10 qualities of a truly great Assistant

Great Assistants possess a unique blend of skills and talents, allowing them to take on virtually any task that comes their way.

What essential traits are needed to succeed in the Assistant role?

Let’s explore ten essential traits every top-notch Assistant needs to shine! From problem-solving abilities to impeccable organisational skills, being a fantastic Assistant requires more than just multitasking prowess – but with the right qualities, success is surefire. So let’s get started and discover how these attributes can help bring your role as an Assistant up a notch or two! Here are ten qualities of a genuinely great Assistant.

1. Accountability

What do I mean by being more accountable, and why is it essential for assistants? For me, being responsible means taking control of your success and managing your workload, career and relationship with your Executive and colleagues. It means making decisions and taking ownership of the results.

2. Strategic thinking

Assistants must think strategically to help their Executive execute the Organisation’s objectives. It is the ability to look at a task, understand why it needs to be completed, how it fits in with the business’s overall strategy, why it takes precedence over other tasks, and what impact it will have on the bottom line.

3. Effective Communication

Communication skills are an important quality needed for a great Assistant. It is the ability to choose the correct communication method for the situation, the awareness of your communication style and adapting that to fit with others, and the confidence to articulate precisely what you mean in any scenario. It is imperative that Assistants can communicate and build rapport. We teach this hot topic in The EA Campus Community.

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4. Diplomacy

In my mind, diplomacy is ‘the art of dealing with people sensitively and tactfully.’ It is the ability to communicate with people using an approach that considers their feelings and potential reaction. This skill allows assistants to find common ground with every person at every business level. For these reasons, it is sooooo helpful if assistants can be diplomatic, which is why it is one of our ten qualities of a truly great Assistant.

5. Resilience

Assistants need to have resilience. We are constantly faced with changing and challenging situations. We have to rely on our self-confidence to bounce back from worst-case scenarios, and more often than not, we will be asked to help when colleagues want to limit damages (or should I say we are asked to clear up the whole sorry mess!)

6. Initiative

Showing initiative and being proactive are vital for a great Assistant. It would help if you always were alert for opportunities to improve processes and procedures, have the confidence to make decisions, and adopt new ways of working to support your Executive and the organisation’s objectives.

7. Confidence

Low self-esteem or confidence issues can be a real challenge in life, particularly in the office and for Assistants. This is why it makes our 10 qualities of a truly great Assistant. We have a difficult job, and the role becomes much more complex if we cannot stand up for ourselves. It can lead to feeling unchallenged, unappreciated and, more importantly, managed ineffectively by your Executive. Although not all of us are blessed with unwavering self-confidence, there are areas within the role that every Assistant should feel comfortable with and have confidence in their abilities.

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8. Attention to detail

The documents produced by great Assistants are grammatically correct and look professional. However, attention to detail goes beyond proofreading. This quality is in everything an Assistant does. It ensures that everything you touch is high quality and everything you put your name and reputation to is professional. It reflects your values and that of your Executive and your Organisation.

9. Flexibility

We look at our packed to-do list and must decide which tasks to tackle first when all the work is a priority with imminent deadlines. We also have our colleagues interrupting us with urgent questions and multiple bosses wanting attention. Of course, we also want to please and be helpful; no wonder an assistant’s role can be quite overwhelming! Due to our job’s nature, we must remain flexible while handling multiple priorities.

10. A good sense of humour

A sense of humour is probably the greatest asset of a great Assistant. There is a lot of pressure in the role as we operate at the highest level of business. The ability to smile through the stress and the most challenging times, crack a joke when colleagues feel sad, and shift the focus when tension arises is priceless. Here are some of the benefits of humour at work.

Ultimately, a great Assistant requires a unique blend of skills and talents. They are patient and organised, communicative and reliable all at the same time. It’s more than multitasking and finding documents quickly; it’s about understanding the bigger picture and aiding their Executives whenever possible. With this knowledge, Assistants can take pride in their roles. However, if you want to become a great Assistant, why not fine-tune your skills with our Assistant Essentials Online Course? Our course gives you an insight into all these qualities needed to be the best in this role. You can be sure that when you finish the course, you will have mastered all the qualities of an efficient Assistant.