The Modern Day Assistant as a Strategic Business Partner

Delivered by Lucy Brazier,


    In-House sessions available upon request.


    Course Overview:

    Since the recession began eight years ago, the role of the Assistant has changed beyond recognition. There has never been a more confusing time to be an Assistant because the responsibilities have developed so fast.

    Two years ago, the American Society of Administrative Professionals proved beyond doubt that Assistants are the new middle management. In order to take advantage of the new breed of Assistant, both companies and the Assistants themselves need to understand that the role has been reinvented.

    In this Masterclass, Lucy Brazier looks at the role past, present and future to explain why it has developed how it has. She explores the opportunities that this creates for you to become a true Business Partner to your Executive including developing the partnership, establishing the ground rules, communication, adapting to style & maintaining a great partnership.


    Why You Should Attend This Course:

    This course will train Assistants in the new skill sets necessary to ensure businesses are getting the best from their support.

    This two days of learning contained in this course will be transformative for both the Assistant and the Executive. The economic implications of investing in training to maximise your contribution as an Assistant cannot be underestimated. After years of cutting back, smart companies can boost their productivity by arming their executives with a highly skilled assistant; an asset which drops directly to a company’s bottom line.

    “Lucy Brazier is powerful. Through her presentations, Lucy empowers administrative professionals throughout the world. Lucy is in touch with the profession. She knows the trials and tribulations, and offers good solutions. She understands the goals and aspirations, and shows us how to get there. Lucy is a dynamic and inspirational leader.”

    – Marina Higdon, AZ-NM Branch Director, International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)


    Your Instructor:

    Lucy Brazier is one of the world’s leading authorities on the administrative profession.

    Her passion is for the Assistant role to be truly recognised as a career and not just a job. Her formidable training expertise and speaking style have given her opportunities to train, present and Chair in over 45 countries at over 400 events including Chairing the 2015 World Administrator Summit in Papua New Guinea. This has created much needed discussions from encouraging Executive Assistants in Blue Chip companies to work towards becoming centres of excellence within their companies, to explaining why college students should see the Assistant role as proper profession with a career path.

    Lucy has a unique overview of the role and where it is heading. With access to the most forward thinking, passionate and knowledgeable authorities on the role in the world as well as personally meeting and speaking to literally thousands of Assistants over the last seven years, Lucy’s knowledge of the market and what Assistants all over the world are facing on a day to day basis are second to none.

    Lucy’s unique insight into the world of the Executive Assistants brings a distinct quality and depth to her specialist development programmes. She continuously researches, develops and delivers in order to bring the most current, innovative and challenging development programmes to support Assistants in rapidly changing business environments to meet the increasing skill sets required of Senior Assistants.


    Course Outline:

    Day 1:

    Introduction & course objectives:

    In 2014, the American Society of Administrative Professionals conducted research across its 50,000 members which categorically proved that since the recession and the cull of many middle management jobs across the world, Assistants have stepped up to take on those roles and become the new middle management.

    Let us give you the inside track – the most successful businesses understand how to use their Assistants as strategic business partners. The days of Assistants typing, answering phones and doing gentle diary management are long gone. These days they are more likely to be found knee deep in project management, strategic research, reports & financial forecasts.

    Increasingly, Executives are freeing up their time by utilising their Assistants to fill the gaps where their weaknesses lie – allowing them time and space to get on with the things they are best at. Just think of the implications this has for increasing bottom line performance.


    The Modern Day Assistant as a strategic Business Partner:

    Why has the Assistant role changed and how?

    The role past, present and future to explain why it has developed how it has. Lucy explores the opportunities that this creates for you to become a true Business Partner to your Executive including developing the partnership, setting the ground rules, communication, adapting to style & maintaining a great partnership.


    Strategically managing relationships & the expectations of your stakeholders:

    Executive and Administrative Assistants hold a unique position within their companies which allows them to participate in true cross-company collaboration in a way that almost no other job role does. So why do most administrative professionals continue to operate in silos when collaboration is so good for business? Could it be that this is because we are confused between collaboration and teamwork? The two are not only very different skill sets but are not in any way interchangeable.

    Managing more than one Executive:

    In the new role, most Assistants are managing at least two people. It challenging enough to work well with ONE Executive, but if you’re working for two – or MORE – the challenge is stressful at best. Are you dealing with two or more workloads, managing multiple communications and schedules, multiple projects and more? This session will explore practical tips for productivity and time management that will ensure that you can prioritise, juggle and support your numerous Executives effectively and without stress.

    Communication – the Assistant’s key to advancement:

    Communication is key and essential to any role, especially within the role of an assistant. It is crucial that you have strong communication with your manager, to help build a stronger and more reliable working relationship. With the skills from this session, you will be able to go back to your office and communicate more effectively not just with your manager, but other work colleagues as well. In time, you will see how it will help you to save time and build self-confidence within your role.

    We will explore how success as an assistant begins with an understanding of yourself. During the session, we will look at, the Belbin Psychometric testing exercise to explore strengths, weaknesses and where you fit into your team, Johari Window — opportunities from self-awareness, your beliefs, values and behaviours, your Inner Voice, how body language can make a difference and how important communication is.

    We will cover:

    • Body Language & Voice
    • Listening Skills
    • Assistants as Connectors
    • Productive Office Relationships
    • Problem Solving
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Different workstyles – flexible communication for different personality types
    • Taking control without taking over
    • Ongoing communication with your Executive


    Building a Powerful Business Partnership with your Executive:

    The relationship between an Assistant and their Executives is absolutely crucial to a company’s success but with the average age that most Managers get training sitting at 42, many Executives have never had training in how to manage their Assistants. It therefore falls to the Assistant to train their Executives how to use their skills to best advantage themselves and the company.

    In this session we will explore:

    • Why influential leadership skills are crucial to the role of an Assistant
    • Strategically managing your Executive(s) and Key Stakeholders
    • Developing the business partnership with your Executive
    • Proactive vs Reactive Support
    • Making the transition from support to strategic business partner.


    Day 2:

    Introduction and review:

    Day two is the practical day of the course. Having spent day one looking at a change in mindset and positioning the Assistant as a strategic business partner, day two looks at the practical productivity, decision making and project management skills you will need to do this.



    The Assistant’s role is to ensure that their Executive(s) are as effective as they can possibly be. In order to do this, their own productivity and systems must be operating at the highest levels of efficiently. In this session we will look at systems and procedures including:

    • setting boundaries
    • email
    • diary management
    • the myth of multitasking
    • managing more than one executive
    • procrastination
    • time management.


    Decision Making & Problem solving

    Practical Session

    With the changes to the role, many assistants are taking on more supervisory roles: Executives can help empower their assistants by making it clear that the assistant has real authority. The message the executive should convey is, “I trust this person to represent me and make decisions.”

    This session will visit some classic decision making and problem solving processes to ensure the Assistant has confidence to look at all the options and weigh up the alternatives.


    Introduction to Project Management

    Practical Session

    Project Management seems to be overtaking the Executive Assistant’s world these day. Whether or not your company calls it “Project Management” and deliberately applies its terminology and principles doesn’t matter; the reality is that Project Management is now part of every Assistant’s working life.

    We’ll look at:

    • The difference between routine work and a project
    • Managing stakeholders and their expectations
    • Understanding how to prepare for and plan a project
    • Understanding how to monitor a project
    • Understanding the purpose and ways of evaluating a project

    and then we will organise an event from start to finish using the techniques we have used to determine ROI and manage the project from a budget.


    Stress – Getting Out of Overwhelm

    And finally, we will talk about how you achieve all of this without blowing a fuse.

    • Why is managing your stress important?
    • What are the signs?
    • Work:Life Balance
    • How to avoid burnout

    Course Curriculum

    The Modern Day Assistant as a Strategic Business Partner 14:00:00

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