The better connected your assistant is, the more effective he or she can be assisting you. Encourage a strong network with these practices:
- Make introductions. Guarantee that your fellow executives and other important contacts know your assistant by name. That will make it easier for your assistant to act successfully on your behalf.
- Offer opportunities to network. Give your assistant assignments that involve other departments throughout your organization. Encourage your assistant to join professional associations, such as the local chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Your assistant will develop more skills, will have a pool of people to call on for assistance and advice, and will be able to open more doors for you.
- Respect boundaries. Just as you expect your assistant to keep information confidential, don’t expect your assistant to share with you everything he or she hears. In fact, your assistant will be more valuable to you if others feel free to talk when your assistant is around. Rely on your assistant’s judgment to let you know when you should be aware of something sprouting on the office grapevine.
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