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PA Training Course – Today’s PA – 2 Days

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PA training course summary

In 2 days this PA training course covers the following elements:

  • Defining your role
  • Managing your boss/es
  • Being more assertive
  • Handling interruptions
  • Managing your time and stress
  • Minute Writing Made Simple
  • Microsoft Outlook Masterclass

What will I learn from this course?

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Day 1 – The Assertive PA

Day 1 involves building up your self-esteem and sense of self-worth so that you see yourself not just as the assistant to an important person but as an extension of that person’s management style and vision.

As a PA, you ‘plough a lonely furrow’ at times. Your position is unique: you work closely with and have the ear of someone important and influential, yet you occupy a relatively junior place in the hierarchy. The orbit in which you move makes colleagues keep their distance and be on their guard about what they say in your presence in case it gets back to your manager, possibly to their detriment. So it’s hard to establish the friendly interpersonal relationships that allow office workers to work effectively together.

It’s a bit like being a royal consort – all the glory, but no power. Sometimes, however, you need some of that power to rub off on you, because today’s senior executive expects you to be able to act as a proxy and delegate accordingly.

These days, today’s PA needs to be more of an executive associate.  We will help you acquire the confidence and assertiveness to be the assistant your manager needs.  As a result, you will feel much more comfortable with asking colleagues to carry out tasks that advance the objectives of the organisation.You will begin to share your manager’s ‘big picture’ outlook, rather than the more limited horizons of the traditional secretary-based PA. Other major elements covered on this day include:

Defining your role

However you became a PA – and it’s surprising just how many PAs tell us it happened to them almost by accident – your position is unusual in many ways. No other role in business places so much reliance on the absolute capability of one person to provide unwavering and comprehensive support to a senior executive. Working in the shadow of someone important and busy, it’s easy for your own needs and aspirations to be overlooked – by you and others. This PA course brings you out of the shadows and into the light as you become aware of the critical part you play in your organisation’s success – and how you can give your career a boost as well.
We give you the knowledge and tools to ensure you become the indispensable aide and business associate your manager needs – so much more than a secretary. We also make sure you begin to appreciate your real worth – not just to your manager and yourself, but to the whole organisation – and arm you with the confidence and assertiveness necessary to be not just good at your job, but brilliant at it. The rewards for this fresh, new approach to your role and the enhanced outlook on your career and life that it delivers will quickly become apparent in the weeks and months following the course.

Handling interruptions

You are the gatekeeper to your manager, but who protects you from the interruptions that conspire to prevent you achieving what needs to be done each day? It’s tough enough working for someone who never seems to go home, without missing your lunch break or only occasionally getting out of the office on time. Our research suggests that PAs frequently experience interruptions totalling 90 minutes or more a day. Think what you could achieve and how much better you would feel if you could claw back two hours of lost time each day. Sounds impossible? During this course, we will show you how it can be done. And you will love us for it.

Tact and Diplomacy

Protecting your manager from unnecessary interruptions is a critical part of your job and it’s one of the hardest, especially when there’s a steady stream of other, often very senior, people wanting opinions and decisions. We will show you how to handle these tricky encounters, diplomatically but firmly, whilst ensuring that you don’t create a bottleneck that threatens the success of the organisation. As your reputation for decisive action grows, people seeking your manager’s time will start to think harder and more thoroughly before doing so and will even begin bouncing their thoughts off you first. You will become a kind of executive ‘triage nurse’, deciding which ideas and requests really merit the attention of your manager and which can be delegated sideways or downwards to someone more appropriate.

Managing stress

Few people in business have to juggle as many different balls as a busy PA, which can be very stressful, especially if you work for more than one manager. On this day, we will show you a number of different strategies you can try in order to reduce this stress. These include managing your and your manager’s time more effectively and learning how, with tactful firmness, to deflect or defer tasks or priority interruptions that often turn out to be little more than fire-fighting activities.

Working for more than one manager

Working for one demanding and exacting manager can be more than enough for most PAs, so if you work for two or more, you have our sympathy. But balancing their individual needs doesn’t need to be hell. Plainly you cannot give them the same level of attention they would get if they didn’t have to share you, but there is a better way. We will show you how it works and equip you with the tools and skills – and the patience – you need to make a great job of keeping them all happy and successful – and whilst keeping your stress levels down.

Confidentiality

Your unique position as a PA means you often hear things that challenge your sense of discretion. Does your boss need to know about all of them, or do you decide what to pass on a ‘need to know’ basis? Do you remain as enigmatic as the Sphinx, or behave like a C-list celebrity on a reality TV show? We’re exaggerating a bit here, but the purpose is serious: winning the confidence of colleagues at all levels is vital if you are to function effectively and successfully. A reputation for utter discretion, except where to keep silent might threaten the organisation or your manager, will open new conduits of communication and information that will help make your job easier and give you the opportunity to present your manager with new business options to consider.

Managing your time

No-one likes time management courses, except the people who send you on them. PAs know that time management courses are for people who haven’t got enough to do, so we’re not going to give you one of those. But because this course has been designed by PAs for PAs, there are some very useful tips and wrinkles we can pass on to help you manage not just your time, but your manager’s time, more effectively and productively. One thing we will do before you attend is ask you to keep a log of your daily activity, so we can analyse it with you during the workshop.

Handouts

100 pages

Day 2 – Microsoft Outlook Masterclass

PA Training Courses Leader - PAul Pennant

Over the years, however, applications like Microsoft Outlook have grown in sophistication and refinement to the point where they really can help you do your job better, and take some of the pressure off.

Outlook is now a mature and fully-fledged assistant for you; learning to exploit its capabilities will help you make the most of your time and simplify and automate other office tasks that until now have been tediously manual or just impossible. In our experience, delegates save an hour every day using our Outlook tips. That’s five or more hours a week – half a day given back to you to do other things!

Free Tips

  • Pull an email into your contacts to create a new business card.
  • Press Insert button to flag your emails.
  • Press Ctrl and Enter to send your email straight away.

Convert information in emails straight into contacts, appointments and tasks with a click of the mouse

You are going to love this. Instead of all that palaver toggling between an email and a new contact window, copying and pasting individual snippets of information from one to the other, which seems to take ages (and then sometimes copy or paste doesn’t work), we’ll show you how to add a new contact, plus any relevant information from their email, in less than two seconds! You won’t believe how much time this will save you.

Carry out mail merges to email, just as you do with Word

Most of us have emailed a letter to invite delegates to an event. How about doing the merge direct to email instead? That’s right: send personalised emails to hundreds of people from one email message. No more anonymous ‘Dear All’ emails with the recipients dumped in BCC: after this course!

Manage your and your manager’s projects with the Tasks function

PAs are invariably inundated with tasks from their bosses, other managers, colleagues etc. How do you keep track of and prioritise them? Simple: you learn how to use the tasks function in Outlook to track EVERY task seamlessly. This session often leaves delegates literally speechless!

Personalise your diary and run your manager’s at the same time

You get a call from a client who wants to meet your manager. You give yourself a crick in the neck as you try to match your boss’s calendar with your caller’s availability. Outlook provides a beautifully clear and easy way to view multiple calendars and dates hands-free!

Colour coding

Colour code incoming emails so you can see at a glance when your manager emails you.

Email Templates

Send out standard emails with just a few keystrokes.

Colouring your appointments

Learn how to colour your appointments automatically without using categories.

Signatures

Create multiple email auto-signatures for multiple managers.

Voting

Find out how to use voting buttons; a brilliant function when you have standardised responses.

Create rules to automate Outlook tasks

This includes such incredibly useful rules as diverting CC’d emails to your boss into a separate folder so she can quickly scan them; automatically printing certain emails; making sure you never forget an email attachment ever again.

Search

Find out how to track every communication from any contact without using the search function; it’s far more sophisticated and effective.

Linking

Link contacts into ad hoc groups, such as from management and project teams.

Send out a Christmas party invitation

This is an excellent example of how Office can take some of the load off your shoulders. Your boss has asked you to invite 1,000 people to the Christmas party – how are you going to do it? Easy: enable Outlook’s voting buttons in the invitation email, creating separate folders for ‘Accept’ and ‘Decline’ replies, setting up rules to divert the responses into the right folders. Auto replies can also be set up so ‘Accept’ replies are sent an email with the venue, map and timing details while ‘Decline’ replies are sent a simple ‘Thank you’. The beauty of this is that once it is set up – which really is easy to do – you won’t have to lift a finger. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And just think how much time it can save you.

Handouts

156 Time saving tips within 50+ pages (2003,2007,2010,2013 and 2016)

Style of Delivery

With two days to impart so much information effectively, we use a variety of training techniques to ensure that PAs retain what they have learnt and return to work able to implement their new knowledge immediately. Providing direct after-course support via email and social media, therefore, plays an essential part in this process. The techniques include:

  • Accelerated learning
  • High delegate participation
  • Very practically-based
  • Our promise to change you
  • Tutorial instruction
  • Informative and engaging videos
  • Role-play (by volunteers; no victims)
  • Case studies
  • Group work

Today’s PA is not for couch potatoes. You can’t expect to be sitting down for too long – except at lunchtime!

A PA course that really scores

All Today’s PA delegates are asked to evaluate the course as it finishes. Delegates regularly give us 5 out of 5, and 1 in 6 have said it’s the best training they’ve ever attended.

Our credentials

Multi Award-Winning PA Courses

Today’s PA was named “Best PA Training Provider in the UK” three years running, having been voted for by thousands of PAs in the pa-assist.com Members’ Voice Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016.

A Professional Trainer for Professional PAs

Your principal trainer, Paul Pennant, is the founder and Managing Director of Today’s PA. Paul started Today’s PA with a clear vision: to take his own experiences as a PA, office manager and business director and create courses that meet the challenging real-world needs and aspirations of modern business professionals.

With the rapid advances in technology, Paul has specialised in helping PAs to utilise this technology to save time and reduce stress. He covers all Microsoft Office products at all levels. He is a Microsoft Office Specialist Master. With a post-graduate degree in business studies, few, if any, trainers are better qualified to deliver and lead the workshop for Today’s PAs – for you.

Our clients

  • PAs from over 80 countries have attended our workshops
  • Over 4000 companies, many of them blue-chip, have sent PAs to be trained successfully by Today’s PA
  • PAs fly into the UK from around the world to attend

Your Investment

Your investment is just £950 + VAT.
Investment for non-profit organisations is £850+VAT.

This includes:

  • Pre/post-course activity listed below
  • Handouts (over 150 pages)
  • Tea, coffee, hot lunch and Percy Pigs
  • Today’s PA stationery

Pre-course assessment

When you commit your valuable time to this training, we want you to know that we understand and recognise that commitment. We want to do everything we can to ensure that the workshop is thoroughly worthwhile for you. Being properly prepared will play a key part in achieving that success. Indeed, your success is our success.

If you get what we promise from this course – and we know you will – we are confident you will recommend it to peers and colleagues. So we would like you to complete a short questionnaire, just before you attend the workshop, in order to give us a snapshot of the kind of person and PA you are, how you became a PA and what are your issues, frustrations, hopes and ambitions.

When you arrive at the workshop, you will feel that you are among friends who understand you – and you are because your trainers and course designers have all been where you are now. Doesn’t that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?

Before attending our course you may wish to have a look at this Wikipedia article on the role of a PA.

Post-course support

Once the workshop is over, we don’t just wave you goodbye and close the door. When you leave, you take with you our ongoing commitment to your success, which includes:

  • Free membership of the Today’s PA network
  • Email support from a nationwide network of experienced PAs
  • A platform to voice your opinions through our regular email newsletter
  • Professional help and information just a phone call away
  • Ongoing help with time-saving tips to make your day easier
  • ‘Hot tips’ email alerts to keep you up to date with the latest advice and info on your career

Timings

9:00-17:00

Venue

Danubius Hotel Regents Park
18 Lodge Road
St. John’s Wood
NW8 7JT
London

Executive summary for managers

This course will change your PA for the better:

  • After this workshop, your PA will be more in tune with your business needs
  • Today’s PA returns your PA to you brimming with confidence and full of essential hints and tips
  • Today’s PA teaches PAs not to fear to take the initiative

View from the top

You value your PA, of course, but don’t you sometimes wish she – or he – would be a bit more assertive, a bit more in tune with your needs, perhaps – without having to be prompted or asked? Do you sometimes feel that you could accomplish more for your business or organisation if your PA was able to anticipate your wishes, or come up with ideas that help meet your strategic objectives, thereby improving the effectiveness of your working relationship?

Life at your level is not always easy for PAs – quite often they come into the role organically or by accident – maybe your PA started out as a secretary or office junior, for example. This isn’t necessarily the right formula for the kind of person you need by your side in today’s tough and competitive business environment. Even if your organisation is non-commercial, there are unprecedented pressures on it to deliver results and justify its existence to stakeholders.

Your PA is prepared to commit two days of valuable time to become better equipped for helping and working with you. That has to be a worthwhile investment – the companies below certainly think so.

In-house bespoke training

Even if you can’t make it to one of our venues, don’t despair – why not let us come to you?

There are many good reasons for keeping the training in-house: it makes for greater efficiency and ensures everything is focussed on your organisation’s business. The workshop can be adapted to your organisation’s specific needs so that it perfectly aligns with its culture and values. More details.

Your PAs can also network and share their experiences of the PA training, thus strengthening the PA role within your organisation.

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I’m now a lean, mean, categorising machine! Since attending the course I feel more positive & confident, I also feel like I recognise my place within the company and understand my role a lot better. I’ve even said “no” to a few people that have asked me to do their job, brilliant! The quick parts tool is my new best friend, and the e-mail merges are pretty cool too. Also I’ve spoken to my boss about attending the 5 day course next year and he agreed, so we will look into this again in my personal development review.
Before The Training 1. How assertive were you before the training? In comparison to current situation I can easily say I was only trying to be assertive. My assertiveness often come down to holding off with own opinion, staying neutral and inactive during the meetings. I almost always accept all the ad hoc tasks from the people coming to my desk which created a huge interruption to my own work. I agreed with my boss on many ocasions but inside I felt he was wrong but  had no courage to say it out loud (even though I knew he does appreciate honesty) How confident were you with Microsoft Outlook? I thought I was quite confident, however I didn’t use all possibilities that Outlook offers. The Training Days 3. Did you find the training useful? If yes how? I found the...
Dear Paul Firstly, thank you for sending me my tasks for today. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for changing the way that I view my career, I came into the Regents college on Monday morning thinking I had little control on what happened from 8am on a Monday morning until 6pm on a Friday evening every week and I expected to leave the college after the course having learnt a bit on how to manage my time a little better and I would have been satisfied. However I walked out of the Regents college on Tuesday afternoon feeling more confident, empowered, motivated, less stressed and competent than I have ever felt and not just in terms of my day to day work life but on a personal level also. I could not wait to get into...
Thank you so much, I really enjoyed the course and have definitely taken a lot from it - my boss and I have sat down and we are keen to start using some of your tips to improve our workloads and I’ve also been given a copy of his objectives so that we can better work together and give me a better understanding of what he needs to achieve and therefore what my role needs to achieve!  He's definitely keen for us to take advantage of what I learnt on the course to work together more effectively. I also really liked the IT tips, i've put most of them to good use already and am currently adapting to using my tasks rather than notebook - its taking a while to get used to it but its definitely working!
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