Are You The Problem? How to Rebuild Your Relationship With Your EA

Are You The Problem? How to Rebuild Your Relationship With Your EA

There are many different leadership styles. While not all of them are ideal, we believe every leader can benefit from an EA. 

If you’ve ever identified as a micromanager, perfectionist or disengaged leader, we have steps for rebuilding your relationship with your EA to receive the support you need to uplevel your business. 


The Micromanager 

The profile:

You are afraid to let go and want a hand in all operations of the business. You feel overwhelmed, struggle with releasing control to your EA, and are drowning in tasks because of it. 

The problem:

You can’t scale your business because you are crippling your EA. By overseeing every task, and demanding prior approval, you rob your EA of autonomy and ownership in their role.

The more you work in the weeds, the less time you have for work that will move the needle in your business. Your schedule will always feel cluttered because there is work on your plate that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

You have lost sight of your genius and passion work and don’t know how to make it your number one priority. You are starting to resent your EA, which is affecting your leadership.

The solution: 

Release control gradually by making a list of outcomes that you do not like to do, do not want to do, or do not have time to do. Rediscover the work that ONLY you can do. This needs to become your “main thing.” This is your genius work. 

Work to delegate one outcome at a time to your EA from the list. Create a process document that includes your preferences and give your EA parameters for success. Empower your EA by allowing them to execute, while still following your vision. 

Eventually, you will learn to delegate more at a time. The goal is to learn to trust your EA and to see they are capable of realizing your vision. Even if progress is slow, progress is momentum!


The Perfectionist

The profile: 

You believe you set the standard of perfection for your EA. Everything must be done according to your preferences, and there is little patience for errors. 

The problem:

Your deep-rooted fear of failure has created an anxious workplace culture. You think demanding perfection will incentivize performance, but your EA is now more preoccupied with letting you down than actually getting the job done. 

You have put yourself on a pedestal as the standard for success, so now every EA seems to fall short of expectations. You struggle with outsourcing because only you seem to be able to get work done how you like.

The solution: 

It’s OK to desire a high standard, but working with an EA is like a marriage, and marriage requires patience and forgiveness. It will take time for your EA to learn how you think and how you like things done.

Remember, you need to empower your EA to perform from the bottom-up, not the top-down. You need to meet them where they are at to elevate them higher. 

Utilize process documents to outline how you like things done and remember to include your non-negotiables, the tasks or outcomes that you want done a certain way.

When you allow your EA to take the reins, recalibrate your expectations. It is far better for your EA to complete an outcome to 80% of your standards and for you to finish the remaining 20%, than for you to do 100%. If your EA gets 1% better each time, that is an improvement to celebrate. 


The Disengaged

The profile:

You hired an EA to get help, but believe the rest should take care of itself. You don’t exactly know what to delegate, but you hand-off tasks as they come to you. You don’t know much about your EA and they don’t know much about you. But that’s OK because they’re just managing your email and calendar.

The problem: 

Your disengaged approach of working with an EA has made them a one-off task rabbit instead of a strategic business partner. You are not able to benefit from their full range of services because you lead at arm’s length. They can’t serve you to their best ability, because they don’t know you very well. You have a hard time keeping an EA for a significant period of time because they don’t feel fully integrated into your organization. 

The solution:

Engage with passion and purpose. Consider how your EA fits into your long-term vision for your organization. What purpose are they fulfilling for you? What passion do they need to bring to the table to succeed in their role? 

An EA who knows their purpose in your organization and is passionate about the work they are doing will fully invest in their relationship with you to help you succeed as a stakeholder, not just an employee. 

You set the tone for your relationship with your EA. The relationship is only as good as the amount of work you are willing to put into it. The better you share about who you are, how you think and how you process information, the more empowered your EA will feel to speak and act on your behalf. 

Implement two weekly in-person or video chat meetings to improve your personal relationship with your EA. Meet once at the beginning of the week to discuss everything your EA is going to do and once at the end of the week to recap your EA’s accomplishments. This time is also valuable to work through barriers to success, training gaps and miscommunications. 

In time, your EA will be better equipped to own full outcomes, rather than just tasks


If you’re interested in learning about what an Executive Assistant can do for your business, schedule a strategy call with us.

Our virtual team experts will help you determine how your business can benefit from our Priority Executive Assistants.

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