The role of an Engagement Manager: A hybrid approach to Executive Support

In this article, we are reflecting on a Virtual Summit session by Lauren Weggeman on the role of an Engagement Manager: A hybrid approach to Executive Support.

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic business environment, the role of an engagement manager has emerged as a skill that helps bridge the gap between a traditional Executive Assistant and a strategic Chief of Staff. This hybrid role entails two primary responsibilities: freeing up time for your Executive and helping them reinvest that time in meaningful ways, mainly focused on building and nurturing key relationships.

So let’s explore the practical aspects of transitioning into an engagement manager and implementing effective strategies to maximise productivity and relationship-building.

Gaining Executive buy-in

The first step in transitioning into the role of an engagement manager is to talk with your Executive about the potential shift in responsibilities. Building a partnership mentality with your Executive is essential, emphasising that the role aims to enhance their productivity and support their strategic goals. By securing their buy-in, you can establish a foundation for collaboration and mutual understanding.

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Harnessing the power of dictation

Dictation is a powerful tool that facilitates efficient communication and information sharing between Executives and Engagement Managers. By leveraging dictation apps like Audio memos pro, Executives can effortlessly provide context, share meeting outcomes, and delegate tasks immediately after discussions. Integration with task management platforms such as Monday or Todoist enables Engagement Managers to convert dictations into actionable items, draft emails, and maintain a comprehensive overview of ongoing activities.

Meeting debriefs for comprehensive context

Meeting debriefs serve as an extension of dictation, capturing additional details beyond the follow-up email. The APPA acronym (Action items, Professional challenges, Personal interests, and Additional factual information) provides a framework for identifying key elements to document. By promptly communicating action items, tracking professional challenges, noting personal interests, and sharing relevant facts, you can gain valuable insights that help strengthen relationships and foster effective communication.

Loop leverage

Loop leverage is a systematic approach to managing commitments and ensuring follow-through. By creating loops for open action items, you can establish a process to track and review pending tasks within a specific timeframe. This practice prevents items from slipping through the cracks and helps maintain accountability. Setting reminders and check-ins within a task management system will allow you to provide timely updates and progress reports to your Executives.

Enhancing communication with ‘beat the ping’

Improving communication between Executives and an Engagement Manager involves adopting strategies to address pending requests and questions proactively. The concept of ‘beat the ping’ will encourage you to keep stakeholders informed by providing regular updates on ongoing projects or tasks. By anticipating questions and structuring queries in a yes/no format, you can streamline communication, enhance efficiency, and reduce unnecessary interruptions.

In the Virtual Summit session, Lauren provided a comprehensive onboarding into the role of an Engagement Manager versus an Executive Assistant position. She illustrates how to become an essential resource for Executives and operate strategically. If you want to upskill or improve your performance as an Assistant, consider enrolling in the Strategic Business Partner Online Course. Make sure you maximise your potential by understanding what success looks like in the Assistant role.