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How to create trust with your bosses

Trust, respect and discretion are really important in any relationship. You both have to be able to trust each other and this has to be earned over time by doing what you promise, by being honest and open in your relationship, by communicating effectively and by owning up to mistakes.

Be accountable: take pride in a high standard of work

Tip from Sue Robson: ‘When bosses arrive at the office, either first thing in the morning or when returning from meetings, don’t stop them as they pass your desk to give them their messages and so on. Give them a few minutes to settle in instead of demanding immediate attention. They may have other things on their minds before they are ready to see you.’

Be proactive, anticipate needs, be prepared and exceed expectations

To be a successful assistant you have to be willing, able, flexible and proactive. Think ahead and plan, carry out tasks before they are required, anticipate problems and try to solve them. Use quieter periods to pre-empt requests. Be organised and prepared in advance (including updating and organizing paperwork and files). A successful assistant deals with as much as possible to prevent it landing on the boss’s desk, and endeavors to always exceed expectations.