Top 10 Contradictions of the PA/EA role!

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To get what I and my manager need, I have to:

1. Keep the goals of my manager at the centre, whilst responding to numerous other requests

2. Build a close relationship with all the ‘important others’, and maintain a distance that allows me to manage interference

3. Lead, drive and cut through, being sure of myself, and yet hold myself in the background, seeking concensus, being tolerant, patient and diplomatic

4. Know exactly what needs to be done, and yet be able to wait, allow others space and time to catch up

5. Be assertive, confident and direct, and yet warm, inviting and humble

6. Be inspiring, dynamic, energetic and also reflective, co-operative and concilitary

7. Be highly effective and efficient, focused and planned, and yet be responsive, able to change direction in a moment and spontaneous

8. Know myself, my personality and leverage off my strengths, whilst flexing my style to get the best out of others and my manager

9. Plan my own time, but be flexible with my schedule

10. Focus on the here and now, and also look into the future and pre-empt

Then you wonder why some days you feel like you have 2 personalities!

Partnering really well with your manager can help ease some of these contradictions and make you work day less frenetic. For example:

* Have you and your manager discussed how you work together, your communication preferences, time wasters, roles and responsibilities, complementary abilities, priorities and truly explored the word ‘partnership’?

* Have you (and your manager) identified key stakeholders, built successful relationship platforms, and are able to trouble-shoot when early warning signs appears that could derail goals?

* Do you have the necessary problem-solving and decision making skills, and are able to create and manage information flow?

* Can you easily influence the most challenging personality in the office, handle conflict quickly and efficiently and maintain the relationship?

Penny facilitates Bright*Star’s training course on ‘Partnering with Your Manager’

Written by Penny Holden

NEW Speakers for Web 201320Master facilitator, high calibre industry recognised trainer, and people and culture capability consultant, Penny Holden brings 20 years real business and workplace experience, expertise and knowledge. With an extensive background in behavioural  sciences, psychology, education and organisational development and people capability, she applies this in simple and effective ways to her workshops and projects. Penny is particularly recognised for her ability to work with anyone at any level with respect and robust appropriate learning methods.

The Art of Conversation for Leaders: Building Rapport

BS 2016 Website-EventBanners10 In the business world, the word ‘LOVE’ is rarely used, yet that’s exactly what most people really want – we ALL want to be loved – so how do you become a leader in expressing this key quality that we all want in a business context?

It boils down to one word…INTEREST.

In sales as well as customer service, sincere interest is the best ingredient in a successful relationship. Building rapport and strengthening relationships is all about expressing your interest and caring. When you take the lead in terms of getting to know someone, you consciously set the intention to discover their concerns as well as passions, and to help them to feel heard and acknowledged. You take leadership in building a bridge of friendship with them.

So, how do you express your interest specifically? How can you consciously begin to practice this ‘love’ for others in a business context? One way you can express your interest in others is by asking open-ended questions. This means your taking responsibility to deepen a conversation through continuing to encourage others to reveal more about their concerns, thoughts, and feelings. To get to know someone better, you need to express your interest – and that means probing deeper with successive questions which follow their train of thought.

So, here’s an example of how you could develop and deepen a conversation expressing your interest using open-ended questions.

You: So, how’s it going, Paul?

Paul: Oh, not bad…been a hectic day.

You: Really? What’s been happening?

Paul: Oh, I’ve got four new contracts – which is great, but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all.

You: What about it feels overwhelming?

Paul: Well, I suppose it’s the pressure of feeling like I need to stay on top of everything without dropping the ball.

You: How do you handle the pressure?

Paul: Well, fortunately, I go walking in the mornings which seems to help.

You: Really, where do you go walking?

Paul: Cornwall Park – I love it there.

You: What do you love about it?

Paul: I love that you can see sheep roaming all around – a bit of country in the middle of the city…I love the peace and quiet, and I love the trees. Etc…..

Enjoy getting to know your clients, colleagues, friends, and family members. If you consciously practice asking open-ended questions which follow others’ ‘train of thoughts’, you’ll develop the trust, goodwill, and warm feelings that help them and you ‘feel the love’. Plus, as an extra benefit, your business will get a boost as a result!

If you’d like to develop your ‘executive voice and presence’, I invite you to join me on the new Bright*Star course in 2016: ‘Building Your Executive Voice and Presence’, 19 August in Wellington

Sally Mabelle, M.Ed, B.A hons, has 20+ years’ experience as a ‘Voice of Leadership’ specialist. She combines her professional background in Communication, Education, and Psychology with her extensive stage experience in her courses. She has honed essential skills in voice projection, emotional connection and physical presence and is an award-winning inspirational speaker.

Sally Mabelle, ‘The Voice of Leadership’ Specialist.

Is your body telling tales on you?

We all know that ‘gut feeling’ when we meet someone for the first time – it tells us whether this is our kind of person or not…although we don’t always know why.

Our body language gives out messages that we may not be aware of – sometimes betraying us and the messages that we actually want to be send out. d

Imagine you are a hedgehog…what do you do when you feel threatened or under attack? Like a hedgehog, if we feel vulnerable for any reason we will do our best to make ourselves small and often cross our arms to protect our vital organs. e


Being aware of the signals our body is sending on our behalf allows us to choose whether we go with it or override it and make a conscious change.

What is your body language saying…table

With Body Language you can ‘fake it til you make it’…or rather…’fake it til you become it’.  Power, authority and confidence will help you get where you want to be…

Find out more about how to use your body language to get what you want by joining us at our next Communicating with Impact training course.

Blog Written by Bright*Star Facilitator Kerry Saberton

Ian Moir, Aztech Solutions, receiving his brand new ipad from Kerry Saberton, Business Development Manager at Bright*Star Training

Kerry has been a facilitator and organisational development consultant for over 18 years. During her career in customer service, sales and management, Kerry gained a wide range of experience to draw upon. She has built and developed teams to meet core objectives in both sales and customer service and believes the key to success is harmony and communication. She has also built and run her own companies.