What's the latest news from Heather at Baker Thompson and her Associates
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Baker Thompson Associates

A new look website

I am delighted to be celebrating 13 years working with PAs and administrators around the world and am so pleased to have launched a new website ( created by my former Granada colleague,  Jo Hartley of Vision Creative & Communications Consultants and her team of talented designers.  I really hope you like it.  

As part of the relaunch I am also going to be publishing this quarterly newsletter to share developments and keep readers up to date with industry issues.  I'll also be highlighting topical items and motivational insights. I hope you'll be happy to receive these and feel free to pass onto others so they can sign up too.
The last few years have been so successful and incredibly enjoyable, working with international financial organisations, media companies, universities and energy companies in particular.  My three books have been highly placed in the Amazon charts and I have also launched the BakerWrite speedwriting online training.  My articles have been published in various magazines, including Executive Secretary, and I am frequently invited to present at PA events.  Just this month I presented a webinar for Business Management Daily and I will be giving you news of further webinars in a few weeks' time.
I continue to revise, update and improve sessions and introduce new topics.  Most popular courses include PA and administrative workshops, business writing, minute taking, speedwriting, proofreading and we can offer so much more…
What's new in the business world?
Retail sales in the UK jumped by 1.1% in July from the previous month, boosted by hot weather and adding to hopes of a sustained economic recovery... read more

Will the web's translation technology make us multi-lingual?
The newest ways to translate more

India inflation rate rises amid weakening currency.
India's inflation rate rose by more-than-expected in July as a weaker currency brought higher import costs... read more

And finally ...  Excitement hope for Dull, Oregon, and Boring, Scotland... find out more
Heather Baker

We're back at Olympia this autumn
Why not book in for my business writing seminar or just come and say hello?
We're at Stand No 3041  
As well as facilitating courses in the Middle and Far East, I have the pleasure of travelling to organisations around the UK.  What a delight to work with PAs in Peterborough, administrators in Aylesbury, receptionists in Rhyl and business assistants in Pembrokeshire (the alliteration was going too well!). 

I've worked this year with a bishop's PA, an event organiser, Chairmen's PAs, bank managers' assistants and a group of engineers.

I've been as far north as Aberdeen and south as the Channel Islands and, of course, Manchester and London - to name but a few!

At a Masterclass in Kuala Lumpur, PAs had a wonderful opportunity to share good practice with other PAs from many varied organisations.  Their different backgrounds and experience enhanced the process.  It is a great pleasure for me to make that happen.

How can managers ensure the organisation benefits from employee training?

An effective manager who has invested money in training his/her staff will always take the trouble to follow up on this training.  Often the person trained needs support and input from the management to achieve their objectives.  At Baker Thompson we always ensure our friends leave with a clear action plan for their continuing development.

We encourage people to speak to their managers after their sessions, using the personal action plan as the basis for this discussion.

Here is what the manager could do:
  • respect and encourage their staff
  • understand their objectives and discuss how they fit into the management and organisation objectives
  • support any goal setting plans created by the person trained
  • ensure cooperation from colleagues for this development
  • be open-minded and prepared to accept change and work differently if necessary
  • if the management feels the goals are not relevant or achievable, don't dismiss them completely, be prepared to explain in a positive way and find alternative solutions

You can build a productive partnership between managers and PAs

During a recent PA masterclass, I was asked by the PA to a CEO about relationships.

She was concerned that her colleagues and friends see her as a "spy" for her manager and she often feels apart from them.  The group discussed this very common issue for PAs and agreed that we have to rise above others' attitudes and that true friends will always understand your situation.

We discussed various ways to make the situation easier by focussing on building professional relationships, gaining respect through appropriate behaviour and through acceptance.

This led onto the fact that PAs often know a great deal which they cannot divulge; confidentiality is a prerequisite of any PA. No matter how much pressure you are under you must always avoid gossiping.

I always advise senior PAs to join external networking groups to obtain the support and friendship it is sometimes difficult to achieve within your organisation.


Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to meeting PAs in Hong Kong, doing business writing sessions with London bankers and, recently, there is much more demand for sessions on Change, it's even the topic of one of my forthcoming webinars.

How can you achieve your goals?
Find out...
Minute taking : what PAs really want to know ...
read more
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