10 Traits of the Most Brilliant Executive Assistants

Executive and Executive assistant discuss something in the office. They are reviewing documents at the Caucasian woman's desk. A man is working in the background.

10 Traits of the Most Brilliant Executive Assistants

An Executive Assistant role is critical to the managing executive and the organization, and those who fill these roles need to be more than an assistant. As a hiring executive, you should consider looking for the best partners who can complement your needs and office objectives. Here are ten traits that the most brilliant of Executive Assistants possess.

1. Verbal & Written Communication

You may have a preferred communication style, but remember that your Executive Assistant will be communicating with a variety of departments, vendors, and staff. Find someone who can identify the audience and address them appropriately. You have a unique ability to understand the difference between conversational communication and professional liaison. Your assistant should too.

2. Master Organizer

A top-notch Executive Assistant can take a sea of chaos and turn it into a well-oiled machine. Always choose a candidate who demonstrates unique organizational skills. You will need someone who can identify an area that could use a little organization and show initiative.

3. Technology Savvy

The best Executive Assistants are not afraid of new technology and in fact, embrace it. They will routinely look for tools and resources to streamline communication processes and to correct inefficiencies. Try to find an Executive Assistant who will always be looking for new technology to suggest these improvements.

4. Resourceful

Some of the best Executive Assistants are those who know how to find answers where there are none. You should find an assistant who has the resources to identify solutions and make intelligent decisions without you, and in the company’s best interest.

5. Time Management Skills

Those individuals who can manage their downtime most efficiently make the best Executive Assistant candidates. How do you plan for your most productive day? There will always be busy schedules to manage and deadlines to meet. It’s best to hire a candidate who can plan and know those moments will arise.

6. Strategic Planning Abilities

Some assistants are best suited for an environment in which the day is dictated for them. The most productive Executive Assistants, however, know how to strategically plan for the week, the month, and the long term. They can foreshadow needs and plan the daily agenda to meet those big-picture objectives for their executive partners.

7. Detail-Oriented

The devil’s in the details, and you don’t have time, sometimes, to manage all of them. Make sure your candidates possess the skills to manage the details, remember the nuances, and document the nitty-gritty where others cannot. You will rely heavily on the partner who can keep up and fill in the blanks methodically.

8. Problem Solving

You may not always be able to provide a solution. The strongest Executive Assistants know how to problem solve effectively and aren’t afraid to make a decision if the situation arises. They can avoid paralysis by analysis and find efficient ways to fix problems in the absence of authority. Remember, weaker assistants may be afraid to make any decisions. They are more concerned with creating a channel of authority behind them. In the event they make a wrong call, they can avoid accountability.

9. Critical Thinking

This may piggyback onto the problem-solving skills, but in addition to identifying those traits, always identify the candidate who can demonstrate critical thinking skills. You will need someone who can think outside the box, but also within company guidelines to find innovations, solutions, and improvements.

10. Listening

The most brilliant of Executive Assistants possess the highest level of listening abilities. They listen to conversations in the office, among peers and within networking groups. They listen digitally to social media trends and industry news and keep their finger on the pulse of the community around them. They listen actively to even those non-verbal cues and can discern the best course of action.

Ultimately, anyone can be an assistant. But, only choose those who possess these traits in selecting the most brilliant Executive Assistants. For more tips and information, contact us! If you’re still searching for your best candidates, consider working with a boutique firm that can help you find these ideal assistants.