Are you a Mama Bear at work? Keeping ON TRACK with Rhonda – October 2018

by | Nov 2, 2018 | Uncategorized

from Rhonda


I am so
excited, I can hardly stand it. I am SO excited to announce the first annual
Admins Rock Conference (The ARC
Circle and reserve the date on your calendar – April 24. Yes,
that is Administrative Professional’s Day and we are
going to
celebrate in big style with an incredible day of education for admins
November 26
 on your calendar too. I’m opening up 2-4-1
(to coincide with Cyber Monday) for one week
only. Pricing will
be $595 per person, yet from November 26 – December 3 (one week) I am offering
two attendees for $595!
After our cyber sale, we will have early bird pricing at $495
per person, with regular pricing following.
The hotel has not been confirmed, but it
will be held in Toronto. So my American (and international) friends, that
pricing is
Canadian dollars too! That is only
$455US for two attendees! We will announce speakers, events, and hotels prior
to our Cyber
Week sale.
Keep your eyes on for


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read this!




If you’ve
been in your role for a few years, you pretty much know what to
do in most situations. You know what needs to be done,
how to do it, and
when. You know that you need to bang the
photocopier in the morning
because it gets stuck in sleep mode, and
you know that it takes 30 minutes
for the air
conditioning to kick in, so if you want cold air you have to plan
ahead. It took you years to figure it all
Do you give your colleagues the same
luxury of time to discover things?
Are you patient
with them? Do you let them figure things out on their own,
or are you a Mama Bear at work?
I remember when my older son,
Christopher, was a baby and we left him with my mother overnight for the first
time. I wrote up pages and pages of instructions on
what to do, how he liked things, and what to do if
went wrong. I’m sure I’m not the only one
who has done this.
My mom laughed at my
pages of notes and
promised she could figure out what
Christopher needed because, after all, she had parented two children. She
told me I was not allowed to call her every hour. I
could call after he went to bed to ensure that everything had
gone well, but she didn’t want me micromanaging
I felt foolish, but I also thought I was
being helpful when I wrote the instruction list. It had been 30 years since
she had a baby and I thought that perhaps she would
appreciate me making the sleep-over easier.
We do the same overprotective and
micromanaging things at work too. And just like I did with my mom,
sometimes we take it too far, and our good intentions
are not appreciated. 
Tweet: Friendly guidance is nice. Parenting other adults is not. @RhondaScharf

When someone new joins your team, there
are things that are considered helpful that you should be doing, and

there are things that are not considered helpful, and
you should not be doing.
Here are some friendly tips to ensure
you are not parenting your coworkers or the new members of your


  • Don’t assume the person doesn’t know what
    they are doing. Even if they are young and fresh out of college, don’t
    assume they are incompetent. They may be inexperienced, but they are likely not
    incompetent, so be sure you aren’t treating them as if you think they
  • Stay away from on-the-spot criticism unless you are their supervisor
    or assigned mentor. You may have noticed that when they answered the telephone,
    they didn’t use the standard greeting everyone else uses. Is it your job
    to correct them? If so, correct them, so they are in line with company
    expectations. If it isn’t your job, ask yourself why you are correcting
    them. Is there really a rule that says things need to be done the way you are
    saying they do? Is it someone else’s job to ensure they are answering the
    phone according to company standards? If you correct them, will you seem as if
    you are controlling and insisting things be done your way? Just because you
    noticed something isn’t being done the same way you do it doesn’t
    mean you need to correct it.
  • Don’t go running to the boss with
    complaints that the new person is wasting a lot of your time asking questions.
    If you think they are interrupting you too often or with things they can figure
    out on their own, work with them on boundaries and expectations. Going to the
    boss and complaining you can’t do your job because they are taking up so
    much of your time paints you as a tattle-tale and is unprofessional. Work with
    your new-hire to set expectations about when they can interrupt you, and
    perhaps where they can find answers rather than coming to you for the answer to
    every question they may have.
  • Don’t be the office gossip. While you
    may see it as helpful to let the new-hire know that when Patricia gives you a
    file to handle, she always gives it to you late because she is forever waiting
    until the last minute to do things. Your new-hire doesn’t need to be
    jaded about who does what, and you also don’t want to turn yourself into
    the office gossip. They can’t do anything with the fact that Patricia
    leaves things to the last minute, so how is that information useful for them?
    It really isn’t.
  • Don’t run interference for them, either.
    If you see someone asking the new-hire to do something, it isn’t your job
    to be Mama Bear and protect them. By “protecting” them from others
    you are effectively getting in the way of their interactions with people in the
    company. Let your new-hire learn to fight some of their own battles. You are
    potentially damaging their credibility and respect by running interference, and
    it may not be seen as helpful.

Tweet: Don’t run interference for new hires in the office if you don’t want to be seen as the Mama Bear (hint: You don’t!) @RhondaScharf



  • Be polite and offer
    assistance as needed. When they are brand new to the office, they do need to
    know who they should be turning to for information. If that is you, let them
    know it is you. If it is not you, but you just want to be helpful, give them
    some guidelines on the types of things you can help them

For instance, saying, “I know more about Microsoft Office than
Bill Gates, so come to me with all your questions and I’ll save you hours
a day,” shows you have an expertise. Should you be encouraging them to
come to you for that information? No. Perhaps you should say instead, “My
job is payroll in HR. If you have any questions at all about payroll or the
forms you need to complete, just give me a call.” Be specific. About
where you can help them. You could say, “I am your resource for all
things admin. If you need any help at all, my extension is 595. Feel free to
contact me anytime—I’m your main office resource.” Or a
better way would be, “I am your buddy for the first few weeks until you
get up to speed. Perhaps we should meet twice each day at 10 and three so I can
answer any questions that may have come up during the

  • Ask them if they need help instead of just offering help on what you
    think they need. Ask them if they want you to point out when they are doing
    something in what appears to be an inefficient way. Find out if they are
    willing for you to mentor them before you decide they need

There is something to be said for letting people figure things out on
their own. It’s called learning. Allow them to learn with your guidance
(as needed).

  • Show compassion. Remember what it was like when you were the new
    person. Remember how much it felt like high school and you were the new kid?
    Show compassion and friendliness and offer to take them to the cafeteria or a
    coffee shop. Share with them the parking tip you know, or the coffee machine
    quirks. Take away some of their anxiety by being compassionate and
    understanding about how uncomfortable they may be feeling. Everyone knows each
    other, and your new-hire knows no one, so help them with those social

Being a Mama Bear comes naturally to many of us. We
want to be helpful. We want new-hires to be successful. We don’t want
them to make the same mistakes that we made.
They want to show they are competent and can work independently. They
want their reputation to be solid and strong. Your new-hire will appreciate
your guidance. She won’t want or need your parenting or


Previous September articles you might be
interested in (click on title):
Management Lesson Number

just for Fun!

A Little

* There’s only one letter that doesn’t appear in any U.S.
state name – that is Q



* You only have two body parts that never
stop growing (Human noses and ears keep getting bigger, even when

the rest
of the body’s growth has come to a halt.)    
* No number before 1,000 contains the letter A  
* The French have their own name for a
“French kiss”.  

* If
you write a to-do list you will fall asleep an average of nine minutes


Malek presenting  

Automating Your Spreadsheets: Templates, Tools, and Macros

Far too much of our day is spent performing steps that
(1) we’ve done before, and (2) we know we’ll do again. This session
focuses on trying to plan ahead, by creating templates for our spreadsheets,
that include formatting and validation on cells before anyone gets their hands
on them. We’ll also automate a number of tasks by creating macros, giving
us hours back every week! 

Our topics include:

  • Applying
    Number Formatting to Cells before Data Entry
  • Using Conditional Formatting to Provide Real-Time
  • Setting Up
    Calculations with Error Handling
  • Creating Named Ranges to Simplify Calculations
  • Using Data Validation to Save
  • Planning and
    Saving Template Files
  • Recording Macros to Save

Scharf presenting  

Confrontation Skills

Confidence & Composure in the most highly charged situations! Learning to
confront someone can be done easily and quickly! No more panic, no more holding
back from saying what you want to say. Learn professional confrontation skills
that will allow you to maintain control, confidence and
If you are
like most people when a situation requires you to say something, you either
lash out in anger or say the wrong thing. Do you ever walk away and say
“I wish I had said ….”?
Those days are over. Confrontation Skills can be learned, practised
and mastered.
Here’s What You’ll

  • What to say, how to say it, when to say it, all the
    while being in complete control of yourself
  • Keep your confidence
    high! Don’t let them bully you into submission
  • Keep your emotions in
    check. Tips to avoid crying, screaming and blanking out
  • Prepare yourself to say
    what you should say (and take the professional path, not the emotional
  • How to give feedback in stressful situations
  • Learn to keep your cool
    at the same time as confronting someone!

Learn powerful strategies and techniques for dealing with
those confrontations you’ve been avoiding! Reduce your stress, increase
your effectiveness and repair the relationships damaged by the conflict.
We’ll discuss how to handle the confrontation, things to say, how to say
them, all while maintaining your composure and defusing anger for both of

Malek presenting  

Instant File Triage in Word, Excel, and
If you’re responsible for editing, managing, and
combining files that others have created, this session will cut through the
noise and make you a professional. Learn the tools that Word, Excel, and
PowerPoint have for making your files better, quicker. If you’ve ever
wondered why some of your slides have numbers and some don’t, or how a
paragraph with slightly different font got through to your final document,
you’ll want to attend.
Topics include:

  • Format Painting
  • Paste
  • Clear Formatting
  • Find and Replace with Special
  • Named Ranges
  • Data Validation
  • Slide Masters and
  • Themes and Templates
  • Convert to SmartArt
  • Speaker


Pamela Jett presenting  

Assertive Communication

Assertive communication is the hallmark of a true
professional. In this powerful, skill-building program you will learn to
communicate assertively in a variety of challenging situations so you can be a
positive role model to those you work with and for.
you secretly afraid that you come on too strong or are perceived as a doormat?
Would you like to be seen as confident, trustworthy and
Assertive communication is the key. And, assertive
communication is a choice—one every professional can

  • What assertiveness is and what it is
  • Clever tactics to deal with the passive-aggressiveness of
  • New strategies for handling difficult conversations and
  • How to assertively say “no”—and not feel
  • Surprising words to avoid and powerful words to choose
  • Proven language patterns to deal with requests for your
  • How to use assertive communication to maintain control of your day
    and productivity.
  • The best-kept secrets superstars use to assertively
    communicate to leadership.
  • How to build inner victory for outer communication

Powerful, assertive
communication skills yield better relationships, increase productivity, improve
team involvement and decrease tension. No one wins when issues are ignored or
tensions are stockpiled. Gain remarkable tools and learn the “words that
matter” to communicate confidently in today’s challenging
workplace. And the real payoff comes when you discover how easy it is to say it
with backbone not bite and make work

Advanced Minute Taking
– Motions & Voting – December 6, 2018

Scharf presenting  

Advanced Minute Taking
– Motions & Voting 
Do you
ever second-guess yourself when taking minutes? Do you wonder if you really are
completing your minutes in the proper/legal way? How much is too much
information and how much isn’t enough when documenting decisions,
discussions, and voting?
Minute Taking is a skill that needs to be learned and perfected. Just
taking down what happens in the meeting isn’t going to be enough if your
minutes end up in court. Learn how to protect your company and it’s
officers. Discuss what needs to be captured during discussions and decisions,
and why.
Here’s What
You’ll Learn:

  • The proper way to document a motion
  • Voting – including votes for an against, as well as those who
  • What to do when a vote is tied
  • How to edit a motion
    after it has been voted on
  • Documenting amendments
  • Online
  • Approval of previous minutes when there are changes to the document
  • Who can make motions and who can’t
  • Tips on consolidating
    the discussion instead of capturing who said what.

Take your Minute Taking skills to the next level with our one-hour
advance session on Motions and



Time: 2:00pm ET (1hr each webinar)Cost: Only $139.00 per
dial-in line (unlimited attendance per dial-in
Price of
the workshop includes:

  • Executive Overview Document (emailed prior to
  • Live Q&A
    session following presentation
  • Recording of session (available for 60
  • 30 days free
    email one-on-one coaching
  • Toll-Free access
  • Certificates for all attendees
  • Post webinar quiz to boost

 To Register:
Email with
“Register Me for XX” in the subject line. He will send you all
access information and your invoice at that




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“Keeping ON TRACK with Rhonda” Contact Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HoF
today about bringing customized, fun, and applicable training to your office or
association meeting.

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Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HOF, Global Speaking Fellow

Certified Speaking Professional, Hall of Fame

Rhonda Scharf, renowned and award-winning speaker, author, consultant, and trainer, is the “go-to” expert for the Administrative Professional and Executive Assistant community. With over 250,000+ trained across the globe, Rhonda is THE authority for fun and uplifting education for admins, because #ADMINSROCK!


Rhonda Scharf, CSP, HOF, Global Speaking Fellow

Certified Speaking Professional, Hall of Fame

Rhonda Scharf, renowned and award-winning speaker, author, consultant, and trainer, is the “go-to” expert for the Administrative Professional and Executive Assistant community. With over 250,000+ trained across the globe, Rhonda is THE authority for fun and uplifting education for admins, because #ADMINSROCK!