Sometimes the perception is that an Administrative Assistant is the bottom of the pile of an organisation. They can be regarded as someone who gets ordered around changing the cartridges in the photocopier or making the tea for example.
Think again! They can be your biggest asset as having an effective assistant means you can free up your time to pursue what you should be working on – increasing your business, sales and growth planning or even recharging your batteries! So what skills make a great Admin or Virtual Assistant?
Does your assistant read a lot and likes to learn new things? By reading and information gathering this can help with new ideas in the business and be able to move the ideas forward quickly with contacts. I love being able to connect people when there is an idea on the table.
Many a time tasks are urgent but an assistant needs to ensure that they are completed correctly. You also have to notice things that other do not! For example, I manage a diary for a client and some days it changes quite quickly I need to ensure the changes are made and all concerned have the up to date information especially if someone gives short notice to cancel a meeting – it could mean the difference between my client leaving their business to travel to that meeting.
There’s an idea on the table – Does your assistant take that idea and see if they can solve any gaps in the idea with your approval? I love helping to plan ways of streamlining operations so you can see there will be time-saving in the long run. It might be painful initially but in the longer term, the Owner or Director will be free to pursue other interests in the business.
Listening can be one of the hardest skills to master but if you are a great listener you can pick up information but also anticipate the direction a project is moving and you will be able to anticipate the next move this will ensure you have a greater impact on your client.
Are you patient? Can you build a rapport with someone? If you are then you are a great assistant as you will have the ability to solve problems and not lose your rag when you are trying to sort out issues. I was helping a client solve a problem with a phone company. Immediately the phone company thought I was going to be difficult and I explained I just wanted some issues sorted in an amicable way and it has worked and we have worked together to solve the issues.
Understand the tasks that you are being given and ensure that if you have queries ask for clarification. They will respect you for asking questions and know that you care about the work. Offer feedback regularly as this will prevent issues in the future.
Obviously, time management is key and you must be able to keep things on schedule and deadlines met. This helps with long term goal setting and can help a business grow.
You must be able to deliver project management as at any one time you could be called into pick something up on a project – this could be managing reminders and tasks and ensuring the wider team knows whats happening. A great assistant is there to make a person’s life easier.
So if it’s time for you to use a Virtual Assistant contact us today to talk through your needs.