An assistant also functions as an administrator. Your job requires you to work with different people, and administrative soft skills are essential for success. Developing social intelligence, business acumen, office management skills, and active listening will improve your working relationship with those around you and make your life much easier.
Social intelligence is the empathy, understanding, and cognition that is necessary to be effective in social settings. It allows us to identify and interpret social cues and react appropriately. Empathy is the ability to understand or share feelings. Some people are naturally more empathetic than others. However, it takes more than empathy to have effective social intelligence. You run the risk of creating animosity if you react inappropriately in social situations. This requires understanding of social norms and cultural customs. Remember that different cultures have different social cues, so you should take some time to research cultural customs when working internationally.
Ways to Improve Social Intelligence:
Business acumen is the ability to look at the big picture and make the necessary decisions for the good of the organization. While many executives practice business acumen, assistants must also develop business acumen to be effective. Developing business acumen requires you to stay informed about the different aspects of the business and industry and educate yourself on the financial equations and their meanings. This will allow you to see the impact your role has on the organization.
Ways to Improve Business Acumen
An assistant must also operate as an office manager. This requires you to take on specific roles that are necessary in order for the department to move forward. Poor management skills will impede productivity for everyone.
Listening skills are essential for the assistant. Listening and understanding everything that is said may be difficult in a fast paced environment. This is where active listening will help. Active listening allows you to connect with and understand the speaker. Additionally, it is a skill that may be honed.
Improve Active Listening:
Ron was in charge of the details for a company conference. He had to talk to a lot of people when making the plan. The keynote speaker gave him an agenda, but he was trying to multitask while he took down the information. Somehow, he managed to write down the wrong arrival time, and no one was there to pick her up. Both his manager and the speaker were unhappy, and Ron had the problem of fixing the issue at the last minute.