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Here we are back to my interview with Maria Berthiaume CPS from Harrison College. She easily answered this question. Here are her 5 key actions:
Ken Konesco, her executive, agreed with Maria. He said you have to operate with absolute candor and openness.
This is easier said than done for many executives and assistants. Many managers and executives tell me they guard themselves from being open because they aren't sure that their assistant will react in a professional manner. I have met many administrative professionals over the years who are afraid to openly talk with their manager whether it is about having more one-on-one's or expressing their opinion about a process.
An assistant and manager will always have a hidden barrier or wedge if they do not openly communicate with each other; thus hindering the potential for a truly great working relationship.
After we discussed the above, I asked them, "Do you ever have days when you both are just out of sync? If so, how do you manage those days?"
Maria: "We may occasionally have out of sync days. With our long-term working relationship, we both recognize it pretty quickly and take action to change the direction or make corrections, etc. With the technology of today with email, electronic calendars, it can be a challenge to keep everything coordinated. Honestly, when we realize we are out of sync, we have a good chuckle and chalk it to "getting older" and move on!"
Ken added, "We've never left the office with a grudge and not talked about it for weeks."
I also jotted a note where Ken told me, "Part of our culture . . . I believe in faith, family, health and job. Lots of organizations forget about your faith, family and health and only push work."
Hopefully, Ken and Maria's manner of operating with each other as an executive and executive assistant have given you some food for thought.
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