As an Administrative Professional, you are at times the backbone of the company; supporting workflows, putting out fires, organizing everything from files to events, and oh – coordinating and integrating a variety of different personalities and skill sets. In many cases, you bridge the gap between departments, foster efficient communication and encourage a healthy morale. It’s no secret that interpersonal skills are required daily, whether you came into your position with a well-versed knowledge in how to deal with people or if you are learning as you go, here are four Points of Wisdom (POW) which rank high as most requested interpersonal skills an Administrative Professional can bring to the workplace:
POW #1. Integrity
Your position as an Administrative Professional at times requires you to handle lots of information, and at times that information is very confidential. Whether it is information about salaries, medical records, meeting notes or even inter-office drama, you end up with the most sensitive information. Staying on constant alert to remain a vault for those pieces of information is vital, because slipping a little info to the wrong person can cost you your job. You are brought in as an individual who has proven to be trustworthy and discretion is your best friend. It is part of your professional nature. It is of the utmost importance that you always keep your calm, and keep your cards close to your chest.
POW #2. Flexibility
Last minute details, unexpected callers, employees calling out of work, deadlines missed, new projects assigned… There is no end to the fun that will arise in your work week. You have most likely learned by now that nothing is a guarantee when it comes to scheduling and unplanned bits and pieces are bound to pop up and require your reorganization. In those trying moments, when everyone is running to you with a change of plans, it is imperative to stay as flexible as you can be.
This, of course, does not mean saying “yes” to every request – you know better than anyone what can be moved around and what needs to stay put. You also understand that the terrain is ever-changing and sometimes we must roll with the punches. You are ultimately the Tetris Master, knowing how to balance everything and maneuver things to fit best.
POW #3. Dependability
This last one goes hand-in-hand with Flexibility and Integrity. Because of who you are, and your excellent command of interpersonal skills, people depend on you. This means that you have to be dependable. You have to deliver on promises. This also means letting your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No” be “No”. Your communication must be consistent with your actions, because you are the guiding light that your office looks to.
Yes, everyone has an off-day, or a slip, but as an Administrative Professional, you must strive to always be dependable. This means being available for mini-counseling sessions, reminding employees of meetings or deadlines, handling the details, and managing the confidential information. It all comes back to Dependability. Whether you are new in the field or a seasoned veteran, you will always be working actively to hone this skill whether you are identifying your own opportunities for growth or curating your time management process to accommodate any unforeseen circumstances.
POW #4. Practice
Don’t fear if you notice an opportunity to grow in any of these four areas. The first step is recognizing that challenges are really opportunities for improvement. What makes you a success in your position is the willingness to take responsibility and continue to strengthen your skills! Practice being the best at what you do every day and look for ways to improve your work/life balance. Good luck out there being the lighthouses to guide your office to productivity!
Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, President and Master Trainer, who was an administrative professional herself, and her teaching style is grounded in authentic office experience. AdminUniverse™ can help you improve yourself, widen your skill set, and advance your career. Connect: email@example.com.