teaming with your administrative peers

5 Powerhouse Strategies for Creating Administrative Peer Power

Coming together is better than fighting for your own agenda. When you are trying to create change, whether in a process or for the administrative community in your organization, it is much easier to be persuasive when there is a group. There is strength in unity. Whether there are two administrative professionals in your office or 200, joining forces with your administrative peers will contribute to greater success for your organization.

When administrative professionals work together, there is less duplication, resulting in savings to the company and increased profitability.

  • Learn simplification techniques from each other.
  • Gain a new perspective.
  • Add freshness to your ho-hum routine.
  • Share technical shortcuts.

Working together can mean cross-training for out-of-office coverage and expansion of what the team together can accomplish that one person alone cannot do. Sharing expertise, mentoring, and offering to cover for your colleague during their vacation or for a medical emergency, are all great contributors to peer synergy.

5 Powerhouse Strategies:

Be interested in people. You create synergy with your administrative peers when you show a sincere interest in them. Sometimes, it is just learning the basics about peers. Also, be interested in their challenges at work as well as their areas of expertise.

Be interested in whether they are having a bad day. Show them understanding and empathy. Help them achieve their goals. When you help others achieve their goals, they win and the organization wins, which ultimately affects you!

Welcome input. Input comes in various forms … and provides a variety of information. Input on your performance, on the meeting you just hosted a technical shortcut, an idea you have, or what you wore to work today.

The idea is that you want to receive input, but of course, it is how the message is delivered. Since you can’t control how your administrative peers will communicate with you, just be open to the idea they are sharing with you.

Share. We discussed welcoming input above; this is different. This puts the action on you. Be willing to share all your great knowledge. Think about the number of years you have worked, all the places you have worked, the people you have met, and your wealth of knowledge. Don’t be stingy! If you know a shortcut, then say, “Hi, Madison! I learned a great shortcut in Outlook. Would you like to see it?” Extend your best practices to others for their benefit. You are probably thinking every good assistant surely must know what you know. That is not true.

Cross-function ideation. Ideation is the process of creating new ideas. Cross-function ideation is the creation of ideas across a function, thus increasing the available input of fresh new ideas and creative solutions while eliminating blind spots.

Value diversity. The beauty of diversity is that everyone has something to bring to the table. In fact, if you wanted to create the perfect administrative group or team, you would want assistants who each bring a different gift or perspective to the group. You would want some members who are big-picture communicators and others who are detailed communicators. You would want some assistants who are social individuals and assistants who exhibit get-down-to-business personalities. While it is easier to collaborate with assistants who are just like you, that is boring and not the most effective use of peer synergy. You want to enlarge your vision if you are to bring greater value to your career and your organization.

Joan Burge


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19 thoughts on “5 Powerhouse Strategies for Creating Administrative Peer Power”

  1. Elizabeth Cogan CAP

    This is so spot on! I recently worked with a group of ladies, where we all had different strengths and weaknesses but together we accomplished so much. It was wonderful having all of us to encourage and build each other up.

  2. Gloria von Gesslein

    Great tips. Sometimes I wonder if there is resistance from some AP’s because of feeling someone is a threat on the work front and might supersede them or take a shine off of them.

    1. You’re on the button!!!
      There is no wondering about this, some people do this as 2nd nature, others do it deliberately to show they are better than their peers.
      Either way, let’s be who we are and shine at all we do.
      Working together is easier than working against one and other.
      Have a good weekend ALL!!!

  3. Great topic. I think that having a peer group shows the value of the group. This is a good way for Admins to feel valued. It is also a great training opportunity. In the past, I had been part of a group and we all traveled to the Corporate Offices. It was a great learning experience.

  4. Excellent article. I plan to join forces with other assistance in the organization so that we can join together to make things happen!

  5. Victoria Prestia

    I enjoy working with my administrative peers. Also assisting with work when they are out of the office. I learn new information.

  6. Teamwork, cohesive working unit, these phrases do not describe the working environment for the last 14 years.
    So, I guess if the change is meant to be, it starts with me. 🙂

  7. Currently I am the only Admin in my company, however we are still growing and while there is no plan to hire another one in the near future anything can happen. I’m filing this one away for future reference. Great suggestions all!

  8. This reminds me of our “Ya-yas” group that used to get together for movies or stage plays at various times throughout the year. Our lead “Ya-ya” retired recently and no one has picked up the mantle yet. I guess I know what I need to do about that!

  9. Excellent article – building and maintaining relationships is so important as an Admin. You never know when a relationship can come into play for something you are working on.

  10. I think the ideas expressed in this blog are needed. I’m attempting to start meetings of the administrative professionals at my workplace and think this blog will help them accept the idea.

  11. Katherine Margard

    The timing of this topic is perfect, as I’m working on starting an administrative professionals network in my company. In addition to all the great reasons that you give, one of the reasons I want to start such a group is succession planning. We, unusually, had three senior-level administrative positions open up and we don’t seem to have any sort of process in place to train and support next-level-down peers to step into these roles. Your advice is spot on, as always. Happy Administrative Professionals Day, Joan and everyone at Office Dynamics.

  12. This is so true and there are so many that don’t want to share. They are afraid they may end up losing something or want to keep the control (knowledge is power). Sharing makes it so much easier!

  13. Teamwork is incredibly important and something only recently adopted here with my employer. In the past, when I went on vacation I returned to a mess. Now I have someone to help cover the basics of my job while I’m away so returning is not so stressful. It has been a huge help to me and an even bigger help to my coworker who appreciates the change of scenery. She’s a people person and her current position is a lot more limited in that area than mine. Plus, I have a window and who doesn’t enjoy sunshine!

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