I am happy to say that more executives are investing in their assistants by providing one-on-one coaching for them. Over the past two years, Office Dynamics has done more on-site coaching for executive assistants than we have done in the past seven years! And we continue to get more calls for this type of work.
I love it when an executive is willing to make this kind of investment. It says that the executive and organization truly value this assistant and want to give them the tools to help them be even more effective. Typically, how this happens is that an organization will call Office Dynamics and their HR or executive will talk to us specifically about the situation or what skills they would like their assistant to develop. We provide executive assistant coaching on everything from being more assertive to professional image, communications, leadership, time management and building a partnership with the executive.
When I or one of the Office Dynamics trainers goes on site, we sit at the assistant’s workspace for at least one day and sometimes two days and observe everything that goes on in the space. We learn how the assistant manages day-to-day processes and make recommendations for greater efficiency when necessary. We observe how the executive and assistant interact and how they manage their day. We spend private time with the assistant to learn what works well for him or her and what creates barriers to their productivity.
After several hours of working with the assistant, we meet with the executive and the assistant to share our observations and our recommendations on how they can work more strategically and increase productivity on both sides. The last step is we help the assistant write a Professional Development Plan. This is detailed and maps out specific action steps the assistant will take. We use this information for a 30-, 60- and 90-day follow-up call with the assistant and the executive to track progress.
Some of the changes we have seen take place are:
- Communication with CEO
- Had business cards made for myself and gave to CEO to travel with and distribute
- Expressed ideas and opinions to improve processes
- Clarify instructions to prevent rework
- Managing CEO’s email
- Re-edit subject line
- Archiving old email
- Set up priority Alert on mobile
- Calendar Management
- View calendars with a holistic approach
- Enforcing my role as manager of the calendars
- Implemented meeting/events and speaking engagement checklist
- Pay attention to post meeting action plan, follow up
- Constantly confirming and reconfirming meetings in case of any changes
- Managing CEO’s office and personal life more seamlessly
- Created a process to manage CEO’s life while I’m away
- Continuous reminders given
- Implemented ABC priority with
work loadbut priorities constantly get shifted as more tasks are added
- Successfully organized workspace
- Create an environment that people are cognitive of my authority
- Boundaries established
- Assertive communication with colleagues
- Redirect people to other resources
- Reinforcing office policies
On-site coaching is probably the most effective way to create change specific to an assistant’s situation because we are right here in your space seeing exactly what you deal with and how your day flows. The payoff is huge.
Should your executive ever bring in a coach for you, see it as a good thing! On the other hand, you might request some private coaching. If in person is beyond your budget, we also provide coaching via conference calls. You may also want to invest your own funds to enlist a coach. I have had various types of coaches since I was in my 20s. They were always a great investment for me.