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for administrative & office professionals

Volume 29 Issue 4

Helping co-workers deal with frustration

Dealing with your boss’s personality THE OFFICE of the future PLUS The role of background screening

Sleep disorder versus insomnia


Contents 04 News and Reviews Updating you

08 Key Feature

How to deal with your boss's personality in the best possible way?

12 Interview

Spotlight on Wayne Hill

14 Tips

When background screening matters the most

16 Work Trends

How your leadership can help coworkers deal with frustration

18 Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body Sleep disorder versus insomnia

22 Career Feature

A glimpse into the office of the future

28 International Gurus Meet Marion Lowrence

30 Meet a Member

Welcoming Lee Chapman (CAP-OM)

32 Last Page Test your wits

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Contributors DR DOMINIqUe STOTT is Executive: Medical Standards and Services at PPS. PPS membership provides access to the following tried, tested and trusted products and services: PPS Insurance, PPS ShortTerm Insurance, PPS Financial Planning, PPS Investments and Profmed Medical Scheme.

DR JOHN DeMARTINI is considered one of the world's leading authorities on human behavior and personal development. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, a private research and education organization with a curriculum of over 72 different courses covering multiple aspects of human development.

LIzeLLe GILLAND is Executive PA to the CEO and General Manager at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. She has spent 5 years in the medical field, 5 in the advertising and media and 5 in the finance industry.

RUDI KRUGeR is the General Manager for LexisNexis Risk Management. He has 11 years banking experience. He successfully completed various courses within the banking industry, as well as the IOB Certificate in banking and completed a MAP programme at WBS in 2014.



ed’s memo T

he year draws to an end…we are about to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

It’s time to put our year’s work in perspective and our life in perspective. Do some introspection, and forgive what needs to be forgiven; recognise what needs to be recognised; give our brain a good clean sweep; and give ourselves time to recharge our good-serving energy ‘batteries’. For us, 2016 has been full of wondrous things, much of which has been our attitude to see them as such. There have been challenges, and we have chosen to rebrand them as opportunities the world of work is very VUCA! (Look this up on Google!) and if we don’t adjust our minds and attitudes to this reality, it’s going to be very tough. In the end – it’s also about people and relationships! And we want to use this opportunity to thank all of YOU, our readers, for your friendship! A priceless fuel to keep us going. We want to thank all our sponsors and suppliers for their wonderful support. Always being there for us. We want to thank our CareerSuccess working team for making working life a joy! As the official publication for PAFSA, we want to thank all PAFSA members for a great and inspiring year. A special hug also to PAFSA officebearers! You are a wonderful engine that just keeps going! May the good Lord keep us all safe, healthy and full of gusto as we prepare for 2017. ….Enjoy this issue of CareerSuccess – it was put together, as always, with all our love. A warm hug Ana-Maria

Editorial editor-in-chief Ana-Maria Valente anamaria@lazulicommunications.co.za Assistant editor Susan Engelbrecht

admin/advErtising Director

Ornella Trinco ornella@lazulicommunications.co.za Advertising/Marketing 011 616 7401 careersuccess@lazulicommunications. co.za Head: Finance & HR Guida Morais admin@lazulicommunications.co.za

thE Company CareerSuccess is published by Lazuli Communications (Pty) Ltd Gauteng, South Africa Tel: (011) 616 7401 Fax: (011) 616 3244 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 mouthpiece for PAFSA. www.pafsa.co.za

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news and views

Signs that you are being undermined by a co-worker! By Aine Cain Two sides to the bad coin: One is being bullied at work; the other is being undermined! Whilst we read a lot about the bullying aspect, there isn’t as much info about being undermined! Professional undermining is toxic: Here are some of the behaviours of an underminer. They put you on the defensive If someone's making you feel like you're on trial, then that's not a good sign. They might be baiting you and waiting for you to slip up. They try to distract you I you feel like someone is intentionally attempting to derail your productivity, then that's a problem. They leave you out You should become concerned if a certain person always seems to forget you. They forgot to invite you to that big project meeting; to include you on that important email, to pass on that message from the boss. They take credit for your work If your co-worker is stealing credit for your projects and ideas, then you should confront him or her — and

probably involve a manager. That's an act of blatant sabotage. They overstep their rank Does your colleague present himself or herself as your superior when you're actually equally ranked? If a coworker is attempting to pull rank that he or she doesn't have, then it's definitely cause for suspicion. They socially undermine you Social undermining is difficult to pick up. Still, if you feel barraged with slightly rude comments, backhanded compliments, and hostile, mocking body language from one particular colleague, then look out. They're subtle Unlike overt bullying or harassment, undermining can be harder to pinpoint and detect.The underminer doesn't use blatantly hostile language or actions to take you down. He or she quietly works to bring you down, which is why it's important to be extra careful around them. This is a synopsis of an article: 13 signs that your coworker is undermining you http://www.businessinsider. com/signs-youre-beingundermined-at-work-20166/#you-get-a-bad-feelingabout-them-13

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k Constructive feedbac builds – here’s how to give it! Giving positive feedback to a stellar employee may be easy, but what about an underperforming employee who needs negative feedback? By Jessica Midlane, Nashua Brand Marketing Manager Give feedback as soon as possible after an event, so it’s still fresh in everyone’s minds. When it’s given too long after the fact, the impact is significantly dampened. 1. Tread carefully - It’s important to tread carefully when giving feedback to avoid demoralising co-workers - first acknowledge the employees positive traits and things they’re doing well. Everyone responds well to compliments. 2. Get to the point - People tend to switch off and lose interest when you ramble and talk around the point. Effective feedback is deliberate and concise. 3. Understand behaviour - It always helps to understand why the coworker may be behaving in a certain way and to understand why they deal with things the way they do – understanding the thought process is crucial to understanding behaviour. Start the feedback session asking where they’re at and how they’re feeling, then use

this to inform the rest of the meeting. 4. Don’t jump to conclusions - Avoid jumping to conclusions. Give people a chance to explain themselves. This way you have all the facts at hand and have a better, more realistic idea of the situation and how to move forward and solve the problem. A tone of concern communicates sensitivity and this is more likely to be well received than a display of frustration or disappointment. 5. Benefits in the workplace - Feedback isn’t just a tool to diagnose and resolve issues – it also allows everyone to co-operate and find solutions collectively. With honest, consistent feedback and constructive criticism, mistakes are addressed immediately leading to streamlined teamwork and smoother project timelines. Constructive feedback also results in better leaders who are in touch with their team’s needs – so they can motivate, inspire and engage them. Opening the lines of communication ultimately creates the ‘happy sandpit’ all organisations look for. In an environment of trust, there’s decidedly less pent-up anger and antagonism.


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news and views

How good is your trust quotient? by Steve Murphy We start this newsletter with a self-examining quiz, which searches the TRUST quotient you create in your area of operation (Score 1 for poor or where the attribute is low, and 7 for high or excellent) 1. Do you do what you promised in the time that you promised? 2. Do you make excuses for failing to do what you promised? 3. Would your colleagues say you are good for your word and faithful to your promises? 4. Do you carry wrongs and disappoints around with you in the job? 5. Is there an environment of trust that allows for engagement on delicate matters and / or apologies? 6. Are you conscious of editing your words in the workplace because you cannot trust your

colleagues to deal with issues objectively, or maturely? 7. Are things regularly said about colleagues that are not said to their face? 8. Are there problems between you and colleagues that remain unresolved because you don't have the bond of trust necessary to work on a solution? (Scores below 37 are indicative of significant problems: 38 - 43 reasonable trust exists but could be meaningfully improved, 4449 well done; 50+ read no further!) Trust is like a multi-lane highway - it allows for heavy loads of obligation and responsibility to move easily and freely. Conversely, distrust is a tax. It adds costs in time, money and bureaucracy without value been created. Trust is the essence of every meaningful human interaction and relationship But here is a simple question: Just how trustworthy is the environment in which you operate? What could you do to enhance trust within it?. More info from: steve@sikeand.com

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How present are you with others? The best present you can give someone is your full presence. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Psychologist says: Put your stuff away Don't check your phone. Don't glance at your monitor. Don't focus on anything else, even for a moment.

You can never connect with others if you're busy connecting with your stuff, too. Give the gift of your full attention. That's a gift few people give. That gift alone will make others want to be around you and remember you.

Your year-end quote


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key feature

Dr John Demartini, human behaviourist, identifies some personality types that we can come across in the executives we assist.

How to deal with your boss’s personality in the best possible way

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9 Let them know that you would love to fulfil their expectations but could use their assistance and their years of expertise to help you. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have expected and imposed possibly some unrealistic expectations and idealisms such as theirs onto others with unplanned and urgent time frames.

In this article, we will come face to face with eight typically identifiable boss-types.


The Idealist: The sky is the limit

With his type: Clearly define what portions of their request you believe to be truly realistic and doable and go and get them done efficiently and effectively, while being grateful for the opportunity to achieve such tasks and be of service and value. Then clearly define what portions of their request you believe to be clearly unrealistic and undoable within their requested time frames and ask them for feedback tips on how they suggest that you might be able to fulfil their desired task in the time they have allotted. Let them know that you would love to fulfil their expectations, but could use their assistance and their years of experience to help you. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have expected and imposed possibly some unrealistic expectations and idealisms such as theirs onto others. Reflective awareness enhances communication.


The Panicker: It’s urgent and we don’t have a plan

If you have this type of boss: Clearly define what portions of their request you believe to be truly realistic and doable and go and get them done efficiently and effectively, while being grateful for the opportunity to achieve such tasks and be of value. Clearly define what portions of their request you believe to be truly unrealistic and undoable within their requested time frames and ask them for feedback tips on how they suggest that you might be able to fulfil their desired task in the time they have allotted.


The People lover: Have you heard the latest?

If this is your boss: Politely thank your people-loving manager for their attention, conversation and information. Let them know that it might be wise, considerate and most respectful to speak directly with the individual they are discussing. Suggest or request that you now be able to get back to your work so as to use the remaining company time that day for your most urgent and highest priority tasks at hand. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the people loving manager. Reflective awareness empowers relations.


The Resultsdriven boss: What’s in it for me and will it make me look good?

In the case of this being your boss’ profile: Respectfully ask your results-driven manager what specific outcomes he or she intends to achieve and how you could most effectively and efficiently assist him in achieving them, with the time available within your current responsibility load. Also ask what other projects would he or she prefer you to put off or put less attention on in the meantime until the primary projects were achieved and concluded. Ask how else you might you be of service to help him or her achieve his or her aim and be recognized. If you help other fulfil what they would love it helps you ultimately achieve what you would love. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the results-driven manager.

continued on next page careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

10 continued from previous page


The Charisma Queen: Do we really need to get things done?

Should this be your boss-type: Thank your ‘charisma queen’ manager for their inspiring words, actions and insights, but also ask them for what specific, grounded actions do they feel would be the most meaningful and productive steps to help them fulfil their highest needs. By you grounding the playing field your assist them with having clearer, more concise and more grounded intentions and objectives. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the charisma queen manager.


The Methodical Manager:

We all know exactly where we stand and what is expected In this case, my advice is: Ask for your methodical manager’s detailed opinion about what is the most important, highest priority project or action step to be working on to help fulfil his or her needs the most. Don’t guess and feel uncertain. Ask and get clear on what is most important to confirm that you and they are on the same page with the primary objectives. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the methodical manager.


The Bullish Boss: Of course I’m right!

Should this be the type of boss you work for: If you feel that your boss is in error about something, consider gathering truly factual and more objectively balanced data in advance and then ask him to clarify his view because of the confusion on what is accurate and highest in priority.

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Objective facts can calm down subjective bias. The more evolved and objective executive center in the brain can calm the more primitive and subjective amygdala. Facts will stand and your boss will become more respectful of your sincere service to the company. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the bullish manager.


The People Pleaser: Everything is just fine.

And in this case of boss personality type:Respectfully ask your people pleasing manager to provide you with a more balanced and believable feedback of your performance that includes both positive, supportive and negative, challenging input. Feedback assessments providing both praise and reprimand are more believable and help build more respect and more refined working skills. One-sided feedback is seldom believed and generally leads to the other side through time. Introspect and reflect on where and when and to whom you have played the role of the people pleaser. Again, reflective awareness empowers relations. More info on Dr John De Martini on Contributors page.


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Wayne, we have known you since way back when, and your calm approach to handling and coping with this industry is legendary. We would like to have you share the other side of the coin. What you, as the supplier, deem to be the

ideal client.

Please share with us what makes life easier when a client approaches your office and team to organise events? Thanks Ana-Maria remembering that the customer is always king, we do love those who know what they want. Having said that, knowing what you want and getting what you want, are two decidedly different points of view. Like the Rolling Stones say…”you can't always get what you want.” This is what makes weddings that much more difficult than other events to handle. Everyone in the family has an opinion and the bride, whom we all know is the most important person on the day, sometimes plays second fiddle, trying to make everyone happy.

Spotlight on the

remarkable In this issue we introduce you to Wayne Hill, General Manager, Hotel and Resort Operations, Emperors Palace

Dealing with one, or two people also helps us. Dealing with a committee who are still brainstorming at your event meetings is very difficult. We just know that we are not going to get great customer care scores at those events. Another thing, which is becoming more of an issue as budgets get tighter, is that we prefer our clients prepay for their events. There is no point screaming at a coordinator the night before your party, when he, or she asks you for proof of payment, that was due a week earlier. We are a business and we can't do events without being paid So in essence, what you are saying is that…… We REALLY want you to trust us. We certainly aren’t perfect, but amongst the team when we aren’t sure of ourselves we collaborate. I’m often called out of meetings, or called to attend them so that we do things right. It's a strong value of ours. Along with accountability and integrity. Each year we spend literally millions of rands training our people to be better. If it's not customer service, it's compliance. Our targets for health and hygiene are 90% and we are audited by an independent biological lab for everything from personal hygiene, to the food, to the kitchen it's produced in. This costs loads of money and makes it difficult to beat a quote from Mom and Pop who own a small wedding venue that’s probably not as conscious of the law as we are. Then, for our customers we have invested in technology for scoring systems relating to service, ambience and how you were treated from the time we quoted you, until the time we packed up everything together. If, after the event, you feel that you didn’t get what you want from us, then, call the Groups and Conventions manager, or me personally, and we’ll be honest.

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13 Now let’s go to the day of the event, what makes life easier on the day for your team to deliver a 5-star service? Unpack for us all your expectations from your client. First and foremost we want you to have fun and we want everything to work exactly like you asked us to make it work. We recently did an event for many millions of rands and the pressure on us was immeasurable, until the day started and then the night came and we saw how much fun everyone was having. That’s why we get up and we show up. We serve and we hope you have fun being served. Another thing…We call it the event order, or function sheet and it must be 100% in synch with your requests and our ability to deliver. Timing details, or the order of events must be well thought out. We cry big tears when a client insists on serving dessert after 22:30 because we know most of it is going to waste, that can't be collected by charity. Try and serve starters as quickly as possible, have a welcome address to lift the mood, but one only, before you serve main course and do your awards after. If you can afford it – try and include a cheese board, or friandises sometime after the dessert so that awards, or speeches can be split up if there are many. Through experience we know how long it takes to serve groups of people by the hundred. Our food is still prepared from scratch and dished up the old fashioned way by a large brigade in the kitchen. A speaker who extends on his allotted time, causes the meat to dry out, and more so with each passing minute. Don’t skimp on the price of your menu so that you can afford One Direction as entertainment. Granted, the 3 things people always remember is food, service and entertainment, but the one that will cause the most dissatisfaction is the food, if it doesn’t match the stature of the event. What are the typical things that can go wrong that are not the suppliers fault? We really want to share this with our readers as it will be an eye-opener in many cases. Most insurance companies call these Acts of God. We also have Murphy’s law and The Upsetting of ancestors. Just Kidding. A change in the programme as I mentioned previously is the most common cause of bad service or food. Changing of the number of attendees without letting us know can be embarrassing.

special way, by certified chefs. We prefer to appoint those suppliers. Boba must not be allowed to cater for Kosher any more than Auntie can cook your Halaal. There are “fly by night” companies doing third party assistance for events. Please make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company and that they have references to match. We have the patience and know-how to assist you, as a new PA, trying to help your boss with his year end function, just as much as you are going to need help with the multitude of differing opinions before, during and after your event. The safe bet is mostly what we know works. “Different” is becoming fashionable, but we make fashion work. CS: What has your team had to handle in the “backroom” that most people can’t even imagine. I would imagine you have had some hair-raising and some hilarious episodes. It's normally at this point that I would say “If I tell you, I would have to….” But I can say this: If you’ve read Hotel Babylon it's all true and then more. Think of movies like “The Hangover, The Wedding Singer, Wedding Crashers, Father of the Bride.” Now think of “Poltergeist, Halloween, Final Destination and Bride of Chucky” – on a Saturday during November we’ve watched all of these play out before the sun rises on Sunday. We’ve had snakes and tarantulas escape their cages in the middle of the night, never to be found. In a previous role, we had a prize bull kick down our kitchen including the oven doors. The same ovens were cooking for a banquet where the bull was being celebrated as the most expensive one sold at the time. Strange though, there was chicken in the oven. What keeps you so sane and thoroughly nice…what is the stress antidote? My age plays a part. When I was younger it was harder. But I think if I had to put things into perspective I’d have to say, my team (up and down, bosses and subordinates we really do support each other); my family, gym (never ever thought I’d say that?), my dogs, reading and something else I never thought I’d say, until very recently, is NETFLIX! This one I’ve left for last and I don’t want it to sound like a rapper giving thanks, but most certainly my connection with God. It's very strong and very sound and it's the one thing I can say I have had by my side when nothing else was there.

A venue with empty tables is just as unfortunate as a kitchen running out of food. Believe it or not, we have a hard time getting our money, to the point where some people complain knowing how proud we are, so that we’ll give something back. We can’t win arguments like those. The truth is, nobody does. Special meals like Kosher and Halaal are prepared in a very

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where background

sCreening matters most!

we know many pas are now involved in interviewing other assistants in the recruitment process. rudi kruger gives 5 invaluable reasons for background checks on job candidates.


“ The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.�

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

It may be a well-worn phrase but wise to heed because an employee/employer relationship is legally binding meaning that employees cannot be fired in the event of certain behaviour patterns showing up only after they are hired! For this reason, an employment contract should not be entered into until all the relevant checks are concluded and the results are available for clear and factual assessment.

2 3

Employees who need money or have a history of theft are more likely to steal from the employer or customer should the opportunity arise. This is not a situation any employer wants to face, especially when early detection was possible through criminal checks.

When candidates will be dealing with money and

In an environment where employees deal with finances or provide customers with financial advice these candidates should be checked in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act - including the FSB Fit and Proper check, credit check and criminal check.


Ensure a safer work environment

Work place violence is an unfortunate reality. The mental and physical health of workers must be taken into account when introducing a new member to the team.


Through the use of a screening process before a candidate is employed, businesses are more likely to uncover prior complaints against individuals through either former employers or even, in extreme cases, criminal records.



Protecting the company’s reputation

We all know of the effort that goes into building a reputation that positions the company as trustworthy and aboveboard. Avoid introducing employees into your company who have the potential to tarnish your reputation, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Nobody can predict the future but an evaluation of a candidate’s history will quickly give you an idea of their integrity and credibility. This also holds true for NGOs that rely on the goodwill of volunteers.

Checking on fabricated qualifications and experience Some of the most prominent forms of CV fraud are fabricated academic qualifications and experience. These gross misinterpretations may assist the candidate with appearing more qualified for the job. However, once hired – their failure to perform can quickly turn disastrous for the employer. There have been a number of high profile cases of people having been found to have lied on their CV about their qualifications yet, they managed to obtain senior positions. Recruiters should never accept the information on CVs as is. Nobody, as evident from some of the prominent examples, should be blindly trusted. Always verify the authenticity of the qualification as well as their experience.. Background screening solution RefCheck Advanced assists employers with verifying a wide range of personal information, including the identity of the candidate, information held by credit bureaus, criminal records, driver's licenses, global academic qualifications and professional association memberships. RefCheck Advanced also provides a valuable employee due diligence and audit tool 24/7. For more information, visit: http://www.lnrisk.co.za/ More info on Rudy Kruger on Contributors page

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work trends

How your Leadership can help co-workers Deal with Frustration We all deal with frustration at work at some point, from your computer crashing to your boss assigning more work to you when you are already swamped! Lizelle Gilliland advises


here are several reasons why people might be experiencing frustration at work, but most often it is when they are blocked from achieving a specific goal or result. Typically, the more important the goal, the greater the feeling of frustration – and the longer this goes on for, the more confidence your employees will lose, and the more angry they will become. This creates a vicious cycle that only usually ends when the frustration ends. As a leader PA, you can make it your job to help each person in your team to be the very best they can be. As such, you can help your co-workers deal with frustration by supporting them in finding their own solution. Allowing them to find their own solution to a problem is very important – solving it for them may remove the problem itself, but it will do very little to relieve the frustration, because the frustration normally comes as a direct result of co-workers feeling like they lack the skills or knowledge to fix the problem themselves. Here are a few questions you can ask your co-workers to help them find their own solution:

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GUIDE THEIR DIRECTION Good questions to ask to empower them: • “What do you want to achieve?” •

“Why do you think you haven’t managed this yet?”

“Do you feel like the problem is with your skills or your resources?”

ENCOURAGE OBJECTIVE REFLECTION Leading questions would be: • “What will happen if you don’t get what you want?” •

“What will happen if you DO get what you want?”

HELP THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT Ask them these type of questions: • “How will our department/ company be affected if you don’t get what you want?” •

“How will our department/ company be affected if you do get what you want?”


“How do you think you should deal with the situation?”

“Do you have any other plans if your first idea fails?”


trust and respect, which in turn will have a positive impact on the company culture.

KEEP THESE 5 POINTS in MIND 1. Some people just get easily frustrated. These ‘highly strung’, ‘tense’, or so called ‘uptight’ individuals might appear, from first glance to be difficult to work with, but the reality is that their unique skill-set is an asset.

“Talk me through the different steps your plans involve”

“When are you going to take the first step?”

Talking to your co-workers and helping them by asking questions similar to those listed above will relieve some of the pressure and may help them to see a solution they hadn’t thought of before. Here are three key pointers to bear in mind when asking these questions: 1. Focus on the FUTURE, not the PAST It is what has already happened that is frustrating your co-worker – by focusing on the end result, you are helping to reintroduce positivity. 2. Don’t answer the questions yourself Help your co-worker feel confident and independent by listening carefully to their answer, and not interrupting with your own. 3. Only discuss what is within the co-worker’s control It is a waste of time to discuss things that cannot be changed – this only encourages further negativity and frustration. By helping to minimize the frustration of your co-workers, you will earn greater

2. Never underestimate the capacity of an individual to misunderstand. People go through life with different ‘filters’, including language and beliefs, among other influences. You might think that your email was perfectly clear, that your verbal explanation of a seemingly simple process was straight to the point, that every step had been repeated, and repeated, and repeated … that only a under-developed 6 month old wouldn’t get your meaning, but…someone will misunderstand. Likewise, our beliefs limit what is possible.That is because of those filters. 3. So, if you are being misunderstood don’t just pound your head against the wall, rather treat this as a learning opportunity and change your approach. 4. Everyone has their own preferred communication preferences. Let’s face it – everyone communicates in different ways. You might prefer sending emails, or making phone calls or sending a SMS, but that comes second to the communication preference of the receiver. Your email might qualify as literary genius, but if it gets filed in the ‘read later’ box, or worse, then it is useless. Pick up the phone or arrange a face-to-face meeting – even if that’s something you dread. 5. Don’t assume! Assumptions are used to deal with reality, that is,

life. If we didn’t use assumptions, then we’d be analysing massive amounts of incoming data, and wasting both time and energy – an evolutionary ‘no-no’. But as you get older, and more experienced, your assumptions let you handle more complex tasks. This is how children see the world. Since they know nothing, everything is new. But as you get older, and more experienced, your assumptions let you handle more complex tasks, but with the increase risk of an incorrect conclusion. No doubt you have heard the old expression: “Don’t assume! 6. If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. Murphy’s Law. This is a mindset to accept that things will, eventually, go pear-shaped. You will determine and implement your own personal communication plan, perfect in every way, but, in many cases, things will not go as planned. So, know, verify, deal, and mitigate if possible. You can’t change what has happened. But you CAN change how you let these events affect you.

IN CONCLUSION We all have to deal with negative emotions at work sometimes, and learning how to cope with these feelings is now more important than ever. After all, negative emotions can spread, and no one wants to be around a person who adds negativity to a group. Know what causes your negative emotions, and which types of feelings you face most often. When those emotions begin to appear, immediately start your strategy to interrupt the cycle. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to pull yourself away from negative thinking. More info on Lizelle Contributors page



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healthy mind in a healthy body

SLEEP DISORDER VERSUS INSOMNIA Dr Dominique Stott, Executive: Medical Standards and Services at PPS, says that sleep deprivation is usually associated with an inability to process information, leading to poor judgement, insight and memory as well as learning deficits.

A study by Warwick Medical School has revealed that in South Africa, 31.3% of women and 27.2% of men report to having



Clearly an increasing number of people find that getting a good night’s sleep can be a real challenge for them. This is incredibly unhealthy situation



sleeping patterns allow the brain to process information and create memory.


leep disorders are surprisingly common with most people having suffered from some form of sleep deprivation at some point in their lives. However, it is usually for a short duration lasting under a month. True insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with either getting to sleep, staying asleep or poor sleep quality in spite of time and opportunity. This sleeping behavior will eventually result in some form of health impairment.


Dr Dominique Stott advises that a lack of sleep can also cause other serious illnesses in people. “Sleep deprivation can be either the cause or effect of psychiatric, neurological or physical disorders. There are also life circumstances that can lead to a lack of sleep, with associated depression and anxiety. These are commonly associated with major life events and stressors, such as divorce or bereavement, which can lead to temporary sleep deprivation.”


She points to a large-scale, multi-national study of sleep problems led by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, which was conducted among eight countries in Asia and Africa. The study revealed that in South Africa, 31.3% of women and 27.2% of men report to having problems sleeping. careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

Common health disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is generally associated with snoring in obese people, can lead to significantly interrupted sleep without the person being aware of it, she adds. “Chronic pain, significant gastrointestinal reflux and hormonal conditions such as hyperthyroidism can also have a big impact on a person’s ability to get sufficient sleep.”

The impact of chronically disrupted sleep will have an effect on many facets of one’s personal and work life including daytime lack of concentration; poor memory and learning skills; poor judgement and heightened emotional responses and irritability. Dr Stott states that, “when looking at the physical impacts, lack of sleep can be damaging to the immune system and eventually lead to risk of heart disease due to OSA, and diabetes related to obesity from increased weight gain. There is also the obvious increased risk of accidents in the workplace and motor vehicle accidents or collisions due to poor concentration.” continued on next page




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healthy mind in a healthy body continued from previous page “Sleeping tablets are well known to have an impact on the foundation of memory, and anyone using them runs the risk not only of losing memory of events from the previous day, but also excessive drowsiness the following day. Benzodiazepines, which are tranquilizers, are also addictive and the usage of these tablets by the wrong patient may lead to a far bigger problem than lack of sleep. They can however be useful in the short term as prescribed by a doctor. Antihistamine tablets can also be used as a short term solution to improve sleep, but their efficacy wears off rapidly.”


Best Practice for you!

PRACTICAL TIPS Below Dr Stott provides some practical tips for people to consider in order to foster good sleep patterns: •

Start the day by exposing yourself to sunlight for up to 30 minutes to help to turn off the production of melatonin.

Practice going to sleep and waking up at a regular time.

Avoid ‘lying-in’ to catch up on sleep or taking daytime naps.

Do not do strenuous physical exercise, up to a few hours before normal bedtime. It is however extremely beneficial to do exercise in the morning.

Do not watch television in bed or use electronic devices, such a cellphones and iPads, 30 minutes prior to going to bed. This is especially important for teenagers.

Do not consume stimulants, such as alcohol (especially red wine) coffee or cigarettes, for at least three hours before bedtime.

People should avoid eating tyramine containing foods such as cheese, bacon or avocado as it causes the release of a stimulant called norepinephrine which prevents sleep. However eating carbohydrates triggers serotonin release which assists sleep.

In essence, people should be relaxing before they go to bed, says Dr Stott. “If one doesn’t fall asleep after 30 minutes, it is advisable to get up and do something relaxing, like reading until you feel tired, and then get back into bed to try and fall asleep again.” Alternative treatments, such as mindfulness, can be very useful methods to assist people in bringing forth a sense of relaxation, says Dr Stott. “By practicing this technique at regular intervals during the day, it will be easier to evoke the same relaxation response at night when struggling to sleep. This method has to be taught and practiced, but it is of great value when done properly for all kinds of stress alleviating responses.” “Insomnia can also be a symptom of more serious disorders and therefore it is important to seek medical help to get professional advice if it is prolonged or is causing significant distress in one’s life. It is also advisable to keep a sleep diary for two weeks, stating the exact times of sleeping and waking to show to your medical professional, together with list of all medications and medical history, in order to determine the cause of sleeplessness.” concludes Dr Stott.

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More info on Dr Dominique Stott on Contributors page careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


career feature

A Glimpse into the Future The future Workplace and YOU – the PA! PAFSA is engaged in serious analysis of the future workplace and will soon announce its forecast for your role. The next decade will see significant changes to:


The workplace of the future will see a substantially reduced usage of the conventional place of work,

• Different mindsets • What your office/workspace will look like • Your way of working and your role • New skills There have been surveys conducted on what the future will look like in the next decade, and research done by various organisations who have made the their findings known.

with just 47% working from the office, with many employees using a home office more. Co-working and third spaces will also increase.

Here are some highlighted for you:

In the near future,

1 Business people should also be preparing for significant changes in the office environment predicts Brandon Atkinson, chief people officer at AppNexus:

In an increasingly knowledgebased economy, employees will have unprecedented power. Atkinson says, "They will increasingly disregard today’s notions of hierarchy, will expect to be treated as a valuable asset to be invested in,

and will require the opportunity to solve problems autonomously” http://www.inc.com/comcast/your-office-in-2020-a-glimpseinto-the-future.html

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

the workplace will be designed to balance worker mobility and link those outside of the main workplace together. Workplaces will be designed to give workers more choices over their workspace – including a variety of individual, focused spaces, collaboration areas and spaces for socialising. http://penkethgroup.com/knowledge-centre/blogs/blogpredictions-future-office-2020/ 3

Technology will continue to reshape the workplace - as a result, flexibility and adaptability will be sought-after attributes in employees at all levels.


careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


career feature Telecommuting to rise

Improved wireless connectivity will allow for an increasingly flexible workforce.

Staff to put in more time

Executives surveyed by OfficeTeam think employees will be working more hours in 10 to 15 years. Only 9 percent said they would be working fewer hours.

Workers will stay in touch while on vacation

With the proliferation of wireless technology, staff will be expected to remain in close contact with the office while they’re away.

Companies/ employees take a new view on work/life balance

People may put in more time, but there will be an increasingly blurred line between work and other activities; people will need to multi-task to meet all of their obligations efficiently. OfficeTeam and industry experts identified six skills professionals will need to prepare for success in this new environment. The skills form the acronym ACTION. Analysis: Analyzing information and exercising good judgment Collaboration: Establishing rapport and facilitating team building Technical aptitude: Selecting the best technical tools and using them effectively Intuition: Identifying and adapting to the needs and work styles of others Ongoing education: continual learning



Negotiation: Participating in business discussions that produce positive results http://officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com/ index.php?s=247&item=784

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


A glance into the future finds a very open and adaptable environment where employees can meet in what seems more like a lounge than an office. Plants growing throughout the office help clean the air and brighten moods. Meeting room whiteboards in the future office are not boards at all but interactive spaces with remote attendees to conduct a truly virtual brainstorming meeting where input comes from many different locations. Then you can save the information to the cloud or your computer and share with ease. The smart boards of today will become obsolete. http://tekblog.nexustek.com/blog/office-of-the-future

25 5

New offices will focus on three main aspects: Transparency – more glass and fewer walls

Hospitality – more guest-friendly spaces, including coffee shops

Sustainability – conservation of space and supplies

In the future, offices will most likely focus on “telepresence,” which involves employees remotely interacting at the office via webcams and computer screens. Telepresence not only connects employees across the nation, but it cuts travel costs immensely.

Standing room meeting tables Many offices are doing away with chairs and going for standing tables; they’re taller and more intimate, and they promote involvement.

Walkstations A treadmill with a workspace attached to it. Already, these exercise machines are being distributed in various offices across the country to promote movement and multitasking among employees. Will they catch on? The amount of time of physical exercise required to increase memory retention and information processing.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device policies Many companies will ditch office desktop computers; they might even avoid giving employees their own portable devices in favor of allowing workers to use their own cell phones, tablets or laptops. http://www.topmanagementdegrees.com/futureoffice/

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


career feature •


The knowledge manager will ensure continuity and consistency, and help new employees and project professionals adapt to the organization's culture. In addition, the knowledge manager will perform a function similar to that of a librarian, assisting people in locating the documents or data necessary to perform their jobs.

New Administrative Roles Given the multifaceted roles administrative professionals will play in the next decade,

the current designation, "administrative assistant," may not be sufficient

to convey the scope and depth of their skills and expertise. As a result, new titles that reflect greater specialization will emerge. By 2020, administrative personnel will likely fulfill many of the functions identified below: •

Resource Coordinator - Virtual offices that employ numerous contract workers will rely heavily on individuals adept at bringing together the right human resources for a given project ? much like movie producers assembling a cast, camera crew and production team.

Workflow Controller - This individual will serve as "mission control" for an organization. Whereas the resource coordinator will assemble project teams, the workflow controller will ensure these professionals have the support and resources required to do their jobs. This position also will facilitate interaction among teams and coordinate the transfer and use of company resources such as computers, communications equipment and other technological tools. In smaller organizations, the same person may perform workflow control and resource coordination.

Knowledge Manager - In the more fluid and project-based office of the future, this central figure will serve as a repository of institutional information, history and best practices.

Telecommuting Liaison - As the number of offsite workers increases, companies will designate a telecommuter liaison to connect remote workers with each other and management. In some instances, individuals in this position will work with senior management to develop telecommuting policies, including helping to determine which positions are suited for off-site work. Day-to-ay responsibilities will include managing telecommuting schedules and providing technical support and updates to telecommuters regarding changes in operational procedures and company policies.

Virtual Meetings Organizer - This person will help employees schedule conferences and set up the necessary equipment. The virtual meetings organizer will be technically proficient and trained in the use of cameras, projection systems, electronic whiteboards, meeting software, audio equipment and related tools.

Source: International Professionals, 8/4/05




h t t p s : / / w w w. c a r e e r w i s e . m n s c u . e d u / n e w s / f w / fw5868FutureWork.html

Sources: www.globalworkplaceanalytics.com l www.positscience.com l www.usnews.com www.phillymag.com l www.propertycasualty360.com l www. topmanagementdegrees.com



NB: PAFSA is analysing the roles PAs play and how these will evolve as the future workplace evolves. We invite you to join our PAFSA Facebook page, and to tell all your peers – nationally and internationally – of how our analysis (soon to be published) predicts your future.

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


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international gurus

Meet Marion Lowrence International Speaker Marion Lowrence is a multiaward winning former PA winning Yorkshire PA of Year 2011, National Runner-up 2011 & Pitman International PA of Year 2012.

Marion is the Founder & Co-Director of The PA Hub, an international speaker and a Regional Board member for the Executive & Personal Assistants Association




recently become the UK Representative for the World Administrators’ Summit Advisory Council working on an international level to promote the role of the assistant.

We heard that you are a global PA trainer and run your own company The PA Hub with your husband Jon. Tell us more... how did this come about? I loved my role as Senior PA at Yorkshire Universities but as the only PA this could be a lonely place. My boss secretly put me forward for a local award which I won and then I won national runner up. Suddenly I was being invited to PA events in London which was 200 miles away from home. I loved attending them; meeting other PAs was refreshing. I came away thinking I want to meet my local PAs too! So I set up an internal PA network within the 12 universities I worked for. This in time led me to set up The PA Hub.

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

29 How did you feel when you started it? Truthfully it was all a bit of a whirlwind and I didn’t have time to feel anything! Setting up a company is quite a procedure! My previous role involved helping start-up companies so I did have some knowledge already. Overall, I felt a mixture of elation, exhaustion, like I was riding the crest of a wave, selfdoubt, panic and then the best thing I had ever done! I was providing a service to PAs that was desperately needed and even now I pinch myself to think it is all real!

What kind of message do you think this sends out to PAs as a whole? I would hope a good one. I work hard to promote a profession I truly love. I mentor six PAs in the UK and regularly public speak about the importance of mentoring. It changes lives and it’s one of two things that have helped me reach my goals. My own mentors have been crucial in my successes and helped me climb back up after any disappointments. Someone else having an opinion about what YOU can achieve often helps you deliver it! The other one is networking. I believe both are the way forward in whatever role you are in.

What kind of message does this send out to executive leaders about PAs? I love the fact I am helping other PAs see their own potential with the development sessions The PA Hub provides. When executive leaders see the change in their PAs after being part of the network, they see the benefits it can bring to their

have the same company values and goals for the future. On the flip side we have four children and a grandchild that we want to spend more time with. The company does take over sometimes so you have to sit back and remember why you are doing it. We try to get a good work life balance but we still need to work on that!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Sometimes I can be a perfectionist! It drives people mad (especially Jon and the kids!). I like things neat and tidy and this is not always possible with the busy life we lead so my goal is to ease up a bit! Running over 40 events a year in 3 cities and the travelling we do with my speaking and company business is quite exhausting in itself so being a bit more chilled out about the little things would help me (and everyone else) immensely.

Every hard-working PA must have an outlet - What do you do for fun? I love sunny climates and I like to travel; it is big old world out there and life is short so I like to enjoy it as much as possible. I love a nice glass of wine in front of a film after dinner; Jon is a great chef so that is a big bonus. I love attending concerts, going to the theatre and socialising with friends. I also love to read, sing and listen to music. Life is an event so live it to the full.I Marion can be contacted on marion@thepahub.co.uk

companies. The view of their PA changes and they can see the advantages it brings to their business. This means they are more likely to fund further development. One boss told me he gives his assistant more responsibility now which means he can get on with the job he needs to do knowing everything is working in the background.

Now let’s focus on you: Tell us the most interesting thing about you. I am one of 7 children and have 22 first cousins. It was a busy household and probably the reason I love networking so much. Every day was an adventure. One day I will write a book!

What do you want out of life? I am blessed with the best husband and running the company together means we can follow our dreams together. We both

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016


meet a pafsa member


Can we start with a little background information? Where are you from?

I have lived in the south of Johannesburg all my life. I’m a single mom with two married children, Gareth 33 and Tarryn 27 and two precious grandsons, Jake and Joshua. I have been in the secretarial profession for over 34 years. My profession has taken me to international destinations and given me the opportunity to broaden my outlook in the global work environment and network with very interesting people. I hold an international professional designation – CAP (Certified Administrative Professional) - which requires me to recertify every five years with the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), an association based in the USA. At this stage in my career my area of interest lies in the entry level PA and I’m currently developing a PA training “tool kit” at my company for our entry level PAs.

We speak with Lee Chapman (CAP-OM) PAFSA member and we get to know her better


How and why did you become Administrative professional?



I completed a commercial rather than academic matric, so by the time I matriculated I was ready to start work and the secretarial profession was a natural progression as a result of my subject choices - one of them being Pitman’s Shorthand, which I still use in my job today. I don’t think there are too many PAs who still use sforthand as it was taught a very long time ago and, to the best of my knowledge, is no longer taught in South Africa – I’m giving away my age here.


Briefly, describe a typical day at your office?

Arrive at 6:00 and only leave when finished which is usually around 17:00 which makes for a long day. I support the Group CEO so my responsibilities are varied and no two days are ever the same but in a nutshell, I spend most of my time behind the computer answering e-mails, setting appointments, arranging functions, travel bookings etc. and attending to anything else that comes my way.


What inspires and motivates you?

Working moms inspire me but single working moms have my utmost respect. What they accomplish in a day between balancing work and family is something I find inspirational. I remember how difficult it was as a single mom to successfully juggle work and family commitments.

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

is what made her stand out and I try very hard to be the person she was. She was admired and respected by all who knew and worked with her.


What have been the highlights of your career so far and why?

The highlights of my career are, firstly, speaking at The Congress of International Secretaries (COINS) in São Paulo, Brazil in 2011 on the secretarial profession in South Africa. It was my first public speaking engagement and I was brave, or some might say crazy, enough to make my public speaking debut on the international stage. Secondly, serving three terms as President of the Johannesburg Chapter of the IAAP. The knowledge and experience I gained in that role far outweighs anything I have gained during my working career.


What industry are you in?

Private education – I work for one of the largest providers of private education in the country, ADvTECH Group. Education is a hot topic in the country and I’m proud to be part of a team who are successful role-players in this space.


Who has had the most influence in your life? Mentor?

In both my personal and work life it would have to be my Mom who has had the most influence on me. Sadly, she passed away 14 years ago but when I’m faced with a difficult situation I think back to what she would have done and that approach has never failed me. She was a very strong and wise woman but her kindness


How do you relax and de-tress?

Weekends I like to spend time with my grandsons which allows me to forget about the stresses of everyday life and to concentrate on what is really important - family! Once a week I play action hockey, which allows me the opportunity to destress, unfortunately, most times to the detriment of the opposing team. I like walking so when I am away on holiday I do a lot of that.


What gives ‘light ‘to your life? To your being?

They say there is nothing like a mother’s love, but I am fortunate to be able to take that one step further and say a grandmother’s love is the best. My two grandsons, Jake who is 3, and Joshua 17 months, are the light of my life. They give my life purpose and I thrive on their existence. The exuberance of their youth motivates, or should I say, dictates that I stay fit and healthy to be able to keep up with them.


What is the most challenging or daring thing you have ever done? Why?

I have completed two things which I think are rather daring. Firstly, the Bloukrans River Bridge bungy jump. Measuring 216 meters it is the highest commercial bungy jump in the world. Secondly, I have skied a black slope (which is the highest degree of difficulty in skiing terms) in the Austrian Alps. I was scared from start to finish but thankfully I made it out alive without any broken bones. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I got to the bottom of the mountain made it worth every terrified moment. I guess you can say I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie.

For more info visit www.pafsa.co.za and please like our facebook page for daily tips


last page

Test your

Wits and have Fun 1 2

Rearrange these letters to make a single word: DRAGON LEWIS Half of zero is still zero. What other number can be halved to make zero?

How many flowers do I have if all but two are tulips, all but two are roses and all but two are carnations?



What belongs to you but other people use it more than you?

If a red house is made from red bricks and a yellow house is made from yellow bricks, what is a greenhouse made from?


Solutions below

Answers 1. A SINGLE WORD! 2. Eight. When written as a digit, 8, the top half is 0, and the bottom half is also 0. a tulip, a rose, and a carnation. 4. Your name. 5. Glass. Source: www.brainbashers.com

3 . I have

careersuccess magazine issue 4 2016

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Careersuccess issue 4 2016  

CareerSuccess is the ultimate magazine for PAs, secretaries, admin assistants and office managers.

Careersuccess issue 4 2016  

CareerSuccess is the ultimate magazine for PAs, secretaries, admin assistants and office managers.