What day is it again? Oh yea, Administrative Professionals Day

If you walked around your office today and asked, “What day is it?” The response would undoubtedly be, “It’s Wednesday.” And that is correct, but many may have forgotten that today is also Administrative Professionals’ Day. All those except administrative professionals, of course. We know it as a day to celebrate those who make an impact by assuming managerial-like responsibilities in a work environment that nowadays, require more than just a typing skill and pleasant phone etiquette. Today is a day of recognition, did you get recognized? Some will say, “Yes, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk this morning.” “My boss took me to lunch today.”

The true admin celebrates their career every day, not just on April 22 or during the week of, but each and every day. Here 3 ways to have your own daily celebration:

1. Keep track of small victories as well as the big ones. A small victory is something that makes you feel good afterwards. For example, how many times have you caught a mistake before anyone else, especially the boss? How about the time you almost forgot to send the email without an attachment? These are worth celebrating because, although small in nature, you saved yourself and possibility the company public embarrassment. Good job!

2.     2. Reward yourself after completing a task before moving on to the next. I like this one because I am rewarding myself throughout the day. Rewards include: taking a 10-minute stretch break after sitting for hours, which studies show is not healthy by the way; have a piece of chocolate (my favorite), and a good ol’ fashioned internal pep talk “You did a great job!” Which leads to the next point...

3. Give yourself a self-PEP talk. How often do you have an internal conversation with yourself? I call it a “meeting of the mind.” Self-PEP talk builds confidence, rationalizes situations, and are critical. When I “meet with my mind,” I mentally replay the previous situation, think about why the outcome occurred, and how to react if it occurs again. My “meetings” always end on a positive note-ALWAYS! The more meetings you have, the more you are recording notes so that if and when similar situations arise (and they will) you will be ready because you have already analyzed, evaluated, and motivated yourself to be prepared. Now, that's worth celebrating. Time for a reward…

Today, may have been a day specifically designated for celebrating the efforts of those who lighten the burdens of others, but why not continue the celebration tomorrow and the next day, and the next day…

Have a happy administrative professionals day – everyday! 

Lack of emotional intelligence brings out the worst version of you

Jenny enjoyed her job, but didn't like the people. Her tolerance had grown thin and she was ready to quit. The interactions with her boss were the most challenging because she felt the meetings were counterproductive due to differences of views. Jenny left meetings feeling frustration, anxiety, and anger.

Jenny suffered from a low level of emotional intelligence and needed to do something to save her job and reputation before her emotions brought out the worst version of herself.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.


Join me on Wednesday, January 7 at 1 p.m. CST via webinar to find out how Jenny was able to increase her emotional intelligence and subdue her bad side.


#iaap #increaseEI

An exerpt from 365 Ways to Better Days....Day 134: Maximize your "hump hour"

It just so happens that in my book, 365 Ways to Better Days, today is Day 134 which is Wednesday, also known as 'hump day.' This tip is taken from the book, which talks about how to manage your 'hump hour.'

Day 134 Maximize your 'hump hour.'
‘Hump Day’ Wednesday is the day of the week which represents halfway completion of the work week. By Wednesday, we have recovered from the past weekend, become more energized and anticipating the upcoming weekend. ‘Hump hour’ is the time of day when you are most productive and focused. It could be after you have a cup of coffee before lunch. You may have focal points that occur several times throughout the day. Here are a few ways to be productive when your ‘hump hour’ arrives. 

The True Meaning of an Administrative Professional

This is the week for celebrating Administrative Professionals all over the world. Administrative Professionals Day began as Secretaries Day in 1952, a day proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer. Secretaries Day was an idea by C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation, a member of a council that addressed the shortage of skilled office workers. The objective was to recognize "the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend," and to call attention "through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career." Boy, have secretaries come a long way.
Administrative Professionals do more than answer phones, greet customers, and transcribe meeting minutes. They serve as office managers, event planners, accounts payable clerks, and the list goes on. As you celebrate this week, think about the impact you make in your office.
  • Do clients and customers call and ask for you versus your supervisor?
  • Do you "work" on days off?
  • Are you accessible when you are away from the office via email, cell, text messaging?
  • Do you remind your supervisor of work that he needs to complete?
Did you answer 'yes' to any of the above? Congratulations! You are a company asset. Administrative Professionals are 'assets,' because without them, who would businesses depend on? By the way, if they weren't valuable, why is there a holiday recognizing their profession? In honor of the people who made this special occasion possible, give yourself a 'pat on the back.' You deserve it.



From New E-book, Working with Children of All Ages - Workplace Cliques

Thinking Inside the Sandbox
(An excerpt taken from my latest e-book, Working with Children of All Ages)

By the time we reach high school, there are some major changes happening. If puberty hasn't hit you by now, it will soon. Second, as official "teenage children", we are seeking those friendships that will later on end up defining who we are and how we behave. High school years are exciting and can be critical.

Remember what it was like when you met the person who would end up being a good friend even after high school? Now begins the formation of your "circle of friends" or what some may call a "clique." Cliques help mold us into the people we are today. It is human nature to want to belong, it’s a survival technique amongst animals, and gives us a sense of empowerment.  When we are around people who we feel are like us, can relate to use, and make us feel good about ourselves, it's like having your own paparazzi. Stereotypical cliques in high school were: the "smart ones" (they are called other names, for respect, we won't speak ill of the highly, intellectual crowd),  the popular girls and guys, jocks, cheerleaders, and the loners. The list goes on. The reality is that they grow up, get jobs, have families, and end up working with us.

It is not a far-fetched idea to relate high school to the workplace. They’re the same children, but in adult form.  Studies show that 43% of workers say that there are cliques in their office. Doesn't it feel like high school? The same group of people going out to eat lunch every day; the same people are standing by the water cooler talking about another co-workers outfit. Sounds like high school.

My mother would always tell me, "If it grow up in you, it's going to be in you," Old habits die hard. So why be surprised that your boss is acting like a jerk? Why wonder how could your co-worker spread gossip about others? Childlike behavior still lives in us, it's just hiding behind the adult. Doesn't Walt Disney base his success on the premise that there is a kid in all of us?

So, for the purpose of being having to work with the bullies, backstabbers, liars, "personal politicians," temper tantrum and other childlike behavior exhibitors, let's start thinking that the workplace is the "sandbox."  Phase 1. Thinking Inside the Sandbox is complete.

Now that we have changed our thinking, it's time to talk about how to deal with the little kiddies in the sandbox. Phase 2. Learn How to Play 

To be continued...

The Value in Taking a Break – You Do Have Time for That!

Get up at 5 a.m., take a shower, find something to wear, cook breakfast, wake the kids up, prepare their lunch, see them out the door, find your car keys, get to work…and that’s just the first 4 hours of the day. What are you going to be doing for the remaining 20 hours? Thank goodness breathing comes naturally, because if we had to think about it, we probably wouldn’t have the time to devote to yet another task. Perhaps you have heard the now famous cliché, I ain’t got time fo’ that!’ by Sweet Brown who was victim to a fire in her apartment complex?

The key is that we make time for things we want to make time for. I’ll bet during the workday you had time to surf the Internet, pay a bill online, or maybe even check your Facebook account to see what is today’s hot topic? Even though you had a project due at the end of the day. Well, I ‘m asking you to make time for one more thing – a pause. It’s important, and I can’t stress enough (unless you like stress), to take a breather, break, timeout, or just pause – call it a Self-Induced Intermission (SII pronounced 'Sigh'). You are voluntarily stopping and letting your mind catch up. This is the point of refocus.

Here are examples of Self-Induced Intermissions that you can do throughout the day:

The Best Resignation Ever

We are on the brink of another year when you are going to have to make serious, yet life-changing decisions- perhaps finding a new job. Recently, a client advised me of her decision to quit her job. She had been unhappy for a couple years and after a few sessions of confidence boosting, self-evaluation, and weighing outcomes, she decided it was time for her to seek employment elsewhere.
Lauren (name has been changed to preserve confidentiality) worked for 7 years as an administrative assistant for a medium-sized company in manufacturing. She was unhappy because, over the years she had witnessed the following:

·       Favoritism/Undeserved promotions
·       Nepotism
·       Poor decision making
·       Poor interpersonal behavior from leaders unaddressed by upper management
·       Limited to no communication from upper management

And the list goes on.  When she made the decision to leave, I was concerned about how she was going to end her tenure with the company – on a positive or negative note.  Rule #1: You never want to focus on the negative, always focus on the positive from your perspective not the company’s; this is really about you, not them. After brainstorming ideas regarding her behavior and attitude from now until she leaves, the following exit interview speech was devised:

It is with sincere regret that I must submit my resignation, effective two weeks from today. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for (name of company/supervisor); however, I feel that it is time for me to seek a different career path.  

I am fortunate to have learned so much during my time here and will confidently use those skills to my success.

Thank you for giving me the confidence I need to pursue my chosen path. Best of luck!

This brief speech does not say anything about the poor management decisions, behavior, or suggests any disgust as to why Lauren is leaving. It is always best to leave on a positive note by not pointing fingers or bashing anyone in particular (even though you may really, really want to and they may really, really deserve it). Rule #2: The key word is REFRAIN. Other important tips to remember when resigning are:

·       Leave with dignity. Tactfully say, ‘goodbye’ to your colleagues and leave out the door with your head held high. You are making a decision that you feel is for your own good, so act and look like it.

·       Give proper notice. This is a simple but often forgotten courtesy. We get so fed up with a job and immediately want to throw in the towel right then and there. Rule #3: Our reputation precedes us. Review your company’s policies on voluntary resignation, if two weeks’ notice is documented, you are obligated to give 2-weeks’ notice. So what you’re leaving, no sense in breaking rules now. This is the worst time to break rules, remember Rule #3.

·       Stay professional and productive. Just because you decide to leave, does not mean you should change your attitude. In fact, take it up a notch and go the extra mile on a project or prepare notes for your successor. Nothing looks better than a team player who’s leaving, and is still playing the game, giving 110%, until the game ends.

Company’s hate to see employees leave because it costs time and money to find replacements; however, sometimes there is no choice, especially when the employee has detached themselves. As administrative professionals, it is our job to remain professional; otherwise, we would be called ‘administrative un-professionals.’ Rules #1, #2, and #3.