Welcome to the Who Took My Pen … Again? Annual Blog-a-thon for Administrative Professionals. If you are just tuning in, here’s the scoop! We are holding 4th Annual Blog-a-thon for the Administrative Profession. We hold this blog-a-thon each April and the goal is to make assistants aware of the resources available to them and build a community of administrative assistant and executive assistants who want to learn and grow and flourish in their career of choice! To learn more about the blog-a-thon and how you can win great prizes check out the Administrative Professional’s Blog-a-thon Page for the full message.
Today’s chapter excerpt is from the chapter titled Ambassador.
I’ve been an active member of the Vegas Young Professionals since moving to Las Vegas in 2006. I serve on the Advisory Council for the Vegas Young Professionals and I am also their program chair for the Ambassador Program. In this program we ask our ambassadors to reach out to new members, to open up and introduce people at events, find those who don’t appear to be comfortable and get them involved through introductions.
I believe that we as administrative professionals are also ambassadors for our organizations, our departments and even our executives. I hope you enjoy today’s chapter excerpt – it is one of my favorites!
You may think an “ambassador” is a person who represents her country while working in an international setting. But anyone can be an ambassador, and if you like people, it will be very easy to become one! Ambassadors easily add value every day through the specialized approach to how they behave and treat people in the course of working in your group, department, and company. Being an ambassador will open doors for you.
If you’re not the “traditional” ambassador working internationally, how can you bring the elements of ambassadorship to your desk every day? Being an ambassador means you are friendly, treat others well, behave responsibly, and are highly sensitized to this critical fact: people have opinions about your company and its products, and you’d like to help shape that public opinion to be positive and mutually beneficial. And whether you agree or not, whether you like it or not, an ambassador is always aware that what she does and says are continually on display. There is no dress rehearsal – it’s always the real deal and each action and conversation is critical. They all count.
The Genuine Host. An ambassador is one who thinks and sees outside of himself to consider other people’s thoughts, emotions, opinions, and comforts. An ambassador will go to a networking event and seek out others to help them feel welcome and connected. He will act as a “host” to connect people strategically, and in the process, may totally forget that it is his own first time attending!
He seeks to inform, to communicate, to strategize for the best outcome, and to genuinely help others. He won’t badger, belittle, or argue any point. Instead, he will listen intently and respectfully, and perhaps offer to provide additional comment or material at a later date. He will retain relationships and protect them, understanding that profit and profitability all stem from individual people purchasing his companies’ service or product. The bottom line is this: without people, his company will not succeed.
Extending the Olive Branch. An ambassador is one who always reaches for the good, seeking genuine peace and consensus among co-workers, managers, departments, or companies. An ambassador knows that a breakdown of communication and relationship just isn’t good business practice. It causes damage, loss of profit, stress, poor morale, lack of creativity, mistakes, and rework. Extending the olive branch is a way of calling people to be better, to bring their very best to the table of business and to add value. An ambassador is always the voice of reason, calling others to work for the greater good.
Critical Conversations. An ambassador won’t walk away from critical conversations. She will consider the timing, the setting, get her facts verified, be calm, and exhibit leadership to have the conversations necessary to promote the good of the group or organization’s mission, while maintaining goodwill toward everyone involved. She allows each person to save face and have a renewed vigor toward getting the job done in the best manner possible. No, it’s not always easy. But the ambassador knows and is committed to the greater good, to taking the higher road and not sinking down into the mire of “everyone else does it” as an excuse for bad behavior or poor results.
Disagree, Agreeably. An ambassador knows that people are not all from the same bolt of fabric. There is a rich variety in the diversity of people, and many different opinions result. Knowing that these many opinions also yield more solutions, greater creativity and wisdom, the ambassador will readily listen and acknowledge each person’s opinion, thoughts, and input. She will call everyone to disagree agreeably. It’s okay to bring different opinions to the table! But as you do, don’t shoot everyone else’s input down. Each person should be welcome to speak and be heard, respectfully.
The Ambassador’s Super Secret Summary:
- Learn people’s names and call them by name.
- Treat others with respect.
- Be friendly!
- Remember you are always on stage.
- Discover something wonderful about someone you admire, and incorporate that into your skill set.
- Treat everyone as you would like to be treated.
- Humanize everyone you encounter.
- Remember the person behind the task.
How will you move forward as an ambassador for your organization, department or executive?
Jasmine Freeman, Contributing Author, Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets From Dynamic Executive Assistants