An effective executive assistant must call upon a wide range of skills. To be a truly great one means a lot of multi-tasking; the ability to keep a lot of balls in the air, but to never show how tremendously busy you are getting.
This means that an effective executive assistant has to have great organizational skills, and a knack or anticipating and solving problems. The executive assistant is, in many ways, the most important person in an organization, the one who serves as a kind of gatekeeper, and can provide information and communication to the association’s managers, supervisors, and staff.
One of the core skills, then, is communication. The executive assistant must have outstanding communication skills. The assistant is in many ways the face of the organization, serving as the first point of contact who puts its best foot forward with clients, long before any manager has any contact with them. The executive assistant must answer the phone pleasantly and greet visitors with a smile on his or her face. These visitors are almost always going to be coming in to address a business issue. It is critical that the executive assistant is able to handle those who are upset, and show a great deal of patience and creativity. The assistant must show great attention to detail, handle office politics, and maintain confidentiality.
Annamarie Lopinto is an executive assistant at JPL Group. She is also a student at Broward College, where she is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Finance.