Handling the requests of a busy executive is hard enough on a good day, but sometimes a PA is unlucky enough to have to cover for a boss who is always late, can be forgetful and often isn’t available. Katie Donovan of Equal Pay Negotiations recently told Business Insider how to support a manager who’s never on the ball.
According to Donovan, making the boss look good is part of any personal assistant’s job description, even if that sometimes means covering for their shortcomings. “Ocassionally covering for a good boss is fine, such as sitting in on a forgotten meeting and saying your boss is unexpectedly unable to attend,” she says. But constantly covering for him or her means your should probably have their job.
Donovan recommends becoming less proficient at covering for your manager and networking with his boss. They’ll soon recognise the extra work you’re putting in and you’ll be at the front of their minds for the next promotion that becomes available.
On the other hand, you should try addressing the issue delicately but directly with your boss, says Elene Cafasso of Enerpace. Find out how he or she wants you to explain the situation when you have to attend meetings in their place and feed back the response. If the behaviour continues, approach the situation calmly. Try: “I’m really concerned about you. Your professional reputation is taking a beating and I’m running out of excuses. How can I help you?”
It goes without saying that your need to report anything illegal, immoral, or in violation of your firm’s code of conduct to the proper authorities, says Cafasso.
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