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Administrative professionals with gift baskets at Flow’s 2019 Administrative Professionals Day event.

Flow office professionals were provided with a survivors’ guide to thriving in a shifting world when the company hosted an event to recognise their contribution to the business.

Acceptance, Acknowledgement, Activation, and Action (four As) are key factors to navigate in a time of shifting noted Dawn Richards, customer care and management consultant, speaking to team Flow, online via the Microsoft Team platform last month.

Country manager at Flow Kurleigh Prescod was in praise of the administrative professionals for keeping their respective departments running as smooth as possible, given the many adjustments over the past few weeks.

“Our administrative professionals are the hub of our operations. They connect us to other departments, and vice versa. They make the heavy stuff light. They make the work seem less arduous,” he said in appreciation.

Richards’ session began with asking the Flow team how they were managing at this time. With the understanding that managing a household, children and workspace concurrently can be a challenge. Added to that, is the uncertainty of what COVID-19 brings. The four As, Richard said, adds clarity.

The first, A—Acceptance in a time of upheaval is an opportunity to deal with the emotional disruption, Richards said. “Pre-pandemic, we were 80 per cent in control. With a lot of unpredictability around us, now we don’t have much control. We may have 20 per cent. Focus, therefore should be on that 20 per cent,” she explained.

The second A—Acknowledgement allows for the understanding that life does not have to be certain at all times. There is no need, Richards said, to challenge beyond the 20 per cent as the horizon can become distorted. “You need to take the pressure off yourself. You can let yourself off the hook,” she said.

Activation is the third A. The focus here is to clear your minds of negative thoughts, Richards said.

“We actually have to make some emotional change,” she said. “What shifts do I need to make?” It is in resetting the mindset, and going through the psychological fog that one reaches the point to activate acceptance.

The final A—Action, takes aim at the sub-conscious mind. That is where negative emotions can keep a person stuck in repetitive actions. “Stop beating up ourselves about what is missing, stop judging, stop collapsing,” Richards urged. She added, the strength to do so comes from taking seven sacred pauses – to disconnect and reset in some semblance of emotional stability.

Dealing with the emotional challenges during this time allows for mental filtering and coping, even within the 20 per cent of control.

“We can stay on top of this,” Richards said.

Staff members expressed appreciation for the practical advice given and the nuggets of wisdom shared during the event in observance of Administrative Professionals Day, under the theme A Survivor’s Guide to Thriving in a Shifting World.