Over the years I have been exceptionally blessed to have an exceptional assistant that has allowed me the bandwidth to fulfil all the expectations I put on myself. I recently took the opportunity to ask Rebekah her personal top tips and here is what she has to say. — Mike Coady
As assistants we often get asked:
- Why do you do it?
- How do you do it?
The answer is super simple for me… because I love it. As long as you do things with passion, you can pretty much do anything!
My top tips on how to be an exceptional PA/EA are listed below:
BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP
In order to work well, you have to have a strong relationship with you boss. At the end of the day, to follow any of the below points, you have got to know each other. The way I have always seen it was that I was the strength to my boss’ weaknesses, so I had to get to know them, right?
Rule number 1 – get to know who you are working for, and build a healthy and strong relationship.
TRUST EACH OTHER
Like any relationship, trust is vital. Without trust, you have nothing. You need to trust that your boss will move you in the right direction, and your boss needs to trust that you’ll get the job done, efficiently, correctly and most of all — on time!
You have to have each other’s back in every single scenario. You are a team, and most often than not, you are probably your boss’ right hand person.
If you can’t build the relationship and trust, you need to rethink your professional plan!
BE PREPARED… FOR ANYTHING
Preparation is key to any role like this. Whether this be for meetings, or events, or even daily arrivals, you must ensure everything and everyone is prepared.
Birthdays, Seminars, Client Meetings, are all events that need preparing in advance for, so take the wheel and make sure its done.
A personal tip on this one is “do not rely on anyone else to deliver”. Honestly, just get the job done yourself and you’ll save a lot of let downs!
Make sure you are continuously thinking outside of the box.
BE MENTALLY STRONG
EAs/PAs must be mentally strong and ready to deal with the bad days. Remember, if you are exceptional at what you do, you will be the closest person to your boss. This often means that they will take out their bad days on you. It’s the downside to the relationship, but that’s like any other relationship.
You just need to be mentally strong and know that it will pass. Just carry on doing what you’re doing — from experience I can guarantee you it’s not your fault!!
Being loyal kind of comes hand in hand with building trust. I have seen people make the same mistake over and over again, whereby they think the grass is greener, or they aren’t listened to, etc. If you build the right relationship based on my points above, the relationship could last for years and years!
Talking and being clear, direct & to the point is all you need when dealing with concerns.
Loyalty will get you further in life — always.
If you think this is a 9-5 job, or that’s what you’re looking for — quit now!
This job is like parenthood — it never stops!
My experience with this is slightly different to majority of PAs/EAs. Working hard is to work efficiently, but also put in the extra hours. Part of building the relationship is so that your boss knows that if they need you on a Saturday at 10am they can reach you. You may not always be able to solve the problem there and then, but at least they can reach you.
If you work on different time zones due to travel, etc. you may want to think about being around when your boss is working.
Going that extra mile, really does pay off. Trust me, I have done it all.
SHARE YOUR PURPOSE
One of the things that is super important, is that you understand and share the purpose behind why you are doing what you are doing.
You have to have the same clear vision, to ensure you are both working towards the same thing.
A journey being pushed by two is stronger, and both parties are held accountable for their responsibilities. It’s a healthier way of managing your challenges.
DO NOT DOUBT YOUR ABILITIES, AND SAY “YES”
The most important point of all in ANY role… If you are asked to do something, say Yes! even if you haven’t got a clue what you are doing. Go and learn how to do it.
I have watched so many YouTube videos, read so many books and articles, and never once in the past 5 years have I ever said I can’t do something.
We are so spoilt with resource & tools via the Internet nowadays that saying you don’t know how to do something is virtually impossible.
You could even say I have been “winging” my way through my career – the reality is, I have! But it has always worked for me.
Remember, being an exceptional assistant is all about providing your boss with additional bandwidth. The more time they have to work on what they are good at, the more likely they will be to succeed.
Their success is yours too!
If you are serious about having or being the perfect assistant I strongly urge you to join our one to one Personal/Executive Assistant mentoring subscription here or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. After all, if you are serious about your progression, then take serious action now!
As a good, strong corporate firm, show your employees that you believe in them, and help take both yours and your employees careers to the next level. Let’s face it — it’s all about being peak performers, regardless of the roles.
I hope you found this blog useful and insightful.
Blog published by Rebekah Roe.
For more updates, get yourself hooked up to Coady Performance Group!