Tag Archives: Training

Random Quotes from New Books This November

Dial Down the Drama: Reducing Conflict and Reconnecting with Your Teenage Daughter–A Guide for Mothers Everywhere by Colleen O’Grady

Jacket cover of Dial Down the Drama by Colleen O'Grady

Do respond without reacting, don’t react without responding. Your daughter lost her phone. When you respond and don’t react, you say, ‘I’m so sorry. When was the last time you remember seeing it? Where have you looked? Do you need my help?’ If you react and don’t respond, you say, ‘Seriously, we just bought you this phone. You are so irresponsible. Why do you lose everything? Do you know how much that phone cost?’” (page 116).

Recipe for Success: An Insider’s Guide to Bring Your Natural Food to Market by Abigail Steinberg

Jacket cover of Recipe for Success by Abigail Steinberg

“Every square foot of a retail location must generate income. Algorithms and assistant managers continually reshape these retail environments, looking for profit. Turnover is the rule, so suppliers with the highest sales, most ads, and brand awareness evolve into superstars—if they can keep up product support and sales numbers. If a product doesn’t perform, stores get rid of it. If you want to get your product onto retail shelves, you need to understand why a product stays on shelves and what gets it thrown off” (page 67).

What Great Trainers Do: The Ultimate Guide to Delivering Engaging and Effective Learning by Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton

Jacket cover of What Great Trainers Do width=

“A trainer’s enthusiasm, however, is not to be confused with an overly ardent approach to try to persuade participants to embrace what he’s teaching. His phrasing and manner of presenting should communication to participants that they have a free choice in what they will and will not believe or do. If they sense they are losing their freedom of choice, you can say goodbye to the positive learning climate you’re trying to build. … So be aware of the thin line between being enthusiastic in your teaching and attempting to convert participants to the method, beliefs, and values you are teaching” (page 191).

The Power of Business Process Improvement, Second Edition: 10 Simple Steps to Increase Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Adaptability by Susan Page

Jacket cover of Power of Business Process Improvement, Second Edition

“Taking the time to set the foundation helps to prevent scope creep, a risk in many projects. Scope creep is veering away from the original purpose of the work without an increase in time, resources, or money. … In business process work, scope creep weaves its way in because new ideas, demands, and needs surface as you get into the work, and the temptation is to continually expand the scope of a business process” (pages 53-54).

Effective Succession Planning, Fifth Edition: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building Talent from Within byWilliam J. Rothwell

Jacket cover of Effective Succession Planning, Fifth Edition

Reason 6 [for a Succession Planning and Management Program]: Help Individuals Realize Their Career Plans Within the Organization. Organizations make a substantial investment in the training of their employees. Employee performance may improve with experience as individuals advance along a learning curve on which they master organization-specific and job-specific knowledge. When individuals leave an organization, their loss can be measured. If they remain with one employer to realize their career plans, then the employer benefits from their experiences. In this sense, SP&M can serve as a tool by which individuals can be prepared for realizing their career plans within the organization” (page 18).

november books FINAL

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.

Random Quotes from New Books This May

Jacket cover of Persuasion Equation by Mark RodgersPersuasion Equation: The Subtle Science of Getting Your Way by Mark Rodgers

Analytical Behavior: You’d think all Analyticals are from Missouri. They say, ‘Show me the logic. Show me the principles. Show me the data. Show me the objective third-party analysis.’ This is the modus operandi for Analyticals. They want to know not only if something works, but how and why and who says. Others may see them as lacking energy or acting aloof, but don’t be fooled: They are using their energy for mental processing and consideration of all angles of a given topic. Analytics don’t make friends easily or quickly, but once they do, relationships are important. Like Amiables, they avoid risk, because their desire to be right is almost all-consuming” (page 49).

Jacket cover of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, Second Edition by Annette SimmonsWhoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact, Second Edition
 by Annette Simmons

“No matter how skilled you are at storytelling, all stories can be distorted by premature feedback comes in the form of ‘Can I make a suggestion?’ One time I got a ‘suggestion’ and, as a result, I dropped a detail out of a story when next I told it. The story fell flat without it, so I put that detail back in. I’ve since come to the conclusion that the person who made the suggestion may have felt judged by his interpretation of what that detail meant. After reflecting, I realized that I wanted this detail to provoke self-examination. I had said, ‘Nasrudin had not prepared his words to touch the hearts and minds of the people; he thought he could wing it.’ My choice of wording makes ‘winging it’ sound like an act of hubris. I’m OK with that. If I can save anyone from suffering through unprepared, stream-of-consciousness ramblings, it is worth it. Opening the floor to criticism often gives you more information about your listeners’ pet peeves than the quality of your story. Appreciations are much more reliable in finding the parts of your story that work and letting the other parts die on the vine” (page 43).

Jacket cover of Learning to Succeed by Jason WingardLearning to Succeed: Rethinking Corporate Education in a World of Unrelenting Challenge by Jason Wingard

“Small start-up organizations are focused on almost everything at once—funding, hiring, product production or service development, branding, selling, keeping pace with the competition, and other priorities. But, more than anything else, they are obsessed with survival. New companies are founded for all kinds of reasons: the belief in an unmet demand for a product or service can be delivered better or more efficiently, or both; the notion that they are well positioned to offer a solution that meets a specialized or unique market need, and a host of others. But, until it can achieve some kind of consistent revenue and profit, its leadership drives forward putting out fires in crisis management mode. There is usually some basic planning with regard to systems, operations, and development—and theoretically, the more funding, the more planning—but still, there’s a company-wide obsession with getting the job done however possible. Training is usually “on the job.” Managers live in crisis mode. And, in almost all but the very best-funded cases, analysis, strategic planning, and reevaluation of internal systems takes a backseat to the challenges at hand” (pages 108 & 109).

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.

A Big Thank You to Your Administrative Assistant

The following is a guest post from Kevin Wilson, co-author of The Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook.

Administrative Professional’s Day is the time to thank your hard-working assistant for putting up with those endless requests from you and your colleagues. This year, rather than a gift card to Starbucks or a spa gift certificate you would like to keep for yourself, how about giving the gift of development. (Or perhaps in addition to a gift card or spa gift certificate!)

Gone are the days when an administrative assistant might work 30 years for the same company, many of those years for the same boss. Corporate restructurings, which have affected hundreds of thousands of people over the past few years, have been a mixed blessing for administrative assistants. In the wake of restructuring, some assistants have to leave their position when their boss leaves, but others are asked to take on greater responsibility, to “take up the slack” as middle managers are phased out. Either situation could be professionally devastating if an administrative assistant is not prepared.

While it is important to offer training on the skills needed for the current job, such as computer skills, it could be strategically helpful to acquire other essential business skills whether or not they are needed right now.  Look for training opportunities in areas such as business writing, research, customer service, purchasing, budgeting, bookkeeping, invoicing, training new employees, presentation skills, and supervising an office staff.  The American Management Association offers a wide variety of seminars on these and other topics.

Having these skills will give your administrative assistant the most flexible preparation to meet any challenge he or she may face—either an on-the-job crisis or a career advancement opportunity.

Another development idea that is more closely related with your assistant’s current job would be to support his or her effort to become certified by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (formerly the National Secretaries Association) as a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). This certification is granted only upon the successful completion of examinations in various aspects of secretarial/administrative procedures and skills. Being certified can be a tremendous boost to your assistant’s career.

Giving the gift of development shows you care personally about your administrative assistant’s future and well-being. If you have a limited budget, offer to pay for an adult education course of your assistant’s choice at the local college. There are also many useful online courses that can help your assistant acquire new skills.  And above all, talk with your assistant about what they see themselves doing in the future, and then work together on a development plan that helps them achieve these goals.

Kevin Wilson is the co-author of The Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook and is Vice President of Videologies, Inc., a company that specializes in training administrative professionals in Fortune 500 companies.

Darlene Christopher on Five Things You Can Do to Become a Better Live Virtual Classroom Facilitator

Photo of Darlene Christopher, author of The Successful Virtual ClassroomThe following is a guest post from Darlene Christopher, author of The Successful Virtual Classroom: How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Online Learning.

Distractions in the traditional classroom abound and keeping learners focused and engaged is a challenge. In a live virtual classroom environment (sometimes referred to as a webinar or synchronous learning), distractions multiply at the quantum level. Unseen by instructors and absolved of the cultural imperative to publically “pay attention”, facilitators needs to work even harder to ensure success. Here are five things you can do to become a better live virtual classroom facilitator:

1. Tell a Story with Your Content
Story telling never gets old. In the virtual classroom tell concise stories, directly tied to your content and supported with images on slides that move along every 10-20 seconds or so as you make your point. Garr Reynolds offers great ideas for presenters.

2. Engage, Really Engage, Participants
When participants join your virtual classroom, you are competing for their attention with email, social media and a variety of other distractions. Manage this and take the “attention initiative” by inserting interactivity into your session every 3-5 minutes. Ask participants to respond to a poll, write an answer in the chat box or on the whiteboard.

3. Compensate for the Absence of Body Language
In the virtual classroom, you can’t depend on traditional visual cues for feedback from participants such as the “perplexed” expression or the “I’m lost” expression.” However, you can use virtual engagement tools to make up for the absence of body language. Use instant feedback tools and ask participants to select “agree” or the thumbs up sign if they have completed an exercise. Do check-ins via chat to get input and opinions on pacing and comprehension.

4. Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearse your session with a mock audience to make sure everything goes smoothly before you go “live.” Practice how you will open the session, transition from one topic to the next and handoffs between speakers. Also take the time to rehearse exercises to determine if your instructions are clear and if there is sufficient time to complete an exercise.

Jacket image, The Successful Virtual Classroom by Darlene Christopher5. Don’t Work Alone
As the song goes, one is the loneliest number….Successful live virtual classroom sessions are typically supported by a team. Working with a producer is the best way to sustain a high level of interactivity. While you speak, advance slides and engage the audience verbally, your producer monitors chat, sets up exercises and polls, and troubleshoots technical issues.


Darlene Christopher is a Knowledge & Learning Officer at the World Bank. She oversees the learning program for staff in 20 Asian countries and advises foreign federal government agencies on distance learning programs. She has been designing and delivering synchronous training programs for global audiences for over ten years.



Random Quotes from New Books This October

Jacket image, Creativity and Problem Solving by Brian TracyThe Brian Tracy Success Library, Creativity & Problem Solving by Brian Tracy

“Lateral thinking forces the mind out of comfortable or conventional ways of thinking. It was pioneered by Edward de Bono in England. One way to illustrate lateral thinking is to remember that when people find themselves in a hole, their natural tendency is to dig the hole deeper. However, the solution may be to go somewhere else and to dig a totally different hole. Lateral thinking is used to break your pattern of habitual thinking, or the tendency to fall into the trap of the comfort zone and continuing to do things the same way you have always done them in the past.” (page 59)

Jacket image, The Little Book of Big PR by Jennefer WitterThe Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed by Jennefer Witter

“Tip#28: The first thing you need to do is decide what your objective is in using social media. Is it to build brand reputation, recruit employees, attract new audiences? Once you decide what your goal is, you need to decide which social media tool to use. There’s an abundance of social media tools out there, and they are constantly changing. Keeping up with them and using them can become a full-time job. But you don’t need to do that. I truly believe you need to pick and choose which social media will provide a return on investment in an effective and efficient manner.” (page 33)

Jacket image, Primal Teams by Jackie BarrettaPrimal Teams: Harnessing the Power of Emotions to Fuel Extraordinary Performance by Jackie Barretta

“Letting yourself feel the emotions of others doesn’t mean letting those emotions overwhelm you. That can cause another set of problems as you get swept off your feet by a flood of someone else’s feelings. Fortunately, you can learn to sense another’s emotions and observe how they affect your body without letting them emotionally hijack you. Gradually, you will be come a more skilled emotional diagnostician. Periodically, pretend you are an objective doctor by placing a stethoscope to your chest and taking your emotional temperature. Try to diagnose any symptoms of unusual sensations. What is causing those bodily reactions? Why has your heart begun beating a little faster?” (page 100)

Jacket image, The Successful Virtual Classroom by Darlene ChristopherThe Successful Virtual Classroom: How to Design and Facilitate Interactive and Engaging Live Online Learning by Darlene Christopher

Depending on which virtual classroom tool you use, the instant feedback feature might be called a “raise hand” feature, “status change” or “emotion indicator.”  This feature allows the participant to communicate with  instructors at any time throughout a virtual classroom session without interrupting the flow of the instruction by selecting from a menu of feedback options. The type of instant feedback that participants are able to select varies, depending on the virtual classroom tool. See Figure2-5 for an example of the types of instant feedback participants can provide.” (page 30)

Jacket image, The Ten Golden Rules of Leadership by M.A. Soupios and Panos MourdoukoutasThe Ten Golden Rules of Leadership: Classical Wisdom for Modern Leaders by M.A. Soupios and Panos Mourdoukoutas

“In short, the role of a good leader is critical under all conditions, and it is for this reason too that failures of leadership will virtually ruin the organization. And of all the many potential shortcomings an assumed leader might bring to an organization, none is more lethal than arbitrary applications of power. Supervisors who constantly micromanage, who second-guess every subordinate decision, who gleefully await any and all opportunities to criticize and bully, are a toxic presence in any environment. Their abuses will predictably waste corporate resources, destroy worker motivation, compromise institutional loyalties, and create debilitating resentments more rapidly than any other managerial failing—prompting the most talented employees to jump ship.” (page 23)

The Truth Doesn't Have to Hurt by Deb Bright Ph.D.The Truth Doesn’t Have to Hurt:How to Use Criticism to Strengthen Relationships, Improve Performance, and Promote Change by Deb Bright

“We each have a preference for how people talk to us. Some people want to be spoken to honestly and directly, while others need to have things sugarcoated and delivered more carefully. Delivering criticism can be like approaching a wild animal. And depending on the type of animal you are dealing with, you are going to approach the individual with varying styles. Is your receiver a bear or a bunny? You need to know before you approach the person with any kind of criticism.” (page 71)

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.