Did you know there are intensive training courses to help Managers work with their Personal Assistants effectively? In addition to supporting both manager and PA to understand each others working style, they are designed to help managers learn to delegate and operate more efficiently, while at the same time, teaching PA’s how to anticipate requests, manage time, and work proactively.
Often managers that have built their businesses from the ground up or worked alone for a long time have trouble letting go of tasks, and their poor PA’s are unsure how to wrangle these tasks from them (short of getting into a physical tug-of-war!) so it is understandable that these courses we created. There is a real art to using an assistant correctly!
With training like this existing for managers whose PA is right beside them every single day, literally sitting IN their office, you’d be forgiven for thinking that using a Virtual Assistant would be more complicated! I’m here to tell you why this isn’t the case.
Read on to discover a few of my top tips explaining how you can reap all the rewards of using a VA service and avoiding a few critical pitfalls.
Let’s start from the part in the process where you have chosen a VA company, been assigned your fab VA, and you’re about to speak to them/email them for the very first time with your requirements. Before you dial the number or hit send on that first email, remember that your new VA is coming into this cold. What I mean by ‘cold’ is that although you might have been in your business for years and know it inside out, your new VA does not. Not yet. If you want an assistant who is more than just someone who does the bare minimum that you ask of them, you need to be willing to invest some time initially.
Establishing solid foundations early on will set you up to obtain massive rewards in the future. This early communication process is enhanced with clarity, honesty, and a degree of trust. You need to share your leadership/management weaknesses and strengths as well as your expectations and list of tasks. For example, if you're not good at delegating, be sure to communicate this with your VA so they can plan to handle this potential roadblock at their end.
Once your VA has a good understanding of the ins and outs of your business and the way you like to work, they will be able to extract tasks from you, suggest other jobs they could do to free up your time, and even teach you how to delegate. The more your VA knows about you and your vision, the better they can assist.
Emails are an excellent but rather time-consuming method of communication, so instead of spending your precious minutes tip-tap-typing away to get in touch with your VA; we suggest using a super quick form of communication such as WhatsApp, which will allow you to keep your VA in the loop with regular voice messages.
One example of how you might use this is when you come out of a meeting. Simply send your VA a voice message covering what was agreed, and what you need to do. You may find they come back and say 'oh well I can do that for you' or 'Let me get you started by doing XYZ'. Getting into the habit with this instant communication helps create an efficient workflow and ensures your VA can work with agility; keeping their finger on the pulse of your needs. The more they know about your plans, the better than can hone in on your specific requirements, and the more proactive they can be.
Once you have established cadence together, your VA will genuinely become a secret weapon in your business. In addition to kissing goodbye to a whole host of tasks that have been leaching your time and energy (not to mention preventing you from being able to push forward and grow your business), a good VA can help you streamline entire business systems with the use of fit-for-purpose automation tools. You’ll free up so much time; it will feel like you’ve been cloned!
Ultimately being able to succeed with using a Virtual Assistant comes down to maintaining clear and regular communication; it is the number one factor determining your success or failure. If you fail to communicate well, believe me when I tell you that the working relationship will simply stop working. In fact it might take a sharp nose-dive straight off a cliff, and no one wants that to happen!
So share your ideas, fears, thoughts, concerns, and plans with clarity and confidence. Trust that your VA knows precisely what to do with the information and watch your business soar as your working relationship strengthens and you witness your Virtual Assistant stepping up to the plate time and time again. If Red Bull ‘gives you wings’, then an excellent Virtual Assistant will have you flying at private jet heights. Prepare to leave your competitors in the dust!
Have you read our blog titled ‘The 7 Tragic Mistakes You’re Making with using a VA’? If not, read it here for more ideas on how to ensure you succeed working with your VA.