30 April 2008

Teaching Your Boss to be the Boss

I read an interesting article in Canadian Lawyer Associates magazine called "Here to Help" by Helen Burnett. It brings up the subject of young lawyers needing to be taught how to make the most of having an assistant. I think it would apply in all offices. It quotes some very forward thinking law firms who run seminars for new associates on how to work with an assistant. What a great idea for the executive and the assistant.

I think as assistants we may not realize how intimidating it is for young executives to have someone working for them for the first time. Many executives, although they are good at what they do, whether they are doctors, lawyers, scientists or engineers, might not have a clue how to be a boss.

I have had young executives apologize for the workload they gave me or ask me if I would mind assisting them at my convenience. I have told them that they should not apologize for giving me work. They are the boss.

A more experienced assistant can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to the young executive and scare them away from asking for help because they may feel intimidated by our office knowledge. I remember telling a young executive that I may act like the boss, but he was the boss. He smiled, but he got the point. We may need to give up the reins and let the new executive be the boss.

I found this website called Open Loops Because it's Your Time by Bert Webb. He wrote a post "6 Ways to Better use Your Administrative Assistant". I would love to work for this guy. Take a look at the article. It is written to executives, but assistants would benefit from it as well. I think it would be an ideal working situation no matter what side of the desk you work on.

Goals to help you work by

As an assistant I often feel left in the dark as to what my executive's goals may be and how I can help him or her achieve them. Executives should share where they want their practice to go so the assistant can help them get there. An assistant who buys into their boss's objectives and goals can be a key player and help to them.

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