The Professional Development InstituteTM
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group

2024 Competencies for Presidential, Executive
and Administrative Assistants

Applying Proven Professional and Personal Skills, Organization Methods,
Working Smarter with Generative AI, Harvard® Tools and Best Practices for
Partnering with Your Team and Management and Moving Forward
in Traditional, Hybrid and Virtual-Team Environments

Ottawa-Gatineau, June 10-12 2024

Genuine Testimonials from Executive and Presidential Assistants
Workshop Objectives

Rich in learning practices, teamwork and illustrations pertinent to the participants' context, this unique skills-development program has been designed for presidential and management assistants interested in maximizing their potential for exercising greater responsibility beyond the present position.

The focus is on the skills and tools to improve performance, productivity, innovation; build a winning team with bosses and peers, and maximize value to your organization, in traditional, hybrid and virtual teams. This unique experience will help you:
  • Set and negotiate goals, priorities and urgency in partnership with your team and leader (manager or senior executive);
  • Organize your day and manage time (deadlines, conference calls, meetings and teamwork), drop-in visitors and time-wasters;
  • Manage conflicts, difficult people, crises and awkward situations assertively;
  • Make your manager(s) more effective; improve your working relationship; assume more leadership and managerial responsibility without the benefit of authority; build empowerment-inducing habits;
  • Clarify your role and excel in working with peers, multiple managers and demanding clients;
  • Practice in a friendly atmosphere and seek guidance from the webinar leader;
  • Make your job more meaningful, build trust, and take charge of your career growth beyond the present position.
We are confident empowering executive assistants, with skills of lasting value, is not only fair and dignified; but it is among the best evidence-based business investments, yielding immediate returns both to the participant and the organization.


Much of your time during these webinars will be invested to deal with back-home issues and barriers to building a winning team. We believe learning occurs most readily when quickly applied to real-life situations you care about. Therefore, we want you to do some thinking before the webinar about:
  1. Activities that make up your job and percentage of time spent on each per week.
  2. Two interpersonal situations you have a difficulty with on-site or in virtual work, e.g. working for and negotiating priorities with one or multiple bosses, cutting off conversations, keeping people from disturbing your management, delegating work to others, enforcing deadlines. Who is involved? When does it occur? How do you usually handle the situation?

DETAILED OUTLINE (2.5 Continuing-Education Units - CEU)

1. Taking Charge without the Benefit of Authority

  • Start with a clear mandate
  • The art of building and using constructive power
    • Demonstration and practice
  • Insights into interpersonal compatibility
  • Profession executive assistant: A model of success
  • Managing your boss: How to build a winning team

2. How to Set Goals and Priorities

  • Personal and business goals: Practical validity tests
  • How to set and validate your goals: Team exercise
  • How to assess priorities and deadlines
  • In-basket exercise on priority and urgency

3. Managing Conflicts and Difficult People Onsite, on the Phone and Virtually

  • Diagnosing conflicts affecting administrative staff
  • Understanding our behavior; preparing for the worst
  • Managing difficult bosses, co-workers and others
    • Dealing with aggressive and passive hostility
  • Video case study, two team exercises and guided learning

4. Preventing Role and Responsibility Conflicts

  • How to clarify your role with your boss and peers
  • How to prevent unfair evaluations
  • Practical exercise in role and responsibility charting

5. Working Smarter with Artificial Intelligence and Personal Organization

  • Working smarter: Eight drivers to control your day
  • How to control your day and focus on high-return tasks and the details that count
  • Smart search with generative AI and advanced search engines: Tips to get the best results
  • Practical AI teamwork: How to reduce your workload with artificial intelligence
  • How to set reasonable deadlines; securing agreement
  • How to reduce your workload with the invisible Web and artificial intelligence

6. How to Control Interruptions and Time-Wasters

  • How to control drop-in visitors and interruptions
  • Teamwork and practical tips to deal with major time-wasters

7. How to Prepare Shorter and Productive Meetings

  • How to run effective meetings
  • Teamwork on virtual meetings

8. Building the Foundation for Career Excellence

  • How to develop courageous self-leadership and co-elevating leadership skills
  • Practical neuroscience and Gestalt tips for building an excellent career and a proactive life

Webinar Leader: Alain Paul MARTIN

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader

Alain Paul Martin has a deep commitment and an extensive experience in mentoring, training and coaching executive, administrative and presidential assistants and their leaders, both the public and private sectors, NGOs and unions. While he teamed-up, in a wide variety of working conditions, both face-to-face and in virtual teams, with senior executives and their respective assistants, he has witnessed first-hand the grueling workload and challenges facing assistants, most of whom are competent, capable and dedicated professionals, eager to excel.

That is why at Harvard University, he devoted an important part of his research to the advancement of administrative professionals in the workplace, to enable them to build and harness career opportunities of lasting value. He continues to focus on developing universally marketable collaborative, organizational, innovative and high-paying skills and practical tools, that make a difference to the users' performance and their organization. He is credited by many of his professional-development alums to have had an inspiring and positive impact in their advanced education and upward mobility.

As Chief Architect, Harvard University Global System and CEO, The Professional Development Institute, Alain continues to lead workshops/webinars and the development practical innovation instruments for teams comprising executive and administrative assistants, managers, scientists, engineers, production, marketing, sales and other professionals of various levels. He is a lifelong student and practitioner of innovation and decision sciences (generative AI, leadership, system thinking, operations research, cognitive neuroscience, organization behavior and alternative dispute resolution).

Alain is a 2012 Harvard Fellow, Advanced Leadership and a Harvard Business School's entrepreneurship alumnus (1997-99 OPM). He graduated in Commerce (Quantitative Methods) from Concordia University (Montréal) and studied advanced technology in Lille, France. He acquired skills in innovation, system thinking, change management and organization behavior at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland (GIC), and mediation and advanced negotiation for lawyers, at Harvard Law School, from which he is certified to teach negotiation in corporations. For more: C.V. in PDF format and at LinkedIn.

Webinars Tuition Fees
Tuition Fees    Public    Gov.    Groups of 3
Intermediate Workshop I: 2.5 days, 7 hours/day 995$ 945$ 895$ each
Advanced Certification Webinars II: 3 days x 5 hours each 895$ 845$ 795$ chacun
Complete Program and Certification 1795$ 1745$ 1695$ chacun
Registration and Cancellation Procedures

To register, please contact us either by:
  • email at Specify your name, position, organization, phone number(s) and the webinar you wish to attend.
  • call us toll free in the USA and Canada: 1-800-HARVARD; international: +1 819-772-7777. voicemail: 24/7.
Please pay in advance by credit card.

Cancellation Policy
Participants registering as a group must send substitutes in lieu of canceling. For other clients, cancellations are accepted if made at least 10 working days prior to the course, and are subject to a $150 service charge per person. Full fees are payable by anyone who fails to attend or cancels less than 10 working days prior to the session. One substitution or transfer to a later course of the same duration is accepted.

Bring This Program to Your Organization

We deliver private versions of this program worldwide, online, at the client's site and in tailor-made hybrid variants, to business and governments, NGOs and bar associations and other societies. We would be delighted to work together with your team anywhere. Ask us for a proposal based on the number of participants, the seminar duration, and a selection of cutting-edge course materials and case studies, most applicable to your specific environment.

Our fees are reasonable. Sales and value-added taxes (HST and PST or VAT) are extra.

The client is responsible for the conference room and audio-visual materials.

Toll-free: USA & Canada: 1-800-HARVARD (1-800-427-8273). +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, EDT. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
European Distribution Centre for Harvard Planners: WH Smith, 248, rue de Rivoli, Paris,75001
Contact : Sylvie Goffinet  +33 1 53 45 84 40. Métro Concorde.