Managing Challenging Work Relationships

We understand that dealing with a difficult Executive can be a defining aspect of your role as an admin professional. We see admins dealing with this challenge in our forum chats in The Admin Collective and Admin Avenues. Whilst every working relationship has its ups and downs, there are effective strategies to manage and even thrive under these demands. Here’s a few tips from us:

Understanding Their Priorities and Perspective 

To succeed in this career, it’s crucial to grasp what motivates your Executive. What are their priorities, and what pressures do they face? By stepping into their shoes, you can anticipate their needs, making their life easier and showcasing your indispensability. It’s about being one step ahead, not a mind reader.

Facilitating Effective Communication 

Clear communication is key. Establish open lines of dialogue by asking direct, open-ended questions to comprehend their expectations. Remember, part of your role is to enhance their professional life by understanding precisely what they require from you.

Educating and Guiding First-Time Executives

If you’re the first EA your Executive has had, take the initiative to guide them. Demonstrate the value you can add and teach them how your role can significantly impact their productivity and peace of mind.

Setting Boundaries for Work-Life Balance 

While flexibility is part of the job, clear boundaries are essential for your well-being. If work is encroaching on your personal life, have an open conversation about your working hours. You’re not available 24/7; your time off is yours.

Become Solution-Oriented 

Embrace a solution-oriented mindset. Focus on finding answers rather than dwelling on problems. This proactive approach not only resolves current issues but also prevents future ones, positioning you as an indispensable asset.

Giving the Relationship Time 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a harmonious working relationship. It can take six to eight months to fully understand each other’s working styles. Patience is essential. Allow the working relationship to develop, and approach the future with optimism. This adjustment period is normal and vital for a successful long-term working relationship.

Prioritise Your Wellbeing 

Never compromise on your wellbeing and happiness. If all efforts to improve the relationship fail, consider exploring other opportunities. Your mental and emotional health should always be your top priority.

Handling a difficult Executive requires a blend of understanding, clear communication, boundary-setting, solution-finding, patience, and self-care. Remember, you’re not “just an admin”; you’re a key contributor to your Executives success. While being supportive and flexible is important, never lose sight of your own value and wellbeing. Remember, you have a ready-made community at Admin Avenues and The Admin Collective if you wish to seek advice from our members. We’re here to help and support you however we can. Join us today!