Fostering strong relationships with Executives

Behind every successful Executive, there is often an invaluable Assistant working in sync, playing a pivotal role in their achievements. As an Assistant, developing a solid working relationship with your Executive is more than just a career goal – it’s a critical factor in maximising your potential and contributing significantly to the organisation’s success. Building rapport, trust, and credibility with your Executive is a process that requires proactive communication and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. In this article, we’ll explore essential strategies for assistants to build solid relationships with their executives and become indispensable assets to their success.

Initiate Open and Honest Conversations

The foundation of any strong working relationship is open and honest communication. Take the initiative to engage your Executive in meaningful conversations beyond daily tasks. Ask thought-provoking questions that show your genuine interest in their goals, challenges, and vision for the organisation. Actively listen to their concerns and perspectives, making them feel valued and heard. Executives appreciate assistants who take the time to understand their objectives and seek to align their own contributions accordingly.

Anticipate Needs and Provide Proactive Support

Great Assistants anticipate their executives’ needs even before they arise. By paying attention to patterns and trends, you can proactively provide support and solutions, thus alleviating some of the burdens they face. This approach streamlines the workflow and demonstrates your ability to think ahead and act decisively. Whether it’s organising a busy schedule, preparing documents for an upcoming meeting, or conducting thorough research, proactive assistance will undoubtedly elevate your value in their eyes.

Meeting Agenda for Assistants and Executives

1:1 Meeting Template

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

Questions to Ask a New Executive

Use this guide to work in sync with your Executive from day one.

Identify Specific Areas of Support

Rather than offering vague help, focus on identifying specific areas where your expertise can be most valuable to your Executive. By showcasing your skills and specialisation in particular tasks, you become an indispensable resource for their success. Whether it’s exceptional organisational abilities, strong problem-solving skills, or a talent for relationship management, make sure your Executive knows the unique contributions you bring to the table.

Cultivate a Solutions-Oriented Mindset

Executives face constant challenges and decision-making pressures. As their Assistant, adopting a solutions-oriented mindset can be a game-changer. When presenting challenges or obstacles, also propose potential solutions. By providing well-thought-out options, you become a trusted advisor rather than just a task manager. This approach demonstrates your commitment to the organisation’s success and showcases your leadership capabilities.

Embrace Discomfort and Seek Growth Opportunities

Building a solid relationship with an executive may involve stepping out of your comfort zone. Embrace new challenges and seek opportunities to grow professionally. Whether taking on additional responsibilities or acquiring new skills, being open to change and growth will impress your Executive and highlight your adaptability.

Respect Boundaries and Demonstrate Reliability

Respecting boundaries is essential in maintaining a healthy working relationship. Understand your Executive’s preferences for communication, availability, and work styles. Consistently deliver on your commitments and deadlines, showcasing your reliability and professionalism.

As an Assistant, fostering a solid relationship with your Executive is a strategic investment in your career growth and the organisation’s overall success. By initiating open and honest conversations, anticipating needs, and identifying specific areas of support, you become an indispensable partner to your Executive. Embrace discomfort, seek growth opportunities, and cultivate a solutions-oriented mindset to continually add value and showcase your leadership abilities. Remember, a solid working relationship with your Executive is not just about accomplishing tasks – it’s about becoming a trusted confidant and a key driver of success.