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The Executive’s Assistant Roundtable Discussion
A room full of participants worked the following 4 questions. Lorinda Lewis facilitated this forum.

  • What are the top 10 critical skills to be effective as an Executive Assistant?
  • Identify the top 5 challenges for Executive Assistants?
  • Identify 10 skills they have learned at the APC conference?
  • To preserve sanity, identify 5 things that can be done differently to demonstrate you take your job serious and yourself lightly?
Each of the questions were discussed and presented by three tables (there were 12 tables in total). It is interesting to see how each question, independently answered tie in which the other questions. The session started out where the answers would be consolidated into the top 10/5/10/5 answers, but so many relevant answers were given, they were all listed.

After the brainstorming of the responses below, Lorinda asked us to:
  • List one skill from Question 1’s list to improve on.
  • Choose two skills from Question 3’s list to help with that skill.
  • Choose one thing from list 5 to do to bring your job into more perspective.
  • Then she asked to network and exchange an email and in one month send this person an update to be held accountable.
If you are up to this challenge, please feel free to answer the questions in an email and in late October, I will email you back and personally ask how has it gone.

I know I had a great time at the conference, if you have any feedback or comments or would like to keep in touch please email me at editorus@deskdemon.com.
Question 1 - What are the top 10 critical skills to be effective as an Executive Assistant?
  • Effective Verbal & Written Communications
  • Multitasker
  • Leadership
  • Technical Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Ethics & Integrity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Teamwork
  • Networking
  • Being proactive
  • Respect
  • Balancing personal & professional life
Question 2 - Identify the top 5 challenges for Executive Assistants?
  • Calendar juggling
  • Dealing with Multiple Bosses
  • Changes/ Organizational Change
  • Keeping up with Tech skills
  • Unrealistic Deadlines
  • Ineffective / lack of communications
  • Not enough time in day
  • Responding to Email
  • Last minute deadlines
Question 3 - Identify 10 skills they have learned at the APC conference?
  • Setting “Smarter Goals” (note smarter)
  • Art of Living & Design
  • Speak YOUR truth
  • Stop seeking approval
  • Stop being activity driven and more out come driven
  • Breath from your diagram
  • Emotional Intelligence (fear, surprise, disgust, anger)
  • How to set 2 time zones in Outlook
  • Active Listening
  • Conflict (Identify /resolve) collaborate
  • Ethics and Policy need practice
  • Be more intuitive
  • Learning characteristics/ personalities
  • Stop taking things personal when they aren’t personal!
  • Project with boss, set precedence at day of goals
  • Work/Life balance
  • Know your boss / business associates
  • Skills = effectiveness
  • Communicate with clout & creditability
  • Partner with boss
  • Be creative
  • Time management
  • Leadership
  • Know the differences with gender communications
  • Ask Questions
  • Be Flexible
  • Give recognition to subordinates
Question 4 - To preserve sanity, identify 5 things that can be done differently to demonstrate you take your job serious and yourself lightly?
  • Meditation
  • Give extra time to organization
  • TAKE A LUNCH!
  • Attend conferences
  • Get to know the person who you work with for the person they are not the job they do.
  • Develop realistic expectations
  • Except things we cannot change
  • Trade off (ok to say no, offer alternatives)
  • Bring solutions to boss not problems.
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