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Top 10 Executive Assistant Skills to Cultivate for Success!

By February 13, 2023No Comments
Executive Assistant Skills

As an executive and administrative professional, you thrive in chaos and create order; you love being at the centre of the business action and are the keeper of details and empower leaders every step along their way. To keep step with the best and be selected by companies and executives that will fan the flames on your career success, you need to cultivate a certain skillset. After embarking on a diploma in administration/executive studies, you’ll need to extend yourself further to land that dream position, and here are the highlights of where to focus your mind-expanding attention.

Top 10 Executive Assistant Skills, to Cultivate Sky’s-the-Limit Success!


1. Order & Organization

When the balls are thrown into the air, day after day, moment to moment, you have the ability to create order out of chaos and organize all that needs to be understood, remembered, scheduled, and arranged. You are connected to your executive’s contacts, opportunities, and pressing needs, and as your skills free them up to focus on their priorities, you will become invaluable and exponentially successful. This is where the foundation is laid. And the secret to making it all look easy? Carrying a book to record every conversation, request, task along the way, and you’ll perpetually look like a wizard of memory and ability!

2. Time and Priority Management

Beginning with yourself, you are able to wield time, understanding the key to accomplishment is being able to prioritize what needs to be done. You adeptly apply these valuable skills as you support the leaders you serve. You understand goals, and set and manage them and the expectations that go along with, and you’re the ruthless gatekeeper to ensure your team is on task.

3. Stellar Communicator

This perhaps is a given. You represent company leaders and as such you need to be one. This means that in written and verbal communications you shine. But you also understand that how you carry yourself, the confidence you exude, your sense of humour, kindness, and ability to speak truth from a place of calm with respect, allows you to thrive both professionally and personally in the workplace and in life. You’re fabulous yet humble, and gosh darn it, people like you!

4. Emotional Intelligence and Adaptability

Your support and interaction spans all levels of management, clients, vendors and colleagues. The key to being able to communicate powerfully and get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time, is having the keen ability to read people. You are savvy at picking up, not just the verbal and straightforward cues, but the subtle ones, and you adapt your communication style and approach to the situation accordingly. This above many key skills is king/queen.

5. Manager and Reliever of Stress

You understand full well that stress can be a negative or a positive, depending on how you approach it as an administrative executive. Some people truly thrive on deadlines and under pressure and stress can be a great motivator, but too much stress buries people under the strain. You know where the sweet spot is and you help to motivate positively and take the pressure off those you work for at just the right time. You also know how to decompress yourself and encourage your colleagues and executive to do the same. Above all, this is an area that when you master it, will bring most of the accolades you’re seeking, and allow you to enjoy your job long-term.

6. Professionalism, Diplomacy and Negotiation

These three go hand in hand. Your professional demeanor ensures that you represent the executive you work for and your company exceedingly well. You are diplomatic as you navigate needs, devise schedules, set appointments, and present information. And, with that emotional intelligence piece nailed, you negotiate from a place of understanding and strength, achieving your goals while creating a win-win situation for all parties involved however, whenever, possible.

7. Discernment and Decision Making

Your ability to review all possible options, routes and pathways to achieve your goals and accomplish what needs to be done is second to none. In this review, based on priorities, you are able to make decisions that reflect the team’s, your executive’s and the company’s best interests. You are a person others can count on to do what is needed in a timely manner and you think like a leader.

8. Tech Savvy

It may go without saying that being able to accomplish all these lofty goals, hit strategic targets and keep all in order is dependent upon the systems you have knowledge of and your ability to use the latest technology to empower efficiency. You get a buzz by knowing the latest time-saver and organizational tech and you’re always encouraging your team to upgrade and educating them along the way.

9. Discrete and Trustworthy

The knowledge you hold, the professional and personal information and insights, the strengths, and vulnerabilities, of the executive you serve, allows you to do your job to the best of your ability. But this can be uncomfortable for a leader; you may know more about them than almost anyone. You need to demonstrate, at all times, that you are trustworthy, sensitive to their comfort level and be absolutely discreet. This is the privilege of being in this role and you carry it off with grace and professionalism.

10. Tenacity

You will learn and succeed; you will learn and stumble at times and try again. Any creative thinker and leader must not be afraid to fail. If they never try, they can never hope to excel. It is the same in the role you play as executive assistant. As you move from learning within your administrator programs, to applying the knowledge you’ve gleaned, you’ll need to test the waters, adapt, learn and try again. Your tenacity and determination will set the stage and tone for the success that will inevitably be yours if you keep on keeping on.

And being part of a community of learners, a team that will support you as your launch your career, your vision for a new life, is a definite bonus. At Anderson College, we understand that you have a choice when it comes to your education. We’d like to be the family of professionals that helps you gain the skills and confidence to become in demand in a role like executive assistant. We’ve been honoured to be doing so for students, just like you, for 137 years.

If you’re still exploring your options and finding a fit between your interests and a program, you can take the “Anderson College Executive Administration Career Discovery Quiz” or check out our popular blog – 5 Thrilling Benefits to Becoming an Executive Assistant.

But if you’re ready to cultivate these skills and take the leap toward your Executive Administration career today, book a virtual appointment with our Admissions team! We’re here to help you navigate every step along the way.

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