BIG Learning: The Invisible Bag of Skills Give Assistants the Edge

Your bag of administrative skillsHello Monday Motivators!

Carrying on with the May theme of BIG learning, today I want to talk to you about the invisible bag of skills, knowledge and information. I have been carrying my own invisible bag for more than 35 years. And it has come in very handy in many situations.

Before I tell you more about this bag, let me tell you the philosophy behind it because that is what is important. I am a firm believer in being as proactive as possible to reduce the number of times I have to be reactive; that philosophy has to do with every aspect of my life. This has allowed me to take advantages of opportunities when presented to me because I had been “preparing” for that years before.

This means that as I go through my day, I listen and observe and take in as much information or knowledge as I can and drop it in my invisible bag. I may not need that tip, technique or idea today but I’ve got it close to me. So when the time comes, whether one month from now or one year from now, I can reach into that invisible bag. If I need to grow in that area or expand my knowledge, I add to the base.

You should definitely give this a try. Of course this means you have to be open to new information, engaged, focused and inquisitive. You need to be an investigator of information. Administrative and executive assistants will gain a competitive edge when they embrace this mindset.

As I conduct my administrative training programs, I teach assistants how to write and give a 3-minute presentation. This is quite nerve-wracking for the assistant but they go through the entire half-day session with me and are happy when they have completed the presentation assignment. I’ve had several administrative assistants tell me weeks or months after the class, that they were unexpectedly asked to present at a department meeting or fill in for their executive in a short meeting or train other staff on new processes or policies. These attendees were very happy they had been through presentation skills classes with me. That is a great example of being proactive.

See what you can do this week to add to your invisible bag of skills.

Joan Burge

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