8 Killer Tips for a Successful Executive and Assistant Partnership

The London workplace is a fast-evolving landscape but the core ingredients of successful relationships often remain constant. This is certainly the case when you consider the relationship that exists between an executive and assistant.

Here are some top tips to ensure that the EA relationship is a successful one.

1. Communication is at the top of every list

At the top of every list that will ensure a productive and effective relationship between executive and assistant is communication. The executive assistant job will be far more difficult if communication is lacking. Most executives see themselves as excellent communicators, but it’s easy to fall short.

An EA benefits greatly when executives take the time to brief and explain. It is the quality of ongoing verbal communication that keeps work flowing, reduces the likelihood of mistakes, and often flags issues before they raise their ugly head.

2. Consistent processes

When people and processes work in tandem, success is the result. Key day-to-day processes, such as calendar and email management, and regular scheduled meetings are the nuts and bolts of the executive assistant job. They are also crucial to an effective relationship between executive and assistant. Almost as important as ensuring these processes are clearly defined is the need to implement them consistently.

3. Give regular status updates to each other on a regular basis

Neither executive nor assistant should wait for updates from either party. Status updates from both sides are vital.

4. Continual improvement

In any walk of life, standing still eventually leads to going backwards. Things change and technology moves quickly. Processes that are part and parcel of an executive assistant job need to be current. A growth mind set of continual improvement is necessary for any EA in London.

5. Encourage feedback

Feedback is something that should be encouraged and welcomed at all times. It needs to be natural and not something that is solely reserved for performance reviews. Feedback works both ways and it keeps relationships sharp.

6. Quarterly strategic meetings

With the business world largely structured into quarters, it makes sense to hold strategic meetings between executive and assistant at the beginning and end of each quarter. This serves as a good way of updating each other and establishing priorities.

7. Make the uncomfortable comfortable

Disagreements are fine and only natural. Uncomfortable conversations are necessary at times. However, if an executive assistant (or executive) tip-toes around an issue, it never gets dealt with. Relationships need to be transparent and both need to feel that they can raise any issue with the other.

8. Compliments and praise

You should never underestimate the value of receiving praise and compliments. Sometimes an executive assistant can feel undervalued or taken for granted. And executives are only human too. Praise is important to them as well.

These tips are as relevant to new EA relationships as they are long-standing ones. Coby Philips are celebrating 21 years of recruitment and many of these principles: consistency, process, and continual improvement ring true to us.

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