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The Role of the Executive Personal Assistant

Your invitation to the two day training course that forms a unit of the IQ/IAM Level 4 Certificate in Office & Administration Management.

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Principles of Finance for Administrative Managers

Your invitation to the one day training course which forms a unit of the IQ/IAM Level 3 Award in Professional PA & Administration Skills

principles-of-finance-for-administrative-managers-november-2016

Principles of Human Resources for Administrative Managers

Your invitation to the one day training course, which forms a unit of IQ/IAM Level 3 Award in Professional PA & Administration Skills.

principles-of-human-resources-for-administration-managers-november-2016

CATERWINGS

The team here at Your Excellency had the pleasure to try out CATERWINGS last week and we wanted to share the news and a £10 discount on your first order (£100 minimum order value).

CATERWINGS are shaking up the catering industry by making it incredibly easy to order exciting food from London’s top restaurants and caterers. Having recently launched, they are reaching out to offices across London to give them a whirl.

If you fancy adding a bit of ‘oomph’ to your office lunches, team events or even Christmas party then give one of CATERWINGS catering experts a call on 020 3805 3997 or order directly online at www.caterwings.co.uk. CATERWINGS alleviates all the stress that accompanies organising food for your office event so you can concentrate on other, more important things.

Use the reference code YOUREXCELLENCY to receive £10 off your first order and “Make Eat Happen”.

PA Networking groups across the UK & Ireland

Click to access the PA Networking Groups as at 28th October 2015 document – the essential list of PA Networking groups operating across the UK & Ireland.   A global list of PA Networking groups can be accessed via www.executivesecretary.com/associations.

If you have any updates or would like to be included on this list, please email lindsay@yourexcellency.co.uk.

To Tweet or not to Tweet….that is the question!

I admit to being a Twitter lover – all those who follow me (my Twitter “handles” or addresses are @your_excellency, @wisdom_pearls and @oarsometeams) will vouch for my regular contribution to the PA and learning and development world. I love the novelty of sharing messages using a certain number of characters and I love being able to keep instantly up to date with what’s happening in the PA world, with clients, friends and colleagues, as I swipe through my Twitter feed……

For those of you who haven’t yet “converted” and joined the Twitter world, this article “To Tweet or not to Tweet….that is the question!” will provide you with some food for thought. Couple this article with the very useful “Help” function on Twitter and you’ll be a Twitter aficionado in no time!

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Boats, Basements, Rooftops & Warehouses….oh my!

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to be invited to an amazing venue showcase and networking event in Chelsea – organised by Hire Space (www.hirespace.com), who I’d like to introduce you to.

Hire Space have made a real name for themselves here in London by helping busy PAs and event bookers find and book memorable and exciting event spaces. They’ve recently opened offices in Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester too – so whatever they’re doing, they’re obviously doing it well!

I made my way to Hire Space’s head office in Bermondsey to meet with the team and (fuelled by a box of chocolates that was being passed around the office) I asked Ed Poland, one of the co-founders, some questions to find out a bit more. So impressed was I by his responses that I offered to help out at the very first Manchester venue showcase too ………

What do you think the benefits are for a PA using a venue-finding service such as Hire Space?

Hire Space frees up time, because the legwork has already been done by us in sourcing locations. You can provide us with a brief and your requirements, we find a venue that meets those requirements – you can see what venues we represent on our website. It’s completely free for the PA to use our services, as we take a small fee from the venue itself when a booking is confirmed. Our community of PA users has grown by 300% in the past year!

 

So, what makes you different to other venue-finding services?

We have an extremely broad range of venues – think boats, basements, rooftops, warehouses – so PAs use us when they want something a bit different, as well as for the usual meeting and conference venues. We also have an expert team who have personally visited our venues and have established a relationship with the venue owners, so they’re great at scouting out the best deals.

 

I’ve looked through some of the venues on your website – do you have a particular personal favourite?

For the traditional, I like the City of London Club, and for something a bit different I’m a fan of Studio Spaces E2, a photography studio-come-event space in Shoreditch. I’m also a sucker for a great view, so Altitude 360, with panoramic views of London, has to get a mention.

 

Can PAs add their name to your mailing list and be invited to some of the amazing venues on your listing?

Absolutely. We hold a venue showcase about once a month in London, and we’ll be holding showcase events in Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester in early 2015.  The next one is at the ArcelorMittal Tower in Stratford. Places fill up quickly, so sign up for alerts by emailing hannah@hirespace.com. Hannah is our Events Organiser – she has easily the most enjoyable job at Hire Space!

 You can check out Hire Space on www.hirespace.com! 

January 2015 Newsletter – we’d love to support your 2015 learning & development!

Read our 2015 newsletter here!

Put a Frame on it! (The case of the 5 year old’s birthday party)

Put a Frame on it! (The case of the 5 year old’s birthday party)

So, I’m sure we’ve all read the “shocking” news that a 5 year old boy’s parents have been billed a “no show fee” by not turning up to a birthday party. I’m also pretty sure we’ve all got some strong views and ideas on the situation too, right?

My view is that this whole situation could have been easily avoided. Quite simply, all the parents organising the party had to do was “put a frame on it” in the first place.

Put a frame on it? Yep. Easy. Simple. Let me explain it.

For any situation you can set the expectation and decide how you want the situation to work and run – and share this expectation with all those involved.

In the case of the 5 year old’s birthday party then – the parents organising the party could have communicated to the parents of the children invited (verbally or in writing) and asked for their “okay” that, should a child be unable to attend the party it would be up to that child’s parent to foot the “no show” fee. It would then have been up to the parents of the children invited to agree or not agree to this. Quite simple really.

Whilst some of you will be “siding” with the parents of the birthday boy at the insensitivity of the “no show” given the expense of the party, I can hear many of you saying “But that’s not the point here……the cheek of it! To expect the invited children’s parents to foot a bill for a ‘no show’ is just ludicrous!”

This is not about taking “sides”.  This is not about acting like 5-year olds ourselves. It is about putting in to practice open, honest communication that sets the expectations of a situation. You have a choice whether to “buy-in” and commit to a situation once it has been “framed”. You can better make a decision about your involvement in a situation once you have all the information laid out in front of you. When you “put a frame on” a situation you are ensuring that everyone involved is clear as to the expectations of them – everyone knows how this is going to work.

Easy. Simple. Framed.

Pearls of Wisdom resumes for 2015! P is for Perceptual Positions …step into my shoes

“The person with the most flexibility in thinking and behaviour has the most influence over any situation”

How often have you been in a situation and found yourself confused or frustrated at the response or behaviour of someone else?

How often have you asked yourself – “why have they acted in such a defensive/negative/destructive/inappropriate  way’”?

In situations where you are faced with confusion and frustration at someone else’s attitude, behaviour or actions, what can you do? Well, firstly you can have Curiosity, something I consider to be the foundation to all learning. You need to have the curiosity to find out the reasons behind someone eliciting a particular behaviour or responded in the way that they have. Because, without curiosity you can lose sight of what your original outcome for a situation is. Then you can put into practice the technique known as “perceptual positions”, which allows you to gain insight into a situation by looking at it and considering it from three different perspectives.

1.  First Position (your own) – “wearing your own shoes” and fully experiencing what is important to you. This is known as being “associated” into your experience.

2. Second Position (the other person’s) – by “wearing their shoes” and being fully associated with what is important to them.
3. Third Position (from the outside) – by taking a disassociated and analytical view of what is happening between 1 and 2.

By gaining this insight we give ourselves choices and flexibility about the actions we can take in order to support our outcomes.

Here is the Technique:-

1.   From first position and “in your own shoes” think about the situation from your point of view. Ask yourself: What is important to me? How does this affect me? What is my desired outcome from this situation? Take a mental note of these.
2.  From second position and stepping into “the other person’s shoes”, think about what is important to them. See, hear and feel the world from their position. Take on the other person’s physiology and think about their beliefs and values, what do you already know about this person that will help you understand it from their perspective?       This will allow you to become fully associated into their world.

3.   From third position and like “a fly on the wall”, you move to the position of an independent eye-witness. You observe and comment on the facts of the situation without feeling or emotion. You can therefore give yourself disassociated advice on what would be useful in order to improve the situation and gain a better understanding of what is going on.

A good way to work with this technique is to physically move between positions to experience the different perspectives.

Position two chairs – sit on one to experience first position then move to the other chair to experience second position. Stand back to experience third position from a distance.

Think about what happens when someone becomes “stuck” in any of the three positions too.

A person stuck in first position can become selfish and egotistical. In second position the person can be over-influenced and co-dependent on the views of those around them. In third position a person can become emotionally-detached and unfeeling.

With the flexibility to move (physically and in your mind and thinking) you will find this technique beneficial to increase your awareness during a given situation. And, of course, the person with the most flexibility in thinking and behaviour, has the most influence over any situation.

 

(this article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine July 2013)