What gives an admin ‘wow’ factor?

Being a stellar admin requires the skills of a mind-reader. So it was a boon recently when admins heard two executives speak candidly at the 18th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence about the administrative profession.

They were essentially asked, “What gives an admin ‘wow’ factor?”

One of the executives, Diana L. Best of Novant Health, replied that she was looking for three standout qualities—“communication, customer service and the ability and desire to go the second mile.”

Her Novant Health colleague, Jacque Daniels, said she most valued three attributes in an administrative assistant: the ability to anticipate, good judgment and confidence.

In what ways do administrative professionals sabotage themselves? Three behaviors do serious damage to an administrative pro’s sheen, these execs said:

1.  Taking a “transactional” ap­­proach to the job, rather than being focused on relationships. Doing only what you’re asked to do, only focusing on “my little world, my little desk.”

2.  Speaking negatively about the person you support.

3.  Breaking the bonds of trust by sharing confidential information.

If you’ve made missteps in the way you conduct yourself on the job, advised the execs, “take small, incremental steps in the right direction.” And be persistent.

— Adapted from “Executive Perspective,” Nancy Fraze, “Office Dynamics” blog.