Four Ways to Appear More Helpful

Julie Shenkman
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To customers, perception is reality, and foremost among admin roles and responsibilities is creating the perception in the customers' minds that you're genuinely there to help them. While it might not always be possible to meet people's needs in quite the way they have in mind, it's generally possible to leave customers, coworkers, and colleagues alike feeling that you've genuinely tried to help them get what they need. Here are four ways you can adjust your admin roles and responsibilities to appear more helpful.

The first rule of appearing helpful is to be nice. It seems obvious, but a pleasant demeanor and a friendly smile are tremendously useful in establishing a rapport with other people. Once that rapport is in place, any shortcomings in the services you're able to render—you can't solve the problem, say, or you can't leave your desk to relieve a coworker for a break—will be interpreted as unavoidable inconveniences instead of your unwillingness to help.

In line with being friendly, and perhaps more important to workers with admin roles and responsibilities, is being proactive in seeking human contact. If you work at the front desk in an office that's open to the public, consider taking episodic walks around the lobby to see if any of the guests need anything. If you're mainly surrounded by fellow employees, do likewise. By getting up and looking for the people who need you most, you create the impression that you can't wait to be helpful.

Few experiences are as frustrating as people who hold admin roles and responsibilities without being able to handle the job. Not knowing company policies, the filing system, and the people you work with are ways of swiftly provoking negative reactions among customers, management, and others in the office. Consider taking homework with you when you leave the office each day. Study the company manuals, tech materials, and even notes you might have taken when you overheard company gossip. Knowing the ins and outs of the business is an essential skill for anyone with admin roles and responsibilities, and regular research will make you the go-to source for accurate information.

Admin roles and responsibilities aren't to be taken lightly, and no one person can ever hold enough information to be the final authority. Find ways to make this clear to the customers and staff you're interacting with. When you aren't reluctant to ask for help, call for a consultation on a difficult matter, or just walk into the boss's office with a question, you create the impression that you're the next best thing to an advocate for the person who needs help.

There are many ways to make yourself useful around the office, but nothing beats the impression that you're genuinely trying to live up to your admin roles and responsibilities. If perception is reality, these tips will help you shape the reality around you to get more out of your work every day.




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