Being Indispensable is celebrating its two year anniversary and to help plan ahead I've created a listener survey. If you could spare a few minutes I'd love to have you complete it.
Executive Secretary LIVE is coming to Sydney for the first time in July and I've negotiated a 10% discount off the conference price for listeners of Being Indispensable. Get all the details and use the code INDISPENSABLE18 to claim your discount
Finally, I'm working on my first online course and if you'd like to be the first to know when it launches make sure to register your details via this link
Thanks for being an important part of my journey in the last two years!
Today's episode is sharing two tips from a recent keynote presentation I did in Sydney for Office Professionals Day.
Firstly, how thinking like a Sales Person can help you shift your minset...
- It’s not their responsibility to buy, it’s your responsibility to sell
- You may not want to sell but you that’s what you’re doing
- You need to to sell your ideas, your requests, your issues, yourself!
How if you can adopt this mindset and channel your inner sales person you will be more effective
My advice is to sell what you can sell, make peace with what you can’t
Secondly, try saying YES in order to say no!
Your sole purpose is to support your manager or managers. Sometimes they will come to your desk when you are busy handling something already assigned and it’s easy to feel you are being interrupted. Yes. You are. But that is your job.
Never underestimate the power of “yes” in your thoughts, attitudes and the first word you speak to others.
Helps you be perceived as a positive, can-do person.
Tip = when someone approaches and interrupts you internally smile and think “yes”. The internal “yes” changes our thought patterns, attitudes, ‘tell’ facial expressions and posture.
It’s an old sales technique - never respond with a ‘no’. Instead if something is asked of you say something like “Let’s discuss what I can do” or “Yes, I would love to do that. Here’s what I can do”.
Super excited to announce that I have a book coming out later this year. Yes, I will be able to officially call myself an author!!!
With a working title 'Getting Home From Breast Cancerville (is the hardest bit)' my book is about the complexity and uncertainty of recovering from treatment and accepting that life will never be as it was before Breast Cancer.
In writing my own story I have tried to convey the way everyone thinks that when your treatment ends, the worst is behind you. The truth is, the hardest bit is yet to come. If you have Breast Cancer, I have tried to show you what you need to be prepared for once your treatment ends. If you're supporting a friend with Breast Cancer, I try to show you where they will need your greatest support.
If you would like to stay updated on the release date and where to buy it, I've created a link for you to sign up to the mailing list.
Click here http://eepurl.com/ds2Z85
It's a book that's taken me four years to write because there's been times where delving into the material has been just too hard. But it's done! My manuscript is now finished and with an editor to whip it into shape. I know there will be more work but it's on it's way to publication.
This week’s episode is my five starter tips for approaching the topic of Managing Up.
Managing Up can also be described as managing by influence. It’s a topic that goes right to the heart of what it means to be effective as an Exec Assistant and it’s one of the biggest challenges that assistants grapple with when they’re building a relationship with their manager.
It begins with coming at your manager with a sense of curiosity. I love the quote
“Seek first to understand”, it’s the heading of Chapter Five in Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”
The better you understand your manager, the easier your life will be, and the more successful you will be
Tip #1 - Understand their priorities
Tip #2 - Keep these priorities front of mind and link back to them when you’re communicating with them
Tip #3 - Be genuinely committed to helping your boss be the best version of themselves
Tip #4 - Take things away from them that make sense
Tip #5 - Pick your moment
#48 ‘How to interview your boss to clarify expectations and perceptions’
Read my LinkedIn article on asking better questions https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-ways-ask-better-questions-liz-van-vliet/
If you are Sydney based I’d love to see you at the AIOP event celebrating Office Professionals Day on May 4th.
If you are listening from elsewhere in the world I’m also speaking on the topic of Managing Up as part of the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit 2018. Information available here.
Continuing on the theme of 'being' in this episode Liz shares how in pursuit of her 2018 word 'Strengthen' she has engaged a personal trainer and has noticed her internal flight reflex kicking in!
Instead of coming down hard on herself, Liz shares how being kind to yourself is the order of the day. Progress over perfection people, that's what we want to focus on!
In this episode Liz outlines techniques that she teaches in her workshops that focus on taking a step by step approach to preparing for and engaging in difficult conversations.
A bonus download is available here.
The first episode about the 'being' part of Being Indispensable for 2018. Recorded on one of my walks it's all about how I've turned a corner in the injury department and am on the road to more strength and stamina after a challenging year on the health front in 2017.
According to the World Economic Forum there are 10 skills that will be vital for us to possess from 2020 and beyond. Funnily enough these are 10 skills that happen to be fundamental to your success as an Executive Assistant today and if you master them will help you stay at the front of the pack going forward.
I first read about these skills in a great article by Vivien Luu. You can find the article here.
I've also created a one-page downloadable PDF of the ten skills identified in the World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report.
As some wise person once said, a change is as good as a holiday. Well I've had a holiday and am finally getting back to work so it's now time for some changes.
I'm starting a new format for the show commencing with my next episode #53. I'm a strong believer that you can't 'show up' at work or in life if you're not taking care of your wellBEING. I'm also a huge exponent of the thinking that we are 'human beings not human doings' as Wayne Dyer so eloquently put it. This has been an area of huge significance for me in the years post my Breast Cancer diagnosis and treatment and I feel that it's been a strong theme in the podcast episodes and talks I've done since launching Being Indispensable in mid 2016.
My belief that being perceived as indispensable or a linchpin employee as Seth Godin describes it needs to be driven by three things:
So going forward I will be producing episodes based on these two aspects of us as working people - human beings and aspiring linchpins. I will alternate between a 'BEING' related episode and an 'INDISPENSABLE' related episode.
I look forward to having you along for the ride.
A belated wrap-up of 2017 focusing on my words for the year - Move, Consider & Consistency and how I score myself against delivering on their promise.
I'm also including a bonus for this episode which is my 2017 reading list. Business books I consumed plus a list of those I 'dipped' into but didn't get quite through.
Click here to download the booklist and get reading.
I love your feedback so please connect with me and let me know what books you read in 2017 that were of use professionally.
Fifty episodes is a momentous milestone in the world of podcasting. Most podcasts don't make it to double digits let alone a half century. This episode is a road rambling celebrating the special people that have made Being Indispensable something that has been worth continuing with. From my husband and daughters to the many Executive Assistants that have kindly expressed their appreciation for my efforts in bringing this podcast to the world.
25,000 plus episodes have been downloaded and I can't wait to bring many more episodes to you celebrating the contribution of Executive Assistants and continuing to advocate for greater recognition for those outstanding exponents of the profession that are amongst you.
Today's episode is a road rambling sharing some of the points I presented to an audience of Executive Assistants at a conference in Sydney run by Intrepid Minds. The topic was negotiating skills and strategies.
It's common for people to think about negotiation as it applies to the job hunt process. Negotiating salary and benefits or alternatively negotiating salary increases or role changes with your employer.
We also negotiate with co workers and peers about the distribution of tasks, due dates, deadlines, needing something from someone else so we can get something done…this takes communication skills and an ability to negotiate and engage in crucial conversations.
In this episode I share the thinking and research of Margaret Neale from Stanford University who encourages us to think about negotiation as a process and that the goal is not to get a deal, it's to get a good deal.
I also share some other tips including not thinking of negotiating as a one-discussion or one-conversation exercise. It may take multiple conversations to get a good deal or the best outcome and you need to stay in dialogue with the other party.
The use of silence and leaving space for the other party to fill is something I've shared before and it's useful when negotiating to be aware of the power of silence.
Finally I discuss the concept of BATNA or your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. In other words what is your fall back position, your next best outcome?
Hope you enjoy the episode. Here's some further reading:
A key area for festering mistrust and misunderstanding between Executive Assistants and their manager is around expectations and perceptions. Failing to communicate on these topics leads to frustration on the part of both of you.
It may be hard for you to broach this subject and it may be equally hard for your boss to give you honest feedback but it is something both of you need to approach with a growth mindset.
This initiative falls under the broader topic of 'Know Your Boss' which Liz will be exploring in further episodes.
Hallie Warner is the Chief of Staff for Adam Hergenrother. For the last seven years Hallie has been Adams right hand person. She epitomises the word linchpin and definitely fits the image of an indispensable assistant.
Hallie has cultivated a true partnership with Adam and in this episode she shares what it has taken to reach this point and some of her learnings along the way. We discuss how she is currently looking for opportunities to stretch herself in order to develop and how she is pushing herself outside her comfort zone by speaking to me. Hallie says “The best way to grow, and the best way to learn is by teaching”.
Find out more about Hallie's Lead & Assist Webinar Series: bit.ly/AHTOLEAD
Adam’s post referencing his relationship with Hallie:
Keller Williams referenced approach to hiring an EA:
Hallie's Blog - www.leadandassist.com
Connect with Hallie:
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/halliewarner
Facebook - www.facebook.com/hallieswarner
Instagram - @halliewarner
Today's podcast guest is Roxanne Calder, Managing Director of boutique office support recruitment firm EST10 based in Sydney, Australia. Roxanne has been a previous guest on Being Indispensable. Listen to Episode #22 to hear all about EST10 and Roxanne's passion for Office Support professionals.
In this episode we discuss the annual Salary Guide produced by EST10 and talk about the 2017/18 guide which has just been released. It contains some excellent insights into the 'state of play' in the office support market here in Sydney and also includes fabulous insights from Roxanne with respect to the talent shortage that currently prevails and how employers need to go beyond their preconceived requirements. It's all about seeing unicorns instead of rhinos.
Click here to download your copy of the EST10 2017/18 Salary Guide.
Click here to contact EST10 in Sydney to request a hardcopy of the 2017/18 Salary Guide or discuss other topics.
We all know the benefits for team and personal morale of giving positive feedback. The weird thing is that when we are on the receiving end we can often be guilt of reading it, feeling momentarily happy and validated and then moving on and never looking at it again.
In this episode, Liz shares why it makes such good sense to create a filing system or a repository for positive feedback you receive, whatever form it comes in.
Because Liz is an Evernote tragic, this is her platform of choice for filing such feedback. In Episode 45 she shares how she does it and why. A clue is in Episode 44 where her ongoing struggle with the dreaded imposter syndrome is discussed.
Liz opens up about how anxiety and confidence issues have got in the way of her bringing regular episodes out.
This is an issue Liz has fought on an ongoing basis, in Episode 8 she discussed feeling like an imposter.
This week is Part 2 of my two-part Road Rambling. It's a wrap-up of what was an excellent EA Leadership Summit 2017 run by The Growth Faculty. In the episode I share my thoughts on why our bosses need to see that we're human (in my opinion) and how it doesn't help us to appear infallible and how Libby Moore's presentation demonstrated why no one ever got promoted for being the best at Excel or Powerpoint!!
Email me to say hello or let me know topics you would like me to cover in future episodes.
This week is Part 1 of my two-part Road Rambling. It's a wrap-up of what was an excellent EA Leadership Summit 2017 run by The Growth Faculty as well as an overview of the content I will be sharing on the 30th August 2017 when I present 2 X 45 minute sessions at the Office Professionals Workshop in Adelaide. This event is being run by Catherine Middleton (that would be the other Catherine Middleton, not the Duchess of Cambridge) of Office Dynamics Adelaide fame.
Tickets are still available and I would love love love to see you there if you are a 'Radelaide' Executive Assistant or Office Professional.
In next weeks episode I will share some of my key takeaways from the EA Leadership Summit 2017.
Email me to say hello or let me know topics you would like me to cover in future episodes.
In this episode Liz explains her recent podcasting hiatus and shares the reasons why her break has been so fulfilling. Liz is also looking forward to attending the EA Leadership Summit in her capacity as a member of the Advisory Panel and presenting at the Office Professionals Workshop in Adelaide on the topic of knowing yourself, knowing your boss and knowing your job.
EA Leadership Summit - Sydney, Wednesday 9th August tickets still available here
Office Professionals Workshop - Adelaide, Wed 30th August, tickets available here
Episode #40 of Being Indispensable shines a light on two Executive Assistants (or Administrative Assistants as they are known in the USA) who work at Nvidia in Santa Clara, California.
The company description on Wikipedia summarises them as follows:
Nvidia Corporation is an American technology company based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing and automotive market.
In simple language, they have designed a really fast chip that until recently was well know amongst gamers because of it's speed. With the increasing requirement for faster processing in enterprise computing as well as the wave of Artificial Intelligence that is building, they are gaining interest and attention for the potential the chips have in these areas. In the same way as we used to think of "Intel Inside" for personal computing, it's now becoming "Nvidia Inside" in the enterprise space.
Carla Dutra and Cid Dias are two of many Administrative Assistants at Nvidia. They kindly agreed to speak to me during their lunch hour and in the interviews they share how they came to Nvidia, who they support and some of the reality of their day to day role.
The gold in these conversations is that Carla and Cid epitomise the concept of the EA or AA as brand ambassador. Their genuine enthusiasm for their role and the organisation, their warmth and generosity made a wonderful impression on me and this typifies how they show up in their roles. This is one of the values that Executive Assistants bring to their organisation. They are often the first impression of the company and the interaction they have with people has the power to make or break a person's perception of their company. All credit goes to these two ladies for the way they conduct themselves and for demonstrating this essential trait of indispensable assistants.
For more information on the Executive Assistant as ambassador read this post from Office Dynamics website.
One thing I find really unfortunate about the realm of Executive Assistant forums is the way there seems to be a tacit acceptance that it's okay to judge each other. As someone who has come to focus on this profession having experienced the world of Selling professionals and Marketing professionals it's something I find quite curious. I've noticed that it seems normal for experts in the profession to jump on their soap box and tell EA's how they should and shouldn't behave.
In this weeks minisode, I ruminate on why it's important to consider that we can never really know what is going on for other people and how being kind should be the first response, no matter how hard that might be at times.
Staying calm under pressure is an important skill for Indispensable assistants to focus on. In Episode 38 Liz shares what it means to be unflappable, why it matters and three techniques to focus on that will help you project an aura of calm when in reality you might be feeling anything but.
Appearing to be unflappable requires us to control our primitive responses to stress and be less reactive. Having these three techniques in your kit bag will empower you to have control over your body language, your voice and your own internal responses to stressful situations.
Links to research & articles discussed in the episode:
Listen to Art of Charm episode to get more tips on how to control your voice
The Focused Leader - HBR Article
Being Indispensable Episode 5 - Amy Cuddy research
Being Indispensable Episode 14 - Practising mindfulness
I'd love to hear your feedback on these techniques and how you stay calm under pressure. Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn of course.
Episode 37 is the final episode in my miniseries devoted to helping you get your C-suite leader on the social media bandwagon. In this episode I discuss the elephant in the room - the fact that becoming your executives social media manager involves taking on additional workload which no doubt is the last thing you need as an Executive Assistant.
This fact hasn't escaped me and I'm loathe to be the cause of my listeners having something else to stress about. That being said, helping your executive get more engaged on LinkedIn is something that makes sense for a number of reasons (as I've discussed in Episode #34). In this final episode I attempt to help you get a handle on the benefits for you personally...because much as I love to help you position yourself as proactive and strategic (and of course be seen as an essential element in your bosses life), the reality is that there's got to be some sort of WIFM factor for you.
Hope you enjoy this final episode. Next week I promise not to even utter the words "LinkedIn" or "Social".
Please visit www.beingindispensable.com/episodes to find the link to the spreadsheet template discussed in the episode.
Part 3 of my series on how to help your C-Suite leader engage in social media, specifically LinkedIn. In this episode I outline a 5 step process of monitoring and observing the engagement of a targeted number of individuals and companies on LinkedIn. This data will inform the future planning for tactical engagement on LinkedIn.
By tracking these identified individuals and companies over a finite period of time, Executive Assistants will be building their own knowledge of the world their manager operates in as well as collecting information that will be invaluable in helping progress the conversation around how the executive can and should be actively engaging on LinkedIn.
This is classic 'red box' activity for Executive Assistants. It's all about thinking strategically and being proactive in support of your C-Suite leader.
Please visit www.beingindispensable.com/episodes to find the link to the spreadsheet template discussed in the episode.