5 Ways Executive Assistants Can Boost Their Confidence

Confidence is key for Executive Assistants

Imposter syndrome can plague even the most experienced Executive Assistants. That’s why being confident is so important to overcoming self-doubt. If you want to embrace new ideas, communicate more effectively, and open yourself to challenging and exciting opportunities, then you may need a confidence boost! Keep reading to learn 5 ways you can confidently bring your best self to work each and every day.  

5 ways Executive Assistants can boost their confidence

Experienced EA teachers and advocates Monique Helstrom and Diana Brandl share their confidence-boosting strategies for executive assistants. Watch the video below or keep reading for 5 ways to boost your confidence as an EA, straight from the experts.

Meet Monique Helstrom: Monique spent nearly a decade as the Executive Assistant, Producer, and “Chief of Simon Sinek,” a New York Times Best-Selling author and TED celebrity. Since working with Simon, she has toured internationally delivering workshops and keynotes to help audiences understand and utilize their innate talents, master their communication, conquer their organizational roadblocks, and build powerful relationships that will actually progress their career. 

Meet Diana Brandl: Diana has worked successfully for C-Level Executives at global companies such as Sony, Mister Spex, and Babbel. She is now an international keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, and the host of The Future Assistant podcast where she has interviewed guests such as the former assistants of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Jamie Oliver, and Princess Diana. She is also a best-selling book author, LinkedIn Learning instructor, and recently certified as a hybrid trainer.

5 ways to boost your confidence as an Executive Assistant 🚀

1. Build your personal brand

As an assistant, it can be difficult to share what you do (because you do so many things!) and the value you bring to the table (which is tremendous, by the way). That’s where building your personal brand can help tell the story of you and uplift your self-confidence when describing your role to others. Monique recommends assistants take personality tests to better understand their purpose, values, strengths, weaknesses, and traits, then use those descriptive words to craft exactly who they are in their EA role. For instance, you’re not just an Executive Assistant – you are a high-achiever, problem-solver, and strategic partner. Diana encourages assistants to ‘pitch’ themselves by developing a ready-to-share 30-60 second elevator pitch and to always present your authentic self. By learning yourself and telling your story, you can confidently share your value as an Executive Assistant.

“We need to know about who we are before we can start to
relay our images, who we are and what we’re doing.”

Monique Helstrom

Executive Assistants, try some of personality tests to get started: Enneagram, DiSC, Myers-Briggs, Predictive Index, StrengthsFinder

2. Focus on relationship building

Whether you’ve been in the EA space for a while or you’re just getting started, continually building a strong relationship with your executive is crucial to your (and their) success. Monique reminds assistants to consistently communicate with their executive to understand them as a person – both personally and professionally. When communication is consistent, you can be the best (and most confident!) version of yourself with your executive and provide excellent support. Pro tip: ask your executive to take a personality test, too, so you both can uncover differences, commonalities and ultimately, develop a better understanding of one another as you build your relationship.

“Understand your executive as a human being rather than what your executive does as a job.”

Monique Helstrom

3. Set priorities and align

Oftentimes, assistants are not only supporting their executives’ projects, but leading their own. Make sure to carve out meaningful, consistent time with your executive to set priorities and align. Over time, this intentional action can raise your confidence and help you feel even more supported by your executive as you take on new challenges and opportunities. Diana shares that ‘checking in’ at the start of the day is a great way to sync up and ‘checking out’ at the end of the day ensures you both have what you need before you go home or log off. Diana also encourages assistants working in a hybrid environment (and are able) to meet with their executive live, in-person, once per week, to further build the relationship.

“Don’t just listen to the priorities of your executive but tell them the priorities of your agenda as well.”

Diana Brandl

4. Practice techniques to battle imposter syndrome

The bad news? Imposter syndrome is unavoidable. The good news? You can put into practice some great techniques to battle imposter syndrome head on. Monique explains that it’s all about preparation – both in your work and also in your mind! She recommends before delivering a presentation, having a hard conversation, or simply sharing feedback, to calm your nervous system with breathing exercises, meditation, releasing energy (pattern interruptions) or even power poses. These techniques can make a big difference in your mindset and give you a confidence boost when imposter syndrome has you doubting who you are and your abilities.

“It should be human nature to be both confident in ourselves and continually question where we are and what we’re doing.”

Monique Helstrom 

5. Ask for feedback

Feedback is fundamental to improving your craft as an Executive Assistant, but what if you’re not getting any? Diana challenges assistants with executives who think their EA’s work is perfect to talk with their executive directly and ask for feedback. Monique adds that feedback is a reaction or response to a particular process or activity, and that it’s not intended to be scary, painful or hurtful. She says that all feedback is a gift, and that any piece of constructive feedback has a ‘nugget of yumminess’ you can apply to make a change for good. Talk about growing your confidence and improving yourself! That’s a win-win.

“We all love the positive feedback but it’s the constructive feedback that helps you to grow and develop!”

Diana Brandl

Base: The best Executive Assistant tool

At Base, we take pride in helping assistants do amazing work. That’s why we designed a platform that streamlines communication, simplifies scheduling, tracks projects, and makes the daily workflow what it should be – efficient and effective. Get a demo of Base to see what you can do with the right tools to support you.

Mentioned resources for Executive Assistants

Written by Bryn Smith

Bryn is the Senior Manager of Brand and Product Marketing at Base, where she is on a mission to build a world-class EA community by connecting them with top-notch thought leaders, invaluable resources, and cutting-edge insights.