Heather’s Articles

Jean Thompson 1927-2020

Jean Thompson 1927-2020

My Mum's life She was born in October 1927 and was brought up in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. She later worked there and in Leeds. She married my Dad in 1950 and worked with him in special schools in Yorkshire and Shropshire. In 1960 they moved to Cheadle, Greater...

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What is a PA?

What is a PA?

The PA/EA ‘job description’ “Does that role still exist?” I was asked when I explained what I do. “I thought nobody needed PAs anymore…”. After I’d metaphorically picked myself up from the floor, I said “yes, very much so”. Technological innovations and changes in...

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The Art of Communication

The Art of Communication

We all communicate naturally; most of us find it impossible NOT to communicate… but we don’t always communicate effectively First of all, let’s analyse communications. We pick up messages from each other in three ways; from body language, tone of voice and the words...

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The world’s your oyster

The world’s your oyster

We’ve all done it — dreamed of a top job, an exotic holiday or a catwalk figure — yet, how often do these things come to fruition? “When we’ve got a bit of money, we’ll go on a really nice holiday.”“I’ve always fancied working abroad.”“I’d love a job like that.”“I...

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Common mistakes

Common mistakes

Whoops! Shouldn't've clicked on send. There can be so many opportunities for error in writing. The speed of email encourages us to click on send without proofreading what we have written. Tight deadlines mean we don’t always take enough care over our reports. Not only...

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You and your manager working as team

You and your manager working as team

The PA and the manager spend a great deal of time together They have the same objectives and carry out different tasks to achieve those objectives. Communication is vital; it would be impossible to work together successfully without excellent communication. Your team...

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Different Ways to hold meetings

Different Ways to hold meetings

Do people groan when they have to attend a meeting? Maybe it's boredom … why not do things differently? In a different room or locationOutside instead of inside (weather permitting)Standing upWalkingInclude group workHave an objective as the meeting titleMake the...

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Create Positive Perceptions

Create Positive Perceptions

Sadly, people can have negative perceptions of those in PA/admin roles What we mustn't do is reinforce those negative perceptions with our behaviour. "So, I like told him that it was like really difficult to like to do that task."...

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Minute taking what PAs really want to know

Minute taking what PAs really want to know

10 insider insights from Heather. As an inexperienced secretary, I hated taking notes and writing minutes — I’d rather have thrown myself downstairs! However, as I progressed to more senior roles, I eventually got the hang of it and have,since 2000, been helping other...

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Top 5 Tips for chairing meetings

Top 5 Tips for chairing meetings

Not only do minute takers need training, so do Managers and those chairing the meetings. Here are some initial tips to help: Make time for a pre-meeting with the minute taker and/or include the minute taker in any pre-meetings; Give everyone as much notice as possible...

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Guest Articles

2 of the top game changer lessons I learned from Oprah

Libby Moore Executive Coach, Inspirational Speaker, Adventurer and former Chief of Staff to Oprah Winfrey. People always ask me what I learned working with Oprah for 11 years. It used to take me a moment to reply because I had learned SO MUCH, it was hard to...

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Two life changing lessons from John F Kennedy Jr

RoseMarie Terenzio shares her wisdom. Media Relations & Communications Strategist, Director at Kivvit, NY Times bestselling author, “Fairy Tale Interrupted” and former Chief of Staff to John F Kennedy Jr. Working alongside John F Kennedy Jr changed my...

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What ignites your soul? And feeds your mind.

What ignites your soul? And feeds your mind.

Emily Newstead brings joy to our lives... I recently watched the most AMAZING video of a group of students singing as a choir, with an artist who has written an incredible song. You can view the video here, and see for yourselves. Watch right through until the...

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The future is accessible

Vivienne Stone shares her wisdom. The 3rd of December each year, is marked by the UN as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, to celebrate and promote the empowerment and creation of real opportunities for disabled people. In line with the theme for...

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