Nina Spencer

Working Wisdom 2004

50 ways to make the most of the last of summer…even if you are back-to-work!

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People have been talking about “vacations” since the word (originally from the Olde English spelling, “vacacioun”) made its debut in 1395 in the famed Canterbury Tales–this, according to the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. It’s original meaning…”rest and freedom from any activity”. Funny how some concepts never change, even if the spellings do. Although your…

April 2004 Working Wisdom for Administrative Office Professionals Everywhere!

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A Rose is a Rose is A Rose? The Difference Between “Secretary” and “Office Professional” and Why these Anchors Need Continuous Professional Development. “The successful candidate must: maintain a positive attitude, work with people at all levels, use time effectively, take action on management priorities, take initiative, recruit, select and train staff, be dedicated to service excellence, problem solve, multi-task, be…

Bring Your Voice to Life…and Work:

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Your voice is your calling card. It represents you when you’re present…and even when you’re not (eg. by way of voice mail, video, other recordings). Your voice either reinforces your message or stands in the way of putting your point across. How many people actually contemplate their own voice?

Conflict Management and the Case of the Stacking Plates

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Fifteen years ago my sixty year old father remarried. Although it’s often difficult for young children to adjust to a “new” mummy or daddy, it was challenging for a thirty-two year old, too–me! On my first “sleep over” visit, I tried my darnedest to be agreeable and helpful around the house, shopping for groceries, peeling potatoes, chopping vegetables for dinner, etc. Have you heard the expression, “A new broom sweeps differently ” (or something like that)? Or, “You can’t have two women in one kitchen”, or…

Following the Leader

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You may be leading in theory, and with positional power, but, in actuality, if they’re not following whom are you leading? Have you ever been walking along with a friend or family member, blithely chattering away, only to discover that you lost them several feet back? You’d been talking to yourself for at least two or three sentences and didn’t even notice (although everyone else did!). A classic private life example of leading without followers!

Life is Stranger (and often more educational) than Training Fiction

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There’s richness in private life from which to draw business wisdom. When it comes to customer service, it’s easy for me to recollect a classic scenario my daughter and I experienced when visiting our English family for the first time, in 1998. They hosted a “brilliantly smashing” visit; we crammed a phenomenal amount into everyday. One day, after visiting Oxford, Bourton-on…

Listening to others with heart

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“You can listen as well as you hear”, so says the song “The Living Years”, by Mike and The Mechanics. But can we? Do we…day-in and day-out? Can most of us do better, when it comes to honest-to-goodness listening? How about yourself? Do you see the links between your personal sense of leadership, your ability to demonstrate effective listening and…

Podiums are Poisonous and Lecterns are Lethal

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“Lecterns have one reason for being: They hold up the speaker’s script. Sometimes they also hold up the speaker.”, says Ron Hoff in his presentations skills book, “I Can See You Naked”. My copy is a banged up, dogged eared, sticky papered second edition from 1992. It’s well worth the read, whether you are an occasional presenter, or a seasoned, “What could that book possibly teach me?” pro.

Speaking of professional development in 2004…

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It’s that time of year again… if you, your department or whole organization champion professional development for in-house staff or association members, January is often the month where you may think, “I thought I/we had lots of time to pull our event(s) together! Where ever did all the time go? Now I feel panicky–like a keystone cop trying to bring it all together at breakneck pace, from venues, to brochures, to lining up the right speakers! Helllp!”