|Posted by Heather Baker on July 12, 2010 at 3:21 AM||comments (0)|
You can be the best PA in town but it's very difficult to do a good job if you don't have a good partnership with your manager.
So many managers lose out because they aren't aware of how to work well with their PA (some, I must say, are brilliant!). The PA will also suffer from having a bad manager.
Here are a few tips on how the PA can make the relationship work:
- ensure you are aware of your manager's objectives (these are YOUR objectives too)
- make sure you spend plenty of time communicating about work issues (be assertive when your manager tries to rush you)
- cultivate curiosity
- be aware of your manager's working style
- improve your skills in building rapport
- be there!
If you would like to know more, visit www.bakerthompsonassoc.co.uk
|Posted by Heather Baker on May 19, 2010 at 7:42 AM||comments (0)|
Successful relationships in the office mean successful business and happy workers!
We all build relationships naturally, but there are things we can do to help those more tricky relationships along.
Building rapport with people takes 4 steps:
Step 1 - the non-verbal level
We can subtly match the gestures, expressions and posture of people.
Step 2 - the voice level
Here we can match the tone, rate and pitch of another person. There is nothing more likely to cause relationship barriers than a loud person talking to a quiet person, or a chatty person "verbally overpowering" a more pensive person.
Step 3 - the language level
Do you have dinner, supper or tea? The vocabulary we use tells people a lot about us. If you can match another person's vocabulary there will be a natural rapport.
Listen also to the types of words they use; are they, for example, visual words ("I see what you mean"), auditory words ("it clicked into place") or feeling words ("how did it feel?").
Step 4 - the beliefs level
Empathise with people's values - family, sports, hobbies, work ethic, etc.
The more flexible we are, the more we can influence our working relationships.
If you would like to learn more about building rapport, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). And visit www.bakerthompsonassoc.co.uk to find out more about the sessions I facilitate for many different organisations.
|Posted by Heather Baker on April 14, 2010 at 8:59 AM||comments (0)|
New technology means we can communicate with everyone from the security of our own desk. However, to be a truly professional assistant, it is vital to network with as many people as possible.
What are the benefits? Building relationships is a basis for career development and success. You can learn about other people's issues, possibly even better understand your own. You can expand your company knowledge, build rapport to enhance your existing relationships (watch out for more on this in my next blog) and better assist your manager because of your wide knowledge.
You will be better placed to make wise decisions and will be able to advise others; thus becoming a mentor for less experienced colleagues.
Other people can lead you to their contacts who may be able to help you with your challenges or help you develop your career. You will be seen as a dynamic person who proactively aims to improve yourself and help others and your organisation.
Networking gives you opportunities for training, career development, solutions and, of course, friendship.
What can you do?
Within your department - go to see people rather than calling or emailing, talk to people about their roles and experience.
Within your organisation - as above, plus arrange lunch with colleagues based in other buildings or at other sites but to whom you speak or email regularly, keep in touch with your HR department regarding opportunities for training and jobs. You may want to volunteer to be involved in projects, join meetings or give presentations; all of these will raise your profile within the company.
Outside of your organisation - all the above plus meet up with other PAs or contacts in other companies, visit governing bodies or connected associations, join networking websites such as AssistantForum or networking groups such as EuMA (www.euma.org). EuMA offers training opportunities in the UK and within Europe and has regional groups in the UK.
How do I actually speak to people at networking events?
- Introduce yourself/make conversation with strangers - plan before the event how you will introduce yourself. There may be other people on their own who would be glad for someone to chat to! Don't do all the talking, make sure it is an equal conversation.
- Gain useful information from others - take an interest in other people's business, particularly if there are similarities to your own.
- Identify potential contacts - find out before an event who will be attending and decide who you would like to meet (again prepare your introductions)
- Share information with others - networking is, of course, a two-way thing and you should be prepared to advise, support and help others too. However, do be aware of confidentiality.
- Follow up - always follow up with people you have met; a short email saying how much you enjoyed meeting them or confirming any future activities you arranged.
Networking skills form an important part of any worthwhile PA workshops and will include areas such as confidence and assertiveness, as well as business awareness. It may also include image and presentation, such as colour consultations.
If you have found this helpful and would like to learn more from me, just visit the Tip of the Month at my website www.bakerthompsonassoc.co.uk. (There is an archive of tips going back 5 years).
|Posted by Jane Adams - Life Coach on December 29, 2009 at 12:58 PM||comments (0)|
It's time for New Year's Resolutions again. Wouldn't it be great to make some that you will actually keep this coming year? However half the battle lies in how you formulate your resolutions - get that wrong and you're radically reducing your chances of achieving them.
|Posted by Jane Adams - Life Coach on August 15, 2009 at 12:50 PM||comments (0)|
"I don't need a coach - I've got friends to talk to!"
In truth, the relationship you develop with a coach, if they are a good one, will be very different to your friendships. Think back to the last time you had a good moan at a friend about a problem you were having trouble with. Several things might have happened.
Your friend might have listened eagerly, cutting in from time to time with comments like, "Remember the time that happened to me? Well, I ended up doing xyz...". Before you know it, you'll be talking about her issues instead. Or, "What you ought to be doing is xyz...". Great - that might work for someone else but it doesn't take into account who you are and what your life is like. And if you don't come up with the idea yourself, the chances are you won't find the commitment to carry it out.
Or maybe, if your friend is male and very solution focused, he'll just try and fix the problem for you and will get annoyed when you still want to talk about it.
Friendships are about give and take. You share your issues, she shares hers. That's nice (we all need friends) but sometimes it doesn't really help you to move forward in the most efficient way possible.
That's where coaching is different. A coach has been trained in effective listening techniques. They will not make it about their stuff or what has worked for them. Coaching is certainly a partnership but it is based on the understanding that the client knows what is best for them and the role of the coach is to help them access their own wisdom, rather than letting the coach tell them what to do. Instead the coach will ask a series of questions that will help the client clarify their options, intentions and wishes.
A good coach will often challenge you to push you out of your comfort zone, but he or she will do it respectfully, asking permission along the way. There should be no uncomfortable judgement or blaming. Nor will they let you get caught up in the drama of your situation. It's great to have a moan and a good coach will make you feel heard and understood, but the emphasis will be on finding a way forward, not on wallowing in the problem. At the same time, you are in charge, and if there are places you don't want to go in coaching and issues you choose not to tackle, then your coach will accept that.
Read more about coaching at http://therecanbemoretolife.blogspot.com/