Face-to-Face Time with Administrative Assistants



It’s me, Joan Burge.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know I am a big fan of face-to-face time for executives and assistants. Face-to-face time is also beneficial for any manager who meets on a regular basis with their direct reports. Whether you are an executive or an assistant reading this Monday Motivator, here are ideas on what you can discuss when you have face-to-face time or catch up by telephone, Facetime, or Skype on a regular basis.

E-mail Communications
Executives and assistants can update each other on e-mail communications, whether it’s a status update or clarifying new actions to be taken.

Discuss any events that will involve external visitors and anticipate actions to be taken before and during their visit. Executives: Share any important information that might help your assistant prepare for the event and ensure its success.

Department Issues
This is a good time to discuss any departmental problems that need the executive’s attention. Assistants are often privy to information within the department or are aware of potential personnel issues. These should be brought to the attention of the leader before a situation escalates.

Status Updates
Discuss updates on projects, meetings, items you are working on, and any other pertinent information. Assistants: Initiate discussion. Executives don’t like to have to ask the status of a specific project or task (nor do they have the time).

Special Projects
Discuss any special projects that are happening or coming up in the next few weeks. Assistants should ask what portions of the project they could work on: Is there any research to be done? Will information necessary for the project be coming from others inside or outside the company? If so, can they start assembling that information? Are presentations, graphs or charts required? If so, how many?

Upcoming Travel
Discuss upcoming trips so you can anticipate schedules and prepare necessary travel materials. At least bi-weekly, review the calendar for upcoming events as far as three months out.

Training and Development
Development happens when we take conscious action to improve. It is not a “check the box” aspect of your career; you must be intentional about it. Discuss your training and development requirements with your executive. Tell him about upcoming seminars and workshops you would like to attend and why. Be prepared to show your leader the information about the workshop, the objectives of the program, how the topics tie in with your job responsibilities, and the benefits of attending.

Voicemails and IMs
Discuss requests that need immediate attention or response. An assistant can return calls and take action if provided the appropriate context or required information from the executive.

I hope you found these ideas useful. Wishing you an awesome week.


P.S. By the way, if you are not aware, I host a live Facebook Friday on a fairly consistent basis. So if you want to end your week on a high note and learn a few good quick tips, then follow our Office Dynamics Facebook page to get notifications or watch replays. 


This blog post is from Joan Burge’s Monday Motivators series. Monday Motivators is a weekly note offering practical ways to create a new mindset, change behaviors, develop positive relationships and thrive in the workplace with energy, effectiveness, and excellence. You can experience the power of self-navigation toward success. Energize your mind and drop those Monday blues! Subscribe to Monday Motivators.


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