fbpx

business tips

5 tasks our VAs supported us with this week

5 tasks our VAs supported us with this week

5 tasks our VAs supported us with this week​

5 tasks our Virtual Assistants supported us with this week

When you research what a Virtual Assistant can do for you, the answers often have NO context, strategy and are too broad (Admin and social media marketing anyone?). So I thought I’d contextualise with some practical examples of what our VAs did for us last week. Hopefully it will spark some ideas for you.

1. When a potential client told me she wanted a Virtual Assistant to speak on the phone with an Australian accent, I knew we weren’t the right company to help. Our awesome Virtual Assistant, Jong, knew I had the meeting (as he’d put it in my diary in the first place), so he contacted me after to get clarity. I told him this potential client was in fact cold (meaning we can’t help her and don’t need to follow up), so he updated the leads list with the relevant info).

All leads get categorized as cold, warm or hot on the spreadsheet (with a comment), so we can prioritise who we need to follow up, and not bother those who don’t need us right now.
Jong oversees the list so Carmen and I don’t drop any balls and Carmen meets with him for 30 mins each week to get her follow-up actions around leads.

2. Our website is loading too slowing at the moment so the amazingly-driven Tin is helping us fix this. She is currently going through website to do something to the images to make it load faster (that’s all I need to know about that). You see, the outcome is that we want a faster load speed, it’s a priority. Tin and the team are working out the “how”. I do not know every single detail but get updates and give input when we have our marketing meeting.

3. One of our Virtual Assistants sent Carmen’s new connection video on LinkedIn to new connections. We mix the connection message up a bit. Sometimes it’s a text message, sometimes video (depends how we are feeling). It’s a good way to touch people so you are memorable. We only have to create the message or video once in a while, and then hand it over to the team member and they do the rest.

4. We are getting new clients in the USA (thanks, Clubhouse), so we had to get time zone clarity. Carmen cracks me up. She is so intelligent but reckons working out time zones does her head in. She asked Jonathan to sort it for her. I think he found her a good app so problem solved. (It might not sound like a big thing, but taking that mental load off researching solutions can really free up time and headspace).

5. Our creative genius Charles, does an amazing job at editing our raw videos. Carmen came to my house recently and we did another 30 videos. (We like batching). We sent them to Charles (well Carmen did, as she’s the “do it immediately person”). Charles, worked his editing magic with some humorous inserts, zooms and clipping (not technical terms but you get my drift…). This made them more interesting and created pattern interrupt to make them WAY more engaging. 

So, there you have it, folks. Hope this has helped spark some ideas on how you can use your existing Virtual Assistants to help you get your business humming and growing.

And if you haven’t got a Virtual Assistant yet, and what to talk about the possibilities, you can make a time to speak with Carmen. (Link)

6 ways to show your VAs and other team members you appreciate them-post header

6 ways to show your VAs and other team members you appreciate them

6 ways to show your VAs and other team members you appreciate them

 “Correction does much, but encouragement does more,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, inspiration writer and statesman.  Being a business owner is not just about assigning tasks or designating directives, it also means having the emotional capacity to show your staff that you appreciate and value them. 

Here are the various ways you can make your VAs and other colleagues feel like a valuable member of your team: 

  1. Say thank you and be specific

e.g Thanks for getting that done so quickly.

e.g Thanks for checking all my LinkedIn messages. Really took a load off me.

e.g Thanks for the piece of work. The client really liked the diversity of solutions.

It may sound elementary but some people just don’t do it, not realizing how powerful this seemingly-small act is.

  1. Acknowledge good ideas – even if just the root of a good idea.

Two of my clients were recently quite angry about not being acknowledged for their good ideas. Others built on them slightly and got all the credit. Remember to acknowledge even if you think the contribution wasn’t huge. It’s all about perception. This is where what is not said is just as important as what is.

  1. Give more responsibility and ownership

By letting go of total control, and letting people have ownership of a task, project, or role in business, you are showing you trust and appreciate them.

  1. Don’t pigeon-hole people in terms of what you think you know they are capable of

Give people a chance and support them and believe in them. If they prove you wrong then reassess. However, most of us can change, learn, and improve in a supportive environment.

  1. Show you respect them by being honest and not putting issues in the too-hard-basket.

Address issues as they come up in constructive ways. This doesn’t mean go “blah” every time someone does something that displeases you. Do it in a controlled and constructive way when you have thought it through. But don’t leave it too long. This gives everyone concerned a chance to clarify, state their case and step up if required.

  1. Give them your time by touching base often

Relationship building takes time, so find the time and start building in a way that works for you – even if it’s a stretch at first.

e.g. One of my first ever clients years ago turned her team around in a matter of weeks by stopping to say hello to individuals in the morning. She is very task orientated and efficient and didn’t really see the need to spend idle time chatting. As a result, the team didn’t really see the need to perform for a manager who didn’t appreciate them enough to even stop and say hello. As soon as she took the time, she was more aware of what was going on for people, they felt appreciated and output improved dramatically.

10 Ways to give positive feedback and get people to do what you want

10 Ways to give positive feedback and get people to do what you want.

We get better results when we give feedback that is specific and relevant, and this builds solid foundations so that something strong can be constructed from that.

Let’s look at the top ten ways to give positive feedback to people in your business and personal life.

  1. Give it in the first place – in some form 

People can’t mind read. Don’t presume they know you are pleased with them. You can make someone’s day, week or year, so make sure you don’t deny them that pleasure. (Research has shown that the impact of saying a specific, relevant thank you can be felt a long time afterwards.)

  2. Make it personal 

No one reinforce works with everyone, so find out what each person values. You can do this by experimenting. Try different ways for different people and see what reaction you get. E.g. when I used to work with some graphics guys, I would point out the specific creativity I noticed in their work and how effective it was. They thrived on it and they produced more and more fantastic creative results for our clients.

  3. Make it earned 

People respect most what they earn. It’s your job to set up opportunities for people to earn positive reinforcement. Set people up for success where possible. 

  4. Make it immediate if you can 

When you see desirable behaviour, reinforce it immediately. The more immediate the reinforcement, the more effective it is. Try to catch people in the act of doing what you want. This is not just staff. It can even be a supplier who delivers on time. E.g “Thanks, for being so reliable. Bob. Can always count on you.”

  5. Make it frequent 

It takes many reinforcers to turn desirable behavior into a habit. If you want to encourage people to do it a certain way, reinforce that you are happy with it being done that way.

  6. Direct it to right person 

Don’t let it get stuck in a bottleneck or be misdirected. Most of us have feel that kick in the guts when the credit for our work is given to someone else. Be mindful of not doing this to others. One way to do this is to thank everyone involved, or even ask people of their involvement if not sure.

  7. Make it relevant and specific 

It loses impact if it’s not. The person then knows exactly where they stand and what you liked.

  8. Make it genuine 

Don’t say something you don’t mean. It stands out a mile away and it can possibly damage trust.

  9. Do it in a way that you feel comfortable with 

If you are not comfortable saying it in front of a large group, then don’t. And it doesn’t always have to be words alone. Maybe it’s giving someone more business, or more responsibility.

  10. Choose the right type of feedback for the situation 

Flowers and a note may be appropriate for Bob, but not for Megan. Taking the time to walk across the office to give recognition personally to John may be very appropriate and significant.

Challenge: Give positive, specific, relevant positive feedback to five people this week. E.g. your business partner, clients, your child, a contractor. Notice how it makes you feel, the reaction you get from them on that occasion and the next time you see them.

Global Teams Virtual Assistant Support - 7 ways to show your staff you appreciate them

7 ways to show staff and others that you appreciate them.

Global Teams Virtual Assistant Support - 7 ways to show your staff you appreciate them

7 ways to show staff and others that you appreciate them.

Being appreciated by others in our business lives can be a powerful thing. When someone puts in the time and effort to thank you or meet with you, you feel valued, remembered and needed. It all comes down to effective communication and this is a key element to any business. It is also important in other aspects of our lives too.

The following suggestions can help the people in your life feel appreciated and valued:

   Say thank you and be specific

e.g Thanks for getting that done so quickly. e.g Thanks for doing the appraisal. Really took a load off me.e.g Thanks for the piece of work. The client really liked the diversity of solutions. It may sound elementary but some people just don’t do it and it is so powerful.

   Acknowledge good ideas – even if just the root of a good idea.

Two of my clients were recently quite angry about not being acknowledged for their good ideas. Others built on them slightly and got all the credit. Remember to acknowledge even if you think the contribution wasn’t huge. It’s all about perception. This is where what is not said is just as important as what is.

  Give more responsibility and ownership.

By letting go of total control, and letting people have ownership of a task, project or role in business, you are showing you trust and appreciate them.

  Don’t pigeon-hole people in terms of what you think you know they are capable of.

Give people a chance and support them and believe in them. If they prove you wrong then re-asses. However, most of us can change, learn and improve in a supportive environment.

e.g Years ago I was playing squash and I was team captain. A young inexperienced player wanted to move up to the top in the team. I knew he was good and improving but I was sure if he went too high he’d lose. I was wrong. He had capabilities way beyond my opinion of him.

  Show you respect them by being honest and not putting issues in the too hard basket.

Address issues as they come up in constructive way. This doesn’t mean go “blah” every time someone does something that displeases you. Do it in a controlled and constructive way when you have thought it through. But don’t leave it too long. This gives everyone concerned a chance to clarify, state their case and step up if required.

  Give them your time – lunch or coffee or just touching base.

Relationship building takes time, so find the time and start building in a way that works for you – even if it’s a stretch at first.

e.g. One of my first ever clients years ago turned her team around in a matter of weeks by stopping to say hello to individuals in the morning. She is very task orientated and efficient and didn’t really see the need to spend idle time chatting. As a result, the team didn’t really see the need to perform for a manager who didn’t appreciate them enough to even stop and say hello. As soon as she took the time, she was more aware of what was going on for people, they felt appreciated and output improved dramatically.

  Have team huddles

These take place first thing before people get into their day. They are to be no longer than 10 minutes and provide an opportunity for everyone to connect and get focused. People stand in a huddle (not sit) and everyone shares a win, something they will be working on that day and a possible challenge if they have one. Nothing is addressed in the huddle itself but it creates awareness so people can provide support, or seek out further support if they need to after the huddle. (Don’t forget you can have a virtual huddle of course).

Challenge: Show someone you appreciate them this week!

Top 6 Ways To Make Any Team A Success

Top 6 Ways To Make Any Team A Success

Everyone has their own individual strengths and weaknesses. When working as a team, individuals can draw on their own strengths to work together towards a common goal. Open communication and compromise is essential. Any team can be a success.
Develop SMART team goals

Make the goals:
Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
Time framed

Develop goals with your team so everyone can buy-in from the start, and they will know and understand what they are aiming for. E.g. finish the project on time and with 95% customer approval. E.g. win the flag.

  Create Win/Win situations- something for me and you!

A win situation can be different things for different people. It doesn’t have to be about money. It can be about a sense of achievement, a new or different experience, an opportunity, a sense of accomplishment, a chance to work with a key person, or a chance to lead others. E.g. A client of mine needed more IT support for his team. He took on a student with basic skills to learn on the job. He got some IT support at a good rate and an opportunity to see how the person fitted into his team and the student got the opportunity to get some paid work experience in an area he was interested in. Something in it for both of them.

  Create a structure with defined team member responsibilities

The team member responsibilities don’t necessarily have to be aligned with someone’s job description or usual responsibilities. For a particular goal/project/time period, the person may have totally different responsibilities. E.g. someone may lead in some way when their role is usually not as a manager. .g. someone may be responsible for training others when this is not usually part of their role.

  Ensure unity and connectedness

The team member responsibilities don’t necessarily have to be aligned with someone’s job description or usual responsibilities. For a particular goal/project/time period, the person may have totally different responsibilities. E.g. someone may lead in some way when their role is usually not as a manager. .g. someone may be responsible for training others when this is not usually part of their role.

Communicate effectively by having established informal and formal open and clear communication networks at all levels

It’s important to set this up in the beginning so everyone is clear about the communication structure. Who do I communicate with for what, and how do I communicate? E.g. formal meeting for full team catch-up, informal chat for assistance when stuck, make a time for one-on-one catch-up, quick email, no contact with manager Monday mornings when she is doing her planning etc.

Note: Interpersonally, you can be more directive once you demonstrate that someone else’s views have been acknowledged. It’s the core psychology of negotiation: we listen better once we’ve been heard. So make sure those communication lines are open for everyone to be heard.

  Identify the strengths of individuals in the team and ensure they can use these strengths to contribute

E.g. attention to detail, meeting deadlines, creativity, critical thinking, vitality, fairness, leadership. (Use differences in individuals as a source of strength). Think about what they have to offer and what they think their strengths are.

E.g. what about having a great empowering conversation? This is what I think you are good at. What do you think you are good at? How can we use all these great skills and talents of yours to contribute to the team? Don’t bring negativity into it at all. Make it all positive.

Challenge: Think about how you can make any team you are in better, whether you are leading it or as a member. Take one bit of action to improve your team this week.