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

May news, a chance to win a Livescribe 3 Smartpen, photos, top actions for managers and PAs, help if you are being bullied, BakerWrite speedwriting information and common writing mistakes ... read on!

Welcome to the May newsletter.  As I wrote in February I was going to Dubai for the World Class PA Forum. A great event with over 30 PAs from around the Middle East... and here's a quick summary of where I've been since: Manchester, London, Ormskirk, Dubai again, Kuala Lumpur, Salford, Liverpool, Leeds, Bath and a wonderful first visit to China, presenting a PA Masterclass in Shanghai. Here's our group:

In Bath I was one of the speakers at the Conference of Headteachers' PAs.  A fantastic group of around 50 ladies; it was a delight to meet them at the lovely Bailbrook House Hotel.

I also presented another webinar for Business Management Daily with online attendees from around the world - mainly the US and Canada. This was an introduction to Pitman shorthand and BakerWrite speedwriting.  I'm doing another on Thursday 11 September (6pm British Summer Time, US 1pm Eastern Time).

This month we have a competition for someone anywhere in the world to win a Livescribe 3 Smartpen (see below for information about the pen).

A winner will be selected from existing and new subscribers on Monday 16 June 2014.

(If you're not the lucky winner this time, there will be a great discount offer in the next newsletter.)

I was delighted to receive this update from Guernsey College of FE (one of our licensed BakerWrite training venues) "19 students took OCR shorthand examinations at 40 and/or 50 wpm.  10 students achieved both 40 and 50 wpm and 9 achieved 40 wpm.  They are now aiming for 50 and 60 wpm in the examinations in May.  The students are all studying Business Administration and some are already recruited as legal and financial secretaries and administrators.  All students are aware of the value that speedwriting will be in the workplace.  They have enjoyed the course and found speedwriting quick and easy to learn." Congratulations to everyone.

One of the most exciting things that has happened recently is that I have become a Prince's Trust business mentor and am really looking forward to supporting a young person who is setting up a new business. 

Other excitement to come are trips later this year to new cities - Sydney and Melbourne.
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

Did you catch my article on Assertiveness in the latest edition of "Executive Secretary Magazine"?

We are now offering a new half day course on Chairing meetings, which is proving very popular... find out more

Don't forget you can now register for Office* 2014. I will be one of the speakers again this year and we will also be at stand no 3041.

What's new in technology?
Floating display : Intel show off 3D air interface ... read more

China to scrap millions of cars to improve air more

Keep up with latest showbiz news!  ... read more

And finally ...  Weird and wacky new entries in the Guinness Book of Records... find out more

Delegates from around the Middle East attend the World Class PA Forum in Dubai. Can you see Lucy Brazier there too (Editor of Executive Secretary Magazine)? and Laura Richardson Ahmed (former PA of the year)?

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 actions for managers and PAs

The Manager and the PA have the same objectives.

Here are 5 habits to ensure those objectives are achieved:

  1. Have a daily meeting (can be on the phone or Skype if not in the same place)
  2. Exchange information
  3. Empathise with each other's situations
  4. Build relationships at all levels
  5. Never stop learning


If you would like to find out more about how to be an effective PA or manager and how you can create a productive partnershipjust contact me .
Here is a great group of Support Staff in Liverpool, UK. I'm presenting 4 quarterly lunch and learn sessions for them.

Sadly, I meet many PAs and administrators who are being bullied at work. Here is some help:

Bullies are aggressive; this may be because they feel insecure themselves or may be that they are just not nice people. If you act in an aggressive manner towards them the situation could become nasty and spiral out of control. It would also mean you are no better than your bully.
On the other hand, if you are too passive this irritates the bully and makes them even more aggressive. The problem is that most administrators become passive because of their fear of the bully - often their boss or someone in a more senior position.

It is essential to deal with bullies in an assertive manner. Speak to your tormentor in a calm, polite and civilised way. Explain that you feel unhappy when they speak to you in a certain way or behave towards you in a particular manner. Do not accuse them of bullying you, just tell them how they make you feel.

If possible, share your experiences with a colleague or a Human Resources member of staff. It may then be necessary to follow the organisation's grievance procedures. 

Find out more


Make taking notes a breeze!
Find out more

Easy mistakes to make ...

read more
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