Managing multiple executives can be tricky and involve lots of juggling, so here are some handy pointers for you to refer to when you next have to deal with more than one boss.
Communicate with them every day Remember this is a two-way street, so speak to your execs about their needs and let them know how you like to work and what you require for the process to run smoothly.
Prioritise regularly Make sure you?re fully up to speed with what needs to be done that day, while also leaving time free to handle any unexpected eventualities.
Be diligent in your planning Use task lists to keep track of what?s going on and in the process minimise the risk of leaving anything to chance.
Get to grips with the company?s goals The more you understand the needs of the organisation, the better you can respond to the requests of your executives.
Manage the managers You may have to delegate work to more junior staff, but always manage up as well, ie familiarise your execs with the way you work personally, so that your interaction is as effective as possible.
One for all and all for one If one boss complains that you are prioritising another?s jobs over his, then tactfully remind him that you?re all working for the same company in the end and that you?ll put his needs first on another occasion.
Work it out If your execs are clashing among themselves over how to share your time, it?s probably a good idea to schedule a meeting so you can thrash it out among yourselves.
Learn to be solution-focused It may be a clich?, but your bosses don?t want you to bring them problems, they want you to think of ways to resolve them. If there are any issues with the multiple-manager scenario, then it?s up to you to think of how to best work round it, as you are the one handling the workload.
Stand up for yourself Not everything can be delivered immediately, so politely ensure your bosses understand this. You may have to ask for a deadline extension, or even say no sometimes to a request ? it?s certainly better to be realistic upfront rather than fail to deliver.
Appreciate different ways of working Having to deal with multiple bosses can be a headache, but it can also be a great opportunity to get first-hand exposure to the various working styles that managers have ? and that can prove to be invaluable experience for any management assistant.