Admins have one of the broadest most diverse skills sets of any profession out there. We have to be amazing organizers, travel planners, event coordinators, office cheerleaders, and communicators – sometimes simultaneously.
Yet chances are good that your skills set isn’t being fully utilized by the executive you support. This means you’re not being as supportive as you could be, and you’re likely selling yourself short.
As admins, it’s our job to train our executives on how to best leverage our skills and abilities. You have to take action and teach him what you want him to know. Don’t wait for him to ask.
If you want to teach your executive how to put all of your admin skills to use, give some of these tips a try.
1. Share your professional portfolio with your executive so he can get the full picture of your entire skills set. If you’ve never had this conversation with your executive, it’s time. Then make it part of your annual performance review process moving forward.
2. Share your personality profile and strengths assessment. This helps both of you identify working styles and communication preferences which can enhance every aspect of your working relationship.
3. Ask if you can help with things you see your executive doing that you know you could do instead. We’re all creatures of habit, so don’t assume they don’t want you to do something just because they’ve never asked. It just may not have occurred to them that it’s a task you could handle.
4. Remind your executive that you’re there to help relieve their administrative headaches. Sometimes we all need gentle nudges and reminders that the help we need is literally sitting right in front of us.
6. Tell them what projects/tasks you like working on the most. We all work on a lot of things each day, so it’s important to identify the things you enjoy the most if you want more projects like it.
7. Thank your executive for involving you in projects you really enjoy. It’s rare when people say thank you for a work assignment, but it’s a way to positively reinforce what you enjoy working on.
8. Get comfortable with figuring things out yourself. When your executive sees that you are a self-starter and a problem solver, he will be more likely to put those skills to work with future requests.
9. Ask your executive how you can be an even better assistant to him. It may not be something they’ve ever paused to think deeply about. If you’re serious about being the best assistant your executive has ever had, you may need to teach him what a partnership could look like so you can commit to building it together.
Teaching your executive to fully use your admin skills is going to take time, patience, and a lot of reminders. But the effort will go a long way in developing your professional partnership and making both of you as productive as possible.
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.