Problem Solving

“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:
It’s 4:30 p.m., and one of your bosses has finally given you the documents you expected to receive that morning—the documents you need in order to wrap up a task by the 5:30 p.m. deadline. This is your biggest pet peeve—receiving things late (and without warning), but being expected to complete the task on time. What to do?
An administrative assistant recently posted this dilemma on our Admin Pro Forum: “I know my office co-worker chats on Facebook most of the day … and now I have proof. Do I say something to the co-worker, or do I bring it up to the boss? I am usually not a tattletale, but there are times when I am overwhelmed with work and I know she’s chatting on Facebook and not getting her work done.” Forum readers weighed in with advice:
What’s the best way to solve a problem at work? Figure out exactly what’s wrong and fix it. Right? Not according to Marcus Buckingham. The author of Find Your Strongest Life says that’s an example of “Deficit Attention Disorder.” He says thinking in terms of the problem only amplifies negative feelings. He recommends this more positive, productive approach:

Turn up the heat to boost productivity

December 3, 2009 Categorized in: Problem Solving

The No. 1 thing people complain about at work: the temperature. Researchers at Cornell University have found that warmer offices can improve productivity.