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

February news and a special offer from Executive Secretary Magazine

If I haven't already been in touch with you this year, I'd like to wish you all the very best for 2014.

2013 ended with a hectic schedule of filming, writing and training, including some bespoke business writing sessions for a private bank in London and an open writing session in Dubai, a course for new managers on chairing meetings, a productive partnership course in Manchester and an in-house PA masterclass in Dubai.  I met some terrific people and reconnected with a lot of familiar faces.

I also had the honour of being invited to train in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; a wonderful cultural experience and I'm very much looking forward to going back later this year.

Of course, there was a quiet period over Christmas and New Year but already I've been back to clients in Manchester, London, Durham and Singapore, mainly facilitating PA courses, but also speedwriting, minute taking and a secretaries' workshop.

I had the pleasure of presenting at a recruitment company's "lunch and learn" for PAs in Manchester on the Art of Communication.  We also recently produced a film on this topic with the wonderful skills of the team at Vision Creative & Communications Consultants. Take a look here.

This week started in Manchester facilitating part 2 of a Secretaries' Workshop and will continue in Dubai presenting a half day communications workshop as part of a World Class PA Forum. 

On 11 January, I was delighted to be involved in the launch of Aspira Consulting's Youth On-Boarding Programme; their initiative to help reduce youth unemployment in London.  I will be one of the trainers involved in their skills development.

This quarter our offer is a great £100 discount to attend the Executive Secretary Live event in March in London. Go to the link below to find out more and then use the code HBA14 when you book.

There is also the 2014 Office* show to look forward to in October; more details in future newsletters.

Lots of exciting new venues coming up with new clients; I'll tell you all about those in the next newsletter in May.

Finally we are delighted to welcome Maddy Harsant of the Oxford English Academy in South Africa to the family of licensed BakerWrite speedwriting trainers.
Heather Baker
If you aren't able to attend one of my courses, you may like to take a look at my books on speedwriting, minute taking and business writing.  You can also learn BakerWrite speedwriting online. Or you can now get an online training package with support ... find out more

What's new in the business world?
Among the things that people dislike about travelling, queuing up at airports is arguably the most common ... read more

The next Silicon Valleys. 
International digital start up more
I had the pleasure of training PAs in Silicon Oasis in the UAE.

Why wouldn't I include this?!  ... read more

And finally ...  Technology helps save the whale... find out more

Our lovely group in Singapore with local delegates and also attendees from Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Brunei, India and Sri Lanka.

You can see more photos of other seminars at the company Facebook page.  It would be great if you would "like" the page so you will receive regular updates from me and also from my associates.

Top 5 Tips for managers on how to chair meetings

  • 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 to enable them to prepare effectively; 
  • Resolve any conflict quickly, assertively and without any humiliation to anyone;
  • At the end of each piece of discussion, summarise what has been agreed and what, if any, actions are to be taken;
  • Insert breaks into meetings over 2 hours, even if it is just 5 minutes.

Contact us to organise a half day session for your managers to learn much more.

At the Aspira YOP launch a few young people explained that they were having difficulty getting a role in administration because they "only had retail experience". They asked me for advice.

I pointed out to them that many of the skills and competencies that they have and are implementing in retail are relevant to an administrative or PA role.

Skills such as customer service, dealing with difficult people, organisational skills, emotional intelligence.

I advised that in interviews they should always respond positively about their skills, pointing out how these competencies can be transferable.
The art of communications
Find out more

Happy workers are effective workers ...

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