Persuading Your Manager


Getting to the “yes”

You know the scenario. You read about a great seminar, workshop, or conference for administrative office professionals. The topics are of interest to you and will help you in your job. You walk into your executive’s office to request his or her approval only to hear “no”. You walk out. End of story.

Selling your executive on supporting your professional development is a skill. It’s also known as the art of persuasion. While teaching and coaching thousands of executive and administrative assistants nationwide, I have found that they don’t see they have to work at gaining support for training and development. They view it as “Yes, I’ll get to go” or “My manager will say no.” Instead, an assistant needs to think “This is a great program. This will help me become a top-notch assistant and a more valuable employee. How will I convince my executive that he or she will also benefit from my learning?” You now have your subconscious working to develop ideas on how to get a “yes” from your executive.

I also hear assistants say, “My executive will never approve this”, so they never even present their case to their executive. It’s all in positioning your thinking. You have to really believe that you are worth investing in and that you and your executive will both win big with this investment. Professional development is an investment, not cost (unless you don’t learn anything).

I’m providing this advice after being on both sides of the desk. For 20 years I was an assistant and I often had to persuade my executives to invest in my professional development by sending me to administrative assistant conferences. Since 1990, I’ve been on the other side of the desk as a CEO and I now see things as other executives and business owners do. There has to be a return on the investment made in an employee. Use the guidelines below to help you hear “Yes, you can attend the Office Dynamics Administrative Assistant Conference.”

Principles of Persuasion

  1. Outline what you hope to accomplish by attending the conference.
  1. Consider your executive’s viewpoint and know which key selling points will be important.
  1. Show the long-term payoff. Executives often think about the number of days you will be out of the office. Help your executive see that you will be gaining skills and knowledge for the long-term.
  1. Gauge your executive’s communication style. Does your executive prefer short and to the point or does your executive like details?
  1. List the specific topics that will be covered and how they relate to your work. Tie key learning points of the conference to your professional development plans.
  1. If you receive a “no”, consider asking how you might make this a better investment for your company.
  1. Emphasize the benefits of networking and learning from others in the profession from a variety of industries.
  1. Ask your executive to cover the cost of the registration and hotel and you will pay your flight or mileage. Be creative!
  1. Last but not least, I have created a video for you to share with your executive. Click here for video

Principles of Persuasion (Downloadable PDF)

Assistants tell me they can’t attend our programs because of budget cuts. Sometimes it really is a budget issue. Other times, it’s just lack of showing the executive the ROI. Have the courage to go after what you want. That in itself is a learning experience.

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Office Dynamics International
5575 S. Durango Dr. Ste. 106
Las Vegas, NV 89113


Check out our tips and get our ‘Getting Approval’ packet, featuring a comprehensive brochure with conference details and a ‘Request to Attend’ letter to help convince your superiors of the event’s value.

Priscilla Pfeiffer

Priscilla Pfeiffer

Speaker | Entertainer | Trainer | TEDx Speaker

You Don’t Matter, Or Do You?

In today’s fast-paced business world, the role of administrative and executive assistants is more crucial than ever in driving innovation and positive change within organizations. However, a common pitfall is that many organizations dive headfirst into radical change without first understanding the heart of the people responsible for implementing it. This dynamic keynote, which includes mesmerizing entertainment elements, will shine a light on the transformative power of seemingly insignificant actions, inspiring you to take the first step towards positioning yourself as a key catalyst to SPARK success.

In this session, you will…

  • Discover how small, intentional actions can have a ripple effect. 
  • Gain strategies for positioning yourself for success within your teams and organizations.
  • Feel empowered to become a catalyst for positive change within your respective spheres, without the burnout.
  • Be inspired to initiate bold actions that can lead to significant personal and professional growth.

Priscilla Pfeiffer, a seasoned professional, boasts a two-decade career in entertainment and business. Her unique show business background allows her to craft mesmerizing performances, leaving enduring memories. Focused on delivering resonant and empowering messages that inspire audiences to make an impact in the world, she illuminates individuals to unlock their full potential in both personal and professional lives.

Renowned for creating “wow factor” moments, Priscilla has an esteemed clientele, including brands like BMW, LinkedIn, iHeart Radio, Michael Jordan’s Air Jordans, Pfizer, Bacardi, Cosmo Latina Magazine, and Zappos. Her impressive credits include sharing the stage with Joan Jett, Will-i-am, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, and Marc Anthony, as well as performances on America’s Got Talent, The Latin Grammy Awards, The NHL Awards, Comic Relief, and Celebrity Cruises. Priscilla has also graced the prestigious TEDx stage, where she delivered a compelling talk that resonated with audiences, showcasing her ability to captivate and inspire on a global platform.

In addition, Priscilla hosts the podcast “Spark Your Inner Fire” which delves into the creative mind, torching the inner critic, and reigniting purpose. Through interviews with world-renowned creatives, she shares stories and wisdom, illuminating listeners on their journeys.

In essence, Priscilla Pfeiffer is not only a veteran but a trailblazer whose performances consistently inspire, motivate, and create lasting impressions.