Creating the Virtual Assistant You Want (and Need) in 5 Easy Steps

Virtual AssistantOne of the things that frustrates me more than anything is when a Virtual Assistant/Client relationship breaks down. Whether it be because the Virtual Assistant decides to move on saying it wasn’t the “right fit” or the entrepreneur “gives up” on their Virtual Assistant it is equally disappointing. Why? Simply because I believe a lot of these relationships could be “salvaged” with a little bit of work. [Of course there are some that can’t, but I believe for the most part given a little extra work they could turn into long-term relationships.]

Many entrepreneurs have the misguided notion that it’s up to the Virtual Assistant to make sure the relationship works because after all they have experience working with other clients. This is so not true. You are the key to making sure the relationship with your Virtual Assistant grows and prospers.

Before I share with you some ideas for “turning your relationship around” you first have to decide you want that relationship to grow and prosper and deserves your time. To do that ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I genuinely like this person and would like a long-term relationship with them?
  2. Do they have the gumption and smarts to figure things out given the right environment?
  3. Do they have the program skills (Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, etc.)  that can be built upon and support my business needs?

If you have answered yes to these questions than it is good to know that most situations can be salvaged and ultimately turned around when you follow these five simple steps!

#1 – Share your vision

When your Virtual Assistant can connect everything you do to your “bigger why” then everything (no matter how big or small the task) starts to make sense. It is when your Virtual Assistant doesn’t understand why you are doing certain things that the day-to-day simply become tasks and the implementation of these tasks become “robot-like.”

For most Virtual Assistants it is when they start to understand your passion and your drive and the why behind everything that the relationship can begin to grow and prosper. I suggest not only sharing your long-term why and vision, but share your goals and shorter term goals that will fit into that long-term picture.

#2 – Model the behaviour you are looking for

The best way to have someone work efficiently and effectively with you is to model the behaviour you are looking for. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you get things to your Virtual Assistant when you promised?
  • Are you respecting your Virtual Assistant’s time?
  • Do you take the time to make sure your communications are understood?
  • Do you ask questions to make sure you understand everything clearly that is needed from you to move closer to your vision?
  • Are you allowing others to do what they do best or are you micromanaging?

If you expect your team members to act a certain way you first have to check that you are acting the way you wish them to act. Don’t become a “do as I say, not as I do” type client.

#3 – Check-ins are important

Nothing is more important than checking in with your team members from time to time. Make sure there are no bottlenecks in the process and if there are ask yourself “what do we need to change to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

The biggest mistake you can make is to assign a project and forget about it. In no way am I suggesting you micro-manage the project, but you need to have a system for checking in to make sure everything is moving forward. Perhaps the best way to do that is by scheduling weekly check-in calls to ask the following questions:

  • What have we accomplished since the last time we spoke
  • What tasks are at a stand still and why
  • What systems do we need to change or tweak to make sure we don’t run into this problem again in the future
  • What is the next step we need to take to progress closer to our vision

#4 – Give praise where praise is due

Nothing makes someone want to do better than to be complimented and appreciated for the work they have put in to date. Each person on your team needs to be made to feel as important as the next member and seen for the contributions they bring to the table.

It is important to remember that everyone (no matter how big or small a role they play) plays an important part in the big picture. Think of and picture your car; every part of that car from the engine down to the oil that is running through the engine is important to ensure the car continues to keep moving and operate like a well-oiled machine. The same is true in your business and of your team. When one team member stops moving in sync with the others it can throw everything off.

Appreciation goes a very long way … it doesn’t have to be big and a simple “Thank you” will often suffice!

#5 – Stay on your Virtual Assistants “A” list

Just as I am sure you have an A list of clients (you know the ones you absolutely love and would do anything for) so too does your Virtual Assistant have a similar list. The best ways I know to stay on your Virtual Assistants “A” list is to:

  • Pay them when you promise to pay them
  • Commit to the hours you “promised” them
  • Work hard to grow your business
  • Don’t fall victim to “shiny object syndrome” and continually change directions
  • Love your business more than they do and stay close to your passion every day

Implementing these five steps will get you well on your way to creating that relationship you are looking for. It will take some work, but I guarantee it will be so worth it in the end!

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