An Executive PA has a very huge and demanding role of acting on behalf of the boss including executive reports preparations, representing the boss in meetings and communication among other roles. For this reason, the Executive PA is expected to be self-motivated, highly efficient, organised and computer literate to remain effective in the eyes of the boss.
Today there some institutions that offer Executive PA professional courses in diploma levels, but it takes more than just academic qualifications to deliver an Executive PA position in any organisation efficiently. Here are some tips on what makes a successful personal assistant which apply to different lines of business.
Understand the primary business strategy
The role of the executive is to form and implement business strategies in the organisation. Being a support to the executive, you will need to understand the goal of the organisation, so that you can analyse things in a broader perspective. Knowing what your boss is aiming to achieve, you will be able to speak his mind and get ideas on how to achieve the objectives. From the overall goals, you can set your own goals based on the role of your boss in the organisation.
Learn to accept and own your mistakes
The old saying: “we learn from our mistakes” is true, and as an Executive PA you expect to have learning curves from time to time. The best practice is to avoid mistakes as much as possible but whenever an error occurs you need to act professional and own it. Making excuses for a certain mistake is a wrong move, and most bosses will never welcome this. The recommended manner of dealing with a mistake is to accept, apologise and give a reasonable action you will take.
One critical role of an Executive PA is to relay information from and to the boss. You need to be very keen to avoid misinterpretations and be very clear and particular when passing information. Avoid surprises. Endeavour to ensure your boss is always the first person to know of everything happening around whether right or wrong to ensure that your boss is ever informed and in the loop. Timely communication will allow quick decision making to enhance high performance.
Since you are working closely with your boss, you will handle personal and confidential information. Keep it to yourself. If you disclose your boss’s bank balances, medical reports, phone conversations, email conversation, or any other sensitive information, it is highly unprofessional, and you will lose credibility as a trusted and honest PA. Resist from sharing such information or any confidential details about the organisation.
Become your boss’s memory
Your boss is always busy with many operations in the business and still has a personal life to run hence may lose track of some events or activities. Keep accurate records and always notify your boss about anniversaries, family birthdays, scheduled meetings, an appointment with clients and any other exercise whether about the business or their personal lives.
Develop relevant IT skills
As an Executive PA you will be required to perform tasks that involve IT, and the internet such as preparing presentations and documents, research or even make online purchases online. You need to be conversant with Microsoft Office packages, internet, email packages (Outlook, Lotus Notes, Gmail and many more). It is also crucial to develop an interest in the technology used in the business and if possible learn how it works. This will help you when preparing reports and allow you to make a helpful recommendation to your boss.
Your boss wants always to appear sharp and updated to create a good image and to maintain high performance and business growth. Also, it is imperative for your boss to have a healthy personal and social life and any skill that will help achieve these objectives will make you an indispensable Executive PA. The above skills and continuous personal growth remain very critical in your PA career.
Become an Executive PA whith this CPD Accredited Course in the Independent: Executive PA Diploma in London.