Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Working With New Administrative Staff

Not long ago, one of my clients in the real estate business hired the perfect person as his office manager and administrative assistant. She had most of the qualifications he was looking for and a great personality. But like many business leaders discover, hiring the right person is one thing, and getting them in step with your expectations is another.

The challenge in working with someone new is - managing expectations. What are the priorities? How do you want things done? When do you want things done?

And even more complications arise - like when managers have difficulty communicating, or delegating tasks they have been doing themselves for so long.

My client was no exception. Frustrated by this all too familiar dynamic, he asked me to help him develop strategies to turn this situation into a positive and productive working relationship.

The key to helping this client was to explore what was working and what wasn't. What he was doing and how she was reacting. And to get a handle on what the expectations truly were. From that, I was able to give him a list of strategies tailored to his particular situation.

Instead of telling you what it was that I suggested to him, I think it would be more valuable to share what he did that worked.

1. Be patient
2. Develop a relationship before you expect high performance
3. Make the goals clear, and explain why they are important
4. Let them make mistakes
5. Don't expect them to be at the level you are at
6. Be kind
7. Don't point out every fault - show what you'd "prefer"

Few working relationships are without some sort of stress or strain along the way. That's normal. But for situations where things just aren't working, implementing some strategies for managing expectations and communicating clearly will go a long way in preventing you from having to start all over again.

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