Who is a professional secretary by dr. gambari, a. i.


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Who is a professional secretary by dr. gambari, a. i.

  1. 1. Dr. Gambari, A. Isiaka E-mail: gambarii@futminna.edu.ng Website: www.gambariisiaka.com Blogsite: www.drgambari.com THE PROFESSION OF A SECRETARY, RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT A Paper Presented at a 3-Day Workshop on Productivity Enhancement For Secretaries, Held at Edgedrive Hotels, Lokoja, Kogi State. 28th October – 1st November, 2013
  2. 2. Objectives  At the end of this presentation, you should be able to:  Determine who is a Professional Secretary;  Describe the duties of a Professional Secretary;  Differentiate between Ethical and Unethical Practices;  Identify some skills required at modern offices  Discuss human relations skills expected of a professional secretary. jharun@utm.my 2
  4. 4. Who is a Professional Secretary?  The Professional Secretaries International (PSI) defines a secretary as an executive assistant :  who has mastery of office skills,  demonstrates the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision,  exercises initiative and judgment and  makes decisions within the scope of assigned authority.
  5. 5. Cont… Generally:  A Professional Secretary coordinates the daily routines of an office and organizes the office schedules and paper work.  A secretary’s duties require analysis of the situation, judgment, technical knowledge and creativity.  The number and type of activities secretaries are assigned depend on whether they are generalists (multifunctional secretaries) or specialists (such as legal or word processing secretaries). Secretaries use many different talents and work with many different people.
  6. 6. Modern Professional Secretaries  Modern professional secretaries are now referred to as office managers by some people because of their activities, education, skill acquisition, knowledge and even expectations from their bosses, customers, clients and even the general public.
  7. 7. Cont… Whether called a secretary, a manager or a personal assistant, a professional secretary is no more the man or woman sitting behind the typewriter, taking shorthand dictations and attending to visitors. Office management is now more concerned with office occupations or the exhibition or use of skills, aptitudes, attitudes and knowledge for carrying out successfully the functions of the office (Ohakwe, 2001). jharun@utm.my 7
  8. 8. ESSENTIAL DUTIES OF PROFESSIONAL SECRETARIES  Phone Calls and Visitors  Acts as a gateway between visitors, callers and other workers in the office.  Knows enough about the office he or she works in to answer inquiries about the specifics of the office.  He or she screens visitors and phone calls and arranges callbacks or appointments.  Prepare his or her boss to talk about different issues with different people.  Prepare a meeting area for visitors and take care of any requested amenities.  Responsible for conducting phone surveys or inquiring after jharun@utm.my information. 8
  9. 9. Other Communication  A PS must handle written communications and the mail, as well as inter-office communications.  A PS generally sorts the mail for the boss or the office, prioritizing it and throwing out junk mail.  Sometimes he or she will be responsible for replying to the banal correspondence by preparing responses for the boss’s signature.  A PS also prioritizes work based on deadlines and communication with others in the office. jharun@utm.my 9
  10. 10. Appointments and Meetings  A PS not only maintains a boss’s schedule, but also prepares the boss for meetings and appointments.  He keeps a calendar of the boss’s appointments as well as all meetings within the office and determines what events the boss needs to attend.  Arranges his or her employer’s commitments to avoid overlaps and to make sure that the boss has enough time to prepare for such commitments.  Prepares an agenda for meetings, arranges for the facilities and amenities and records the discourse in the meeting. jharun@utm.my 10
  11. 11. Other Responsibilities Other responsibilities of a Professional Secretary may include:  Supervising other clerical staff  Keeping an updated mail and phone directory  Ordering office supplies when neede  Organizing files and other data jharun@utm.my 11
  13. 13. ETHICAL CONCERNS Some of the ethical demands on the PS include: (1). Flexibility and Adaptability: A good secretary must be able to work in any organization by adapting to the situation he finds himself. (2). Poise: The Professional Secretary should be calm and poised always. (3). Intuitiveness: The ability to develop one’s mind to visualize and sense things. He should develop a keen eye for error detection in his work and draw the attention of his boss to it. jharun@utm.my 13
  14. 14. Cont… (4). Tact: You need tact in what you do or say so that you do not offend your boss, co-workers and customers. The Secretary should be able to communicate with all people and should be able to keep the organization’s secrets secret. (5). Punctuality: A good Secretary should be regular and punctual at work. jharun@utm.my 14
  15. 15. Cont… (6). Courtesy: The Secretary should observe the basic codes of human relations such as ‘Good morning’, Good day’, ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’. (7). Due Diligence: Means avoidance of mistakes or typographical errors and paying attention to details. This is an important asset of a secretary in order to produce mailable document. jharun@utm.my 15
  16. 16. Cont…  (8). Being proactive: Should be able to take necessary prior action to forestall its happening. The secretary should use her initiative and discretion in doing the job without waiting for the boss. She should always think of improving herself and her job.  (9). Self-confidence: Fear causes tensions and affects our emotional stability negatively as well as our selfconfidence. You should learn to control your emotions and develop your self-confidence.  (10). Good Telephone Personality: Telephone communication requires good voice, pleasant manner and friendly attitude.  (11). Appearance: The secretary should be neat and decently dressed always. jharun@utm.my 16
  17. 17. Cont…  (12). Organizational skills: These skills are required in order to achieve organizational objectives.  (13). Confidentiality: The security of the office and equipment falls within the ‘corporate schedule’ of the secretary. Consequently, one of the ethical core values which facilitate the success of the professional secretary is confidentiality.  (14). Leadership: The leadership competence of the secretary is usually required for the effective management of co-workers and observance of decorum in the office. jharun@utm.my 17
  18. 18. Cont…  (15). Capacity-building: Through peer-review mechanisms, attendance at professional workshops and conferences, and membership of professional associations,.  (16). Computer Competencies: Your knowledge of computer will not be an asset to your organization, until it adds value, hence the secretary needs to more from the level of computer appreciation to being computer-proficient. jharun@utm.my 18
  19. 19. UNETHICAL PRACTICES 1. Passion for excellence is lacking 2. Communication deficiencies, usually as a result of the porous basic foundation in English usage. 3. Low confidence level. 4. Poor organizational ability. 5. Unlawful trading in offices during corporate hours. jharun@utm.my 19
  20. 20. Cont… 6. Improper delineation of hierarchy and command structure that often create conflicts between the professional secretary and other support staff like: secretarial assistants, clerical officers etc. 7. Information diarrhea/Leakage/Mismanagement. 8. Gossip/Rumour mongering. 9. Lateness/Absenteeism (A.W.O.L). jharun@utm.my 20
  21. 21. Cont…  10. Erroneous notion of the professional secretary’s career as being meant solely for females.  11. Promotion above level of competence (Peter’s Principle)/Low productivity.  12. Poor human relations.  13. Quarrelling.  14. Un-ending discussion.  15. Improper dressing.  16. Poor listening technique.  17. Poor leadership and followership styles. jharun@utm.my 21
  22. 22. SUCCEEDING AT MODERN OFFICES  Brent D. Ruben and Jogelyn De Anglis listed out the following as competencies and skills needed by secretaries in workplace:  Personal competencies  Communication Competencies  Organizational Competencies  International/Intercultural Competencies  Domain Competencies  Human Relations Competencies jharun@utm.my 23
  23. 23. 1. Personal Competencies  Positive Attitude  Self Motivation: Self motivation refers to an internal drive to get things done.  Flexibility and Adaptability.  Integrity: Honesty, especially as it applies to interpersonal dealings.  Active Learner  Problem Solving: identify solutions to problems.  Decision Making Ability: Fact-based decision making  Analytic/Cognitive Ability: The skill to thinking analytically. jharun@utm.my 24
  24. 24. Cont…  GPA/Academic Achievement: Grade point averages (GPA) refer to the overall grade point, with the higher the GPA being more desirable.  Loyalty: Commitment to the job and organization. jharun@utm.my 25
  25. 25. Communication Competencies  Communication, Written and Oral  Public Speaking  Listening Skills  Social Skills: Getting along with others,  Team/Group Skills  Networking Skills jharun@utm.my 26
  26. 26. Organizational Competencies  Organization Skills: Managing tasks and projects, and files well.  Leadership/Management Skills: Skills to manage other people to get results and taking the initiative.  Meeting Skills: The skill to successfully run meetings and participate in meetings  Systems Perspective  Computer Skills jharun@utm.my 27
  27. 27. Cont…  Economics/Statistics: Business courses in economics and/or statistics.  Quality Approach Knowledge: The understanding of work as a process.  Work Experience  Customer Orientation: The skill related to both social skills and problem solving ability.  Extra-Curricula Activities  Business Understanding jharun@utm.my 28
  28. 28. International/Intercultural Competencies  Cross-Cultural Competency  International Knowledge: A basic understanding of international business workings.  Second Language: Some employers are seeking candidates with skills in other languages.  (International) Management: Business course in management or international management.  (International) Marketing: Business course in marketing or international marketing.  (International) Trade Theory: Business course in trade theory or international trade theory.  (International) Human Resources: Business course in human resources or international human resources. jharun@utm.my 29
  29. 29. Domain Competencies  Basic Business Courses  Domain Knowledge: Domain knowledge is the one area of concentrated skills/ability gained through college education.  Accounting: Business or management course in accounting. jharun@utm.my 30
  30. 30. 5. Human Relation Skills (competencies)  The secretary as a ‘public figure’ must endeavour to show good working relationship with other members of staff irrespective of their position or ranks.  It is largely viewed that human relations should be two-way affairs, but to a large extent the secretary has the major role to play. This is because human beings are unique in nature and are difficult to manage.  In order for the secretary to maneuver she needs to display different skills as the need arises. jharun@utm.my 32
  31. 31. The Secretary and Total Environment (Internal Human Relations)  Understanding the co-workers and having a keen interest in them.  Always put up a smiling face even when things are not moving on fine to avoid being misunderstood.  In addition, when junior staff are respected, recognized or sympathized with as well as not getting involved in office gossips/belonging to any clique, they see the person as a close confidant and a mentor. jharun@utm.my 33
  32. 32. The Secretary and Her Boss  Understand your boss as much as possible  Win your boss’s confidence as regards to office work and other personal secrets.  Loyal to your boss & do not gossip him.  Reconcile or Talk-it-over jharun@utm.my 34
  33. 33. Cont…  In case of unpleasant mood, create an entire peaceful atmosphere that would enable him get back to good mood, by:  respecting him,  avoiding anything that hurts his feelings  answering him with due respect,  never argue with him or encounter in hot conversation.  You should be sympathetic and always shows the boss that you are willing to see him through his problems. jharun@utm.my 35
  34. 34. Cont…  Always sees him as the Boss & do not claim that you know more than him  Do not get irritated when your advice is not taken but feel satisfied that she has been requested to contribute to an issue.  Always be considerate  Always remain calm in all situation  Display the matured spirit and always follow the hierarchy or channel of communication or chain of command when dealing with anyone.  Be Accurate so that the boss is relieved of the burden of examining every document jharun@utm.my 36
  35. 35. Cont…  Be caring to show the boss that you cares about everything that concerns him  Un-equal relationship, understand that the relationship between her and the boss is that of the secretary and the boss and not that of equals.  On no account should she sit on the boss’s chair  Do not open his locker to search for things that are not needed. jharun@utm.my 37
  36. 36. External Human Relations  Receive visitors with smiles and politeness  In answering calls, you should be creative, imaginative, human and ready to offer assistance irrespective of person involved.  Visitors to the office should not be made to wait too long  Speak to visitor in a chanting way that would make them forget the length of time they have spent waiting jharun@utm.my 38
  37. 37. The Secretary and other Executives  Do not see your boss as the only person that deserves to be accorded respect.  Hatred and envy by others  Victimization after been transferred jharun@utm.my 39
  38. 38. The Secretary and Her Colleagues  be able to harness the efforts of other colleagues to the greater glory of the organization  Should based your discussion on how to solve office problems,  help those who have problem s with their boss or junior workers  Help his colleagues who have problem in handling a particular aspect of the secretary job  Help those who run out of the materials because someday you would need help jharun@utm.my 40
  39. 39. The Secretary and Junior Workers  Understand the nature of junior workers therefore be courteous, polite, sympathetic, tolerant, tactful, cheerful, cooperative and calm when dealing with them  Gives them the impression that they are recognized as human beings  Give corrections to offences committed by any junior staff in a way that is satisfying  Never discuss all the wrong doings of the junior workers with the boss so as to avoid loss of confidence and to prevent the office from sabotage jharun@utm.my 41
  40. 40. Cont…  do not frown or become unfriendly if he enters the office and fails to greet cheerfully or fails to go on an errand immediately  Satisfy the junior workers and speak politely to them.  Understand their problems and talks to them at the right time. jharun@utm.my 42
  41. 41. The Secretary as a Supervisor  Give Workers Equal Treatment: No preferential treatment should be allowed.  Help to understand your juniors problems: (i) show them love, (ii) interested in their welfare, (iii) listen to their grievance and handle them without taking sides. (iv) Offer a genuine advice and settle dispute without hurting anyone.  Recognize excellent performance and achievements  Maintaining Discipline jharun@utm.my 43
  42. 42. Maintaining a suitable Working Environment  Make sure that each worker is comfortable e.g.  the seating position,  the materials,  the ventilation,  the recreational facilities,  the medical facilities, etc.  Avoid anything that would create suspicion in the office. jharun@utm.my 44