Working with an executive assistant isn’t a one size fits all experience. Each leader has their own communication style and management style and so does each EA. Being able to use your unique qualities to better work together as a team can be the catapult to your potential as a leader and your growth as an organization.
This week, we are continuing our conversation around how to help you better lead your organization by learning to leverage your executive assistant in more effective ways. Here to join us again for this conversation are our very own executive assistants, Kate Sawtelle and Melissa Lawrence. They are ready to jump in and help us discuss how leaders can best work with their executive assistant to build trust, effectively create expectations, and better communicate.
1. Trust with your assistant begins by realizing your need to let go.
Once they’ve proven they can do the job, you’ll trust them more, which begins a cycle of trust between you and the assistant. Start by passing off the things you don’t like or simply aren’t good at, such as scheduling. Then over time, you should naturally begin passing along even more important things. Letting go will eventually become natural. But that can’t happen until you realize your need to let go in the first place.
2. Your relationship with your assistant is a two-way street.
You will hold them accountable to the job you hired them for. But they should also be empowered to hold you accountable to the expectations you set for them and to be able to speak truth when you need it. The best assistants have the ability to lead their leader, providing focus and clarity when things get overwhelming.
3. Clarify your preferred method of communication right away.
Make sure your assistant knows the best ways to reach you, whether that’s instant message, text, email, or (yikes!) a phone call. Also, help them understand when and where each method might be preferred. For instance, a text message is great for something a little more urgent, like a lunch order, but an email might be better for communicating more information and an issue that might not need an immediate response.
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