Admin Recognition — When the Day turned into a Week —

Admin Recognition — When the Day turned into a Week —

This past week for Administrative Professionals was the best ever. A celebration of recognition that originally was just one day, has turned into a global phenomenon and lasts a week. Locally, we enjoyed the celebration put on by OfficeNinjas and their Admin Bash event in Silicon Valley with over 500 Admins rock’n and roll’n. Capping a perfect week for us was the Silicon Valley Admin Awards, recognizing 9 outstanding Administrative Professionals for their dedication to both profession and employer.

Winners from the OfficeNinjas and AdminUniverse Typing Challenge
Jenny of Guidebook wins drawing for $50 Amazon Gift Card
Other winners for the $5 Star Bucks gift card:
Philippa Barres, Lisa Reed, Sunny Nunan, Debra Nicholls, Elisette Weiss, Rene Roberts, Julia Hatch, Velma Priest, Sarah Norris. @joannelinden #adminbash #OfficeNinjas #adminawards

Joanne Linden, President and Master Trainer – AdminUniverse™ Announcing the Winners...from the Admin Bash event put on by OfficeNinjas.
Joanne Linden, President and Master Trainer – AdminUniverse™

Taking on the Typing Speed Challenge as the crowd cheers them on! OfficeNinjas Admin Bash Silicon Valley 2018 – How Fast Are Your Fingers?
Taking on the Typing Speed Challenge as the crowd cheers them on! OfficeNinjas Admin Bash Silicon Valley 2018 – “How Fast Are Your Fingers?”

 

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.

What’s Your Plan Of Action For An Active Shooter In The C-Suite?

Emergency Action Plans can be effective in evacuating people, and putting safety protocols in place, while emergency drills & training exercises can help you recognize the sound of gunshots, find evacuation routes, hiding places or last resort options. It is always wise to be prepared.
Given the news of late, it brought to mind the security procedures that were implemented by a previous employer. Several years ago, a panic button had been installed at my desk and my co-worker’s desk after a shooting had occurred at a Bay Area company. Just having that button at my fingertips calmed my nerves knowing that if I ever had the need to push it, help would instantly be on the way…or would it? After a year or two had passed, my co-worker and I began to wonder exactly what would happen if we pushed that button. We agreed it was time to review our emergency procedures with the head of security. We were stunned to find out that if the button was pushed, it would only alert our security department, they would then call our desk phone to ask if we were alright and if not then and only then would they call 911 for assistance. We joked that we would surely be dead by the time rescue arrived, but it is no longer a joking matter.

Here is some expert advice I found (courtesy of The Department of Homeland Security) for business owners, administrators, and employees grappling with the same concerns.

  • Create an Emergency Action Plan in coordination with department leaders, property managers, local law enforcement and emergency responders.
  • Schedule Regular Emergency Drills and Active Shooter Training Exercises.
  • Encourage Emergency Responders to train on premises.
  • Be aware of suspicious behavior or incidents and respond accordingly.
  • Foster a respectful workplace to help prevent a tragic occurrence.

It goes without saying, employees and customers are likely to follow the lead of those “in charge” during an emergency. Business owners, Executive Administrators, Office Managers and Department Heads should be familiar with all facets of the emergency action plan and be prepared to take immediate action while remaining calm.  For details on developing a comprehensive plan, spotting potential trouble and managing the consequences of gun-violence or any other emergency in the workplace, visit https://www.dhs.gov/publication/active-shooter-how-to-respond and download their Active Shooter: How to Respond Educational Booklet PDF on how to respond.

Emergency Action Plans can be effective in evacuating large numbers of people, and putting safety protocols in place, while emergency drills & training exercises can help you recognize the sound of gunshots, find evacuation routes, hiding places or last resort options. But what should you do if you find yourself on your own? Once again, I defer to the experts at The Department of Homeland Security.

Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation include:

  • Being aware of your environment and possible dangers (as a matter of routine) and taking note of the two nearest exits in any place that your work or visit.
  • Don’t use your cellphone once aware of the danger, rather run out of the building and to safety.
  • If you have an escape path, help others evacuate if possible, leave, get to a safe area, then call 911.
  • If you are in an office and can’t get out, stay there and secure the door, and make sure you are standing to the side of the door, not directly in front of it.
  • If you are in a hallway, run in a zig-zag motion, and if there is no exit, get into a room and secure the door.
  • If the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee or take cover, experts say your chances of survival are greater if you try to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do.

Sobering stuff, I know.  If you are unsure if your workplace has an active shooter emergency plan in place, ask your manager and/or human resources.  If the organization does not, urge the “powers that be” to consider one.

On a positive note, the chances of encountering gun-violence in the workplace or other public places, are still relatively low, despite recent events in the news. Nonetheless, it is always wise to be prepared.

 

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.

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.

Finding Inspiration for Your Career Journey

For people who know their career aspirations early on, a successful career path may not seem daunting. For others, self-doubt may crop up along the way. Whether on the first rung of your career ladder or have found yourself on the way to the top, here are a few tips to help you find inspiration for your career journey
This weekend, my grandchildren visited, and we went to the local park for some QTR (quality time realized). I joined in on a conversation with a group of young moms’ and one dad, as they discussed their jobs. I brought up the question to the group “Do you remember what you wanted to be you when you were your children’s ages (4 to 8 years old)? With a momentary pause, the answers came fast and furious – an inventor, a superhero, a doctor, a sports star – the boss! I asked that same group of parents “how many of you stayed with the same career choice today?” “Nope,” “nada,” “I wish,” were their answers, and all didn’t think they would be in the career they are doing today.

When I was 4 years old and Mom, then a secretary/office manager, brought me to work for the day, I immediately wanted to be a secretary as I watched Mom in action. She obviously was important, she had the doughnuts on her desk. For people who know their career aspirations early on, embarking on a successful career path may not seem that daunting. For most people, struggles & self-doubt may crop up along the way. Whether you’re on the first rung of your career ladder or have found yourself unfulfilled on your way to the top, here are a few tips to help you find inspiration for your career journey:

1.) Perform a “self-analysis.” Answer these questions and any others that are relevant to make up your “career wish list.” Do you enjoy what you do? Are you happy with what you have achieved thus far? Do you like where you work, or would you like to move on? Do you want more responsibility or added challenges in your current position? Is it time to ask for a raise or make a move to another company? If you find yourself stuck, ask trusted family members, friends or colleagues for insight, ideas, and suggestions. It’s amazing what others can “see” that we fail to notice!

2.) Get professional guidance! There comes a point, if you are having trouble identifying your career niche or how to take it to the next level, consulting with a career counselor or life coach may be in order. Unlike friends or peers, they can help you find answers. Often, they will offer testing to assess your skills, talents, values, and personality. If finances are of concern, search for free or low-cost career assessments online, or ask your local librarian for resources available in your community. They do exist!

3.) Self-reflection homework! Once you’ve gained the insight you need, being honest with yourself, find out what’s required to advance your career. Ask yourself, do you need more training or experience? Do opportunities for advancement exist where you’re currently employed, or is it time to consider a move? It’s always appropriate to talk to other people working in your field for a realistic perspective, and never stop learning. Additional training and knowledge will only enhance your skill-set and career prospects.

4.) Top Tip…Get a Mentor and Get Inspired! A good mentor is a person who represents experience, knowledge and an eagerness to help others thrive and succeed. Though sometimes hard to find in today’s busy work world, it’s not impossible, it just requires research and networking.

Good mentors can be your manager, executive, peer or person you respect. The beauty of a having a mentor is helping you anticipate the what-ifs and share your energy and passion for your current career path. They’ll inspire you to stay the course and give clarity, where before there was none.

Finding inspiration for your career journey can appear in many forms. You might start off as an office clerk, move up to secretary, then chief executive assistant to the CEO, and amazingly end up as president of the company. That’s not impossible, for example, former secretary, Colleen C. Barrett, was the first female president of a major airline, according to Southwest.

If you are an Administrative Professional eager to take your career to the next level and learn from a former successful Administrative Professional, enroll in the programs at 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.

Conquering Common Workplace Challenges

Your relationship with your job is ever-evolving & in some cases, that may cause unforeseen challenges to arise. Have you been in the same position for a while, and are now losing interest? Does it seem like you’re asked to do more than your forty-hour week permits? Or maybe, your workload is finally taking its toll.

Your relationship with your job is ever-evolving, and in some cases, that may cause unforeseen challenges to arise. Have you been in the same position for a while, and are now losing interest? Does it seem like you’re asked to do more than your forty-hour week permits? Or maybe, your workload is finally taking its toll. Consider these questions and solutions:

Employee Engagement: A common workplace dilemma is not being challenged enough. According to a study conducted by Gallup News, a mere ~31.7% of 6,024 U.S. employees hold steady engagement at work. If you’re like the clear majority (68.3%) of the U.S. workforce, you feel disengaged.

Survey Questions:

  • Do you find yourself distracted while on the clock?
  • Have you outgrown your position?
  • Do you think you deserve a promotion?

Tips for Improvement:

  • If you’ve been in your current position for several years, you might find the role is no longer suited for your enhanced skill set. If this is the case, consider asking your manager for a change-up: different tasks and thought-provoking assignments.
  • Even if you’re the ideal employee, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be given a promotion. Most employers want you to show unmistakable interest. If you feel you’re deserving, plan your approach and ask!
  • Stay on your toes. Professional development workshops, conferences, and classes are a great way to spice up your routine and amplify your training.

Overwhelming Workload: It’s been reported that among industrialized countries, the United States takes the gold medal in terms of hours worked per year. Annually, the average American employee puts in 1,800 hours. That’s 400 more hours than the average Norwegian and 330 more than the average Frenchman. Is this because we’re asked to do more, or do we have poor time management skills? Truthfully, it’s likely the latter.

Survey Questions:

  • Do you find yourself rushing to finish an assignment in time?
  • Are you forced to break commitments?
  • Do you feel unhealthy or overstressed because of your job?

Tips for Improvement:

  • Create a to-do list. So simple, yet so effective. This will allow you keep track of things that need to be done and prioritize the impending tasks.
  • Work smarter, not harder. Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as much as you can into eight hours, it’s about simplifying how you work, and doing things faster. We promise, there are enough hours in a day, but it may take some rearranging to get the job done.
  • Some jobs are inherently more stressful than others. Not everyone is cut out for that environment, but if you’re willing to persevere, consider finding an effective outlet to avoid burning out.

For every challenge, there’s a solution. Map out yours and utilize the provided solutions or think outside of the box and customize your resolution.

 

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.

Confronting Workplace Challenges by Focusing on You

Unfortunately, outside factors can create internal struggles. Good preparation includes thinking about the “what-ifs” that work-life hands you. Common in many organizations is the question of how to effectively plan to confront the people or things sabotaging your enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, outside factors can create internal struggles. As an Administrative Professional, I had to resist giving challenges the power to impact my work and/or dampen my enthusiasm. Over the years as an Executive Assistant to a powerful Silicon Valley CEO, I learned from him that preparation is good…but good preparation includes thinking about the “what-ifs” that work-life hands you. Common in many organizations is the question of how to effectively plan to confront the people or things sabotaging your enthusiasm.

Common Workplace Challenges:

Whether you’ve been at your company two days, two years, or two decades, challenges arise. Here are three common examples:

1) Unpleasant Work Environment

It’s one thing to dislike your job, but when you feel uncomfortable or physically ill walking into work, the environment may be toxic. Your bad boss, rude coworker, failure to qualify for a promotion, lack of recognition, or any combination of the four can be to blame.

2) Hierarchy/Bureaucracy

For years, various groups of people – in the realm of business or politics, have voiced their frustrations with hierarchy. Because of the connotation, it may seem like a bad word. If you’re at the bottom of the food chain, it may feel like your voice falls on deaf ears. If you’re in the middle of the food chain, well, you’re in the middle of everything—higher ups project demands, and subordinates look to you for answers or changes you can’t provide. If you’re at the top-level, you have the most responsibility—you make the big decisions and give the last word. Everyone looks to you, and that alone is difficult.

3) Difficult Clients or Peers

As an Executive Assistant, I would sometimes have to deal with demanding clients. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “the customer is always right.” The outdated maxim provides clients or peers a sense of entitlement, impacting your ability to do your job.

Tips for Conquering Dragons and Demons:

Whether your light is being dimmed by the environment, process, or customers, you can overcome workplace challenges by focusing on yourself:

1) Boost Self-Confidence

In the business world, your confidence may gradually deplete as a result of errors made when accomplishing tasks. The difference in levels of confidence comes down to how we react to criticism from those mistakes. Take control of how you feel by implementing these top-three habits:

  1. Criticism hurts and letting the criticism roll off your shoulders is easier said than done. Try this: if you hear something negative, keep an open mind and try to clear the ego. If the criticism is emotional at all levels, try not to let it bother you or destroy how you feel about yourself. Take a breath before you react because good criticism is constructive, listen and learn from it.
  2. Increase your knowledge: knowing how to handle issues of all sizes can increase your confidence. Seek out inspiration by attending a workshop or conference, take a course, watch a TED talk, or read a book.
  3. Celebrate your successes: self-acknowledgment reminds you that you are meant for the position. It’s okay to give yourself a “pat on the back” when no one else does. Famous comedian and author Milton Berle stated: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

2) Setting and Achieving Goals

There’s nothing more satisfying than accomplishing a goal or task. With the New Year, one topic that rings out to everyone is that of goal setting. Whether short-term “to-day lists”, to longer-term life goals or even those great “bucket-list” items, goal setting works because it provides a platform for success.

Developing your idea, or completing tasks needs a road-map, and is the start of the goal-setting process. Keep it simple, set the goal, what is the start date and end date? What’s your objective? What’s your action plan; how do you intend to get there? To achieve your objective, you’ll need an action plan. In doing so, prioritize your tasks and responsibilities before the deadline. Ask for help if needed.

Work/life challenges can render even the best-planned goals useless, especially if you stray away from the plan or strategy. Adapt to change but commit to your vision. You can achieve your goals!

While you can’t always control outside factors, you can focus on something equally if not more important, yourself. When you choose to enact positive changes, nothing can get in the way between you and success. AdminUniverse™ offers some wonderful career enhancement programs. Now is the time to find out for yourself how we can help by checking out our latest programs at http://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.

Five Ways to Express Your Servant Leadership

Often referred to as “Servant Leadership”, executives create company and team cultures reflecting sincere respect and service to others.

As an Executive Assistant, I learned early on from the executives I’ve worked with, that they set themselves apart from other executives, in that they demonstrated leadership through service to others. Often referred to as “Servant Leadership”, they create company and team cultures reflecting sincere respect and service to others. Don’t assume that leadership qualities must have a natural charisma or a college degree. Far from anything like that, administrative professionals who really want to shine, look on their role as serving peers and community with an ability to support their efforts and objectives successfully and doing so without wanting the spotlight or necessarily recognition. Like anything, changing your perspective and attitude in becoming this type of leader requires work. By refining your skills, you’ll garner your team’s respect and cement your authority in the company. To assist, we’ve compiled a list of five steps to enhance yours.

1) Actively Listen: Active listening is more than passively hearing. It’s taking the time to validate your co-workers’ thoughts and opinions. This tool serves as a crucial skill in a collaborative work environment. By utilizing it, you’ll build bonds with your peers and gain valuable insight.

2) Respond Decisively: Servant Leaders maintain their composure, never showing any signs of doubt. When you speak, do so with conviction, confidence, and compassion. Your delivery will provide your team the sense that everything is under control.

3) Remain Fearless: Servant Leaders fear just as much, if not more, than the average employee. What sets the two apart is who is noticeably listening and not talking. Whether you’re working your way up or already at the top, remain fearless. It’s impossible to throw someone off who’s prepared for everything.

4) Learn from Your Manager: Along the way, you’ll encounter different types of managers—take advantage, you can learn a great deal from each one. For those who you admire, mimic their skills and styles. For those you deem ineffective, learn what not to do.

Sometimes, it’s easy to know right off the bat a type of leadership style. Ask yourself if your manager inspires or deflates? How does their interaction with employees motivate? Do they provide guidance, or practice a more hands-off approach? Do employees feel comfortable bringing concerns to their attention? How did they make it to the top? What is their creative inspiration?

5) Lead by Example: With time, you’ll have a greater responsibility serving a team of managers or key company executive. They’ll likely look to you for guidance, and that’s a part of what being a Servant Leader is. A big part of your responsibility is to lead by example. Keeping in mind strategy four, you’ve probably realized leaders who say one thing but do another, erode trust—a paramount element of effective leadership. So, acknowledge failure, create solutions, and realize you’re not perfect. When you preach what you practice, others will be inspired to follow, and your higher-ups will take notice.

Every Servant Leader has their own style and strategy. It’s okay to mimic your favorite leader keeping in mind respect and trust for others, will eventually turn your Servant Leadership into your own style and success.

 

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.

Six Ways to Enhance Admin Creativity

Though notoriously uncomfortable bedfellows, work relies on creativity. To hone your strategic mind, AdminUniverse has compiled a list of six essential tips for developing your creativity at work

Administrative Professionals are planners, organizers, strategists, and key collaborators with their managers and peers.  Many admins will be the first to claim they aren’t creative, but what they don’t realize is that much of their work process relies on creativity. To hone your creative mind, and give a high-level view of the integration of creativity into your daily workflow, we’ve compiled a list of six essential tips for developing your creativity at work:

  1. One-size Does Not Fit All:

While a quick Google search can point you to a list of articles flaunting 100 tips to improve your creativity, it’s important you remember, what works for them may not work for you. For instance, while music may enhance your friend’s creativity, for you, it may serve as a mere distraction. Instead, map out a creative process fitting your task or goals. Paired with your job, abilities, you’ll be surprised at how often your already using creativity to solve daily work challenges.

  1. Think Visual:

Regardless of your role or responsibilities, researching data and ideas is an incredibly effective way to see your creative vision. Some office challenges might prompt you to stop looking at the screen, get off your chair, and make your way to the whiteboard. Even consider bringing your team or peers along with you for inspiration—all the while promoting collaboration and leadership.  

  1. Get Physical:

Engaging in physical activity can unlock your mind and bring clarity to thinking. Simple mental breaks will promote greater overall health and better focus on your tasks. Take a walk outside or consider going for a jog.  Jogging at work is no easy task, but it sure clears the mind.

  1. Take a Break:

The worst killers of creativity are dreaded mental blocks and burning out, both tough things to avoid. It’s essentially impossible to nurture creativity when you’re suffering from one or both. Sometimes, we all need to take a step back and allow our tired brains the ability to reboot. Once the mental break has served its purpose, let the creative juices return to normal schedule.

  1. Treat Yourself:

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Reward your successes, no matter how small. Without them, the long-term goals will never be met. A word of caution, watch your calorie count and put your credit card away. There’s a thin line between the proper amount of treat vs addictive behavior when using “I need to treat myself.”

  1. The Creative Process:

The foundation of creativity is learning. As you hone your creative thinking, you’ll go on to invent new processes and produce innovative ideas. In essence, you’ll flourish. Remember, nothing is off the table or too outlandish. Buts and ifs have no place in the realm of creativity.

While creativity isn’t a one-size-fits-all ability, it is the root of individual success. Though some industries permit a more evident stance than others, it is undeniably the essence of any efficient company.

AdminUniverse™ offers programs and workshops that inspire the creative process, and often with immediate results to take with you, and share with others. It’s creativity that sets you apart from the rest.

 

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.