|"PA MATTERS TO U" NEWSLETTER - JULY 2013
NOVEMBER, PAPA, ALPHA... Learning the NATO Phonetic Alphabet
Every professional PA is a good communicator. That is a pre-requisite for rising to the top. Good communication is about writing well and listening actively. An aspect of active listening is the need to paraphrase (repeat) the message back to the person speaking. This allows them to correct any misunderstandings. Good communication is also about clear speech. When we speak clearly the listener gets the message with few misunderstands.
The NATO Phonetic Alphabet was created to minimise misunderstandings when communicating verbally. Using the NATO Phonetic Alphabet allows PAs to communicate over the telephone with fewer errors. It reduces the need for paraphrasing because there is less chance that letters will be misheard. Using the NATO Phonetic Alphabet also makes an important statement about the professionalism of the PA. I'm sure we all agree that this phonetic language is impressive to listen to so why not take some time today to learn the alphabet.
A = ALFA
B = BRAVO
C = CHARLIE
D = DELTA
E = ECHO
F = FOXTROT
G = GOLF
H = HOTEL
I = INDIA
J = JULIET
K = KILO
L = LIMA
M = MIKE
N = NOVEMBER
O = OSCAR
P = PAPA
Q = QUEBEC
R = ROMEO
S = SIERRA
T = TANGO
U = UNIFORM
V = VICTOR
W = WHISKEY
X = XRAY
Y = YANKEE
Z = ZULU
Strategies for Dealing With Difficult People
IDENTIFYING 'DIFFICULT PEOPLE'
'Difficult people' - we have all been exasperated by them. Some of us have to contend with a difficult person at work: perhaps it's a colleague. In which case, developing an effective strategy for engaging them is essential. Difficult people seem to make a mountain out of a molehill. They are adept at turning a simple conversation into an argument or a fight. You have to rehearse your lines before approaching them and hope for the best. You may even find that, over time, you permanently tune them out so that they have to try even harder to get you to listen and actually hear them.
WHAT'S BEHIND THE DIFFICULT BEHAVIOUR?
The difficult person's perception of the situation is an important factor but their motivation for behaving that way is key. What motivates their behaviour? One possible reason is resentment. A difficult person may perceive your attempts to reason with them as a lack of respect for their opinions. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle because people tend to limit their interactions with difficult people.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS
Difficult people can either be categorised as 'chronically difficult' or 'acutely difficult'. Most people are short-tempered, irritated, and acutely difficult with others from time to time; however, chronically difficult people often have strongly negative beliefs about people and generally don't trust others. This comes across in their interactions. At the core of this negativity is low self-esteem.
THE CYCLE OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM
Low self-esteem also drives the cycle of negative behaviour. Rejection of their point of view is interpreted as rejection of self. This in turn fuels lack of trust and generally sabotages the difficult person's interactions and relationships.
INTERRUPTING THE NEGATIVE CYCLE
To take control of your interactions with a difficult person, it is essential that you first change your own behaviour. Start by refusing to take their negative comments seriously. Behave in an unexpectedly positive way, using upbeat words and phrases. Use humour to skilfully deflect their negative comments and defuse their attempts at starting an argument. Ignore insecure behaviour and sarcasm, and focus on the productive aspects of their conversations. This is particularly important if you have to work with the difficult person and your productivity depends on communicating with them.
Finally, there are people out there who will have it in for you, no matter what you do. If that is the case and it's a work colleague that is being difficult, it is particularly important to take control to avoid being dragged into a disciplinary hearing.
PA DUTIES: MASTERING THE ESSENTIALS1-day PA refresher training course - central London, England
This PA refresher course is for PAs who have not attended a PA training course for a while. It is also relevant for PAs who have picked up their PA skills along the way and would like to fill in the gaps to optimise their skills. This course is taught at intermediate level but it introduces some advanced-level themes. You will learn the latest PA best practice.
THE COURSE COVERS:
- Working productively with management
- The latest Email & Diary Management strategies
- Comprehensive Meeting Planning techniques & strategies
- Strategies for Time Management & Prioritising your workload
- Going the extra mile when Planning Executive Travel
- Practical Business Writing Skills
Upcoming Course Dates
Thursday 26th September, 2013
Wednesday 27 November, 2013
ADVANCED EXECUTIVE PA MASTERCLASS
2-day Advanced-level training course, Central London, England
This is an excellent course for Executive Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Senior Administrators. Learn practical strategies and essential Executive PA skills that will raise your game. The next Executive PA Masterclass is fast approaching. Join us on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th August 2013 and learn how to increase your effectiveness as a senior PA while adding significant value to your role.
What Others Have Said About the Masterclass
“For the PAs who think they know it all, think again! Would highly recommend all Executive PAs attend this masterclass. You'll come away with valuable tips and knowledge."
Julie, EA to President, Alstom Renewable Power, Paris
“Anyone thinking of doing this course should definitely go ahead and book! Marguerita is the fountain of knowledge and really knows how to get the best out of you! Very useful course content that I will carry with me throughout my career."
Project Manager, Leeds, England
“An extremely good course for senior PAs, with good practical exercises, which were well delivered."
Corinne, Marks and Spencer, London
Upcoming Course Dates
Thurs 8th & Fri 9th August
Tues 10th & Wed 11th September
Wed 30th & Thurs 31st October
Thurs 5th & Fri 6th December
We welcome your comments and your suggestions for future PA Matters to U articles. Please send your comments to <>firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Assistant Tips,
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Tel: +44 (0)845 862 2687,
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Fax: +44 (0)207 183 9899,