Administrative Assistant's Update - sample

April 2018

Focuses on the training and development needs of admin professionals and features topics such as hard skills (software competencies, writing, communication, filing) and soft skills (teamwork, time management, leadership).

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By Jennifer Lewington AAU Associate Editor When Laurier University executive as- sistant Janice Vilaca attended a public networking event with her new boss several years ago, she made sure not to stick by his side. Instead, she worked her contacts in the room while keeping tabs on Brian Rosborough, the newly appointed Senior Executive Officer of Laurier's Brantford Ontario campus in 2013. When she spotted community leaders he didn't know – but wanted to meet – she made sure to intro - duce them before excusing herself to speak with others. Her focus on the priorities of her boss, and the university, is one way that Vilaca practices what she calls "the service excellence mindset." She applies that phi- losophy to seemingly mundane tasks, such as daily updates to voice mail (see A new voice mail ... , page 4), as well as to meaty matters, such as anticipating the high level of administrative support, including weekly meetings (see Weekly meet- ings … , page 4) with Rosborough, for him to carry out his Laurier agenda. "Just working in the present or working a week ahead is okay and ad- equate," says Vilaca. "But to really be a strategic partner with your executive you have to be able to work at a level of seeing projects, initiatives and mandates of theirs in a much bigger picture." To that end, she sees herself as a "conduit" to facilitate productive encounters between those who walk into the senior executive office and Rosborough. For example, instead of staying seated at her desk, she makes sure to get up and greet visitors, creating a welcoming atmosphere. "Introduce yourself and be accommodating so that if you are ever asked to be at the [boss's] table, whether it's for taking minutes or being part of the conversa - tion, you are more comfortable." Vilaca urges new EAs to identify ways to become valued partners of the boss. "For a new admin assistant it is not just about the calendar, the agenda and the itinerary," she says. "It's about taking the initiative to prove APRIL 2018 P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T F O R C A N A D A ' S O F F I C E S U P P O R T S T A F F Administrative Assistant's UPDATE UPDATE PM #40065782 INSIDE Virtual assistants . . . . . . . . . . 2 Clients asking for help with their online presence and marketing LinkedIn tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 New Smart Replies feature uses artificial intelligence A tribute to you . . . . . . . . . . . 5 We celebrate Administrative Professionals Day this month Your path to upskilling . . . . . . 6 Here are some insights to help you plan and source your learning What the very best EAs do "The very best executive assistants use their intuition, business knowl- edge, motivational techniques and personal leadership to become an integral element of the executive's professional and personal life. "They adapt their technological skills to create and manage time- saving solutions. They want to be constantly improving. They have to be reliable and have self-discipline. "Executives have to be willing to delegate, but executives don't know what you know. So it lands on the desk of the assistant to edu - cate that executive about what he or she is capable of managing." Melba Duncan, in Harvard Business Review Continued on page 4 Brian Rosborough Being a strategic partner The EA challenge: Seeing the bigger picture Janice Vilaca

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