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Volume 25 Issue 3
Boss of the Year速 2012 finalists announced
You can see through your mind!
The what and how of PAs behaviours
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Contributors to this Edition
Editorial Director Ana-Maria Valente firstname.lastname@example.org Publication Co-ordinator Queenie Masiza-Sangweni email@example.com Admin/Advertising Director Ornella Trinco firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising/Marketing Marlene Bilewitz & Associates email@example.com Head: Finance & HR Guida Morais firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr john tibane is a Medical Consultant-turned Leadership Consultant, Organizational Coach, Speaker and Author. He speaks with passion in areas of Personal and Organizational Effectiveness. He facilitates Change Conversations and Strategic Conversations. His several books, including "Master your Thoughts…Transform your Life" have become companions to those who seek to dramatically improve their lives. Teri Wells has been an Executive PA at the JD Group since 1994 and is the PA of the Year® 2012. As the title bearer, she hopes to be able to contribute to the profession in a meaningful way, not only during the coming year, but thereafter too. Teri would welcome any ideas and advice as to how she can contribute. For this and simply just to make contact, e-mail her on email@example.com Anel martin is South Africa’s PA of the Year® 2011. She is currently PA to the Chief of Finance at Telkom. More information on MartinA2@telkom.co.za
Subscriptions & Client Liaison Thandi Mtshali firstname.lastname@example.org Graphic Design Iviwe Masiza Dictum Design and Digital email@example.com Printing United Litho, Bert Groenewald, Tel: (011) 402 0571
The Company CareerSuccess is published by Dictum Publishers (Pty) Ltd Gauteng, South Africa Tel: (011) 616 7401
Lorna Roets is PAFSA's President’s Committee Vice Head; a Member of the Academy of Excellence and of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). She was a finalist in PA of the Year® 2008 and winner of the PA of the Year in the KOSH area in 2000. She has been the Assistant to the CEO at AngloGold Ashanti Ltd for five years and has been working for the company for 26 years. ColleEn Mansoor is President of the FriendsCup. She holds the position of Marketing Assistant/PA/ Office Manager for PSG Asset Management Life, Illovo. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (011) 616 3244 E-mail: email@example.com www.dictum.co.za Opinions expressed in any article do not necessarily reflect on the publishers. All submissions to CareerSuccess are subject to editorial change to suit the style of the magazine. The right of reproduction of any article or other matter published in CareerSuccess is expressly reserved.© CareerSuccess is the official publication of PAFSA.
Adam fidler is the National PR Officer for European Management Assistants (EUMA), a not-for-profit association for PAs with many active members from 25 different countries throughout Europe. He is currently Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive of Salford City College. Adam is passionate about the role of the PA, and a big advocate of self-development and life-long learning.
ED's MEMO Celebrating career success! In this issue we cover the Boss of the Year® Leadership Award and PA of the Year® Award. As founders and organisers of both, we are proud of the bosses and PAs we get to recognise every year, for their commitment to excellence. Recognising and rewarding is critically important if we are to create rolemodels for others to follow, and aim for higher achievement in their jobs and in their careers.
What is excellence? Is it about superior skills or superior attitude or both! I think you will agree, that it is both having the appropriate skills and the right attitudes to one’s work, one’s team, and one’s customers: internal and external. We know that in order to be effective, we have to serve! We have to serve our superiors; our peers; and our stakeholders. We have to provide them with the right service and information. We know that in order to be efficient, we have to do the above timeously, accurately and humanely. We know that to be respected, we need to be respectful; and to be rewarded, we need to be consistent, trustworthy and committed. The above are the basis that will take a boss or a PA or any other professional to the top! “Cream” always rises to the top! Ana-Maria
I take this opportunity, on behalf of Dictum Publishers (Pty) Ltd, to salute and congratulate all those who rose to the top ranks in the selection process of the PA of the Year® and Boss of the year® Awards.
CONTENTS Features 6
Key Feature: Broaden your vision by seeing through the eyes of the mind
30 Career Matters: PA behaviours - the "what" and the "how"
Interview 16 PAOTY Interview: Teri Wells 24 Academy of Excellence: Lorna Roets
Special events 9
Boss of the Year ® 2012: Finalists announced
Ed's Memo: Celebrating Career Success
14 Review: Secretaries Day Lunch
News, Views and Reviews: Sweet Angels fudges
15 PA of the Year 2012: Titlebearer announced!
22 Eyes on The World: PA mentoring and couching
18 PA Summit 2012: pictorial review
26 Q&A: Getting inside the Boss’s mind 29 FriendsCup: Grow this club with me 32 Brain Fun: Test your wits
News, Views And Reviews
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You can have eyes but have no vision, if you do not use your mind, so says Dr John Tibane, in his book Master your Thoughts... Transform your Life.
Broaden your vision by seeing
through the eyes of the mind
ne of the most amazing things about the mind is that it can see further and deeper than the eyes can see. In fact, I have seen people born with big eyes but they are blind. I have also seen others born without physical eyes but they have a vision and they know where they are going. This suggests that formulating a personal vision or organizational one is not the function of the eyes, but it is the function of the mind. It follows then that blindness is not because of the imperfection of the eyes but rather the disuse of the mind. The mind’s five sights The art of thinking gives one many eyes, and therefore have multiple sights which bring clarity of vision. The concept of a balanced scorecard that is now widely used by executives in business is the result of poly-ocular vision:
seeing through many “eyes”. The concept of seeing through the eyes of the employees, through the eyes of customers and more, is an indication that we want to enhance clarity and understanding. I describe five sights that are produced by a well-utilized mind. Applying these five sights is key to what I call “complete vision” or “full sight”.
1. Hindsight This sight is produced by one of the functions of the mind called remembering. When you remember, you look back. When you look back (one hour back or two years back etc.) you do not use your eyes but your mind. Hindsight helps us in our quest for progress. It does so by persuading us to ask ourselves the following questions: • What was supposed to have happened?
Applying these five sights is key to what I call "complete vision" or "full sight".
7 • What actually happened? • Why are the answers to question A and B different? (Notice – questions do not ask: “Who’s to blame?”) • What actions do we have to take to make sure this does not happen again? (i.e. what did we learn?) • We should use our hindsight and reflect when we find ourselves surprised by unexpected results.
2. Insight When we look deep within we do not use our eyes but our minds. In looking deep we examine issues so we can have an understanding (insight). Reasoning is not only the staff of detectives, teachers, scientists and business practitioners. It is also for you. It should be the very foundation of our life strategy. Reasoning is the rational chain of thought we go through when using what we believe to be known truths or premises to build towards and arrive at previously undetected truths.
Imagination helps not just to wait for it to arrive, but to pull it towards you. When the future is imagined, it also has the way to pull you towards it. Imagination is a must for business leaders. Predictive modeling, forecasting, competitive intelligence, and other tools of business strategy depend on the skill of imagining. The patterns of great business people, especially those thought of as leaders, change agents, and entrepreneurs, have all pointed to the skill of imagining and the importance of beginning with distinct ideas and concepts that take the shape of business models, new products and services, new ways of working, new markets. Some thoughts about foresight: • Forethought produces foresight • Thinking ahead is necessary for foresight • Hindsight feeds foresight • Combining prior knowledge with imagined outcomes sharpens our foresight • The battle forethought is forewon • Real battles are fought and won in the mind
Insight (Reasoning) benefits us in a number of ways: • Creates clarity • Improves decision quality • Improves learning that leads to three types of knowledge:
• Foresight inspires planning
1. Tacit knowledge What we know and believe but cannot articulate, often because it has become so deeply ingrained in our minds that we cannot separate it from who we are.
• Today’s problems are a result of yesterday’s short-sighted solutions
2. Implicit knowledge What we know and believe, and can articulate if prompted by, aids in our own thinking or by a prompt from the environment. 3. Explicit knowledge What we know and believe and can articulate without prompting.
3. Foresight Imagination is the function of the mind that produces foresight. When we imagine, we look ahead. We do so by using our mind and not our eyes. It is through imagination that we visit and spy the Promised Land. We crunch the grapes, lick the honey and drink the milk of the Promised Land through imagination. We normally regard this as the vision, and it is except that it needs to be anchored by the other sights. If all of us need to create our future then all of us need to learn the art of imagining. Imagining is envisioning the future before it arrives.
• To be competitive you have to plan to do different things or do things differently • Foresight is a cure for short-sightedness • Forethought is a seed of creation • Whatever you visualize will materialize.
4. Perisight I have created this word to mean “looking around,” not just with the eyes but with an analytic mind. This requires the skill of paying attention and observing. Perisight is seeing beyond the obvious. It is seeing with a questioning mind; accepting that the answers you are looking for already reside in the minds of others. Without the nourishment from perisight, your foresight (vision) will starve to death. If you do not pay attention, you will pay money. It is costly to ignore the lessons from the environment. We need to redeem the times and walk wisely. We need to read the signs of the times and know what we ought to do. This requires that we increase our perisight capacity. Pre-requisites for perisight: • Attention Attention is the ability to learn from the environment. It produces intelligence, which is the ability to interact with the environment profitably. • Agility The ability to respond quickly and resourcefully. Continued overleaf issue
8 Continued from previous page • Adaptability The ability to modify your behavior to meet the various changing circumstances. • Anticipation The ability to think ahead and anticipate change even before it arrives. • Perception The ability to acquire information from the environment and turn it into experience. • Pattern recognition Pattern recognition detects and discriminates
recurring combinations of things in the environment and beings to direct our making sense toward relevant patterns rather that having us just see and react to singular experiences.
5. Theosight The word "theosight" is my own creation, by "theosight" I mean “looking up to God”. The word "theo" means "God". So you look up to the one you believe in; to the one who gives you strength; to the one greater than you. By checking your decisions and choices against holy words, you practice theosight.
The A-Z of Psychology at Work for PAs and Office Managers 2012 edition
This edition constitutes an excellent desktop reference on importance of applying good psychology at work and work relationships ORDER FORM Yes! Please send me _______ copy/copies of A-Z of Psychology at Work for PAs and Office Managers at R85 per copy (including VAT and Postage) Name: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Company: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Postal Address: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................... Telephone: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Telefax:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Email: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I enclose payment of R . . . . ALL PAYMENTS TO BE MADE TO: Dictum Publishers (Pty) Ltd Tel: (011) 616-7401 Fax: (011) 616-3244 email:email@example.com BANKING DETAILS: Dictum Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Standard Bank Rivonia, Account no: 420075178, Branch code: 001255 careersuccess
The topics are: • Applying ‘EI’ (EQ) to manage others • Building bonds of trust • Conflict–resolving approaches • Defusing bullying tactics • Emotional blackmail: how to tackle it at work • Finding and eliminating own blind spots • Gaining co-operation from difficult co-workers • Handling someone’s ego to create a win-win outcome • Insight: softening the challenge of change • Just letting go and moving on • Know-how: Assist Boss running on hi-octane • Learning how to handle criticism • Mobilising support for an unpopular project • “No!” there is a time and place for this word • Overcoming fear of a situation • Professionally balancing life and work pressures • Quiet misperceptions and gossip need to be handled • Responding to signs of mental stress in others • Self-Esteem versus Self-Confidence • A Team-Oriented view is important • Using influence to achieve goals • Various ways to handle perfectionists • Whiners and moaners: redirect their energies • X-raying reasons: for leaving your job! • Yes, you can handle difficult people at work • Zestful approaches to negative release energy
Boss of the year ® 2012 Finalists Announced! Endorsers
s in previous years, the Boss of the Year Leadership Award® continues to be a real barometer of the people’s expectations of workplace leaders.
landscape. They have in common the two key attributes required for today’s leadership realities: 1. They UNDERSTAND fully-well the scope of their challenges, and 2. They know where they want to go; and FOCUS on Values, Principles and Practices.
So it’s been with great interest that we have analysed who would rise to the top in a year like 2012.
MTN SA Foundation, patron and sponsor of this award, says: “many companies are unable to capture the opportunities in today’s demanding economy because they do not understand the dynamics of what makes people work productively and co-operatively. Workforces today have expectations that need to be understood and this is the work of effective leaders: good management is not enough to cope with the complexities. MTN SA Foundation supports the work of this Award in that it encourages appropriate leadership practices and creates rolemodels which all workplaces need to have in order to emulate.”
Would it show us leadership being dominant in a particular industry or from a particular region?
Overleaf we meet this year’s Boss of the Year® Leadership Award Finalists and Semi-finalists.
Today’s leaders, worldwide, are dealing in such complex domains, that it is easy to sympathise if they do not quite have the required insights or the full knowledgebandwidth to present successful approaches and get the expected results from their workforce.
But our analysis showed neither of these, but revealed instead that, appropriately, the Finalists and Semi-finalists are all the kind of leaders who do not look, nor try to apply the ‘‘silver bullet’ solution to their working
The scroll of honour for 2o12 the six Finalists are: André de Ruyter, Senior Group Executive, Sasol Nominated by Charmain Fourie, who says of him: André takes an active interest in his staff’s growth and development, recognising and treasuring their contributions and achievements. Not only does he do this by showing his humanity, displaying gratitude and showing sincere thanks, but by actively supporting and coaching his staff and ultimately by seeking and securing better career opportunities for them. André is an excellent communicator and because he shares relevant information openly he ensures that all employees and interest groups are able to work towards a common goal. He is a well rounded leader focussed on celebrating success in the organisation and is highly trusted and respected for his integrity.
Dr Kebalepile Mokgethi, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Bafokeng Health His nominator, Thabo Swathe, says of him: My boss deserves to be recognized through this award for he has worked tirelessly to make a mark in the Health and Social Services sector in the North West Province, and making our department an Employer of Choice for professionals in the Health and Social Services sector. He has a special way of motivating his employees, and his charisma inspires all of us. Besides other support systems, we have an Employee Assistance Programme where employees can receive assistance together with their family members. My boss has initiated this to assist us because we are dealing with situations that are overwhelming e.g. the many HIV orphans we visit, and the plight of the poverty stricken families.
Nopasika Lila, Chief Financial Officer, Eskom Pension and Provident Fund Cynthia Makoatsane, says in the nomination: Besides being visionary, Ms Lila is a good coach who motivates employees to think like owners and empowers us to do the things we enjoy doing. She provides direction and inspires our goals by instilling passion about the vision and mission of the organisation. And also by establishing an environment conducive to continuous improvement, both personally and professionally. Something we appreciate is her offering employees “time-out” when it's important by allowing us to leave the office early or take a half day off!
Dr Liam Terblanche, Chief Information Officer, Accsys His nominator, Christo Krause, tells us: Liam is an inspiring leader who leads by example and is always on top of the latest developments. Although he is about 20 years younger than me, I am proud to call Dr Liam Terblanche my boss. He definitely is the best boss I’ve ever had. He sets high standards but will always express his appreciation for work done well, even for work still in progress. When a new product or feature is launched he will give credit to the people who worked on it. He plays a big role in instilling a positive culture in our company. I feel more that I'm working WITH him rather than FOR him.
Kobus Lindeque, Area Director, Monsanto Africa Magda Du Toit, who nominated him, tells us: Although Kobus provides excellent direction to the company and inspires goals for the employees, he does not only lead people; he leads development, careers, and individual lives. But most of all, Kobus does not view his position as a right to influence others; he sees it as a privilege. Although Kobus visits various sites regularly, he believes in an open door-policy and even though he has a full programme, he is always prepared to set time aside for conversations with employees - and makes them feel important to the company. Everyone in the organization, across all levels and every aspect of diversity, is naturally drawn to him. With his magnetic personality, the corridors bustle with excited, energized and happy people who actually like coming to work every day.
Roy Pillay, Senior Manager Card Fraud department, Nedbank Nominated by Ashne Ramlowtan-Pillay, who says: Roy is dynamic, innovative, and resourceful - a peoples person who nevertheless does not lose sight of the divisions goals. Roy values trust and we know that he trusts us. On a monthly basis, three staff members are nominated as top achievers. We get together on Friday afternoons, irrespective of the weather, to have ice-cream cones. Roy allows us this time to bond with fellow colleagues. Spontaneously, on some Wednesdays, Roy would buy us “Wacky Wednesdays” lunch. When we approach him with ideas for functions, Roy is always supportive with time and money. At the start of long weekends, we get time off to leave early. On an annual basis, Roy makes the effort to nominate deserving staff to the Nedbank top achiever programme.
The semi-Finalists are:
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Ulwazi Holdings Group
Pieter le Roux
Tess De Kock
Director: Supply Chain Management
General Manager Project
False Bay College
Blue Pencil Consulting
Department of Labour (Unemployment Insurance Fund)
Secretaries Day Lunch
Secretaries dAY LUNCH on 3 September 2012
At avianto in Gauteng 1
1. Avianto puts on the Ritz for Secretaries Day Lunch 2. Guests networking at the lunch 3. Our delegates enjoying the Avianto meal gourmet (first course) 4. Guests are pampered with lucky draws organised by FriendsCup: PAFSA's social club 5. Guests enjoying the main course 6. Guests looking out for the next prize draw 7. Old friends getting together at the lunch careersuccess
8. Craig Mischief (Mischief by name and by nature) delights the guests 9. Guests enjoying Craig’s antics 10. Time to hug a friend 11. Anel Martin, the dynamic PA of the Year® 2011 delivering her end-of-reign speech 12. Saying goodbye and already looking forward to PAFSA's next year's event.
PA o f t h e Ye a r ® 1 5
The coveted PA of the Year ® Award goes to JD Group PA Teri Wells, PA to David Sussman, Executive Chairman and Grattan Kirk, CEO of the JD Group, received the prestigious title of South Africa’s PA of the Year® 2012. After undergoing a 3rd round of judging, Teri’s victory was announced on Wednesday 3 September at the Secretaries Day lunch held at Avianto in Gauteng! Teri said that she was both elated and humbled to receive the recognition, firstly through the nomination submitted by her boss and then the honour of the title. “In the short space of one day, my co-finalists Antoinette Mouton, Charlene Dale, Simon Manyama, Sonja Bohländer and Sonja Ruppersberg-Blom, brought a fascinating dynamic into my life and I look forward to our team exploring the new horizons that the PA of the Year® has opened our eyes to”. Asked about her job as a PA, she explained: “This is first and foremost a service industry and you need to be passionate about providing a service that will benefit others. “Each aspect of this people-centric job must be met with enthusiasm. The energy to ‘get it done’ and the determination to ‘get it done correctly’ must be present in order to produce high volumes of output without sacrificing quality. “At the centre of every functioning organisation is an efficient and skilled Executive Assistant who builds unity from the core. The ability to unite functions, people and departments and ensure that they are all moving in the same direction is often an unrecognised, though vital part of a high-level PA’s role. “As a result of the volume and diversity of the tasks that a PA is faced with, team work is not negotiable. The minimum requirement is phenomenal team work with the executive for whom you work and I consider myself seriously lucky to have found two such bosses. The working relationship that a PA cultivates with their direct boss is one based on mutual respect and trust, and this relationship requires both parties to treat each other in a manner which encourages excellence. “One of the secrets to being a successful PA is to build a network of contacts, specialists in various fields who you can turn to for assistance, advice, and expertise that you don’t have. These relationships must also be built on respect and trust. Continually honing your people skills is as important as the ‘common skills’ required to be a PA”. On hearing the news her bosses said: “When we put Teri forward for this prestigious award we felt that she had all
the necessary qualities and qualifications to do very well. We cannot tell you how please we are that she has carried away the trophy. We are so proud of Teri and so lucky to have her in the Group. Congratulations!” Now organised by the Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (PAFSA) this Award has gained a significant footprint in South Africa’s working landscape. The head of the Award’s committee, Rene Potgieter, said: "I take this opportunity to pay tribute to not only those who made it to the finals, but to all who were nominated by their peers to this Award – the greatest achievement of all, surely, is being recognised by your peers! The PA of the Year® Award is the privileged position of attracting entries from South Africa’s finest! And each year we experience a tremendous challenge in getting to the six finalists. I congratulate this year’s top six and may they continue to do us proud, and to the titlebearer, Teri Wells, our best wishes for a successful year as a rolemodel for the secretarial/administrative profession.” The PA of the Year®, and the finalists, received prizes from various prizegivers and Sponsors, amongst which are Brent Personnel, Bantex, Dymo, FriendsCup, Foxwood House and Maped. More information on the PA of the Year® Award on 011 616 7401; www.paoftheyear.co.za; and follow on Twitter @ExcellencePA and on facebook http://www.facebook. com/ExcellencePA issue
PA o f t h e Ye a r ®
We inter view
PA OF THE YEAR ® 2012 I can honestly say that a "typical" day does not exist for me and that is probably why I love my job as much as I do. CS: What does the title "South Africa’s PA of the Year®" mean to you? TW: It is a great privilege but I am mindful of the fact that it comes with responsibility. All PA’s have an obligation to be ambassadors for our profession and the PAOTY competition shines a spotlight on the resulting Tribe. We will be watched to see what contributions we are making. From now on, our efforts are in the public domain. CS: Who was the first person to congratulate you? TW: The people sitting at the table starting with one of my daughters, followed by the rest of the PA team from JD Group and Charlene Dale (one of the finalists) who was at the next table. CS: Who was the first person you phoned from the function or after the function to tell them you had become the title bearer? TW: I personally phoned Grattan, our CEO (responsible for nominating me) but I know that my daughter and colleagues made various calls and sent sms’ before I touched the ground. CS: How did your office/company react to the news? TW: Great excitement mixed with a large dose of pride. As the news filtered down (compliments of our Communications Partner) the “congratulations” e-mails started flooding in. There was, and still is, a lot of leg pulling going on from offers to borrow toy crowns from grandchildren, bowing before entering my office and chirps about having to get a “temporary PA” to fill in for me during the year ahead. We refer to ourselves as The JD Family so the good natured ribbing is to be expected and of course, enjoyed. CS: How do you see yourself enhancing the secretarial profession in S.A.? TW: Having only recently become a publically acknowledged Ambassador for the profession in SA through the PAOTY, careersuccess
this is going to take some thought but I do believe that enhancing the profession “starts at home”. Some years ago we started a PA forum at JD Group but with the benefit of hindsight, the timing was wrong. A few months later JD acquired another business and it was all hands on deck for almost 18 months while we worked on the acquisition. We had only had one meeting at the time. I would like to initiate our forum again. We have so much to share with and learn from each other that it is a veritable goldmine that we have yet to explore. CS: Do you think the title "PA" should be changed to Executive PA when the PA works for the top executives? and why? TW: I personally don’t place much emphasis on job titles and believe that the word “Executive” preceding PA should apply to the PA’s ability and experience rather than the person they work for. CS: Describe a typical day in your office. TW: I can honestly say that a “typical” day does not exist for me and that is probably why I love my job as much as I do. The diversity is what I thrive on as no two days are the same. Having said that, the “normal” things that happen in the morning are as follows: I usually get into the office between 07h00 and 07h30 depending on traffic. Make coffee. Check the electronic diaries to refresh my memory as to what is happening for the day. Scan e-mails so that any urgent mails received overnight can be attended to timeously. Work through and prepare outgoing correspondence that I prioritised the previous evening. I can then get signatures where required from the “powers that be” prior to them going into meetings. I spend time with each of my bosses for them to give me their “wish lists” for the day and to work through any urgent correspondence that I have received for them.
17 After this, it is “do whatever is asked provided it is not illegal”. The telephone usually starts ringing from about 07h45. My phone can receive up to three incoming calls at a time so at times I feel like I am operating a mini switchboard. As calls come in my priorities list changes accordingly. I work through my in-tray stopping to attend to immediate requests received verbally, telephonically and electronically. When guests (internal and external) arrive for meetings, I meet and greet them at reception and offer refreshments. As meetings often run back to back, monitoring the time allotted and interrupting with a subtle 2 – 5 minute “wrap it up” look, ensures that my bosses are not running into time constraints and more importantly, not keeping people waiting for an extended period of time. This would be unprofessional and rude. By late afternoon, I try to make a point of looking at the diaries for 7–10 days ahead. This allows me time to: Make sure prep documents/meeting packs will be received in time for the executive to do the necessary preparation; follow–up on unconfirmed meetings; book meetings that I have been asked to co-ordinate; and iron out any conf licts in the diaries. I often joke that I am going to resign as a PA and re–apply for a job as a Diary Shuffler as I am sure they get paid better and there has to be an element of danger pay applicable. Managing the diaries takes up a very large percentage of my day. I double check that everything that had to be done “today” has been completed and complete any last urgent requirements; prioritise work for the next day and familiarise myself with the diary for the next day. Into the early evening, I spend time with my bosses again giving feedback, messages, reading material, getting direction for tasks etc. I choose to work till around 18h00 so that I miss the traffic going home and there is always something to do but I will stay in the office as long as is necessary (or until I am too tired to think). CS: Where to from here? TW: I will keep doing what I love, work on weaknesses identified during the competition and definitely keep an eye out for opportunities to grow. “Starting at home”, I would like to be involved in the development of the “junior” secretaries/office assistants at JD utilising the knowledge and experience from all the “seniors”.
Annual PA Summit 2012 Pictorial Review
You can shine
More pictures on facebook: www.facebook.com/ExcellencePA and on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasummit/sets/72157631525551567/show/
Eyes on the World
Mentorship & coaching:
a working guide Anel Martin, PA of the Year® 2011, trend-spots for us.
s PA of the Year® and a senior office professional at Telkom, I am regularly approached by people to mentor and coach them. These terms sound the same, not so? In reality, they are very different styles of skills transfer (as I found out with a few mistakes and a bit of experience). The aim of this article is to give you a working guide so that you can take on this very fulfilling activity, without the insecurity which comes with this role if you are taking it on for the first time. So…
What is coaching? Coaching is task or competency based, it is also often used to manage and address poor or nonperformance. It is also a great tool to encourage employees who are performing beneath their talent threshold to improve. It is practical “how to” information and skills that are being transferred e.g. diary management or travel arrangements. This type of skills development is short–term and can be group based (5-8 individuals is the norm).
When should you coach? • Newly appointed admin personnel. careersuccess
• When new systems, process or policies are introduced that impact the way things are need to be done. • Poor performing or under-performing office professionals who need to improve. • When the person needs to acquire a specific skill that you are proficient in.
How do you coach? 1. Yo u i d e n t i f y t h e s k i l l s g a p yo u a r e t r y i n g t o a d d r e s s . In coaching it is acceptable and encouraged that you engage with the boss of the person you are coaching to identify areas of development and specific tasks that need to be addressed during the process. If the person has approached you informally, you need to get a list of development areas from them to assist you in planning the coaching intervention. 2. M e et w i t h t h e p e r s o n w h o needs to be coached and discuss what growth is required. Remember that if the person is receiving coaching due to bad performance they may be extremely negative about the process. You need to engage with the person and put them at ease and explain that you are there to enable and assist them. Coaching is not punishment! It is also a futile exercise if the other person
You cannot imagine the fulfillment of knowing that you have inspired and enabled someone else to be their best!
23 is not committed and willing. A partnership needs to be established with clear rules of engagement. 3. Ensure that you build trust and deal with the individual and their issues with the utmost confidentiality. If you fail to do so you are seriously eroding the process and your own reputation. 4. Set goals and plan the work that needs to be done. Schedule the sessions required and formalize the ground rules of the coaching relationship as it relates to deadlines, behavior and interactions. 5. As a coach you need to be prepared for each and ever y session. Poor planning produces poor performance! 6. Assess the work that has been done. and measure the improvement against the goals that have been set and the performance plan. Get feedback from peers and promoters if appropriate and required.
What are the benefits of coaching? Labour issues relating to poor performance can be time consuming and extremely costly to resolve. Coaching focusses on fixing poor performance or addressing it early, so that disciplinary and grievance processes can be avoided. The organization is enhancing the employee’s skill set, which increases productivity and job satisfaction which means staff churn is reduced. Employees feel supported and gain skills that build their CV’s and that can possibly create career advancement opportunities in the future. Coaching is also one of the most cost effective training interventions available.
What is mentoring? Mentorship revolves more around talent development and succession planning. It is relationship driven and often as a mentor you are acting in an advisory capacity. Mentorship often involves grooming someone for the next level in
the organization. It is not purely training on practical “how to” basis but can also deal with more abstract soft skills like emotional intelligence or assertiveness training etc. This type of development also assists the company to retain the skills of the retiring workforce by ensuring transfer to the next generation and is also highly focused on the balance between the human being and the employee. It is more holistic and broader in scope than what is required in coaching. It is a long–term intervention with most mentorship periods being 12 months or more in duration.
WHo/when to mentor? • High potential employees who are extremely committed • Employees who have been identified for succession planning • Grooming someone for the next level in the organisation
How do you mentor? 1. Establish if you are compatible as people, this is a serious commitment and you need to ensure that you will get along during the mentorship period. Psychometric assessments such as the MBTI (The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) can be helpful, as it is designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. 2. Establish what development is required? What do you want to achieve at the end of the 12 months? What are the goals and milestones? 3. Decide if you are really an expert and in a position to provide guidance on this matter? Please realise that this involves higher commitment and more time from your side as the mentor. 4. Boundaries and ground rules need to be formulated. Usually in the form of a mentorship contract. What do you want to achieve and commit to as a partnership, for what duration and with what specific outcomes?
5. Assignments need to be formulated and completed. 6. In depth preparation for each session is required from both individuals to make sessions worthwhile. 7. Regular meetings sessions need to Communication, confidentiality are these a success.
or follow–up be scheduled. respect and key to making
8. You need to agree how progress will be measured, quarterly progress reports are recommended. 9. Have an end date that you are working towards. This process should in most cases not be open ended. 10. You are encouraged to review and fix anything that is not working for you or your protégé at any point in the process. 11. Terminate the mentorship relationship if it is not fruitful and enhancing both partners lives. Mentorship should be good for both parties involved.
What are the benefits of mentoring? The protégé will experience more confidence, behavioral improvements and an enhanced skill set and the organization will have better productivity and retention of staff. The company is also investing in the future by ensuring that skills transfer is taking place and that they are building the bench strength of the organization. The benefits to you in both these processes are the opportunity to give back to your company, your profession and your country. You cannot imagine the fulfillment of knowing that you have inspired and enabled someone else to be their best! I would like to encourage each of you to take up the challenge to teach what you know! But in the wise words of Khalil Gibran always remember, “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
AMeet a member of the academy of excellence In every edition of CareerSuccess from now onwards, a member of the Academy will answer questions about herself and her work.
You need to be really committed to make a success of your chosen career AoE: In which of the national competitions did you reach the finals or win – and in what year? LORNA: Finalist in the PA of the Year® 2008 and winner of KOSH PA of the Year in 2000. AoE: What is your current position? LORNA: Assistant to CEO of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. AoE: How many years of experience do you have in the PA profession? LORNA: 30 Years in total. AoE: What in your opinion is your personal area of excellence or specialization? LORNA: My area of excellence would definitely be juggling a diary for our CEO given that we have 21 international operations in 10 different countries as well as his many outside commitments such as being Vice President of the Chamber of Mines, sitting on the Board of five International Universities, Council Member of Business Leadership, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), World Gold Council, World Economic Forum and the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
He is also a highly valued international speaker and it is a real juggling act to fit all this in between the day to day operations. AoE: Who is your role model and why? LORNA: I do not think that I had one role model, but perhaps many throughout my career and these were usually the managers that I worked for. They saw potential in me and challenged and pushed me to do things in earlier days that many of my peers were not doing. I started working for a General Mine Manager in my first secretarial position when I was 19 years old and grew in leaps and bounds from there. From day one, my goal was to work for the CEO of the biggest mining company in South Africa and it was my greatest achievement when I reached that goal. AoE: What do you do for fun? LORNA: My husband says “work!” I love gardening although I do not get much time to get out there. I do beading and have recently completed a pewter course and have made a few pieces which have turned out great. AoE: Tell us something interesting about yourself?
25 LORNA: I have organized two weekend canoeing trips for 10 ladies which was awesome fun and I have done an Interior Design Course, both theory and practical and loved this. If I was not a PA, I could very easily try my hand at being an Interior Designer. AoE: What does it mean to you to be a member of the Academy of Excellence? LORNA: You do not just become a member of the Academy of Excellence, you have to put in quite a bit of work and earn respect from your peers to be nominated to participate in the PA of the Year® competition. Being a finalist and going through the rigorous screening builds up your self-confidence and enabled me to hold my own at a recent Strategic Women in Leadership Course where I would have felt completely out of my depth otherwise. Being a member also ensures that you work to retain that status and enables you to mentor and coach younger PA’s that are serious about making a career for themselves as opposed to just being a PA till something better comes along. Being a member of Excellence carries a lot of weight when you are mentoring younger PA’s as they in turn strive to better themselves as well. AoE: What do you think is the biggest benefit of the national competitions for PA’s and Office Professionals? LORNA: The biggest benefit is that it highlights the profession itself as a career and encourages PA’s to strive harder to make it to the top. It is a very rewarding experience and a great opportunity to grow as a person. It is very rewarding, personally, to enter this competition and be in the running with the rest of the top PA’s in the country. AoE: What career advice would you give your younger self?
lay behind in opportunities and compensation compared to someone that has a professional degree. You need to be really committed to make a success of your chosen career and it takes a huge amount of effort and going the extra mile on a daily basis. It is also about volunteering and putting your hand up to get tasks done, but to ensure that the tasks that you undertake are ones that add value to the organization and not end up doing the donkey work which takes up time but does not challenge and allow you to grow. Work hard consistently and be reliable.
LORNA: First of all, I would go and study! You will always
The Academy of Excellence is the home of award winning PA’s and Office Professionals. Membership is exclusive to PA’s who reached the upper echelons of the national awards for the profession in South Africa. Being invited to join the Academy is a sign that you have achieved a level of excellence in your profession and it is a great honour to form part of this elite group. The ethos of this group is one of humility, professionalism and a sincere dedication to skills development in the profession andwithin the companies. For more information on the Academy visit www.pafsa.co.za and click on the Academy button.
i si sssuuee
Question & Answer By The Academy of Excellence
Our question for this edition comes from a PA working in Pretoria; she wanted to stay anonymous:
"I need some advice on more effective workflow in our office. My director expects me to constantly remind her of follow-ups and action items. I am not always aware of the actions which need to be completed or followed–up as they are delegated to other staff members; and what makes it difficult is that she doesn’t always communicate verbally and do not have access to her email to create and actions list from there."
"Dear reader, this is indeed what we would call being stuck between a rock and a hard place. In my opinion you are dealing with more than a workflow matter; this may go a little deeper.
Is there a trust issue? Is your boss someone who has problems delegating or is she very private? Think about these questions and perhaps it may explain what is going on and how to deal with your dilemma. Each situation is different, but in your shoes I would try the following: 1. Engage in open dialogue with your director, explain that you really want to assist and you can add more value if you have mail access. Sell the idea! What are the benefits to your boss? 2. If I got a no response I would engage with the team and ask them to inform me of all action items that have been passed to them by the boss. I would set up a spreadsheet and track from there. For items coming from a higher level, I would engage with the appropriate PAs and ask them to keep me in the loop. Best of luck Excellent PA, hope that this advice assists you going forward!" If you want your question posted please contact us on the Academy of Excellence facebook page.http://www.facebook.com/ExcellencePA or via twitter @excellencepa
Some bosses have problems communicating all the information required to their PAs. In this case create a network for obtaining information in order to stay abreast of what is happening.
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Colleen Mansoor, president of FriendsCup, a new social club for secratries and PAs in Gauteng, gives an update.
Our Winter get together
Our ‘Winter get together’ was a fun filled and most enjoyable day at a local Spa on 30 June 2012 - some pictures for viewing. Our ‘Spring get together” took place on Secretaries Day Luncheon on Wednesday, 5 September 2012 at Avianto. We, at FriendsCup are the official hosts of PAFSA’s celebratory lunch – this is definitely one of our year’s highlights As the end of the year draws near, we are preparing our “Summer get together “ which is the year-end lunch. The date is Saturday, 17th November 2012 (venue to be advised); invites will be mailed to all our current members. If you have missed out on our previous fabulous year–end functions , it is your opportunity now to join us for this one. If you wish to be part of this Club and/or would like to join us for the year end get together, do not hesitate to make contact with me: email@example.com. I also look forward to receiving from you any interesting information you wish to share with the readers of the CareerSuccess Magazine regarding a better and more fulfilling life for PAs for consideration to be published in future issues. I’m hoping that you will make contact and join the FriendsCup Club in order to grow our Social Club’s numbers and share all your knowledge, experiences and interests. issue
and the 'how' There’s more to examining your performance than you think! So says Adam Fidler
t’s a funny word ‘behaviours’ and something that often conjures up an image of a parent telling their child, “to behave…”. However, it’s a term that I became very familiar with when it came to full-year and mid-year performance reviews. In fact, in one particular organisation where I worked, the behaviour of their employees were taken very seriously – whether you were a senior manager or a PA. In this brief article, I want to introduce the concept to you and help you understand why ‘behaviour’ is so very important in the PA role. In any activity that a PA carries out there are two parts. The ‘what’, which is the physical activity of doing the task (i.e. the execution) - this could be typing a letter, organising a meeting, or even chairing a meeting. And,
then there is the ‘how’ - which is the way the PA goes about getting their work done, so this could be the way they interact with others, the way they speak to people, the tone of their emails, their telephone manner, and the softer skills which are often harder to define. The ‘how’, quite simply, is another word for the PAs behaviours. In the organisation I am referring to, during performance reviews, the PAs were graded not only on what they had done, but how they had gone about it. An example would be that even the most efficient PA, who completed all tasks on time, and provided an extremely customerfocused service to his or her boss(es) could certainly excel on the what but they would also be graded on the 'how.' This would include their professionalism, and the way that others viewed them – which encompassed everything from politeness and manners, to their ability to deal with difficult situations, work under pressure and build relationships both inside and outside the organisation. You’ve probably all worked with managers who demonstrate ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviour. We’ve all met good managers – they are approachable, good team players and encourage their staff to get the best out of them. These are all ‘behaviour’ and constitute the ‘how’. But,
Good behaviours for a PA all stems from their 'show' – that is, what people actually see through the way the PA interacts with others. you may not have thought about the ‘how’ in relation to your role. PAs demonstrate their behaviour – good or bad – at all times, and one of the most challenging things for any new PA to comprehend is that they are always on show, and act as ambassadors for their boss(es) and their organisations. This means the PAs behaviour is always being observed. What’s important to note is that, in my opinion, the more senior a PA becomes, the more important their behaviours become – and often a PAs behaviour becomes as important as what the PA actually does in their role. Good behaviour for PAs would include demonstrating: teamwork, flexibility, helpfulness, positivity, energy, enthusiasm and the ability to control one’s emotions. Good behaviour for a PA all stems from their ‘show’ – that is, what people actually see through the way the PA interacts with others (by face or by email). Now, some PAs struggle to get their head around behaviour. It’s a concept that not everyone thinks about. But for the PA who is open to self-development and already has a strong grasp of self-reflection, being aware of their behaviour gives them the edge as they know how their behaviour will impact their performance at work, their progression and, more importantly, the way others perceive them. With this in mind, how can you improve on
your behaviour? It may be that you say, “Well, I think my ‘behaviour’ is good (the ‘how’ I go about my job), but how do I know?” Firstly, be receptive and open to receiving honest feedback, from your boss, your colleagues, and other PAs or your peers. This could be done face to face or through written feedback in readiness for your performance review. What do people say about you when you’re not there? Does the perception you have of yourself ring true with what others actually think? I’ve met many PAs who think that their behaviour is good, but with a bit of deeper analysis they may admit to not always being a team player, or getting on with everyone. Secondly, take time to listen to people, or reflect on how you can improve on your softer skills (the ‘how’). It may be you’ve re-read an email you sent out in haste, and realised it wasn’t worded in a team-spirited way. It may be that people find your tone – when you are feeling stressed or working under pressure – sharp and unwelcoming. No one is perfect, and there are all things we can improve on. The ‘what’ and the ‘how’ is certainly a very useful model to base future learning on. A lot of organisations are now aware of how important managerial behaviours are, and they spend a lot of time and money training their managers to improve on these to become
good leaders. PAs, in my view, are no exception. A PAs behaviour, good or bad, will impact people’s willingness to work with them, the mood and culture of their office, and whether other colleagues like them. So, next time you are reviewing your own performance, or thinking about areas for self-development, be sure to think about not only what you do at work, but how you do it. After all, we know that perception is projection – and the way you come across to others will determine the way others respond to you. PAs with good behaviours are approachable, team-focused and nice to have around. These attributes don’t come naturally to everyone – but with coaching, feedback, self-ref lection and through observation of others, are all things that every PA can foster and improve upon. Good luck! This article was first published in Executive Secretary Magazine.
Wits and have Fun
Try these brain teasers… brainfun Puzzle 1 What can’t be used until is broken?
"How about giving up headaches?"
Name the only vegetables or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
gotcha puzzle What’s got a head and a tail, but no body?
brainteaser What do you call a deer with no eyes?
"When she asked for an umbrella in her drink she meant one of these" Source: www.brainbashers.com
• Brainbasher Lettuce • Gotcha Puzzle A coin • Brainteaser No idea (No eye deer)
Puzzle 3 Which letter is not me?
Puzzle 1 An egg • Puzzle 2 Because seven eight nine (seven ate nine) • Puzzle 3 U
Puzzle 2 Why is number six afraid?
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CareerSuccess Magazine issue 3