administrative assistant

Savvy Assistants Speak Strong: Key Conversations for Administrative Assistants

Your job is bigger than you think 

If you’re an administrative assistant, you know it’s your job to provide support, make your boss look good, and help him or her meet objectives. If you’re an administrative assistant, you also know your manager sets the direction and your role is to help him or her succeed. If you place your own agenda over your manager’s agenda, you won’t keep your job long.

That doesn’t mean you should remain passively silent while others tell you what to do and how to do it. Ideally, your relationship with your manager is a collaborative one, organized around your manager’s and your organization’s directives. It’s a relationship where you take charge of your role without taking over, you take the initiative without taking control, and when you need help, support, or resources to effectively implement your job, you initiate the important conversations that ensure your success and the success of your partnership with your managers.

The power of “I’d love to”

When I ask my assistant Angela to do things for me, she almost always responds with the words,

  • I’d be happy to do that for you.powerphrase_icon2

Sometimes, instead she says,

  • I’d love to do that for you.

There are times when she lets me know something isn’t a great fit or she doesn’t have time for a particular project – which I’d much rather she do than agree to something she can’t do. Still, her words always support a statement she once made,

I am 100% committed to your success.

How different that is from someone who once told me the job beat flipping burgers!

Admin PowerPhrase: Administrative Deadline

Power PhrasesToo many managers figure the deadline to be ten minutes before a project is due, forgetting that it takes time for admins and office pro’s to put final touches on them. Get managers used to the phrase “administrative deadline”. By using that term for setting deadlines for your role in project management, the concept will become more concrete in your mind. For example, use phrases like, 

  • If the drop-dead deadline for this is (date) the administrative deadline needs to be (date). 

    Use the term administrative deadlines until you hear others use it, too. That’s your signal that your part in the success of projects is acknowledged and understood.