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WEEK 20: The Anatomy Of A Strategic Partnership
When you work with someone who wants to build a strategic partnership with you, you are a happier and more fulfilled person. Learn what makes for a great strategic partnership. Join us for Week #20.
Welcome to week 20, Anatomy of a Strategic Partnership. This is a great topic! To me, there is no better relationship than that of an executive and their administrative assistant. Of course, that is if you have a relationship that really develops and flourishes. But not all do! Thinking back on the twelve (12) executives I worked for, only three (3) of them I can honestly say we had that real synergistic relationship. Fortunately, I have a fabulous relationship with my assistant Jasmine; we have a great synergistic relationship.
So let’s talk about the anatomy today! The first part of the anatomy would be, the brain; the skill part of your job. That’s the day to day things that happen from managing time, to working on projects, to figure out how to communicate with one another, to figuring what is going to be happening within the next three (3) months. The next piece of anatomy would be the heart; when you genuinely care about one another. You care about each other’s success, each other’s happiness, etc… A lot of times, that heart, which is an important piece, is missing in the executive/assistant relationship.
The third piece of anatomy is, the soul: using your emotional intelligence when you’re working together. Now that’s not getting emotional! This topic in actuality came from a gentleman I like to call the grandfather of Emotional Intelligence, his name is Daniel Goleman. He tells us, “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.” This is different than getting emotional in the work place, which is not good. There are four (4) dimensions of Emotional Intelligence that I want to explain how they apply to an executive and an assistant.
- 1. Self –Awareness (Means I know Me) As the executive, I know myself. I know my strengths, weaknesses, habits, peculiarities, what I like and don’t like; how I react to certain things, the way I like to work and more. As the assistant, I know myself. I know my strengths, weaknesses, habits, peculiarities, what I like and don’t like; how I react to certain things, the way I like to work and more.
- 2. Self-Management (I manage me) As the executive, I stay composed. I manage or channel my emotions and have self-control. When I’m interacting with my administrative business partner, I do my best to not explode but sometimes it happens. As the assistant, I channel my emotions rather than get emotional. When my executive explodes, I know it is not about me.
- 3. Social Awareness (I try to know you) As the executive, I can see my administrative partner is having a rough day today. Maybe something has happened at home; I show sensitivity and try not to overload my partner. As the assistant, I thank you for the feedback you provide. I know your intention is to help me be the best I can.
- 4. Social Skill ( I attempt to facilitate situations for a positive outcome) As the executive, I step forward with my administrative partner to use visionary leadership and be a change catalyst.
As the assistant, I move in tandem with my executive to influence others to make the necessary changes. I manage conflict resolution and use diplomacy and tact in tough situations. I step forward as a leader as my executive is a leader.
So, what happens if one of these parts is missing in your relationship? Does that mean you leave your job? No! Of course not! It may mean that you are in a situation where you have to teach your executive to build that partnership with you.
The Underneath It All part is that, when you really work at building this relationship, when your relationship includes the brain, the heart, the soul, you have a more satisfying relationship. You’re excited about work, and find it a delight to be there and there’s a lot less conflict and stress at work. If you’re missing a lot of theses pieces, maybe the heart part is important to you and not to your executive; that would be a good time to ask yourself, is there enough here to keep me from leaving?
Activity for the week: I’d like you to answer the following questions.
- What are some obstacles that stand in the way of you and your manager being a better team?
- How can you work thru those?
Also, if you’re working with a group of administrative professionals/assistants share some of your best practices and compare how each of you deal with similar situations. Have a great week, this is a great team relationship to form, and I wish you the best!
Until Next Time…