ABOUT THIS VIDEO
WEEK 2: Appointment Coordination for Administrative Assistants
Managing a calendar effectively is a valuable skill. It’s critical to the organization and productivity of your office. The inner circle assistant doesn’t just rely upon a calendar when she schedules an appointment for the executive. She relies upon big-picture knowledge, does analyses, and pays attention to detail. Learn why it is important to view the calendar in multiple weeks and remember that just because a date is open, it does not mean it’s available. (05:55 mins.)
Welcome to week two, appointment coordination. This is going to be a great topic today, even for those of you who are seasoned administrative professionals. If you think about it, anyone, even a computer, can drop an appointment on a calendar, that doesn’t take “brains.” Today, we’re going to look at managing appointments with a holistic approach, and that’s an entirely different story. So what does holistic mean? Well, I checked it out in Webster; the dictionary says: analyzing whole system of beliefs; characterized by the view that a whole system of beliefs must be analyzed rather than simply its individual components.
What that means is, you don’t look at an individual day as itself. If someone wants to schedule an appointment with your manager, or a conference call, or maybe there is a regularly scheduled meeting that is being held; when you look at those dates, you don’t look at it as an individual day, you look at it as a whole. What happened last week? What’s happening this week? What’s happening next week? That’s how Jasmine approaches my calendar, and that is how I used to approach my executives’ calendar when I was an administrative professional.
When you look at a date by itself you say, “Oh, wow! Look, Thursday is open; my manager has time at 11:00, so I’m going to drop you in.” and you haven’t really looked at what’s happening several days before and what’s happening several days after, you may be giving your manager a time crunch. You may be really pressing your managers’ available time where they may need to be focusing on something else.
A perfect example is, if we looked at my calendar, now I actually post my calendar on the wall, so I can analyze it from a holistic approach. We do use Outlook, and I do have my calendar on the computer as well; but an example would be, if Jasmine were to look at my month of April, she would see that I am going to be out for 10 days. The last week of March, thru out the next two weeks, with Easter soon to follow. Now, obviously, I would like at least a day to have some time off for the holiday, and I have a couple of extra days away due to the holiday shortly after. Then, I have more days of travel with
about two days actually inside of the office. Then, I travel again.
So when you look at the fact that I’ve been gone for almost two weeks, then back for a couple of days, and then traveling again for 4 (four) more days, I do not want to spend my entire day in the office on conference calls and in meetings. You’d have to ask yourself, when would my manager have time to catch up on work? When would they have time for conference calls? When would they have time to write presentations? Etc.
I’d really like to encourage you to realize that there is a big difference between just dropping in a date, and really using your brain to look at that calendar holistically.
As one vice president of a large corporation said to me recently, “An executive assistant has to manage the offices’ calendar holistically; so that issues, backups, and conflicts can be anticipated or forecasted, with pre-thought and planned contingencies.” He calls this an act of planning and some degree of synthesis. My simple advice to you is, just remember, that just because a time is open, does not mean it’s available.
Activity for the week: Review your managers calendar for the next 3 (three) weeks. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are there too many back to back meetings?
- Are there any actions I can take to help my manager prepare for these meetings?
- Do I need to move some of these appointments around?
- And a very important question; Have I left ‘me’ time for my manager on the calendar? In working with other executives over the last several months, I’ve noticed that their assistants are making it a point to block in that ‘me’ time on their calendars. This would be the time where your manager can: work on a particular project, return phone calls, or what ever else it is that they may need to do that their schedule other wise would not allow.
One last suggestion before I close is to visit our administrative blog on the website. What you will find in this blog is more discussion on the “Appointment Coordination” topic, as well as many other topics we are covering in our 26 week series.
As always, GOOD LUCK! Make sure to take a good look at those calendars!
Until Next time…