I know how to work as a virtual assistant. What I didn’t know was how I worked as a client or a manager. Whenever I find myself in a position to delegate, it feels awkward. I’m usually the one putting tasks onto my plate rather than handing them off. And, let me tell you, my perfectionism rears its ugly head.
It just needs a little tweak. It’ll be easier if I do it.
The problem with doing those little things is my assistant doesn’t learn my idiosyncrasies and if I’m not careful, I will always have to do the little tweaks. Which defeats the whole purpose of having an assistant, right?
There’s a learning curve to working with others. Even the most experienced VA is not a mind reader and needs time to learn your method of doing things and your eye for details.
How you communicate this is your managing style.
- Are you a micromanager?
- Do you sweat the small stuff?
- Are you resistant to change?
- Do you rush to emergencies?
It’s important to know how you work and what your needs are so you can communicate them efficiently with your VA.
Match Your Managing Style to Your Support
In my last blog post, I talked about the different types of support. Some levels of support need more direction and processes up front by the client in order to do their best work, while others can take a more intuitive approach and learn as they go.
Knowing your managing style is key when deciding what kind of support you are looking for.
Do you need someone to take the wheel and help you create a process or do you have one in place already? Can you easily express your needs to your assistant or do you need a manager to translate for you?
A recent frustration I’ve heard is from a business owner who has a team of virtual assistants. She’s baffled about how to bridge the gap between herself and the team. One of the assistants is tasked as the team leader by the agency, but she simply delegates tasks. She’s not actually managing the team, leaving all the direction and guidance on the owner’s shoulders.
The difficulty lies in the owner’s inability to clearly express her needs to the lead assistant in a way that can be communicated to the rest of the team. The owner has to manage the team more than she’d like.
Through our conversation, it became clear that her whole team is Employee-Minded. The owner needs to find a Business Partner-Minded VA to take the lead and manage the vision and delegate steps to the rest of the team. What the owner needs is someone to oversee the big picture and make sure that the individual tasks fit into her full vision.
There’s a difference between being busy and productive. You can check off to-do list items all day and still never get anywhere. Seeing how the tasks fit into the big picture isn’t something everyone can do. It’s up to the client to either express and manage the big picture or find someone who will.
Does that work with your managing style?
If you are ready or nearly ready to hire support but aren’t sure what you need, I’ve created a new consulting program to help potential clients figure out the hard questions. During the process, you’ll:
- Create a clear and prioritized hand-off list
- Define what kind of support you actually need and how much that might cost you
- Clarify what qualities an ideal candidate should have and what questions to ask during the interview process to find them
- And finally, create your onboarding process so its ready when you find the right fit
Email me if you are interested in learning more!