Techniques for Assisting Multiple Bosses

Administrative Assistant Resource
May 22, 2012 — 2,224 views  
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Over time, administrative professionals get to know the individuals whom they are assisting, and this makes life easier for both parties. When administrative professionals must assist multiple bosses, however, this symbiotic relationship is often challenged -- especially when those bosses are very different. Still, administrative professionals can use these two techniques to make assisting more than one boss easier and more effective for everyone involved.

1. Administrative professionals should invest the same amount of time and care into getting to know both bosses.

Whether an additional boss was added five years after the administrative professional had been working for her first boss or an administrative assistant is expected to work for two bosses from day one, it is important that the administrative professional not show favoritism. The reasons for this are simple. First, showing favoritism could actually divide the relationship between the bosses, which is bad for the company and bad for the assistant. Second, when an administrative professional gets to know one boss's preferences and work habits better than another, that administrative professional is bound to be ineffective with at least one of his or her bosses, which means that he or she will be ineffective at his or her job and will not be considered an asset to the company.

Instead, it is advisable that the administrative professional schedule a meeting with his or her bosses and ask them about their preferences, such as how they like to receive call logs, what details they like to know when an appointment is scheduled, and to what degree they want to use technology.

2. Administrative professionals should develop systems for keeping each boss's work separate.

Administrative professionals who are assisting multiple bosses will be asked to do a lot of similar work, but confusing the work for the two bosses can be detrimental. Administrative assistants can use color coding, symbols or a system of separate files and separate drawers to store and work on each boss's project separately. This seems like an easy task, but it can be challenging because of the speed with which many administrative assistants are asked to complete tasks.

Assisting multiple bosses can be challenging at first, but like most tasks, there is a learning curve. Once administrative professionals develop a routine, they'll be able to work for multiple bosses with the same zeal and enthusiasm they used for one.

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