The say goes that information is King. For assistants information is everything! Keeping up to date with all the goings on within your organisation is incredibly important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means that you can update your Executive on the high level stuff which means they don’t have to attend every meeting or read every bulletin. You will know about any emerging issues and can plan accordingly and lastly you will be fully aware of all of that ‘big picture’ stuff which means you can work proactively within your role. A skill that is super important for assistants to master. How do you stay in the loop when there is so much going on? How do you work out what is important information and what is really just office gossip? Here are some handy tips:
- Networking is key to staying in the loop. Keep in regular contact with the other people in your department, assistants throughout your organisation and any other key members of staff. Maintaining your internal network will really help you understand the business and what happens on a daily basis.
- Make the most of Google Alerts by setting one up with your organisation’s name. Any time your business is in the news you will be able to read what is happening and what has been said by others.
- Ask lots of questions. This is an obvious but under used skill. Sometimes if you just ask how someone i or what they are working on you will get a whole load of information. This is something you should do on a daily basis with your Executive but the same applies to other members of staff.
- Keep in touch with colleagues that have left the business, it is amazing what you find out about a company you have just left!
- Attend events and functions organised by your business. It is a good way to get to know your colleagues on a less formal basis and it gives you an excuse to have a glass of wine… Or two.
- Read all of the newsletters, bulletins and company emails that pass by your desk. You may be surprised, but most folks don’t read all of the updates released by their internal Comms department… Seriously!
- Most career development people would say that if you have received information that you should share this with others so that you build reciprocal relationships. This is not really the case for Assistants – we have to be a little more cautious because maintaining the confidence of others is crucial. Obviously it is okay to share widely known information about the organisation but best not to tell people anything that a board level Director may have mentioned.