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Executive Assistant Skills Assessment [2024]

Executive Assistant Skills Assessment [2024]

Have you ever asked yourself what exactly makes a great executive assistant (EA)? While there are many ways to answer this question, one thing is certain: A great executive assistant is the linchpin of organizational excellence, seamlessly blending handling competing priorities with timeless interpersonal finesse.

If this is the type of executive assistant you aspire to be, it will require soft skills such as self-awareness, problem-solving, time management, workload management, prioritization, communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, organization, and adaptability. In this article, you’ll find more information about the importance of these 10 executive assistant skills, as well as a simple self-assessment that will prompt you to evaluate the state of your skills and allow you to create a development plan that accurately reflects your current areas of improvement.

 

Create an actionable plan for your learning and development needs with our  Personal Development Plan Template!

 


Top 10 Executive Assistant Skills in 2024 (and Beyond)

Below, you will find a list of ten of the most important executive assistant skills. An emphasis has deliberately been placed on soft skills, given that the hard/technical skills requirements of an executive assistant often vary from person to person and organization to organization. Not to mention, this underscores the universal importance of transferable skills, that is, skills that transcend job titles and industry boundaries.

  1. Communication
  2. Problem-Solving
  3. Time Management
  4. Workload Management
  5. Prioritization
  6. Self-Awareness
  7. Collaboration
  8. Emotional Intelligence
  9. Organization
  10. Adaptability

Top 10 Executive Assistant Skills - Niagara Institute

 

Communication

Communication is a fundamental skill for every executive assistant, as it refers to your ability to exchange information, both verbally and in writing, with confidence and clarity, which, in turn, commands a level of respect necessary to fulfill your mandate.

 

Problem-Solving

Problem-solving refers to your ability as an executive assistant to assess problems/obstacles, think critically about potential solutions, and promptly implement solutions that minimize any fallout.

 

Time Management

Time management refers to your ability as an executive assistant to strategically allocate time in your schedule so that you may complete your tasks/projects on time but also respond to the dynamic demands of the executive(s) you are supporting at a moment’s notice, as needed.

 

Workload Management

Workload management refers to your ability to organize and schedule both your personal and executive tasks, which ensures all your responsibilities are handled and that the executive(s) under your care receive the support they need when they need it.

 

Prioritization

Prioritization refers to your ability to assess tasks, assignments, and responsibilities based on their level of importance and urgency to ensure effective time and resource allocation.

 

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness refers to your ability as an executive assistant to understand and recognize your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, and values.

 

Collaboration

Given the inherently collaborative nature of the role, collaboration is an essential skill for executive assistants as it refers to your ability to work with colleagues, superiors, and external stakeholders and establish productive working relationships with them.

 

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions as well as recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others, according to Harvard.

 

Organization

Organization refers to your ability to create structure and maintain order, both physically, digitally, and mentally, to optimize productivity for yourself and the executive(s) you support.

 

Adaptability

As an executive assistant, no two days are ever the same, as such adaptability is key as it refers to your ability to flexibly navigate change, handle unexpected challenges, and swiftly adjust to evolving priorities.

 

Executive Assistant Skills Assessment

Now that you have a better idea of the skills that will make you a great executive assistant, ask yourself the following series of questions. The key to this type of informal self-assessment is to be honest with yourself. The more honest you are, the better chance you have of gaining insight that will allow you to seek out development opportunities, such as training, that make a noticeable difference in your everyday life as an EA.

  • How confident do you feel communicating verbally with colleagues and superiors?
  • To what extent are you able to convey a message in writing with clarity and precision?
  • Do you believe your communication style commands the respect necessary to do your job effectively?
  • How quick are you to start thinking about potential solutions in challenging situations?
  • Do you seek feedback or evaluate the outcomes of your problem-solving efforts? How often? Who do you ask?
  • To what extent are you able to balance your own tasks with the dynamic demands of the executive(s) you support, responding promptly when needed?
  • Do you proactively plan time in your schedule to accommodate unforeseen executive requirements?
  • Do you handle your workload in such a way that you are able to support your executive(s) at a moment’s notice?
  • How consistently do you assess tasks, assignments, and responsibilities based on their importance and urgency?
  • Do you allocate your time, resources, etc. based on prioritization?
  • How often do you take stock of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions at work?
  • Are you able to recognize and manage your emotions when you feel triggered at work, such as during difficult conversations or high-stress situations?
  • Do you invest time and energy into your working relationships with colleagues, superiors, and external stakeholders?
  • Do you actively seek out opportunities to collaborate with others?
  • When working with clothes, to what extent do you actively seek out their input and perspective?
  • How well do you communicate and share information with those you work with?
  • How do you handle conflicts or differences of opinion when working with someone? Does your dominant conflict style help or hinder your ability to collaborate with others?
  • How confident are you in your ability to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of those around you at work?
  • To what extent do you actively listen and empathize with colleagues, superiors, or external stakeholders to understand their perspectives and concerns?
  • In what ways do you help create a positive emotional climate at work? What could you do more or less of that would contribute to a supportive atmosphere for all?
  • Can you not only create but maintain physical order in your physical workspace?
  • Is your digital information, such as emails, documents, and schedules, organized in such a way that you can find anything within minutes?
  • Do you have tools/processes in place that allow you to track tasks and deadlines for yourself and the executive(s) you support?
  • How do you handle unexpected changes or challenges that come up at work?
  • How difficult do you find it to adjust your plans or strategies to accommodate changes in the executive's schedule or organizational priorities?
  • Are you intentional about seeking out new information or skills to stay abreast of industry trends and changes? How often do you do so?

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