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.

Abnormal Behavior Works in the Workplace



Will a normal person please stand up? I asked this question during a presentation once in a crowded room of 125 attendees and everyone stood up. I was not surprised. We all think we are ‘normal.’ But what does ‘normal’ really mean? The Webster Dictionary defines normal as average, a typical state or condition; the usual. Would you like to rethink your answer now? Think about the context which ‘normal’ is used. Yes, we want a normal heart rate. Of course, we want a normal weight; but do you really want to behave as an average or usual person?

I was watching a scene on a television show of two co-workers having a private chat that turned into a heated conversation. They were friends as well as colleagues; one of them noticed that the other had become distant and less conversational and decided to confront him about his behavior. She started by saying, “I’m worried about you.”

“Why are you worried? I come to work, do my job, and go home. I give appropriate emotional responses and take social cues from behavior. I am being normal. Why are you worried?” Replied the slightly agitated co-worker.

I was halted by the idea that her co-worker thought that he was being ‘normal’ by performing those specific tasks. Here’s a question: Do you give appropriate emotional responses and take social cues from behavior? Be honest. These will help… 

When was the last time you overreacted to a situation at work that almost cost you your job, or at least a reprimand?

How did you react during your last performance review when your supervisor told you the areas you needed improvement in?

What did you do when your supervisor showed disapproval or yelled at you in front of other employees? 

Get the idea? Were you being ‘normal’ in any of those situations according to the agitated co-worker? In today’s society, it is not normal to give appropriate emotional responses and take social cues from behavior because so few people know how to do it! It’s actually abnormal.  It’s irregular, odd, and even strange. In fact, people view negative behavior as the norm. Is that a shocker? Why else is there so much poor leadership and these people still have jobs? Maybe that’s why the co-worker was worried, because he wasn't acting normal? Hmm….

It’s time to start behaving abnormally. Don’t live up to people’s expectations – be irregular! Here’s how:

Boss's Day - October 16 - Best Boss of the Year Contest


Who is the best boss?

Do you have a boss that goes above and beyond for their employees? Want to show your boss how much you appreciate their leadership? Make this Boss’s Day, October 16, a special one and nominate your boss for Best Boss of the Year and enter for a chance to win a lunch for you and boss (value $75) to any local restaurant and they will receive a certificate for Best Boss of the Year.  
Tell us about your supervisor and why he or she should win Best Boss of the Year. Post your response to this article and get entered to win.

The Best Boss and Appreciative Employee will receive:

  • $75 Gift certificate for the winner and their boss to local restaurant of their choice
  • Boss and employee will be interviewed by Elite Office Concepts and the  article will be posted on the Office Professionals Place blog 
  • The best boss will receive a Best Boss of the Year Certificate
  • The appreciative employee will receive an Employee Appreciation Certificate

Contest rules:

  • One post per department, per company.
  • Contest entry must state why the candidate is worthy of the Best Boss of the Year Award.
  • Entrant must be willing to want to have lunch with the winner
  • Winner will choose restaurant of choice. No cash value or refund for gift certificate.
  • Limit entry to 300 words.
  • Upon posting entry to this article, send an email to eliteoffice@icloud.com so that we can have a contact email address, just in case you are the successful entry.
  • Contest ends October 17, 2013. Winner will be announced on October 24, 2013.
Administrative professionals get a day in April, your day is coming. Here’s your chance to acknowledge the great leadership in your department.