Administrative professionals generally do a great job of providing the support managers and supervisors need to succeed. They are adaptable, insightful and diligent, even in less-than-ideal circumstances. But the relationship between an office leader and their admin is a two-way street. If you’re a supervisor, manager or executive, demonstrating certain leadership qualities in yourself can help your team thrive.
Office supervisors, managers and executives can have a significant impact on the success of their administrative professionals. The better a leader you are, the better your working relationship with your admins is likely to be — and a survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) shows that having a good relationship with leadership ranks only slightly below compensation when administrative professionals are asked to define the qualities of a great workplace.
The IAAP survey also identified the three top qualities of an effective leader according to the administrative professionals polled.
1. Communicate effectively
This is by far the top choice, marked as the most important of leadership traits by twice as many benchmarking survey respondents compared to any other option. Great leaders are masters of verbal and written communication. They are also culturally fluent and know how to interact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The good news is that 88 percent of administrative professionals are at least somewhat satisfied with their leaders’ communication skills.
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2. Be approachable and inspiring
Great leaders genuinely embrace an open-door policy. Employees can be transparent about issues at work and know that they won’t be punished for their honesty. Effective leaders also may have a challenging vision for their office team, but it’s achievable and straightforward. They know where they need to go and how to get there.
3. Give clear direction
Also among the top leadership traits is being well organized and very clear about expectations, procedures, guidelines and measurements. Great leaders actively collaborate with their team to improve workflow. They don’t just leave it to their office support to clean up their messes, whether literal or metaphorical.
Administrative professionals work hard every day to help their supervisors, managers and executives succeed. They are often behind the scenes and unheralded. Developing and practicing these valued qualities of a leader can go a long way toward supporting the office heroes who make leaders look good.
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