Administrative Assistant's Update

December 2016

Focuses on the training and development needs of admin professionals and features topics such as hard skills (software competencies, writing, communication, filing) and soft skills (teamwork, time management, leadership).

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DECEMBER 2016 P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T F O R C A N A D A ' S O F F I C E S U P P O R T S T A F F Administrative Assistant's UPDATE UPDATE PM #40065782 INSIDE Send a handwritten message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 It's low-tech, to be sure, but potentially high-impact Career advancement . . . . . . . 3 There are a lot of pieces to career planning, so start now LinkedIn strategies . . . . . . . 4 5 privacy settings your executive needs to know An incivility self-test . . . . . . . 7 Are you unwittingly giving coworkers a negative message? By George Pearson Have you experienced incivility at work, directed either at you or co- workers? If so, you're pretty certainly in the majority. Polls of thousands of work- ers in the United States revealed that 98 per cent had experienced uncivil behaviour and 99 per cent had wit- nessed it. Rude behaviour can take many forms, says author and researcher Christine Porath, "from outright nas- tiness and intentional undermining to ignoring people's opinions to check- ing email during meetings." Porath, an associate professor of management at Georgetown Univer- sity's McDonough School of Busi- ness, has written extensively on the subject. Her book, Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace (Grand Central Publishing), will be released this month. Writing in the New York Times Sunday Review earlier this year, Po- rath described the cost of incivility to employees who experience it and to the organizations for which they work. "How we treat one another at work matters," she says. "Insensitive interactions have a way of whittling away at people's health, performance and souls." Steady or frequent exposure to uncivil incidents elevates levels of hormones called glucocorticoids, potentially leading to health prob- lems such as increased appetite and obesity. Robert M. Sapolsky, author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, contends that intermittent stressors such as incivility can affect the im- mune system. Major health problems may result, such as ulcers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. A worker's response to incivility, whether intended or unintended, can result in tangible costs to the organization. Porath cites her orga- nization's poll of 800 managers and employees in 17 industries, probing Reining in multitaskers An executive of a multibillion- dollar consumer products com- pany, concerned about excessive multitasking at his weekly meet- ings, told all attendees to drop their smartphones into a box at the door and he forbade laptop use as well. Initially, employees were "like crack addicts as the box was buzzing," he told Christine Porath ("Incivility in the workplace …"), but meetings became much more productive and eventually much shorter. He reported more presence, participation and, as the tenor of the meetings changed, fun. Incivility in the workplace can be corrosive, costly Credit: CREATISTA (Shutterstock) Continued on page 6

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