As an Assistant, managing your manager can sometimes be a challenging task. In a recent Virtual Summit, Podcast Host and Founder of The Linchpin Assistant, Liz Van Vliet, shared the three P’s – Preferences, Priorities, and Pet Peeves – which can be a helpful approach to building a solid working relationship with your Executive and ensure smooth communication and collaboration.
In this article, we will explore how understanding these three P’s can help you effectively manage your Executive and share some practical tips for incorporating them into your daily interactions.
Preferences: How Your Executive Likes Things Done
Understanding your Executive’s preferences is crucial to aligning your work style with theirs. It involves knowing how they like things done and what works best for them. For example, it could be how they prefer formatted documents, their communication preferences (such as using Slack or WhatsApp), or how they like to close off a conversation. You can gain insight into their preferences by observing and noticing their communication style, work pace, and time orientation.
To proactively understand your manager’s preferences, initiate a conversation with them to discuss and document their preferences. This can be done when you start working together or even if you have been working together for a while but feel the need to clarify certain aspects. By having an open and honest conversation, you can ensure that you are aligned with their expectations and preferences, making your work more efficient and effective.
Priorities: What’s Important to Your Executive
Understanding your Executive’s priorities is essential to ensure your work aligns with their expectations and goals. This involves knowing what tasks or projects are critical to them and their manager and what they want to achieve in their role and career. By being aware of their priorities, you can allocate your time and efforts accordingly to support their goals and make a meaningful contribution to the team.
To incorporate their priorities into your communication, regularly check in with your manager to review and discuss their priorities. You can use phrases like “I noticed that you indicated that your priorities were A, B, C, and D, and I want to discuss how we can align our efforts to support these priorities.” By keeping an open and transparent communication channel, you can ensure that you are on the same page with your manager and working towards the same goals.