Saturday, April 19, 2008

Understanding Your Coworkers

You must know how to establish cordial and respectful relationships with your support staff. Not only do you work closely with them every day, but they are also the foundation of your effectiveness. Boss and bossy are not synonymous. Decide up front how secretaries or assistants will address you—as Tom or Mr. Smith, for example—and let them know your preference with courtesy. Always acknowledge their presence and keep greetings cordial. If you are introducing a secretary to a client or an associate, make the introduction according to the way those involved will later address one another. If you expect your secretary to address your client as Mr. Foster, introduce him that way and use your secretary’s surname as well, even if you normally use your secretary’s first name.
If you are sharing a secretary, consult with your associate about the workload to avoid overburdening the secretary. Never ask someone else’s secretary to do work for you without first clearing it with the secretary’s supervisor. As a rule of thumb, never ask a secretary to perform a task you’d be unwilling to do yourself. Watch those labels and nicknames. Never call anyone above the age of puberty a boy or a girl. The words honey, dear, and hunk have no place in the vocabulary of the workplace.

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