Aligning your thinking in the Assistant role

In the dynamic landscape of executive offices and organisational divisions, Assistants play a crucial role as strategic partners, amplifying the productivity and effectiveness of their leaders. To accomplish this, Assistants need to align their thinking with the Executives they support.

Assistants can become strategic partners and provide valuable insights and support by understanding their Executive’s goals, vision, preferred communication styles, and natural behaviour.

In this article, we will explore the importance of aligning thinking, discuss practical strategies, and highlight critical questions Assistants can ask to foster collaboration and drive success.

Organising and executing goals

Assistants ensure that their CEO or Executive’s objectives, goals, and vision are organised, communicated, delegated, and executed. This shared responsibility requires a deep alignment of thinking and a division of tasks based on individual strengths. By working in harmony with Executives, Assistants can ensure that the right individuals within the organisation are assigned to specific tasks or projects while maintaining accountability and follow-up to ensure progress.

Understanding Executive goals

To align thinking effectively, Assistants must comprehensively understand their Executive’s goals and vision. This understanding extends beyond the organisational objectives and includes personal goals and aspirations. By proactively engaging in conversations about life vision, personal goals, and career aspirations, Assistants can provide support beyond the professional realm. This knowledge enables Assistants to present opportunities, conduct relevant research, and help Executives achieve their desired outcomes.

Meeting Agenda for Assistants and Executives

1:1 Meeting Template

The template you need to maximise the time spent with your Executive.

20 ways to impress your Executive

20 Ways to Impress Your Executive

The worksheet gives you 20 ideas to elevate you in the Assistant role.

Knowing what your Executive knows

To align thinking, Assistants must stay informed about the knowledge their Executives possess. This includes being aware of the information they consume, such as magazines, books, podcasts, and even personal interests. By sharing a similar baseline of knowledge, Assistants can anticipate their Executive’s perspectives and decisions, facilitating effective communication, drafting memos, and provide support on their behalf.

Understanding natural behaviour styles

Assistants can deepen their alignment by understanding their and their Executive’s natural behaviour styles. Utilising behaviour assessments, such as DISC profiles or the Enneagram, can foster self-discovery, self-awareness, and improved communication. By recognising their Executive’s preferred communication style, Assistants can tailor their interactions to be direct, efficient, and in sync with their leader’s decision-making processes.

Knowing how your Executive prefers to communicate

Effective communication is essential for aligning thinking. By understanding their Executive’s communication preferences, Assistants can choose the most appropriate channels, timing, and methods to convey information. This knowledge enables assistants to optimise their interactions, seek clarity, and provide timely support. Being aware of Executives’ peak creative or analytical times can help Assistants schedule meaningful discussions for maximum impact.

Challenging Executive thinking

As strategic partners, Assistants should align their thinking with Executives and challenge their perspectives when necessary. By asking powerful questions and providing a distinctive viewpoint, Assistants can foster critical thinking, drive clarity, and help executives make well-informed decisions. By engaging in constructive conversations, assistants become trusted advisers and contribute significantly to the success of their leaders and organisations.

Asking powerful questions

Asking thought-provoking questions is a valuable tool for aligning thinking. Assistants can use questions to gain clarity, understand desired outcomes, identify potential roadblocks, and gather necessary input from stakeholders. By asking questions such as, “Does this idea/project align with our mission?” or “What problem are we truly trying to solve?”, assistants facilitate more profound understanding and contribute to effective decision-making processes.

Aligning thinking with Executives is essential for Assistants to maximise their role as force multipliers. Assistants can provide valuable support and become strategic partners in driving organisational success by profoundly understanding their leader’s goals, vision, communication preferences, and behaviour styles.

Consider enrolling in our online course to enhance your skills as a strategic business partner and strengthen your ability to align thinking with executives. This comprehensive program will provide practical strategies, techniques, and insights to effectively support and collaborate with your executive, enabling you to contribute significantly to decision-making processes and goal attainment.

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your role and become an invaluable asset to your organisation. Enrol in our Strategic Business Partner Online Course today and advance your career.