A few months ago my pastor shared a message about friendship and listed four character traits of a great friend. As I was taking notes, I realized that these are equally important qualities of a great assistant. Here they are:
1. Loyal- As an assistant, we hear it all. It is so important that our boss can trust that we are loyal. When others talk about them, do we listen or have their back? Are we protectors of the culture and environment of our company or do we gab at the water cooler and gossip about others? Assisting can be a lonely road and you may feel isolated when others are sharing the dish about co-workers or your bosses, but it is better for you not to be part of those conversations than to be stuck not knowing what to say. Stay loyal & remain confidential. Guard your heart and your mouth. Proverbs 14:29 says, "even a fool is thought wise when he keeps his mouth shut."
2. Low Maintenance- Don't bring your baggage into the workplace. If we are unloading problems without solutions, we are not helping to lift the burdens that our bosses are carrying. Being low-maintence does not mean we hide behind a mask or hold back every tear (at 38 weeks pregnant, I cry every day... usually about nothing). Instead, low maintenance simply means we help carry the weight and responsibility instead of adding bricks to it.
3. Laughter- This is an area I am working on in this season. I tend to compartmentalize my life by environments, and when I am in the office, I find myself often in "work mode"- serious, task oriented, and focused. But learning to laugh and enjoy life is such a great quality for an assistant. Your boss may carry the weight of the world, but your joy can help lighten the load and brighten the environment. My boss always claims being the happiest guy in a room, but I accept the challenge to be the happiest girl. Even at work, it is so important to lighten up and laugh at yourself. There will be tough, crazy, overwhelming, and exhausting days, but with the joy of the Lord as your strength, you will be able to better endure each day with some humor.
Cheesy Joke: Why did the pony visit the doctor? .... He was a little "hoarse"! HAHAHA!
4. Love- In the purest form, I truly believe a great assistant will love his/her boss AND their family. If this is not the foundation, it can be difficult to do your job. I care for my boss like a father or brother, and I know that he cares for my family the same. Our families get along and truly would go through the roof for each other. A Christ-like love is so key in this work relationship because there may be times that I disagree or don't understand a decision my boss has made, but he and his wife can trust that my love for them and confidence in their leadership outshines any conflict, opinion, or feeling. At the end of the day, I love them like family and am confident they care for my family as well.
Your Turn: What is a quality you find vital for any great assistant?