26 Weeks To Administrative Excellence
WEEK 3: Manager Support
You don’t want to miss today’s brief webinar by Administrative Expert, Joan Burge, on manager support. See what stage you and your executive are and how to move to a synergistic relationship! (08:06 mins.)
Welcome to week 3, Manager Support. This is going to be a great topic, not to be confused with managing or supporting multiple managers, which will be addressed in future videos. This is a video focused on you and your manager/immediate supervisor and how you can best support them.
This is an area, in theory, I’d like to spend at least three days with you, it contains so many pieces to the relationship. Initiating communication, thinking about hidden communications, how to give feedback, building rapport, organizing your manager and teaching them how to work better with you. Again, I am going to select a piece that I bet most of you haven’t even thought of, that is, noticing three stages when it comes to the assistant and manager relationship. To give you a visual picture an upside down pyramid, and at the bottom of this pyramid, you have the team piece, the middle being the partnership and the widest piece being the synergistic, or synergy stage. Reflecting on when I was an assistant, I worked with some managers who where in that team piece with me, and others where we actually blossomed into a partnership. But there were only three executives; I can say that we definitely had a synergistic relationship.
On the other side of the desk, being in business for 20+ years now, I’ve had my share of assistants over time. With some of these assistants, we worked as a team; with a few, we had a partnership; and now, I have a great synergistic relationship with my executive assistant. These three stages, which I will now explain, will assist you in forming that type of synergistic relationship with your manager/supervisor as well.
The ‘Team’ stage. For years now, we’ve heard of the phrase ‘teamwork’ and building a ‘team’ relationship with your manager; not realizing that a synergistic relationship exists. But, team is where you start out, and that means, we work together well, but we don’t really go too deep.
The ‘Partnership” stage. This development stage takes the assistant and the manager to a deeper understanding of each other. That is, you know more about each other as well as the job duties to be performed. Bringing about a satisfaction formed out of the partnership and a learning of his/her unique personality type making working with each other more desirable.
The ‘Synergy’ stage. This is the most gratifying; this relationship allows the assistant and the manager to think as one. Being an extension of one another, just like their ‘right arm.’ This type of relationship allows you to not only take orders, but challenge your manager to ensure they are thinking on the correct terms, and ensuring that what they’re saying is in line with what needs to be happening at that moment. To be able to provide good, open feedback to them, or even seeing things from a different point of view and being allowed to do so, using that to grow. I call this one being five steps ahead of, knowing what to do, how to do it, and when to get it done.
I’m sure you’re thinking, this type of relationship could only come by working with someone for five or ten years. This is not so, in fact, I’ve only worked with Jasmine for two and a half years, and I felt this synergistic relationship within the first six months. I’ve also known executives who have had their assistants for ten years, and they’re still at the partnership stage.
My question to you is this, where are you? Are you working with someone who is happy at the “team” stage? Not wanting to go up the pyramid. Is that okay with you? For some it may be. I know for myself, I was always looking for more. I looked at it as; I spend 40 hours a week at work, more time than I spend any where else, I really desired to have a good relationship. Moving forward, just think about if you desire to have more, or are you content where you are at today.
If you’ve already moved up to stage two – partnership or three – synergistic where do you go from there? If you’re on a journey of excellence, you will always be growing that relationship. You’re getting to know each other on an even deeper level, focusing on how to partner better and allowing the communication to enhance.
Most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, is to COMMUNICATE. Each time I’ve worked with a company, coaching side by side with the executive and the assistant, people who have worked for years with each other, the biggest crunch I’ve seen in the relationship is the lack of communication! Again, communication is the key, communicate, communicate and communicate!
Activity for the week: We have a few to work on this week.
• Get the courage up to speak to your manager. Be sure to explain to them the three stages of relationships, team, partnership, and synergy.
• Ask your manager which stage they feel you two are at, and find out if they want to grow to the next stage. Please keep in mind that all managers may not want to move forward, and that’s okay; this would be the time to make some decisions about what you’d like to do.
• If they are interested, this would be a good time to discuss your plan, what can the two of you do together to keep growing that relationship.
• For those of you who have Become an Inner Circle Assistant, pages 81-85 has activities in here that you can do with your manager containing questioners and activities I use in my consulting work. They’re really helpful and full of information that will assist you and your manager in taking that next leap in your relationship.
I’d like to end this week by saying have courage, take some risk, and get out there and BUILD a great synergistic relationship with your executives!
That’s it for today, thank you so much for watching this video! Watch more from this series here.