4 Ways to Increase Professional Effectiveness

I spend a lot of my time in the training room with administrative professionals all over the country, I am often taken by the words of wisdom that are shared by the savvy assistants in my classes.

In fact, I was struck by the words of one particular assistant who seemed savvy beyond her years.

She was a reminder to me – and to us, all – that wisdom in the best companies and organizations resides in the support staff as much as, if not more than, members of the management team!

Here were her four observations on how to increase professional effectiveness in the office.

  1. Be a hub of information, not a rest stop. In this too-busy business world, it can be easy to let important information sit idle on our desks as we justify that other priorities take precedence. However, information is the true currency of business! If we fail to provide data or news to others that can help them do their work, we fail our employer and even ourselves. So move information quickly, and keep it going! Do all you can to improve communication in your office.
  2. In a meeting, are you taking the minutes or are you part of the minutes? It’s easy to attend meetings and “zone out” – especially since studies show that many meetings are unnecessary! The challenge for success-minded professionals like you is to engage yourself in what’s happening in the meeting, not simply take notes you may never consult again. Contribute your thoughts when they add real value. Change the direction and the tenor of the meeting so the outcome is even more actionable and positive. Bottom line: Get involved!
  3. Be “future-focused,” especially when you’re overwhelmed. The typical human reaction to stress is to fixate on the current situation. Result: People literally forget the future and fail to plan for it – which only makes them feel even more overwhelmed. Talk about a vicious cycle! Break it by intentionally pausing during stressful times, thinking about pending work, and planning ahead how you’ll handle it. The more aware you are, the more prepared you’ll be when the future finally rolls around.
  4. Make yourself a work priority. Take care of your health – mentally and physically – on a daily basis, and never, ever take it for granted. Even the “engine that could” needed fuel to get up the mountain, and tracks to guide it to the top. We’re no different! True, I advocate testing your limitations and stretching life’s parameters so you ultimately become the very best you can be. But you must know your limits, too. Only by being “fully functional” and making yourself a priority equal to any other in the workplace can you achieve stardom in your career!

I always love sharing wisdom like this with readers like you! Apply as needed, and add these golden “nuggets of wisdom” to your ever-growing toolbox for professional and personal success!

Joan Burge


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