20 October 2017

What does it take to be an ideal EA?

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Behind every great executive is an even greater executive or personal assistant. But what qualities make the difference between a good and a great EA?

1. Master of the calendar

At all levels of government, executives live and die by the calendar. Between meetings, appointments, conferences, calls and presentations, the EA is like the air traffic controller of your life which keeps them from colliding.

2. Priorities, priorities

To be a master of the calendar the EA must often have the ability to prioritise as conflicting appointments arise. Thinking strategically and bringing only important items to their attention can be a desirable characteristic of an EA as you can use your discretion to deal with the more trivial items on the agenda appropriately.

3. They know what matters

Doing well as an executive only means so much if you don’t have time to spend with family and friends- not to mention getting your R&R. Balance is key and your executive assistant will help you achieve it.

4. There’s no ‘I’ in team

An executive and their EA is a partnership and establishing a working relationship based on trust and respect is crucial both to workplace wellbeing but also developing a dynamic skill-set for progressing in your own career. They should collaborate with their executives and work towards mutual goals.

5. They look after themselves too

A truly successful EA takes care of themselves as well as their executive. You can’t perform at your best if you aren’t energised and focused. A great EA has the ability to separate work from their home life which often means turning off emails- or at least dedicating a window of time to handle anything urgent and marking the rest for the following day.

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Senior Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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