Blending in is for beginners: Standing out as an exceptional EA

You may remember reading from a previous post that the peak skills an Executive Assistant needs eventually lead to the goal of being indispensable to your boss and team. Standing out as the best of the best will also make you irreplaceable to your company.

Let’s go through the last thirteen skills described in the blog post 17 Executive Assistant Skills in 2021 for Insane Effectiveness on


Continuing To Think Outside the Administrative Skills Box


  • Big Picture Thinking

As a business sounding board to the Executive of a company, an EA needs to understand its ins and outs by soaking up as much information from the different people in different levels and departments they come across.


  • Impeccable Organization

Thankfully, there are endless resources to help you stay organized in your schedule, data, and projects and align these factors with your team and Executive.


  • Ruthless Prioritization

An Executive always has multiple tasks to complete for various company departments, and it is the EA’s job to assist the Executive. Focusing on too many projects will lead to poor quality when completing assignments. The EA needs to know which tasks require the most attention.


  • Ironclad Discretion

As the Executive Assistant to an Executive, you will have access to sensitive information like trade secrets and financial reports. Trust is the most important thing you can possess in an EA’s role. It is imperative not to break this trust by accidentally letting sensitive information slip while posting on social media, talking to coworkers, or even family and friends.


  • Strategic Multi-Tasking

A simple multitasking technique prioritizes your tasks by focusing on the most important and finishing them one by one. Then, take the more mindless tasks, like replying to emails, and pair them with other mindless tasks. An article from entitled Productivity 101: An Introduction to The Pomodoro Technique explains another commonly used multitasking technique.


  • Supernatural Anticipation

Executive Assistants use keen observation to prevent common mistakes from occurring. Getting to know the Executive you work for and understanding their unique nuances and patterns will also improve your anticipation skills.


  • Emotional Intelligence

When working with various people from every level employees and contributors to executives from other companies to vendors, people skills are necessary. You can also use the article The 10 Commandments of Emotional Intelligence from as a resource for this skill.


  • Expert Level Communication (and a Penchant for Real Talk)

When improving communication with your superiors, be truthful when management asks for your feedback. Stick to your point of view no matter what. For advice on building Communication Skills, refer back to the AdminUniverse blog post entitled Skills to Prioritize in Your Role. For more advice on communicating effectively with your team, please read the blog post entitled How to Communicate Strategy To Your Team Effectively on


  • Speed and Decisiveness

Executive Assistants have the impossible task of making the right decisions, executing them with precision, and doing so promptly. Improving speed and decisiveness skills will only improve with practice and experience. You can also use an article on entitled 4 Steps That’ll Help You Cut Through the BS And Make A Hard Decision Faster as a resource.


  • Thick Skin and A Sense of Humor

An Executive Assistant’s job involves many tasks that seem impossible. The intensity of your position makes it essential to have “the ability to roll with the punches, reset after a bad day, and keep things in perspective,” as the blog from mentioned above says.


  • Networking

For advice on building Networking Skills, refer back to our blog post entitled Making the Right Contacts for Your Role.


  • Negotiating Skills

For advice on building Negotiating Skills, refer back to the AdminUniverse blog post entitled Skills to Prioritize in Your Role. You can also use Session 5: Develop Negotiating Skills, a resource page from Santa Clara University, to learn more and a series of negotiating simulations From Harvard Law School to build your skills by practicing.


  • Analytics Skills

For advice on building Analytics Skills, refer back to the AdminUniverse blog post entitled Skills to Prioritize in Your Role. You can also use the article on titled Analytical Thinker Tips: 5 Tips to Think More Analytically to learn more and several Thought Experiments from to practice visualizing what to do in different challenging situations.

To end our series on the above and beyond skills exhibited by Executive Assistants, AdminUniverse would like to acknowledge all the hard-working Administrative and Executive Assistants in the US and worldwide on Wednesday, April 27th, 2021, which is Administrative Professionals’ Day! Take this day and celebrate yourselves!

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer