We believe that Administrative Professionals are an invaluable resource to one another when it comes to teaching and learning new approaches, ideas and techniques. But many of the skills they are called to focus on—communication, decision-making, collaboration, etc.—are truly universal. To broaden our horizons and pull in some fresh perspective, we spoke to Natalie Bushaw. She’s the Public Relations Director for Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company. A constant communicator with media across the country, Natalie is a knockout presenter and a renowned communicator, so we picked her brain for tips on delivering solutions.
Natalie credits legendary leadership guru Simon Sinek with teaching her that above all you must present the why before the what. “For example, don’t just say ‘we need more pens,’ say ‘in order to be as productive as possible, it’s important that we invest in new pens.’” That way, by the time you make your request, the listener is already bought into your solution. Download Tip No. 1 Desktop Wallpaper (1920x1080)
“If we take ourselves too seriously we lose out on enjoying our work, experiencing our colleagues and appreciating the unique things that happen in the workplace,” says Natalie. “When you have to get things done, you have to have fun.” Additionally, people are much more receptive to your ideas when you share your emotion, passion and excitement.
If you want to foster a collaborative environment, you have to look at achievements from a team perspective, so that “it’s all about what we did, not what I did.” Writing speeches and presentations, Natalie is used to giving up her own words to others, and she knows firsthand that there is no limit to what you can accomplish as long as you don’t care who gets the credit.
Remember these four words. Natalie says this mantra has guided her entire professional life since her days selling radio advertising. So, what do they mean? The idea is that you have to ask for something you want in order to get it, and if you don’t ever ask, then you won’t receive anything. Ask, get. Don’t won’t. “Anywhere in your life, you can’t complain if you don’t ask.”
“If you’re talking to your boss, of course you should stand up tall, feel confident about what objectives you’re delivering and be prepared.” But, you should be doing that with everyone you speak to. You can assume a different level of understanding with a manager vs. an intern, but if you aren’t consistent in the way you act, people take notice.
In the end, there is absolutely no substitute for planning. When you have a message to get across, a little forethought will help you communicate more precisely and achieve your goals more effectively, because both you and your listener will have a clearer understanding of your expectations and intentions.
Being able to effectively communicate solutions that benefit your team—and your company—is an invaluable skill, and one that others recognize and appreciate.
Natalie Bushaw is a communications and marketing executive with over fifteen years of experience in her industry. She has done PR and communications for Marshall Fields, Macy’s, Best Buy and Delta Air Lines’ Sky magazine. She’s a proud ambassador for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and CaringBridge where she also advocates strong communications to deliver solutions.