Weaving a Workplace Tapestry ; 6 Ways to Embrace and Welcome Cultural Diversity in the Workplace


 

As Administrative Professionals, we are required to be leaders in communication and interpersonal savvy throughout the workplace. Interacting with a multitude of different personalities, communication styles, backgrounds and cultures is to be expected, so naturally we must set an example to help others communicate and work well with those around them. First, we must make certain that we have sharpened our skills to best connect and communicate with our team. Cultural Competence is arguably one of the most valuable skills for efficient workplace performance. But what does it mean to have cultural diversity in the workplace? Culture refers to the 7 Essentials of Workplace Cultural Competence: the values, norms, and traditions that affect the way a member of a group typically perceives, thinks, interacts, behaves, and makes judgments. It even affects perceptions of time, which can impact day-to-day scheduling and deadlines.

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Admin Learning From Each Other


AU - Admins Learning from Each other

6 Strategies to Nurture Peer Learning Practices

 

Peer learning has become extremely popular in academic settings, but how does it work among the office? Well, pretty much the same way. Creating an environment where Administrative Assistant team members are comfortable to ask each other for help and in turn, help each other, is going to completely evolve your workplace in terms of morale and productivity. How can you do this? This works best when you have teams collaborating on the same project, or have a common goal in mind, but once it is part of your office culture, you will see it manifest in even daily tasks. Here are 6 Points of Wisdom (POW) that are essential to incorporate into your peer learning:

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3 Ideas to Start Peer Learning Within Your Admin Community


3 Ideas to Start Peer Learning Within Your Admin Community

No matter how big your company is, you can start a peer learning program without much investment. One of the strengths of this type of learning is that it can be done rather informally. Here are three things you can do to kickstart peer learning at your company:

Learning Lunches

Many companies have instituted a learn-at-lunch program, and you can organize one in just a few minutes. A learning lunch is simple: everyone in a group, department, or company gets together on a certain day to have lunch together (you can have the lunch catered or just ask everyone to bring something). During the lunch, one person presents on a topic of interest.

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My Boss Doesn’t Like Me


Problems with aligning

Problems with Alignment in the Team

Some relationships just start out rocky. Maybe they misread a facial expression, or perhaps they just had a huge argument before they left the house that morning, and the residue is still on their attitude towards, well… everything. It seems that at certain points in life, we have all had that unfortunate experience of working with or for someone who just doesn’t seem to have any bit of desire to accept us, much less like us. However, in the business world, and especially in the workplace as an Administrative Professional, when these situations arise, it is a test of our patience as well as our skill set.

 

As an Administrative Professional, there is a certain responsibility to finding ways to deal with and solve difficult situations. Whether it is a double-booked event, people not showing up to meetings on time, dealing with rude vendors, or just keeping tabs on the office inventory, Admins are always expected to be on top of it. While this is quite manageable in nearly every other situation, having to convince your boss that it would be to their advantage to try to like you can be a little overwhelming. Here are 5 Points of Wisdom (POW) to identify and deal with those difficult circumstances.

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6 Ways to Fix the Kinks in Your Team Alignment


6 Ways to Fix the Kinks in Your Team Alignment

Just like having your spine aligned to allow for proper circulation and energy flow, aligning with your team creates a work environment that is not only efficient, but incredibly productive. To some it may mean that everyone is getting on the same page with the details, where others may see it as taking a look at the bigger picture. Regardless of why they feel alignment is important, proper team alignment is essential to helping your teammates to stay focused and maximize profits for your company.

With the growing amount of competition, businesses can’t waste time ignoring this important success factor of aligning their team. Here are six Points of Wisdom (POW) that are essential ways to align focus and get your team back on track:

POW # 1. Don’t rely on he-said-she-said. Remember that game we used to play as children? Telephone? A line of people forms and the first person begins by whispering a phrase into the ear of the person next to them. By the time this whispered message traveled down the line, it was hilariously unrecognizable when compared to the real thing. Communication can happen just like that in the office; however, it doesn’t always end in laughs, but rather conflict. Skip the game and make sure any information you are receiving is coming straight from the source.

POW # 2. Relate routine efforts to overall goals. This will enable managers and employees to more clearly visualize how their team and individual work contribute to the larger company strategies and success. Sometimes p

eople lose track of how even the smallest routine task is benefitting the end-goal. Everything matters, so creating an environment of performing with intention is crucial to drive a business to success.

POW# 3. Every team member must commit. It’s about accountability and morale support. If everyone is participating together to accomplish a goal, there will be conversation about it, shared struggles and triumphs, and an overall sense of team accomplishment once the goal is met. What better way to get everyone aligned, than to help them visualize and commit to this train you are all aboard?

 

POW# 5. Recognize, reward and play to strengths. It is no secret that positive feedback will work as a type of incentive to motivate your team members to keep going strong. A Gallup study found strengths-based employee feedback resulted in a 12.5 percent increase in productivity. Understanding what employees’ strengths are and utilizing them to align employees with the company’s goals will help everyone succeed, so pull out a notebook and start observing.

 

POW# 6. Encourage transparency from the top. Creating an environment of honesty and openness contributes to the positive morale in the workplace. It is important to maintain a high level of transparency throughout the entire company and allow leaders to see the productivity of employees – to ensure that all team members are working towards the same goals.

When properly implemented, team alignment can be the defining factor in the success of a company. Adjust your focus to align team members and get them on track by staying committed to the company goals, being transparent and communicating directly to the source. This will help your team feel more engaged and motivated to play a role in the company’s success and stay aligned with its goals.

 

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA 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.

Are You a Rockstar Admin? – Part 2


AdminUniverse - Rockstar Admins - Administrative Professional 

In our last blog, we covered the first 5 Rockstar Traits that define a Rockstar Admin. Today we continue our list to round out your skill set checklist. Take a moment to review the first set skills – if you had to give yourself a rating from 1-5 on each one, where would you rank? Which are your strongest traits, and what are the skills that need a little more polishing? It’s extremely beneficial to your growth, to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses – Especially when you are trying to reach your goals.

6. Adaptability

Being an Admin is often like a surfer on a crazy big wave. You have to learn to balance on the board, use your body to steer and jump as the rushing water is coming at you. Surfers tackle those big waves with grace, gliding along making it look so easy. That’s exactly how adaptability comes into your role as an Admin. Every day is a new challenge, you don’t always know what to expect, but you glide, bounce and cut through the waves with grace and balance.

7. Tech Savvy

Being tech savvy is something that you must keep after constantly. In today’s world with all the new gadgets emerging faster than you can brew your morning coffee, it takes a certain dedication to stay on top of what new programs and devices are trending and which ones are worth learning and teaching to your team. As an Administrative Professional, systems, software and devices are what allow you to run your day flawlessly and multitask without having a meltdown by the end of the day. Being tech savvy may not come naturally to everyone, but with your mindset focused on keeping an eye out, you can learn it all.

8. Attention to Detail

It’s amazing what you can tell about anything by paying attention to the details. One of the advantages of being in the role of an Admin, is that you are able to see almost everything that is going on throughout the day. People come to you for assistance, you are involved in almost everything to some degree. This gives you access to all the little things, all the details. You would be the first to notice if something is missing, if someone is sad or frustrated, and also if you notice that people are happier and more energized. Attention to detail also means that when you are planning something – a trip, an event, a report – you are careful to make sure everything is where it needs to be, and everything comes together in a professional way. You know that everything, every detail, is a communication.

9. Big Picture Thinking

As important as it is to notice all the little details, stay on top of the individual tasks, etc., it is also vital that you have the ability to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Pausing to take a look at the bigger picture puts things into perspective. You can see if things are trending towards your goals. This also helps to evaluate which little details are making a big impact on the bigger picture, and which details you can relax about and possibly even do away with. Sometimes, people get so focused on all the small tasks, just working towards getting them done and getting them done faster, that they don’t realize they have really just veered off the map in regards to the goal. It’s so important to make it a point to stop and step back. Don’t get so caught up in the routine and the “go-go-go” that you aren’t double-checking to make sure it’s all serving a bigger purpose.

10. Servant’s Heart

At the end of the day, you may still be working on some of these skills, not everyone has mastered 100% of this list – but there is one skill that separates you from the flock; having a servant’s heart. Servant Leadership is one of the most important skills that an Administrative Professional should have. Rather than a skill, this should really just be in your nature. That humility and heart towards helping others is why your role is so incredibly important. You have the ability and the responsibility to really bridge the gaps that you have identified using all the other skills. A Servant’s Heart really utilizes so many of the other skills – emotional intelligence, adaptability, intuition – which creates this kind of superpower. With your Servant’s Heart, not only will you make a difference in the flow and productivity of your team, but you will make an impact on their lives.

How many of these skills have you mastered? Where do you feel you need to strengthen yourself the most? We would love to hear your feedback, so we can share our experiences with you to help to boost you forward in your role. If you like these blogs and the information we cover, you’d love our social media! Continual learning is what makes you a Rockstar in your role! We look forward to your feedback, questions and comments, or sign up for our upcoming workshops!

 

AdminUniverse - Joanne Linden - LeadershipMeet 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.

AdminUniverse

 

Connect: joanne.linden@adminuniverse.com.

 

Are You a Rockstar Admin? 10 Traits to use as Self Evaluation – Part 1


AdminUniverse - Rockstar Admins -

Admins, it’s that time of year when reviews are coming around. One of the best ways to knock it out of the park, is to be prepared for your evaluation by doing a little self-evaluation of your own! How honest can you be with yourself? One of the greatest ways to grow as a professional is through being able to see yourself in the third person – from the outside. The other is being able to take criticism, whether it is from yourself, your peers, or your boss. Take a look at this list of skills that define a “Rockstar Admin”, and then try to evaluate your own performance in your role against these skills. If you notice skills that you haven’t mastered, this is great news! Being able to recognize these opportunities will allow you the chance to add these new skills into your “Admin Toolbox” and bring additional value to your role.

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3 Incentives to Energize Your Team for March


Incentivize Your Team for March

How many of you are familiar with that lethargic drag that inevitably comes around this time of year? Here we are, entering our third month of the year. The holidays are over, that initial “New Year Resolution” period is something of the past, and you are really getting into the grit of the year. The truth is, whether you are an Administrative Professional or an Executive, you can bet that if you are feeling the drag, so is the rest of your office. So what do you do?

One of the best things you can do for your team is incentivize. That means adding a little sparkle to those high priority tasks or projects that need to be completed. March is a great month to inject a little “Umph” into your workplace, because this is when they really need it -as do you!

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Aligning Expectations Between Admins & Execs


First day of your new job, or in your new role. You prepare the perfect outfit, you place each hair in perfect order. Maybe you are also taking your time to apply your makeup flawlessly. You step into each shoe with purpose. Quickly you tap the buttons, and the coffee begins to percolate. You breathe in the aroma and think forward to your day; how you will carry yourself, making certain to smile at everyone, settling into your desk and approaching each task with determination.

Just as you envision your day and how to best set yourself up for success, you should have conversations with your boss from day one. Prepare your own list of personal expectations that you must meet in order to fulfill your own personal goals, along with another list of how you want to meet specific goals within the company and some plan to get there. When you sit down with your boss, have these ready to communicate, as well as asking what the expectations are for you in your role.

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Picking the Right Conference

5 Ideas For Administrative Professionals That Will Ease Decision-Making.

It’s the beginning of a new year, you have a small budget for professional development, but quickly you are overwhelmed with the number of Administrative Professional events and conferences available, not to mention work related conferences and on-line education. It can be a show stopper… the fear of choosing a program that doesn’t deliver on what is promised. When the subject of professional development comes up during my AdminUniverse™ training sessions or ACE meetings, I’m often asked what administrative professional conferences I would recommend. This is not a one answer fits all. Here are 5 Points of Wisdom (POW) you should consider when selecting your next conference or event.

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