Being a PA or an Executive Assistant you have to deal with a lot of people and many gate keepers that will make your job a bit harder. But if you are able to quickly build relationships with people and learn to get your message across to them quickly and effectively, this will make you an essential part of your team.
Building up your relationship with your co-workers, managers and clients is also a very important stepping stone to your success, especially if you’re looking for a promotion within your company. Reading body language and responding accordingly, is the quickest way to win someone’s trust. And when they trust you, they are more likely to go the extra mile for you and not put up barriers. Implementing the tips below could instantly improve your relationships.
Watch them when they have their guards down.
Become the office stalker, in a non-creepy way. Watch them when they are away from work in a more relaxed environment, like when they are taking lunch. Take notes of whether they are chatty and polite? Are they comfortable voicing their opinions? If you study what they’re like when their guard is down, this will give you clues into how they like to treat others and be treated in return.
Watch closely for “closed” body language.
Crossed arms or legs and a lack of eye contact could signal that your co-worker might be uncomfortable or uninterested. Assess the situation with caution and don’t pry. A quick way to get them to be more open and to open up to you is to force them to use their hands. Give them something to hold, ask them to hand you something or if someone is known to use their hands when explaining, give them a chance to explain something to you.
Listen to them.
Don’t interrupt them in the middle of a story, unless it’s to ask a question. Try using questions that need an explanation instead of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. They might really need a chat and being a good listener is a skill we should all have. Really listen to them, make notes of what was said and ask them about it later on. People always appreciate that you listened and remembered things about them.
Most importantly pay attention to how they communicate.
Are they an email-only person? Do they pull you aside for delicate conversations? In order to communicate well and ensure that you get the fastest response, make sure you talk to them in the way that they prefer. It’s no use phoning someone who works in a fast paced department who will probably lose the note they wrote your message on within 5 seconds but they religiously check their emails every hour.
Drop the jargon.
Use language that your co-workers can clearly understand and relate to, instead of using corporate speak or overly technical terms – unless they are technical types. Jargon can confuse and complicate a discussion unnecessarily.