Executive Assistants: 5 Tips to Master Your Decision-Making Skills

November 29, 2021


The role of an executive assistant is multifaceted and requires keen attention to detail, unmatched organization skills, and a time management prowess that is sharper than the average administrative professional. After all, administrative assistants handle some of the most crucial information and time-sensitive details that affect the inner workings of the company and its ability to be successful. That’s a heavy responsibility. To handle that load effectively, another important skill that should be mastered is strength in your decision-making abilities. Nowhere is it more useful than in the complex role of an executive assistant.


Below we will discuss the top 5 tips for how to excel in your decision-making abilities with fine-tuned perception, discernment, and confidence.

Step 1: Collect Information

The initial step in any decision-making strategy is to conduct your research. No wise decision was ever made out of ignorance. It’s critical to arm yourself with studied and sustained information so your springboard for climbing up the decision-making ladder is rooted in facts. Determine that the information you gather is from a reputable source and that it is relevant to your decision-making processes. Many experts agree that employing a pros/cons list to weigh out the information you’ve collected is a helpful tool in moving forward.

Step 2: Determine Options

After you’ve done your due diligence, the next step is to see where the different schools of thought lead you. The more options you have in making a decision, the better. Many people who narrow the focus to only two choices early on phase out alternatives that could be sound choices by being overly fixated on the limited options.

Step 3: Seek Advice

Seeking out the opinions of others is never a wasted approach. A staple in strengthening decision-making skills is finding those with expertise in the area you are navigating, asking their advice, and hearing them out. Learn about their successes as well as failures. Often, fresh eyes or objectivity can help if you’ve become too emotionally involved with the decision. Try to find ways the advice can be practically applied to your unique situation and mull it over.

Step 4: Consider the Alternatives

You’ve done your research, you’ve determined your options, and you’ve listened to counsel. Another important part of good decision-making is to consider possible alternatives. This step is often passed over in the haste to take action, but that’s a mistake. A key to sound decision-making is discernment. Thinking about other possibilities and considering how they may pan out will help strengthen your confidence in the decision. While it’s good practice to consider alternatives, always trust your gut.

Step 5: Take Action

The top rung of the decision-making ladder is ultimately making the decision. You should feel confident that your decision is rooted in a thorough analysis if you’ve followed all the critical thinking steps to propel you to this point. One of the best things you can do now is to watch your decision play out and note the things that are borne of it. If it was a particularly unpopular decision, there will likely be pushback or fallout initially, but never underestimate the power of time. As the dust settles, you’ll be able to see the fruit.

Opportunities for Growth

Executive assistant duties can vary greatly from one position to the next, but one thing that will be a staple in each role will be sound decision-making abilities. Each decision we make is a teaching opportunity so we can learn what worked and what didn’t, and this is what ultimately sharpens our skill set. Learning how to make decisions is a skill that can be continuously honed. Focusing on a comprehensive and holistic decision-making strategy will give you great success and earn you great respect in the workplace.

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