Many PAs who are looking to make the transition to an EA role or even existing PAs struggle with understanding the skills that are required to make you an Executive Assistant. One key skill for the EA role is the ability to delegate, which is a skill that many an EA or other managerial staff person struggles to enhance. Delegation in theory is not difficult; we have too much to do and we accordingly delegate the task to someone else. However, in the real world telling somebody to do something is not that easy.
A skill for anyone new to managerial grade jobs
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It is not just Executive Assistants who struggle with delegating to others, but it is also many junior and middle managers. This is for many individual specific reasons, but some key issues are that people are trained not be bossy and tell people what to do. It is ingrained in our social conscience not to be rude and make people not like us. Furthermore, mastering how best to ask different personality types to do various tasks is something we all struggle with. Some people are confrontational and resist doing extra work, so it is necessary to deal with them differently to the more natural helpers.
How to Delegate for an Executive Assistant
The comprehension of how to delegate effectively is also difficult to master. Is it the case that someone else is better suited to a task than yourself. This is an important question, you can gain greatly from understanding all the resources available and where talents, skills and work experience lie. It is great if you give a task to an expert who completes the tasks faster and to a higher standard. However, if you delegate inappropriately, time can be wasted in training the member of staff or redoing the work.
The added complication for an Executive Assistant
An Executive Assistant has it harder than their managers in many ways and one thing that is more difficult in this case is delegation. This is for one simple reason; they have not got the authority. Managers tell their subordinates to do things and they expect cooperation because they are their boss. An Executive Assistant sometimes has authority, but more often than that does not have any subordinates. Therefore, a good delegator in this scenario will need to use excellent people skills in order to get people to do tasks for them, as they do not have any line authority over them.
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These are some of the key skills that I have noticed Executive Assistants struggle with and you can find out about my Executive PA Course
on this link.