Following on from last week’s blog How a PA can reduce your working hours, we now consider how you can successfully work in partnership with your PA.
One of the most important hires you will ever make is your PA, but in a world where things move at lightning speed it’s truly difficult to find the time to cultivate your relationship with your administrative support. Many executives and entrepreneurs today work on multi-platform systems and are bombarded with information and technology, however, many overlook their most valuable asset; if you have a PA you don’t need to be self-sufficient!
Mutually beneficial relationships, be they personal or professional have communication and open dialogue at their very heart. Taking the time to have meaningful and purposeful interactions is key. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to discuss personal issues but more that you need to make your dialogue beneficial ‘what do you need from me in order to [insert your task]’? is a great way to start the flow of information. Listen to your PAs requests and respond accordingly.
Never presume that your PA automatically knows how you like things to be done, so be sure to take the guess work out of it; if you don’t like being bombarded with emails, ask for one which rounds up outstanding points/tasks. If you don’t like emails at all be sure to schedule regular time with your PA for a meeting or call to run through your tasks, and avoid changing or moving this time. Asking your PA how they like to do things will also help you get a broader understanding of how your working practices affect them. Likes and dislikes are what fundamentally help us to connect with each other.
The majority of PAs are in that particular field because they are highly skilled organisers and can tackle any task or requests in the most efficient way. It’s quite a leap of faith to trust someone to have access to emails, calendars, cloud drives but the more access you give your PA the more effective they can become in managing your life. Being clear in your priorities will your PA deliver the results you need.
We all make mistakes so be accountable for yours. Creating an environment of mutual respect will be unendingly beneficial in the long run. A good PA will offer a solution to any problem and will look to you for confirmation or approval. Allowing a PA to work independently without being micro-managed will increase interest in a position and underpin respect and trust. However, the boundaries between allowing your PA to manage projects and doing your work for you can become blurred so care must be taken not to cross them.
The biggest bone of contention for many PAs is personal tasks; many corporate PAs don’t mind doing personal work as long as they have the time to meet their other deadlines. Be appreciative of the personal work they do for you. And if you’re in an environment where it’s a ‘no go’ then there are many agencies that can offer virtual personal assistance to help you out.
Top 10 Tips
- Be responsive
- Never presume
- Be accountable
- Personal tasks boundaries