One of the best training courses I have attended in my career was an introduction to NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) with specific training on emotional intelligence. The reason I decided to take this course was that my manager at the time was taking a similar course for executive staff. I had heard a lot about NLP over the years, and I thought it would be beneficial if both my manager and myself were learning how to use emotional intelligence at the same time. It certainly made a difference to our working relationship, and it took my performance to another level. I was promoted soon after completing the course. So why is emotional intelligence for Executive Assistants so relevant?
Emotional Intelligence for Executive Assistants
What is emotional intelligence?
Well in its purest form it is the ability to understand your own emotions while also empathising with other people’s feelings. Being emotionally aware enables a person to assess and influence the emotions of themselves, others and groups. For executives, it can be an incredibly useful tool when leading teams, departments and whole organisations. Most of our Executives will have undertaken some NLP or emotional intelligence courses during their career, and I think most would say it has been beneficial in helping them become leaders.
Why should assistants undertake training in this area?
While I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in this area I did find the course rewarding. Daily I had to influence high-level Executives and decision makers in the organisation without having much (in fact very little) authority. The training I received increased my ability to empathise with their emotions, that knowledge, in turn, gave me confidence in controlling the areas I could influence which lead to me having much more credibility in my role and working as my manager’s right-hand person. As an example, I was struggling with taking control over who did or didn’t go into my manager’s office without an appointment. I could quickly tell colleagues in my department that no meant no but struggled with pushy consultants and high-level Executive team. The training taught me to empathise with their emotional state but also understand why I struggled to tell them no when it was my job to keep distractions away from my boss. Understanding why they wanted to speak to my manager, be it that they were stressed with a tight deadline or wanted to build rapport with the boss, made it easy for me to control the situation. I would know which people to let in, which people to rearrange my boss’s diary for and which people to be strict with. All in all the training helped me focus.
Here are a few more examples of where increased emotional intelligence is useful for Assistants:
- It can increased confidence when juggling different tasks and colleague’s expectations
- It can help build more exceptional rapport with your manager, especially if they have also completed training in this area. You will both be working at the same level emotionally and practically.
- You will have increased awareness in your own emotions – why are you feeling unconfident in a specific situation, what is causing you to feel stressed? How can you use these feelings to your benefit? (This is also really useful at home when you are fighting with your partner!)
- You will perform better while working in a team which means you can ask to take on more project work and having additional tasks outside the standard assistant role – this happened to me.
- Your communication skills will improve, and the training teaches you to stop and think about your response before you start speaking.
- Understanding the training your manager has received, why they react the way that they do and how they make decisions will ultimately help your working relationship with them.
Build your Core Competencies
As an Assistant, there is a growing need to develop your core competencies to future proof your career, these are the areas that will really help you develop as a business asset in your organisation. This course will help you build your core competencies and grow to be an incredible and dynamic Assistant.
A full sixteen sessions, that’s eight hours of content including:
- What Is Standing In Your Way?
- How To Master A Difficult Conversation
- Tales From The Coal Face
- Managing Expectations
- Managing Up
- Champion Of Change
- Finding Purpose In Your Work
- Boost Your Resilience
- Unleash Your Inner Leader
- Creating The Right Mindset For Success
- Seven Secrets To A Refreshing EA Career
- The Traits Of A High Flying Assistant
- Be The Game Changer In Your Organisation
- Stepping Up & Leaning In
- How Assistants Become Leaders
- Effective Listening