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Everything posted by JMcCumber

  1. @Joanne I was pretty certain I uploaded these best practices , but you're right, I do not see them anywhere. Let me do some digging and find the document to share. I am very confused as to why they are not showing. -Jacqueline
  2. I am ready to find myself back in the office on a more regular basis. Currently, my biggest struggle is virtually teaching a pre-k student while working and trying to ensure he is cognitively stimulated while I try and balance my own workload. I'm thankful for our community trying to be proactive in keeping everyone safe, but I am a little overwhelmed. I notice that it has in turn made me a much bigger advocate with Sr. Leadership for more flexibility and leniency with staff as school starts back in our area. Keep your heads up my friends!
  3. Kelly, I am very sorry that this message went unread for so long. I would love to chat over email, and maybe even a quick call, if you would like to discuss this further. Please feel free to reach out! Jacque McCumber (JMcCumber@Nektar.com)
  4. If you attended APC 2019 and made your way to one of the Best Practices - Office Management discussions, you heard me refer to myself as the Olivia Pope of office management; a fixer extraordinaire. As office managers, our roles are endless and boundaries are non-existent until you create them. When an engineer comes to work every day they know they are going to be designing a process , when a car salesman gets in to the office everyday they know they will be selling a car. When an office manager gets to the office they are going to make sure the coffee is hot, the conference room is prepped for the morning meeting, ensure all areas are staffed properly, and probably help the engineer connect with the salesman to discuss buying a new car. A study done by Snack Nation in 2018 found that being flexible and adaptable was the #1 skill necessary to operate as an effective office manager. Do you find this to be true? If not, what skill sits in your #1 spot? Through the 2 sessions at APC 2019, 50 attendees and myself discussed some struggles we all have in our offices and worked together to generate some best practices. Throughout the next few days, I will be posting several of the best practices generated during those sessions. Please feel free to address each post with additional suggestions and feedback. Thanks! Jacque McCumber
  5. Open communication and understanding my manager's leadership style are the two most important aspects of maintaining good rapport. We have built such a strong rapport through the years that I am able to display signs of tough love by telling him, in our 1:1's, what others are too intimidated to tell him. By offering this in a personal setting it gives him time to reflect, but also go in to the next interaction/meeting with an understanding of how people are perceiving him. This is essential during organizational shifts or times of turmoil in our business. This relationship is, hands-down, the most rewarding of my career. I can visibly see the managing up and how it ultimately affects the organization.
  6. Renee, I would have to agree with you, I don't know that peer-to-peer would be a true mentoring relationship. I believe a mentor could be a peer if they have experience in some other facet of life which you seek information. However, for job mentoring, it should be someone who is truly skilled and understands how to navigate the business you're in to get where you ultimately want to go. Have you pushed back on your leadership's idea at all? How did they receive it? Jacque
  7. Good Afternoon All! I am looking forward to all of the incredible discussions and networking this new forum will allow. Please make sure you check out all of the forum pages for conversations related to communication, efficiency, skills, leadership, professional development and technology. Hope everyone has an excellent week! JM
  8. @Erin Floss, Within my organization, we do reviews with our direct reports using a combination of written reporting as well as a face to face meeting. During the written portion, as Managers, we solicit written feedback from the groups/individuals our employees work with/for to ensure the feedback is well-rounded and fully established. Within this process, we are able to circle back to an individual if their review needs further fleshing out or additional questioning. Upon completing that process, the reviews are sent through our HR Dept. to provide one more check, and then to Finance to determine compensation adjustments (raise, bonus, promotion, etc.). After all of the financials have been settled, the review is then returned to the manager, and a face-to-face meeting is scheduled to discuss the performance review. Our organization values the face to face discussion so much that the performance review is not considered complete until the employee enters our HCM (Human Capital Management) system and completes the prompts signifying the date/time of their review, as well as confirming that it was done face to face. I think the review process is so important. I personally look forward to review meetings because I thrive on feedback. How else can we move forward effectively, if we do not reflect on what we might be doing ineffectively? Thanks for the prompt! JM
  9. Are you mentoring someone in your organization? If so, how did they approach you? What are some things you have learned as a mentor?
  10. Hello! Thank you for visiting the forum, and for posting a great question! I am currently being mentored by a colleague (RB), who has moved his way up the corporate ladder within our organization. He is highly respected and known for his excellent outlook for the employees, and wonderful facilitation skills. We have worked together for several years, and while he is my senior by a few years, we had established a great friendship through the time we've worked together. Upon my boss (TS) finding out that I was attending school to establish my Master's in Communication, he suggested I determine a mentor and actually mentioned that RB was on a very impressive path and could provide some excellent guidance. I was very flattered to be associated with his path progression, and being that we are very similar, he was equally as flattered that I was so excited to learn from him. Having established mutual respect for each other makes it easier for us to be open and honest. Conversation comes easily, and he challenges me often, specifically in moments of self-doubt. It has been a wonderful relationship that I plan to continue building upon, regardless of where our lives, professional or otherwise, take us. Thanks again for asking! JM
  11. Mentor. What is a mentor? How do you truly identify a mentor in your life? These are questions I found myself wondering when my current boss told me to find a mentor in the field I would most like to venture towards. As an Executive Assistant, I am privy to a lot of different activities and departments, which gives me great insight and experience to know the areas in which I excel and how that might lead me toward a certain trajectory for the future. However, I still needed to select someone to help me with that trajectory, and ultimately (thanks to many many searches and discussions with colleagues) determined the following criteria: 1. Seek out someone who you trust and highly value. A mentor is better suited when it is someone who is also highly experienced with many facets of the field you are pursuing. 2. This person should have a very firm understanding of the company's culture, and be willing to identify areas in which you should consider growth. They should also be able and willing to coach you through this process. 3. A mentor should be vulnerable in the sense that they are willing to walk you through their failures and missteps to help you avoid, or greatly reduce, common mistakes. 4. Ensure the person you've selected has ample bandwidth to correspond freely with you, but do not begin the relationship by requesting too much of this person's time. You will need to drive the correspondence, especially in the beginning. Show that you respect their time by being prepared each session with topics or questions you would like to discuss. What are some other characteristics you would identify with a GOOD mentor?
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