July 19, 2024

How to Lean Into Trust with an Assistant


As an executive, learning to trust your assistant—whether they are a virtual assistant, executive assistant, or remote EA—is a crucial step towards a more efficient and productive working relationship. Trusting your assistant can initially be challenging, especially if you are used to handling tasks independently. However, by taking deliberate steps to foster this trust, you can create a collaborative environment where both you and your assistant thrive.

Start with Small Tasks

Begin by delegating smaller, less critical tasks to your assistant. This gradual approach allows you to observe their work ethic, reliability, and attention to detail without risking significant impacts on your operations. As your confidence in their abilities grows, you can gradually increase the complexity and importance of the tasks you delegate.

Set Clear Expectations and Provide Feedback

Clearly outline what you expect from your assistant in terms of task completion, communication, and performance. Providing detailed instructions and setting clear expectations from the outset can help prevent misunderstandings and build a foundation of trust. Additionally, regular feedback is essential. Constructive feedback helps your assistant improve, while positive reinforcement builds their confidence and demonstrates your growing trust in their capabilities.

Communicate Openly and Transparently

Open and transparent communication is vital for building mutual trust. Share your goals, priorities, and any pertinent information with your assistant to ensure they are fully informed and aligned with your vision. Transparency fosters a sense of inclusion and respect, showing your assistant that you value their contribution and trust them with important information.

Acknowledge Their Expertise

Recognize and respect the expertise your assistant brings to the table. Whether they are an admin assistant or a remote executive assistant, acknowledging their professional competence can help you trust their judgment and decisions. When your assistant makes suggestions or offers solutions, consider them seriously and give credit where it is due. This acknowledgment not only builds their confidence but also reinforces your trust in their abilities.

Build a Relationship of Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is the cornerstone of any trusting relationship. Treat your assistant as a valued partner rather than just a subordinate. Show appreciation for their hard work and dedication, and be empathetic to their needs and concerns. Building a relationship based on mutual respect encourages open dialogue and trust from both sides.

Embrace Technology and Tools

Leverage technology to enhance trust. Utilize project management and communication tools that provide transparency and accountability. These tools allow you to track progress, communicate effectively, and ensure that tasks are completed as expected. Knowing that there are systems in place to support and monitor the work can help you feel more comfortable entrusting your assistant with important responsibilities.

Learning to trust your assistant—whether they are a virtual assistant, executive assistant, or remote EA—is a process that requires time, patience, and deliberate effort. By starting with small tasks, setting clear expectations, communicating openly, acknowledging their expertise, building mutual respect, and leveraging technology, you can foster a trusting relationship that benefits both you and your assistant. This mutual trust not only enhances productivity and efficiency but also creates a positive and collaborative working environment. As you grow to trust your assistant, you will find that they become an invaluable partner in achieving your business goals.

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