Office Dynamics founder and president Joan Burge has been coaching administrative professionals for more than 25 years and has noticed a trend in the topics she covers. As such, she has partnered with career coach, writer and speaker Chrissy Scivicque to write Executives and Assistants, Working in Partnership: The definitive guide to success. Here are just a few of the topics covered in the book.
Communication One of the biggest complaints brought to the table by assistants is that their bosses don’t communicate well enough. Burge says PAs should be the proactive ones in these circumstances, asking the right questions to get the information they need.
Lack of direction Being busy individuals, executives don’t always provide clear instructions for projects. Again, Burge encourages admins to keep pressing for the info they need, paying special attention to details and specifics.
No strategic insight Burge says executives don’t always divulge the reason for a special project, so their assistants need to try to understand their motivations in order to be more proactive.
Time constraints Both bosses and their assistants are usually busy throughout the day, so it’s hard to find time to meet for a catch-up. However, Burge says it’s essential, so PAs and their bosses need to schedule something that can’t be cancelled.
Lack of development Training for PAs and admins is becoming more recognised as a way for companies to help staff with professional development. Burge recommends seeking out opportunities and asking for support from the company.
Burge also says that younger members of admin teams who want to work at executive level need to focus on opportunities to take on more responsibility, such as heading up a project. Plus, she says networking with other professionals to learn from their experiences is essential.
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