9 May 2010

Building Relationships one Assistant at a Time

Assistants are in contact with other assistants on a daily basis.  It is important to build relationships with those we work with, but what about assistants we don't work with?

I breathe a sigh of relief when I get someone's assistant on the phone or receive an email from them.  If I hear from the assistant I know I am going to get answers and the process of setting up a meeting will go smoothly, but should I try to develop a working relationship with them?  Our bosses know the value of building work relationships and I think it is valuable for us as well.

My former boss was a lawyer, so building client relations was very important to him.  As his assistant I kept that in mind when dealing with his clients and their assistants. I had always made a point of getting to know the various assistants I worked with as I found it to be useful for both of us.  I could help them and they could help me, but I also found it to be good networking.  I heard about my current job from an assistant I dealt with regularly.  She received a job posting that she thought I would be interested in so passed it along to me and I have done the same for others.

I also get good tips from other assistants.  If I deal with someone and can see that they have organized something well, I will make sure to ask them about it. Or if I know they have a particular expertise, I will ask them their secret to success.  I have learnt some great tips that way.

Knowing assistants and having a working relationship with them is very important and can make the difference when you need to set up a meeting or if your boss needs to have a quick phone call with their boss. 

I never underestimate the value of my interactions with other assistants both on and off site. They are a valuable resource and I appreciate them.

1 comment:

Kay H. said...


I am in complete agreement with you on office relationships. It is my true belief that we (assistants) must be able to effectively represent the executive in the best possible way and communication plays a big part of that. I make it a habit to introduce myself to other assistants whether I am the new kid on the block or a long term employee.

As you previously stated, this is a great way to not only meet new people but you can expand your list of contacts to include the new assistant. Like you, I list the new assistant as not only a contact but a definite resource for future references.

I have found this practice to pay off big just when you need it!