Five Strategies for Better Communication

Michele Warg
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The role of an administrative assistant includes not only managing an office environment but also maintaining effective communication with employees and clients. You can positively impact the productivity of the business by employing strategies that help to improve the operations for employees and the outcomes for management.

Ask Questions

It is not possible for an administrative assistant to know every single aspect of a business. Ask questions of both employees and clients to uncover information you need to complete your job well, suggests Joan Burge with Office Dynamics International. Avoid trying to impress others with a "know-it-all" attitude that risks delaying or preventing desired outcomes. Instead, seek out the answers you need to effectively serve others on a daily basis and improve your own communication skills to make you a more valuable asset to the company.

Dig Deeper

One question may not provide all the resources and tools you need. Dig deeper and keep asking questions until you obtain the answers you need. Employees would rather you ask multiple questions than assume you know what they need, as that overconfidence might delay a project or distort communication that impacts on others' progress or success.

Be Resourceful

Seek out information regarding the company's operations and competition by scouring the Internet for tips and tools. Be the eyes and ears for the employees and managers you support and alert them to key changes within the company or the industry as a whole. Share information that can simplify their daily tasks. Employees who are struggling with computer applications often appreciate tips or shortcuts that an administrative assistant can provide to reduce their frustration and allow them to better serve customers and clients.

Be Proactive

Show initiative when communicating with clients and employees. An administrative assistant who waits for others to request assistance is not as valuable as an individual who takes the initiative to jump in and help when needed. Seek out what your employees and managers need and provide the assistance before they have to tell you they need it. Build your investigative skills by increasing your own knowledge about the company's products and services so you better understand how to communicate with and serve upper management and employees. Become the "go to" person in the office.

Analyze the Information Flow

It may be tempting to share information you find with employees or managers immediately. However, it's wise to be cautious, especially when the information is concerning or impacts a broader range of business matters. Get your facts straight, and make sure that the information you have obtained is accurate before communicating with managers and employees to avoid any confusion or disruption of operations within the office.

Prove your worth as an administrative assistant by researching the needs of the employees and managers you support. Strong communication practices positively impact every aspect of a business and make you a more valuable asset on a daily basis.

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