Tuesday, 5 September 2017

5 Soft Skills for Virtual Assistants

Awesome Communication Skills
Most people that have worked in admin roles, or as an Executive Assistant, have great communication skills, however as a VA, where there is less face-to-face time with a client, your written and verbal communication skills need to be well above average and into the exceptional range.  Most clients are terrible at communicating what they really need and often their instructions are ambiguous and confusing.  That’s where you need to be great at paraphrasing and getting to the root of what they really mean instead of what they “think” they said.

Great at Juggling and keeping organizing
Think back across your working life.  If you have had roles where you have reported to numerous bosses or worked for a few different departments of a company then you are going to be great at juggling the tasks of a virtual assistant .  If you like variety, then this is the job for you.  VA’s are super organised as we are working for many clients at the same time and it’s important to keep everything running seamlessly.  You want every client o feel like they are your only client and that they have your full attention at any given moment.

Techie Skills
Now it’s true that it is the advances in office technology that have made the job of Virtual Assistant possible and for that reason VA’s have acquired a reputation as being very tech savvy and up to date with all the latest apps, software and gadgets to automate our lives.  Whilst this is true of some VA’s, not all of us are Technological experts.  At the end of the day, you can only be as tech savvy as your clients and if you happen to be working for a client who can barely send email, then being up with the latest gadgets and tricks is not really going to help.  But it certainly is a help if you like technology and finding new ways to use it.

Like solitude
Working as a VA does have it’s downside and it’s upside.  If you like living in your own head space and peace and quiet,  you will absolutely love working as a VA.  Depending on your point of view and where you sit on the introvert/extrovert scale, VA work can be a little isolating.  Introverts love it,  but extroverts soon suffer from people withdrawal.  They miss the banter with work colleagues and daily hubbub of an office, but extroverts don’t despair. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a VA, that just means you need to have plenty of coping mechanisms in place.  Join a business breakfast group, organise a once a month catch up with other VA’s in your area.  Get out and about to networking  events , or consider a co-working space to keep you energized.

Be a Great Sounding Board.
Being in business for yourself can be daunting.  It is also daunting for your clients, who also have moments of doubt and lack direction.  This is where sometimes a VA is a great sounding board.  Because we are also in business for ourselves, we “totally get it” when a client just needs to mull over an idea with someone to decide which direction they want to go in.  Whilst a great business coach will help you with this also, the relationship with a client and a VA is very personal  (much like an EA/PA and their boss) and sometimes you both just need a friendly ear and to be a sounding board.  I never mind lending an ear to this type of conversation. Remember this works both ways.  I’ve learn’t a lot of f my clients over the years and vice versa.

The Exceptional Assistant
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