When it comes to the skills that are important for an executive assistant to a CEO, time management, critical thinking, and moderation skills are essential. Technical and problem-solving abilities are also highly valued. An executive assistant must be able to anticipate the needs and preferences of their executive director without needing to be constantly directed. Having a great executive assistant is like having a gold mine for any busy executive.
But what makes an executive assistant great in today's ever-changing business world? Communication skills are also key for an EA. They act as a spokesperson for their executive, so they must have polished emails and proper phone etiquette. They must also be able to communicate strategies clearly and precisely, as well as be persuasive when needed. Most importantly, they must develop positive relationships with their executives.
The best executive assistants are both nice and tough; they know when to challenge the boss and when to accept, when to lighten the mood and when to stay serious, and when to be friendly without crossing any boundaries. From persuasion to attention to detail, here is a list of skills that every executive assistant should possess: clear, concise, and correct writing; the ability to take changes in stride; laser-like focus on which people the CEO wants to see; discretion with sensitive information; and the ability to assign responsibilities during the workday. Executive assistants often handle confidential documents and sensitive situations, so they must be able to manage these with care. They should also be able to recognize which parts of their workload can be taken over or restructured by the assistant.
Finally, they must be the eyes and ears of the executive at all times, listening carefully and being alert for potential problems or conflicts.