Topic Summaries

Topic Summaries
Thoughtful Leadership

The Art of Influence for the Administrative Professional

We've all met that dynamic, charismatic person that just has a way of being remembered. What does it take to be that unforgettable person? The ability to influence others will help you move throughout the organization with ease and success. Need some tips to enable you to make an impact and overcome roadblocks? In this session you will:
In this session you will learn:

  • Discover the five golden nuggets of influence
  • Build trust between you and your colleagues
  • Ideas and techniques to build relationships
  • Identify and apply the six sources of influence
  • Become familiar with the Ben Franklin Method
  • Learn the six components to make a lasting impression
Unleash the Leader Within!

Linda brings her professionalism, experience, stories, and humor to unleash the power of the leader within. Don’t leave it to fate. It is up to you to take charge of your career and break through your self-imposed limitations. It has been said that leaders are born; however, research shows that leaders are made through adversity. Leadership potential exists within you. You can take control, be bold, step-up, and lead in the moment. In this session you will:

  • Learn characteristics of a great leader and what separates the good from the great
  • Assess your belief system and identify roadblocks/li>
  • Use your strengths to engage your unique leadership attributes
  • Evaluate what you can learn from adversity to build leadership skills
  • Understand self-empowerment tips and techniques to empower people around you
  • Explore your own personal action plan
Lead Together: Seize the Opportunity to Commit and Collaborate

The demands of an administrative professional are constantly changing. Now you must exercise even greater influence, solve bigger problems, and communicate across all levels of the organization. The administrative assistant can be one of the most influential players in a company. Embracing the unique differences that others have to offer will create more enthusiasm and energy and help you become a committed and effective team player. People who share a common direction and sense of community can quickly get where they are going because they rely on the strengths of one another. How can you stay committed to your leader and other co-workers? In this session, you will:

  • Learn tips and concepts that will help you gain commitment from others, even with differing interests and backgrounds
  • Explore techniques to embrace the unique differences that others have to offer
  • Understand the importance of buy-in and clarity
  • Identify critical success factors and techniques to help you evolve your role into a solid business partner
  • Review the stages of team development
  • Identify characteristics and attributes that functional teams share
Strategic Thinking

Getting to Know Your Inner Self Using the SWOT Method

As an assistant, your credibility, reputation and success are critical and directly linked to your leader.  The best way to predict your future is to create it.  Getting to know your inner self is key.  In this interactive session, we will use the SWOT analysis.  This method will highlight your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and how to use this analysis to identify your specific needs.  We will work on a visual design to help you focus on your values, achievements, and mottos that make you unique.   Understanding this information will help you identify a plan to put this information into action, define your priorities and even help you align with your leader.

The Resilient Assistant

As the role of the administrative professional continues to evolve, we face many challenges and setbacks. We work with pressing deadlines, we make mistakes, organizations restructure, we work in diverse work environments, and more. Let's explore ways to transform our thinking and get to know our inner self so we can adapt to the ever-changing work environment.

This session will help you:

  • Define resilience and emotional intelligence
  • Identify your top five attributes and how you react to challenging situations to develop self-awareness and self-management
  • Use the SWOT method to analyze and highlight your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Discover techniques to understand, use, and manage emotions
  • Learn tips to embrace courage and confidence to persevere
  • Recognize and learn to read body language and behaviors
  • Insights to achieve trust with your manager and co-workers
  • Methods to increase influence to build social awareness
The Competent, Flexible, and Resilient Assistant

As the role of administrative assistant continues to evolve, we face many challenges and setbacks. We work 24/7, we make mistakes, organizations restructure, we work in diverse work environments, and more. Let's explore ways to transform our thinking so we can adapt to the ever changing environments where we work. This session you will:

  • Learn skills of self-awareness and self-management
  • Understand, use, and manage your emotions
  • Balance optimism and pessimism
  • Distinguish the signs of when change is in process
  • Have the courage and confidence to persevere
  • Be flexible and integrate new processes with ease
  • Be proactive by learning new skill sets
  • Act with intention
  • Take the lead to help transform the workplace
  • Learn techniques to transition with new co-workers and leaders
Adaptability: Foundation for the Agile Assistant

Adapting is more than coping. Adaptability is the cutting edge attribute that can make or break an assistant's career. The reality is that assistants must be able to react on the spur of the moment. This is a key component to building a successful partnership with your boss. Becoming agile and adaptable means changing the way you handle c-h-a-n-g-e! How can assistants get better at adapting? This session explores:

  • Strategies for and skills to adapt to a challenging or new environment or boss
  • Methods to adapt your behavior in difficult situations
  • Insights to help manage your own cognitive and emotional reactions
  • Methodologies to remain optimistic and realistic
  • Create support systems to embrace uncertainty
Take Charge of Your Career

Linda challenges Admins to take charge of their career. Do you manage your career or are you letting other people or the winds of change manage it? Nobody else controls your destiny but you. In this session you will:

  • Determine a plan for your career
  • Identify specific goals to keep you on track
  • Identify what challenges, motivates, and excites you
  • Identify your top strengths
  • Motivate you with techniques and ideas using real-world experiences that will help you to keep from becoming complacent in your role
Becoming a Strategic Assistant

The administrative world has dramatically changed in the past several years. It's vital to your success as an assistant that you commit to becoming a strategic thinker and business partner with your executive. Evolving your thinking beyond everyday tasks will enable you to make deliberate strategic decisions. Engaging in strategic thinking will propel you to implement ideas, techniques and practices that will evolve your career. In this session, Linda shares information about:

  • Knowing your vision and personal inventory
  • Creating an action plan using the SMART method
  • Techniques to connect the dots to anticipate your executive’s needs
  • Examples of strategic thinking
  • Interactive setting to challenge you to think in strategic ways
  • Tips to be bold and have courage to step up
  • 4 areas of strategic thinking
The Innovative Assistant – Getting to the Corner Office

Whether as an executive or an assistant, today it takes more than skill to get to the corner office. In this session, you will learn:

  • To empower yourself using strategies and techniques
  • Cultivate the confidential nature of your role
  • Techniques for building a lasting partnership with your executive
  • Five secrets to generating synergy with your co-workers
  • Identify powerful but overlooked interpersonal skills
How to Thrive During Changing Times

Change is a constant in many of our lives. All around us, technologies, processes, people, our environment, ideas, and methods often change, affecting the way we perform daily tasks and live our lives. Benjamin Franklin once said, "When you're finished changing, you're finished." This quote is our reminder to constantly embrace change so that we don't become complacent. This workshop will explore:

  • Getting comfortable in a changing environment
  • Reasons that affect your resistance to change
  • Strategies on how to thrive during change
  • Keeping your competitive edge by anticipating and adapting to change to stay effective
  • Trends impacting the office assistant now and in the future
  • Taking initiative regarding your own professional development
  • Tips to optimize and embrace change
  • Committing to continuous self-improvement
  • Steps to empower yourself to become a "change agent"
  • Techniques to keep a positive attitude during difficult times
Strong Working Relationships

Goal Alignment and Partnership Roadmap

Peter Drucker once said, "The greatest change in corporate culture and the way business is being conducted may be the accelerated growth of relationships based on partnership." 
Companies don't partner, people do.  Larry Wilson said, "True partnerships never end, they only evolve."  Is it important to you to be a great business partner with your leader?
As an Assistant, your credibility, reputation, and success are directly linked to your leader. The power of a good assistant/executive partnership makes sense, but every partnership is different.  The best way to predict your future is to create it. 
Are you ready to evolve and build your partnership roadmap for success?  
In this session, Linda will share tips, techniques, strategies, activities, and ideas to help you:

  • Complete a SWOT analysis to highlight your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and how to use this analysis to identify your specific needs and how to align them with your leader
  • Identify core values
  • Practice using the SMART goal setting method
  • Techniques to build a partnership foundation
  • Plan periodic reviews to ensure priorities and goals are met
Diplomacy and Discretion

Linda has the reputation of mastering the skill of diplomacy and discretion and has established credibility through her influencing skills and ability to handle delicate situations with tact. In this session, Linda will teach you:

  • The Art of Persuasion
  • Improve your interpersonal awareness
  • Tips to enable other to act
  • Techniques to communicate with confidence and elegance in sensitive situations using tact and diplomacy
  • Methods to increase your value by building and maintaining powerful business relationships
  • Negotiating techniques using diplomacy methods
The Power of Networking

Networking, if taken seriously, will put you on a path to help further your career. One of the bonuses is that it will also create a community of people who care about you. In this session, Linda will cover:

  • Tips to increase your confidence and conversation starter ideas
  • Examples of how to use the power of your network to create successful solutions to the day-to-day decisions
  • Learn the importance of creating an enriching circle of trusted relationships
  • How to use your network to contribute to the company’s revenue
  • Six components to making a lasting impression
  • 10 areas of Admin influence
Achieve Credibility

One of the most important qualities to achieving success is credibility. To achieve credibility in the business world, it’s important to build trust. Developing trust isn’t enough. Small things done consistently over time will yield big results. Linda will teach you the importance of:

  • Being accountable and responsible
  • Keeping your commitment.
  • Keys to becoming trustworthy
  • The importance of honesty and integrity and being true to yourself
  • Exercises to open your awareness and identify your values
The Power of Your Team

Teamwork benefits the administrative community in a profound way. The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. Creating opportunities for administrative teams to collaborate and connect will generate unlimited resources and outcomes. In this session, Linda shares:

  • The power of encouragement and interdependence to each other’s skills, capabilities and unique talents
  • Creating strong administrative community and increase shared leadership
  • An interactive environment with activities and techniques to help improve yourself and your administrative community
  • Networking to further your career
  • Creating a community of people who care about you
  • Using the power of your network to create successful solutions to the day-to-day decisions as an administrative professional
  • Learn the importance of creating an enriching circle of trusted relationships
Transforming the Relationship between the Executive and the Assistant

Linda has identified four key stages to adapt your current knowledge and skills to become a respected business partner. All these stages are critical to developing a good working relationship. Reaching the fourth stage signifies that you and your boss have developed a level of mutual trust and respect. Your efforts are an integral part of the work being accomplished. In this session, you will learn:

  • Ideas and techniques to initiate transformation
  • The key to the foundation to a successful partnership
  • How to develop and techniques to develop open communication with your boss
  • The four stages of transportation
  • Examples of how to change your perspective instead of getting frustrated
  • The value of commitment
  • Develop credibility attributes, empowerment tips, and communication strategies to transform
Managing Situations with Difficult People

Do you already have that difficult person in mind? These are the people that make us sweat and our hearts pound. If only we could magically make everyone more professional, more diplomatic, and collaborative. We have days where it seems these difficult people are all around us. Let’s face it, we often have to work with difficult, challenging people. In this session, we will discuss how we can productively manage our own responses when challenging people disrupt our day.

  • Understand to motive behind difficult people
  • Impact of not dealing with challenging people
  • Effective tools and strategies to deal with those that seem to sabotage our efforts
  • Techniques to control your own emotions after a challenging encounter
  • Understanding generational and/or cultural differences
  • Recognizing when we are part of the problem
  • Questions you should ask yourself about a potential challenging situation
  • Survival techniques and coping mechanisms
Powerful Communication

Communication Strategies / Listening Skills

Linda McFarland will engage a lively discussion which includes the listening dilemma, bad habits of listening, skills for effective listening, 7-levels of listening, listening strategies for better communication with your manager and co-workers, tips for empathic listening, and interactive activities to increase effective listening and to improve overall communication.


  1. Effective communication model
  2. Listening dilemma
  3. 7-Levels of listening
  4. Laws of Remembering
  5. Questions – open and clarifying
  6. Steps to empathic listening
Say It With Snap!

Linda takes a somewhat stuffy topic and adds energy and fun to verbal and written communication. She shares:

  • State-of-the art tips and steps to add that edge of crispness, clarity and style to your messages
  • Secrets to improve email communication, and more
Communication Strategies for Impact

Wouldn't it be great if you knew exactly what your leader, co-worker, or hiring manager would ask you? Whether you are preparing for a conversation with your manager or a job interview, how you present yourself is critical for a successful outcome. Being confident is a great start; however, preparing yourself with assertive communication strategies will make you stand out, build credibility, and help you connect with people. In this session you will learn:

  • Tips to make an impact through powerful first impressions and introductions
  • Identify skills needed in starting a conversation and progressing to higher levels of conversation
  • Build and improve the verbal skills of asking questions, receiving and giving structured feedback, and communicating with authority
  • Methods for understanding your worth, attitudes, and behavior patterns
  • Skills to build rapport with others
  • Assertiveness techniques to apply in challenging situations
  • How to identify your greatest professional strengths and how you have demonstrated these traits in a professional setting
  • Techniques to increase trust and credibility

Communicating More Effectively in the Workplace

Effective communication in today’s workplace is critical to advancing your career. In this session, you will:

  • Determine your awareness relative to your own verbal, written, and non-verbal communication style
  • Discover and learn about the four basic categories of behavioral styles
  • Tips on how to identify the behavioral styles of your co-workers
  • Learn how assessments can help you increase your self-awareness and communicate better with others
  • Techniques to teach you to communicate more effectively in your verbal, written, and non-verbal communication
Navigating Difficult and Critical Conversations for Administrative Professionals

As administrative professionals, you deal with all levels of the organization. Conversations are crucial, especially when dealing with difficult leaders or co-workers. There are times when even thinking about having a difficult conversation with a leader or co-worker is intimidating and just plain scary. “Is today the right day for a crucial conversation?” Not only is timing important, it’s managing those conversations to achieve a great outcome. Difficult conversations are powerful in helping to transform you and your relationships with others. This session will explore the possibilities of how to handle moments that will literally shape the way you communicate in difficult situations:

  • Discover techniques to prepare for crucial conversations with your co-workers and leaders
  • Explore self-awareness to determine your style when under pressure or stress
  • Identify ways to find common ground throughout conversations
  • Use strategies and tips to develop your own dialogue
  • Discover techniques to probe for facts
  • Learn how to clarify your intentions and identify what you want to have happen
Dynamic Office Management

Creative Problem Solving

Dealing with obstacles and challenges is a regular occurrence with an Admin's day.  Are you ready to approach these problems in a creative way?  Interested in increasing your critical thinking skills? Need tips to think on your feet? 
Linda will engage in a lively discussion using creative problem solving techniques, identifying mental blocks, applying critical and strategic thinking to solve problems and share successful examples and strategies.

  1. The Problem Solving Methods
  2. Problem Solving Steps
  3. Applying Critical and Strategic Thinking
  4. 8 Points of Problem Solving
  5. Six Thinking Hats and Other Solutions
  6. Critical Thinking Strategies
  7. Exercises for Problem Solving
Steps to Develop Critical Problem Solving Skills

difficult matter requiring a solution. Einstein said, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Using an 8-step process, Linda leads an interactive session using real scenarios and critical thinking techniques to solve problems, helping you to think about possibilities in a different way and enhance your creativity for implementing solutions.

Eight Step Problem Solving Process:

  1. Identify the real issue
  2. Gather the facts – identify interests
  3. Generate possible solutions
  4. Evaluate each option
  5. Make a selection
  6. Put it in writing
  7. Implement
  8. Debrief (review outcome and results)
Productivity and Time Management Essentials for the Administrative Professional

Are you challenged with changing priorities? What are you currently doing to manage your time? Do you put off doing things until the very least minute? In this session, Linda will share information:

  • Develop strategies to overcome procrastination.
  • Techniques to effectively delegate.
  • Proven techniques to diplomatically say no.
  • Productivity solutions, methods, and techniques to improve productivity.
Don't Panic!... Trust Your Instincts!

Linda is known for her no nonsense attitude, ability to think on her feet and act quickly. She will share entertaining and relevant stories that will encourage you to use your instincts and common sense to maneuver stressful situations. Linda’s ideas and techniques will teach you:

  • How to minimize stress and cope with unexpected and difficult situations
  • Activities and exercises to engage you and increase your awareness and understand how to take your experiences and fine-tune your instincts
  • Scenarios will help you learn to cope with unexpected stressful and difficult situations