All sorts of headlines promise to show us how to enjoy life, be better, set goals, get more done, and so on. But often times, behind these headlines are posts with vague thoughts on work and life. They might inspire us to be more but do they actually help us day-to-day? My goal with this post is to give you something you can apply to your job today.
Is your assistant asking questions that increase productivity and efficiency? If not, are they afraid to speak up, or do they simply not know what to ask? Do you encourage them to ask?
6 Questions Your Assistant Should Ask You
Open dialogue is crucial to a productive – and healthy – working relationship. These 9 counterintuitive questions to ask your assistant are a good start, but you shouldn’t be the only one asking.
A good assistant should regularly ask you questions with the purpose of helping you gain more time, energy, and success.
Share this list with your assistant and encourage them to speak up!
1. What’s one thing I could do to make your job less stressful this week?
Your assistant’s job is to make your job easier. If they aren’t asking, perhaps their job description isn’t clear?
2. In what way do I frustrate you? How would you recommend I change?
If you’re frustrated about something your assistant is – or isn’t – doing, make it known. Don’t just leave it at that though. Suggest a solution to encourage change.
3. What’s my greatest strength? Do you believe this strength is being utilized? If not, what changes could we make to get more out of me in this area?
Your assistant may be really good at managing your calendar and communicating to your staff. Do you give them margin to work in those areas, or are you asking them to run unimportant errands all the time? Get more out of your assistant by allowing them to work in their strengths.
4. Is there a task or project you’re working on that I could take care of instead?
Stop micro-managing or holding on to tasks that aren’t on your job description. Read my post here for more on why we micromanage, and how to stop.
5. Could we rearrange our calendars to make things easier, more enjoyable, and more productive for you?
The answer to this question is always, “Yes.” Your assistant should be aware of what meetings you should or shouldn’t be attending. Make it a priority to sit down with your assistant and do an audit of your calendar. Here are some practical tips as well as a free tool for helping you manage your calendar before it manages you.
6. How can I help you prioritize your to-do list for the week?
Many executives know what they need to do, but get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Your assistant can help you break your to-do list down into bite-sized tasks. Then, you both can work together to prioritize the list so you don’t miss anything important.
My hope is these questions serve as a starting point for open dialogue between you and your assistant. After all, there’s no such thing as over-communicating.
I help leaders find, equip, and empower an assistant to gain more time, energy, and success. Click here to learn more about my coaching services.