Building a Strong Relationship with Your Executive

We have interviewed many high-performing Assistants over the last decade. They all share with our community the importance of building a strong relationship with your Executive.

In one of our most popular interviews, Bethany Burns, Former EA to the Co-Founder of BrewDog, spoke about how she has developed a close and symbiotic relationship with her Executive, which made her critical to the overall business.

In this article, we will share her strategies for building a strong relationship with your Executive.

Knowing your Executive inside out

Bethany emphasised the importance of truly knowing your Executive in and out. This requires hard work, intuition, and being one step ahead. It means understanding their interests, reading their emails or articles in advance, and be prepared to discuss relevant topics. By staying informed and being proactive, you can position yourself as a valuable resource for your Executive.

Meeting Agenda for Assistants and Executives

1:1 Meeting Template

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Being available and open

Bethany stressed the need to always be available and open to learning. This means being responsive to your Executive’s needs and requests and constantly seeking ways to improve and enhance your skills. It also means being willing to take on tasks that may not be in your job description but that contribute to your Executive’s success and the business’s overall success.

Wanting your Executive to succeed

Bethany shared a mindset that has helped her build a strong relationship with her Executive – wanting her Executive to succeed. She approached her role as an Assistant with the mindset of being the Assistant she would want to have.

This means going the extra mile, being willing to do things out of the ordinary, and supporting her Executive’s goals and aspirations. She fostered a positive and collaborative working relationship by genuinely caring about her Executive’s success.

Avoiding toxic work environments

Bethany also shared the importance of a healthy and positive work environment. She acknowledged that not all Executives are great, and it’s essential to recognise when you’re in a toxic situation and take steps to change it. Moving on from an Executive or work situation that doesn’t align with your values or goals is okay. Life is too short to be miserable at work, and finding an Executive who respects and values you can make a significant difference in your career satisfaction.

While there is no one right way to build an effective relationship with your Executive, these real-life strategies provided by Bethany Burns are extremely helpful.

If you want to learn more about establishing strong relationships within the workplace and develop into a Strategic Business Partner with unlimited career potential, then enrol on the Strategic Business Partner Online Course today. It provides further insight into many topics, such as executive communication; values-based leadership skills; alliance building, decision-making strategies and best practice procedures. You will expand your understanding and insights on developing into an effective leader in your own right.