What are the Most Important Skills and Traits for an Executive Assistant?

The three main skills needed for successful Executive Assistants are adaptability, interpersonal skills & organization.

What are the Most Important Skills and Traits for an Executive Assistant?

The three main skills of an executive assistant are adaptability, interpersonal skills, and organization. Behind every successful executive is a talented and hardworking executive assistant who performs some of the most comprehensive functions of a company. Finding an executive assistant recruiter who understands the needs and qualities needed can be invaluable. We recently interviewed Kelli Brandl, who has 25 years of experience as an EA and has worked with a large number of business owners and high-level executives with diverse personalities. Most companies use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce, Dynamics 365, Zoho, HubSpot or Adobe Marketing Cloud to manage their customer relationships.

These tools are extremely useful and managing them is an important job, so they can often be a big waste of time for business leaders. Because of this, many of the top executive assistants are familiar with these systems, even becoming certified in their use. The good news is that these databases and tools tend to be very similar to each other, so if you're familiar with one, you'll significantly accelerate the time it takes to get familiar with a new CRM system. If managing professional relationships and networks is a big problem for an executive, consider getting more involved with your company's CRM to find out if it can be used to help your executive remember key contacts and their information. An executive assistant (EA) is a highly valued staff member in any organization. If you're planning to expand your team, it's essential to understand the skills and qualities of the senior executive assistant.

A first-level executive assistant working in a fast-paced environment is more than just a primary administrative assistant. Ultimately, they offer a wealth of experience that can help an executive succeed. Here, we look at the high-level skill set that an executive assistant can possess along with their general functions. Organizational skills are essential in any type of administrator role. Executive assistants must be able to prioritize tasks, as there may be deadlines to meet.

Tasks such as booking trips and organizing meetings should be carried out efficiently. If an assistant can implement processes to ensure that all tasks are thoroughly completed, that's a significant advantage. Being organized often goes hand in hand with good time management skills. When tasks need to be done quickly and efficiently, knowing how to manage time during a workday and being able to perform tasks with confidence are essential if you want your company to stand out. It's imperative to interact politely and professionally with people at all levels of an organization. An executive assistant is often the company's first point of contact with which a customer comes into contact.

Having a warm and friendly attitude instantly makes a good impression, so customers or customers are likely to keep coming back. Of course, confidentiality is also an essential trait for any EA. Anticipating the requirements of an executive assistant is critical. This power of anticipation requires EA to have a high level of emotional intelligence. It cannot be overestimated to be able to see the future and prevent small problems that could turn into real problems.

Anticipation skills come from real work and life experience. An executive assistant who doesn't have the ability to prioritize tasks or who has a cluttered workspace isn't considered an efficient professional. This is definitely a skill that's much harder to teach than others, but it's incredibly useful as an executive assistant. An executive assistant is always good at offering solutions based on the latest discoveries and finding ways to improve. Often, the executive assistant needs to take on the role of an entire travel agency, booking flights, hotels, rental cars and more. Many companies simply don't have the resources to hire a full-time event planner, and in this case, an experienced executive assistant can prove invaluable. Being emotionally intelligent, for a personal assistant or an executive assistant, doesn't mean being polite and kind to people.

When working as an executive assistant in a digital world, you should also be familiar with the latest tools and innovations. This is a great example of a non-verbal signal that the executive assistant should write down and try to give his client some space to breathe after eating before he has another meeting. These are just a few of the various tasks that an executive assistant is responsible for managing, but depending on the employer and industry, the functions may vary. Whether it's a small board meeting or a larger business retreat, event planning is an essential skill of the executive assistant. A good executive assistant who is an expert in business management will know your preferences and will have made those decisions in advance, ensuring that the executive's promotion is as minimal as possible (they will simply approve your EA's recommendation).

People who can manage their downtime more efficiently are the best candidates for executive assistants. In addition, an executive assistant needs these key communication skills when dealing with clients and company clients, so she must also have the ability to actively listen to other people's concerns, ask questions, and be able to share those concerns in an appropriate and diplomatic way. Try to find an executive assistant who is always looking for new technologies to suggest these improvements. One of the main technical skills for executive assistants is the mastery of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook. Experienced executive assistants are likely to have seen a lot of different systems and processes, so they're familiar with areas that could be improved and with the latest digital tools that can help save time.

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