There is a significant difference between needing an assistant, and needing a collaborative partner. (I’m not even touching up on needing a consultant right now)
The differences are often dependent on how detailed you expect to be in your communication of tasks and feedback, and how much responsibility you’re willing to take.
I get it, having an assistant can give a person an ego boost. But if you find yourself weak in the realm of communication and relationship building, please reconsider your needs. I’m seeing this issue in corporate, creative, and small business spaces.
I’m also assuming that people understand that it’s important to communicate to your assistant the expectations of the relationship. Basically, what are they there for, why they’re there, what are the best forms of communication, etc. So yeah, there’s that. I could talk on the topic of assistants for awhile.
My tip to anyone who is looking for an assistant is:
1. Have your mission and vision statement ready to be presented as the foundation of your expectations. In moments of confusion in decision making, you should be able to bring clarity by referring back to your mission and vision statement/plans.
2. Prepare yourself to break things down into detailed tasks, especially if it’s a new project. The more clear and concise you are, the less likely there will be confusion. It also helps to communicate what your expected outcome is. Don’t be put off if they need to ask questions, it’s better they ask than have to do it again.
Logistics prepared to deliver
3. Be ready to give feedback. A part of having an assistant is that you’re constantly training them to understand how you think. Feedback will let them know whether they hit the mark or not. And if they don’t, let them know how they can in the future.
4. Have confidence. I add this because too often I see people tearing into their assistants because of the things that they themselves lack. This is a quick way to muddled disillusionment, lack of motivation, and loss of trust.
Bonus: You need to be aware of your expectations (and assumptions)! An expectation is anything that sounds like “They SHOULD have known.” or “This SHOULD have happened.” Expectations are not bad, they shine a light on what it is that’s important to you. However, uncommunicated expectations will wreck everything everytime.
🗣 You Cannot Hold People Accountable To Your Uncommunicated Expectations