Technology is encroaching on an executive assistant’s purpose by allowing you (the principal / executive / boss) to schedule a lunch, coffee or call just by talking to your phone’s computer assistant. What Siri, Alexa or any other computer assistant can’t do is apply emotional intelligence to the interaction with the person you’re scheduling. Your executive assistant’s application of emotional intelligence is a big differentiating factor between average/good executive assistants and exceptional ones.
Is your executive assistant emotionally intelligent?
Before you can answer that question, we need to define what encompasses emotional intelligence. We view emotional intelligence as having four components:
- Self-awareness - being aware of how you are feeling
- Self-management - being able to manage your own emotions
- Social Awareness - understanding how to react to different social interactions / situations
- Relationship management - Empathy; ability to connect with others and navigate those relationships
An executive assistant who has high emotional intelligence understands the above four components either instinctually or through training and practice. By applying these thought processes to how they work, your executive assistant represents you and your business in the best possible light.
Here is an example of what that looks like:
An executive assistant who is self aware of their emotions is able to sense when they are uncomfortable with a request that might fall outside their purview and/or is being asked by someone other than their principal -which happens ALL THE TIME. They are then able to self manage that emotion by not reacting in the moment and taking the time to assess options and pick the best course of action. The key is being able to catch their negative emotions in the moment and not react at that time.
Further, the executive assistant then uses their social awareness to help pick the best course of action combined with their relationship management to communicate the path forward to the team in a way that is collaborative and makes the most strategic sense.
When working in this way, your executive assistant is putting the best ‘face’ on your office and providing a high level of hospitality to your co-workers, clients, customers and prospects. They won’t be able to put their finger on it but for some reason, they really like and respect your assistant. And guess what?... it makes you look pretty good too.