15 Undeniable Skills of an Administrative Assistant (Part 3 of 3)

executive admin

Today’s blog is one in a series on education, best practices and industry hot topics related to careers in Administration, including but not limited to those working as Executive Assistants, Admin Assistants and Office Managers.  Today’s Admins handle duties that have no limits in scope and as the greater Philadelphia’s most trusted Corporate Transportation partner, Kevin Smith Transportation Group is invested in supporting those who work to make sure their companies run smoothly every day. 

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-314-7034 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

Last week, we covered part two of the 15 undeniable skills that every Admin has or needs.  If you haven’t read last week’s blog, click here to see what some of our Rockstar Admins that we work with shared.  Here is the final list of 5 must-have skills.

11.  Effective Communication

There’s no type of communication that Admins don’t touch. They have to be savvy on the phone, write excellent emails, and project confidence when they speak to employees at all levels face-to-face. Often, they have to write company-wide communications or even put together presentations on behalf of their boss.

No matter what the medium, their communication has to be clear, direct, and succinct. This is especially true for Admins who work closely with executives. CEOs and other senior leaders don’t want dissembling, rambling, or any other sort of run-around.  They want you to get right to the point.

Learning the most effective way to do that helps separate the good Admins from the great ones.  Admins looking to sharpen communication skills can enlist the help of a go-to review buddy. This person is ready to provide casual feedback on face-to-face scripts, emails, and anything else. They’re not performing an in-depth review but simply pinpointing areas that just don’t make sense.

Even after just a few review rounds, Admins will see different pathways for increasing clarity in their communications.

12.  Tech Savviness

Admins and technology sort of go hand in hand these days. It’s not just email anymore.  Admins are expected to be proficient in a wide range of integrated apps and platforms.

We’re talking communications apps like Slack, calendaring systems like Calendly, billing systems, travel reservation platforms, HR systems like TriNet, employee engagement software like 15Five or TINYpulse or even CRMs like WordPress.

That’s a lot of tech!

When things go wrong, you can’t always rely on IT personnel. In fact, at smaller companies, the Admin might actually be the “volunteered” tech guy or gal. If you can reboot a crashed computer, publish a blog post in WordPress, or even just restart the internet, you’ve got a leg up in the Admin Game.

So how can Admins polish their tech savviness? They can start by making a list of frequently used tech and identifying which tools they’re least comfortable with. After that, practice makes perfect. We recommend blocking off an hour each day to experiment with different tech, get to know the systems and browse the tools’ Help and Community pages.

Many of these pages have treasure troves of resources most people never even look for.  Some pages even have 24/7 chat interfaces or phone lines run by tech experts that can answer any question. When the next big technically difficulty arises, the big fix might be as easy as knowing where to go to get help fast.

If you want to hire your own Personal Assistant to book ground transportation, call 610-314-7034 and speak to one of Kevin Smith Transportation Group’s Corporate Concierges who can assist you with everything from Airport Transportation, Executive Black Car Service and Employee Shuttle Services.

3.  Big Picture Thinking

Trusted Admins are often de facto advisors to senior leadership. They can serve as a sounding board for new ideas, suggest new processes, or even weigh-in on hiring decisions.

The best Admins provide valuable insight by making recommendations based on an understanding of a company’s business and its culture. Knowing how to think about things in the context of a bigger whole is critical.

Big picture thinking might sound like something best left to the visionaries of the world, but in truth, everyone can cultivate the ability to think ahead. Consider driving. Good defensive driving involves scanning ahead to see where the road is taking you.

This same technique applies to abstract concepts, like company goals. What road are you paving for your company with the actions you take today? What obstacles do you expect to confront? Once you can visualize these things, you can prepare for them.

14.  Attention to Detail

If big picture thinking matters, the flipside is also true. Details are important in Admin work and having a keen eye for them is indispensable.

Think about it.  A lot of what an Admin does is relatively high-stakes. If you don’t get that exec on a flight, she might not be able to close that next round of funding that your company needs to keep the lights on.

If you don’t get a finicky vendor paid on time and for the right amount, they might turn around and sue your company. Or worst of all, an errant mistake on your part might make your boss look bad.

Quality control when it comes to details is a big asset for any Admin.

15.  Prioritization

Through the art of prioritization, Admins can transform a to-do list into a list of invaluable accomplishments. An ability to differentiate between “mission-critical tasks” and “tasks that can wait” showcases impeccable judgement, leadership skills, and an alignment with company values.

 Best of all, prioritization showcases competence, inspiring trust from leaders who are thrilled they don’t have to hold any hands.  Prioritization might also be the key to keeping calm while facing a task list that multiplies by the second. A lack of focus in these situations leads to panic, and panic kills productivity. Diving right into a few critical tasks and tabling trivial ones keeps priority workflow moving while reducing the stress of trying to get everything done.

Admins can boost prioritization skills by listening carefully during meetings and casual chats to absorb the context behind different assignments and better judge their importance. We also recommend going through the to-do list and asking, “What does this affect?”

The true priorities will emerge soon.

Thank you for reading part three of today’s blog on the Administrative Professional industry.  Please visit us next week as we continue our series of blogs on tips, industry news and strategies that directly impact every Administrative Professional.

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