As an executive assistant, one-on-ones are one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your exec. This face time is a great opportunity to build trust, show your support, and position yourself as a more strategic partner. However, one-on-ones are often spent discussing status updates — that is, when they aren’t cancelled or rescheduled.
We recently spoke with Natalie Turner, EA to the CEO here at Base, to discuss her strategies for leading thoughtful and strategic one-on-ones as an assistant, including how to overcome common challenges and prepare for the meeting to make the best use of face-to-face time. Watch the full webinar below or keep reading for her top 3 tips!
Set a clear agenda and purpose 💡
One common challenge assistants often face with one-on-ones is not having control of the meeting. This means the time is often unstructured and wasted on things that could be figured out another way. To avoid this and become an executive assistant leader, Natalie prefers to lead her one-on-ones and send an agenda to her executive, Paige, ahead of time. This way, Natalie can set expectations and make sure they discuss priorities and goals rather than status updates.
Focus on goals and priorities 🥇
Being a strategic partner to your executive is all about having a pulse on their goals and priorities. In order to do that, Natalie recommends asking your exec, “what would feel like winning to you next week?” This allows her to determine her exec’s top priorities and she can do to help Paige feel supported. This could be clearing space in the calendar, pushing off other less important tasks, or removing some of the decisions off of her exec’s plate. Knowing your executive’s goals (and taking steps to help achieve them) will also go a long way in your professional development.
Allow time to reflect and prepare 💭
In order to make the best use of the time, Natalie prepares her one-on-one agenda beforehand in Base. Because Base’s Digest feature acts as a live document, Paige is able to answer questions, make comments, and add new topics for discussion within the agenda. That way, when they meet face-to-face, they can focus less on answering questions and status updates. Instead, they focus more on strategies for making sure goals for the following week will be accomplished.
Ready to take your communication to the next level?
Here at Base, we’re all about helping strategic assistants do their best work. Our app is solely for assistants’ daily workflow so you can utilize your time more efficiently and support your leader more effectively. Base is a single place for you to create executive briefings, field emails, track projects, manage calendars, and more.