Tactfully Speaking

What's the underlying message?

Written words, especially in emails or texts, often can be misleading as they are void of vocal inflection, body language and other cues. How often have you written something with a hint of sarcasm only to discover the reader took it at face value?

Focus on small wins

Sometimes, reaching distant goals can feel like an unending quest, especially if our objectives are months or years away. So how do we stay focused for the long haul?

3 tips for remaining relevant

Con­­sider these resources to refresh you on your career path.

Get down to the nitty-gritty

There’s an old adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Researchers, along with the popular media, have given the attribute of mental toughness the catchier label “grit.” So how do we get more of it? I’ve found three things that help to strengthen this quality.

Know how to handle a know-it-all

In a professional setting, know-it-alls can undermine office morale, along with your credibility. That’s why you need to deal with them effectively.

Going up?

The elevator pitch—a brief speech to create interest in your company, your product or yourself—is a staple for those in sales. You may be thinking, I’m an admin, why would I need an elevator pitch? We’re all in sales, whether we’re selling a product, an idea or ourselves to potential customers, our team members or upper management.

Keep it to yourself: The importance of discretion

The importance of discretion was recently reinforced during a panel discussion with four senior executive assistants who work for high-powered individuals.

When your boss is a bully

Recent research suggests that supervisors target those who are least likely to defend themselves. This dysfunctional pattern can be shifted if you’re willing to take action.

Showcase your talent at meetings

Some meetings provide a chance to interact and showcase your skills with higher-level staff. But it helps to be aware of the challenges you may face depending on whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

Phrases that pay

Even the most efficient and organized admins can get sidetracked by unforeseen interruptions and unplanned demands on their time—endless emails, chatty co-workers and yet another to-do from the boss. But before you boil over, adopt these boilerplate responses so you’re not tongue-tied in the moment when you need to speak your truth.