Problem Solving

From time to time, people who report to you will bring you problems created by a decision that you made. They may appear exasperated by the pickle you put them in. Your response, in all cases, should be a good-natured invitation for the two of you to go have a look. Use these exact words: “Let’s go see!”
What are you afraid of? Speaking your ideas? Having a difficult conversation? Those cruel dressing-room mirrors during swimsuit season? Well, don’t let the fear of crowds or mirrors stop you. Pushing through the fear is a necessary rite of passage.
You’re a model of efficiency … except when it comes to that one task you dread. Whether it’s filing, completing an assignment for your “difficult” manager or approaching the boss about a raise, you fall prey to the procrastination monster. You know the answer is “Just do it,” so push yourself along with these tactics:
If an underlying tension exists between you and a co-worker, now’s the time to address it. While it may be easier to ignore it, such tensions can mushroom. Use these techniques to reverse the momentum of mounting conflict:
“I’m worried the team won’t like my suggestions.” “I’m worried I didn’t give my boss enough time between flights.” “I’m worried they’ll eliminate my position.” Everybody worries sometimes, but too much worrying becomes a mental bad habit that costs time, money and personal sanity. What to do instead? Make worry WORK for you.

Be a ‘curator’ of good ideas

July 21, 2010 Categorized in: Problem Solving

Virtually every problem has already been solved by someone, though that person may not be in the same room or building as you. Great solutions could be one conversation away. Bottom line: Think of yourself as a “curator,” someone who knows how to borrow the best ideas of others, while adding your own twist.
Supervisors depend on you to protect their busy schedules, leaving you to deal with calls from sales representatives. You tell the reps you’ll pass the information to your supervisor, and someone will follow up should there be an interest. However, your words fall on deaf ears, and they continue to follow up. Some even stretch the truth in hopes of making a sale. So what do you do?
How are companies feeling about the future? A recent McKinsey survey reports executives are feeling positive about their companies’ ability to rebound: 74% of respondents say they expect companies’ profits to rise over the next 12 months.
Much has been written about the show “Undercover Boss” and what managers and leaders can learn from it. But managers aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Admin pros, who partner with those same managers and leaders, can benefit from glimpsing a business through the eyes of top brass. It’s a reminder of how to bring value to your organization.

Sell your idea with benefits in mind

April 21, 2010 Categorized in: Problem Solving

Got a great idea? Find the audience most likely to “buy” it, and sell the idea by touting benefits. For example, your idea for conserving paper might be music to the ears of an operations executive tasked with reducing overall waste. Sell the idea to him first, then strategize about ways to influence others.
As companies and local governments look for ways to rein in costs, administrative professionals need to perform like high-earning stocks. Raising your perceived value allows you to do more than hold on to your position; it helps you accelerate your career. Here’s how to raise your personal stock price:
Being afraid to ask for help can land you in deep water. So learning how to ask for help—and doing it right—is critical to your success as an administrative professional. Asking for help doesn’t have to make you look dumb. In fact, it shows you have good judgment, and that you’re aware of what you don’t know.
Your office may have escaped a massive outbreak of swine flu, but odds are there’s still the lurking threat of seasonal flu. One admin wrote on our Admin Pro Forum that all employees at her company are required to attend an hour-long presentation about pandemic preparedness. A few ways to keep the flu at bay: