Most assistants have a tendency to work to a capacity of about 99.9%. We seem to operate at this level day after day, year after year. It is expected that we take on every piece of work thrown at us, every task is accepted and deadlines are met.
A few months ago I recorded a series of webinars for an assistant association in the States (more to follow soon). Before I embarked on this assignment I was slightly concerned because I do think I sound like a twelve year old. On top of that I have a fairly distinct Cockney / Essex accent.
How many times are assistants told to be more assertive? It seems to me the word is everywhere we look, it is on our job descriptions, it is in our objectives and there are a ton of courses solely dedicated to making assistants more assertive. It seems we must constantly assert ourselves or we are total failures at the job!
I was having a look through my CV recently, just adding a few bits and bobs and generally updating it and I noticed I tell my would-be employer how well I communicate both effectively and efficiently. As I was reading this I thought to myself, ‘what does that actually mean?’ and then it occurred to me that if I wasn’t sure then I doubt any potential employer would be! It is all very well and good saying you are good at communicating but what are the skills and personality traits behind that statement? Also how do assistants apply this skill to their roles? Having thought about it I believe the ability to communicate effectively means the following: