing the ladder of career success. I can also say with certainty “how you deal with it” can make all the difference in the world. Here are some celebrity motivators and how they dealt with career roadblocks, along with 5 Points of Wisdom (POW) on how to pull through and be strong:

If you’ve ever been fired, demoted or downsized because you didn’t “fit the job” or were “no longer needed” – you are not alone.

According to ThoughtCatalog.com, Oprah Winfrey was an evening news reporter who was “let go” because she couldn’t separate her emotions from her stories and Jerry Seinfeld was “written out of the script” after a poor performance on the sitcom “Benson.”

If you’ve ever made an embarrassing move or mistake at work– you are not alone.

While seeking fame and fortune in New York, Madonna didn’t last a day on the job at a Dunkin Donuts after apparently squirting jelly from a donut on a customer.

If you’ve ever lost a job in your chosen profession or been told you lacked talent – you are not alone.

Howard Stern was fired as a Disc Jockey at WNBC. Stephen King was rejected 30 times before getting his first novel published.  That first novel, by the way, was “Carrie.” Elvis Presley was told by the concert hall manager at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry that he should go back to driving trucks in Memphis (glad he didn’t) while one of the greatest NBA Players of all times was cut from his high school basketball team! Hard to believe any coach would let Michael Jordan go! When asked about failure and success, Jordan has been quoted as saying, “I have missed over 9000 shots in my career, lost nearly 300 games and on 26 occasions I was entrusted to take the game-winning shot – and missed. I have failed “over and over and over again” in my life and this is why I succeed.”

POW #1 – It’s all about Attitude

Whether it’s failing to get a job offer or being passed over for a promotion; dealing with a co-worker who is undermining your efforts, or being demoted, downsized or fired; resist the urge to say, “woe is me.” Focus on what you can take away from the experience to get past the pain or disillusionment, then make your mind up to surpass your career or work relationship hurdles.

POW #2 – Evaluate and Regroup

Come up with a strategy to get yourself moving in the right direction again. Perhaps you could benefit from continuing education or obtain additional certification or credentials that will increase your value at your current place of employment, or “expand your career horizons.” Also seek the advice and/or guidance from career counselors, mentors or trusted colleagues; because as I always say, you’d be surprised what others can see that you don’t.

POW #3 – Smile and Move Forward

Especially after being passed over, demoted, downsized or terminated, it’s tempting to blame others. However, that will only harm you in the long run, certainly not anyone else. Adopt an upbeat attitude! Tell yourself the loss of this job means a chance to find a better job, a more exciting future with greater rewards. Dream big, reach for the sky and by all means, “google” epic fails by the famous for inspiration and never forget what Michael Jordan said! “I have failed over and over and over again and this is why I succeed.”

POW #4 – Achieve Momentum

Map out your plan to push on, then follow it! Whether it’s improving your skills, proving your value as an employee or finding a position elsewhere, it will give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you to surpass career and/or work relationship hurdles.

 

If you are an Administrative Professional interested in learning more from a former successful Administrative Professional, please consider my company AdminUniverse™.  From Corporate Workshops & Seminars to online training, we’re here to make it happen.

 

Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer - AdminUniverseMeet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com. https://adminuniverse.com

Administrative Professionals can take stock of what they’re given and come up with strategies to get the job done. AdminUniverse is all about developing this key skill to being successful in an office setting.