How do you begin conversations with your Virtual Assistant?
Are you all business?
A cut to the chase kind of leader?
While you’re here for business, and no one is denying that fact, there comes a point when you should engage with your VA on a deeper level in order to create longevity in the partnership. In order to reap the full benefits of all-in support from your Virtual Assistant, you have to treat your VA like a partner.
An engaged team member is far more likely to see the vision, grab hold of it, and is motivated to contribute to the success of your business. Contrary to the engaged VA, a dis-engaged team member will show up every day to “punch the clock”, putting in minimum effort and receiving equal results. This happens most often when relationship is void from the partnership. If this is the case for your business, hope is not lost. Your Virtual Assistant can quickly become re-engaged with some effort from you, their leader.
Here are three simple steps to engage your Virtual Assistant.
Change The Way You Speak
Gone are the days of “Boss and Staff Member” titles. When you change your language to reflect a team atmosphere, your remote team will automatically become more engaged. Often times, leaders will question this idea and say “I’m the Boss”. While you may be the CEO of your organization, the way you speak to and about your team carries a lot of weight.
Something happens when you change your vernacular to become inclusive as a team. No longer are you focusing on a ladder to climb, but now your team will focus on what they can do to better compliment each other’s role. If you enter the room as a leader with a “my way or the highway” attitude, you’ll fail to earn the respect and input of the team who is more than capable of making decisions on your behalf.
Open Up Conversation
Don’t keep conversations to “Please do this.” and “Did you do that?”. One of the foundations to creating a long-lasting partnership with your VA is to take time for conversation beyond what’s on the agenda for the week.
A relationship isn’t built on a to-do list, so find ways to get to know your VA personally. Learn the names of your VA’s family and find out how they like to spend their weekends. Getting to know small details of each other’s lives will develop a kinship that will ultimately reflect in your business.
Start your weekly meeting by asking about their weekend. Share yours as well. Keep in mind that although it’s important to take a vested interest in after-work activities, you should keep this conversation to no longer that the first 5 minutes of your call. Yes, relationship is important but you also have work to do. Find a happy balance!
How To Keep The Conversation Going
Conversations don’t have to start organically. Rather than forcing a conversation that will ultimately lead to awkward silence, implement relationship building tools that make discussion smooth and comfortable for everyone.
One of our favorite ways to do this at Priority VA is with a product from BestSelf. BestSelf publishes decks of cards designed to prompt conversation and ideas. With 150 prompts, this deck of cards will serve as a conversation starter for quite a while. If you don’t want to invest in BestSelf products, check out the website, Conversation Starters World. This site is full of random conversation starters that will help you get to know your VA on a different level. By using these tools, you’ll get to know their values, what motivates them, and sometimes you’ll find out what makes them laugh or cry.
Plan A Live Meet Up
Carving out time at least once a year for an in-person meet up will do wonders for your relationship. There is immense value in sitting around a kitchen table discussing your next quarter or sharing a meal.
Before you decide that you can’t afford a live meet up, let’s talk about some ideas that will be a little easier on your pocket book.
Start small with a two day, one night event. Choose a central location with inexpensive travel if flights are required. This live event will give you the opportunity to spend time with your team, talk business, and build relationships. Structure your time together in a way that allows you to benefit from your face to face time.
Choose team building exercises that keep conversation flowing. Some of the best memories from our team retreats have come from family style games and yes, even road trip games like 2 Truths and a Lie.
Bottom line, keep things casual. If you force activities or stick too closely to an agenda, you’ll become frustrated.
As Your Business Grows, Keep Live Meet Ups a Priority
As your business grows so will your budget for live events. Set aside a special fund for in-person retreats and make them a priority. Your team will become stronger through the time spent together.
When it comes to engaging your team be intentional. Don’t expect it to happen organically. Ask hard questions, be vulnerable, and communicate daily… even if it isn’t related to business. The special interests you share will create longevity you didn’t know was missing.
Are you ready to begin outsourcing but need help finding your perfect partner? It’s our specialty! Fill out this short form and our team will help you determine the best fit for your business.