6 Skills Required To Become an Indispensable EA


Victoria Louise Rabin


In-Person and/or Virtual


  • Minimum 5 EA’s Per Workshop
  • Global Seats for Companies w/ Multiple Offices (Virtual)


  • Half Day
  • Full Day
  • 1.5 Day
  • 2 – 3 Day
  • Executive Training (Day 3)


Schedule a free 30 min consultation/discovery call

Schedule Now

Workshop Description

The EA/admin does not typically perceive themself in a leadership role, but to be respected, revered and continually thrive in that position requires solid leadership skills. Good leadership skills are top of the list of competencies that executives need to focus on when hiring an EA or when managers promote administrative professionals to c-suite executive assistants within the organization.

The highest ranking companies hunt for well rounded tenacious individuals with well-honed leadership skills to fill their most sought after executive assistant positions.

6 Skills Required To Become an Indispensable EA

  • Relationship Building
  • Agility & Adaptability
  • Decision Making
  • Conflict Management
  • Negotiation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Relationship Building

Some EA’s will say that they do not need to be loved in the workplace to succeed. This may be true, but to build a cohesive and more engaged internal admin network, EA’s need the leadership skills to forge strong working relationships with their peers and the executive management team.

EA’s with strong, trusting, and authentic relationships with their peers and executives know that investing time in building these bonds makes them more effective as an EA leader, and creates a foundation for success.

If your EA/admin team is highly engaged and happy in the workplace, you are likely to be well respected as a leader with EA’s who love what they do, and hopefully, the strong relationships you cultivate will help your peers and your executives perform at their highest level.

Agility & Adaptability

Effective EAs must be able to adapt to both internal, and external changes – even if that means working outside of your comfort zone. As a leader you need to develop a lifelong learning mentality to ensure that you are not left behind by shifts in your industry, and can give your business the competitive edge. This is where as a leader you need to be agile and adaptable, which is easier said than done.

One key way to develop leadership agility and adaptability is to be accountable and assume your responsibilities, making sure that you have laid out a plan on how you should respond to change.

Decision Making

An indispensable EA is tasked with making decisions all the time. To be an effective EA, those decision making skills need to be top notch. Critical decisions affecting your executive/s on a large scale need to be sound, rational and solid.

In reality, your decisions will determine your – and potentially your executives success. Making decisions, however big or small, are a fundamental part of being a strategic EA partner, requiring you to develop strong decision-making skills and have the conviction to stand by your decisions, whilst also recognizing the need to adapt when those decisions do not lead to the desired outcome. It is a unique balancing act.

Remember, some decisions may not always be favorable. Making an unpopular but necessary decision is probably one of the most difficult tasks as an EA but it is vital that you are able to recognize your responsibilities and make clear decisions for your executive/s.

Conflict Management

When a conflict arises, an effective EA should be able to jump in and resolve or at least mitigate the conflict before it affects the work relationship negatively. When properly dealt with, a conflict may even turn out to be positive for your partnership, as it can often lead to stronger bonds or new ideas.

To be an effective EA you must be good at identifying conflict, and have foresight on how to resolve it. It is also essential to be rational when faced with confrontation.
As a leader, it is important that you are able to manage conflict, but developing these same skills in your EA team can help avoid conflict altogether.


Negotiation is a process where two parties with different ideals get together and mutually agree on what an outcome should be. According to Skills You Need, the process of negotiation involves 6 stages:

  • Preparation
  • Discussion
  • Clarification of goals
  • Negotiation towards a Win-Win outcome
  • Agreement
  • Implementation of a course of action

Good negotiations can be beneficial to a C-suite EA because they will build A better relationship with the executive as it illustrates conviction in your message, a strong sense of self worth and a determined attitude.

Critical Thinking

Leading an executive and an internal EA team is unquestionably challenging. To be a successful and revered EA, we must make a lot of difficult decisions, often under pressure.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly, whilst building a logical connection between different ideas. Critical thinkers are often intelligent decision makers, highly analytical and generally always rational. Critical thinking is a learned skill, and generally involves three steps:

Step 1 – Frame

Complex problems are rarely what they appear to be on first look. To better understand what you are dealing with, frame the problem by asking yourself “What is my problem?” Hint: you can safely assume that whatever you think your problem is right now probably isn’t your actual problem.

Step 2 – Explore

Do not rely on intuition. No matter how much faith you have in your own judgment, if you rely strictly on your instincts you will miss the opportunity to see things from an alternative perspective. Instead, explore potential solutions. That is, ask yourself “How may I solve my problem?” It is equally important to explore what matters to you; that is, the various attributes of a solution that would make it more attractive to you.

Step 3 – Decide

In most cases, one solution isn’t consistently superior to all others on all attributes. To make your decision, answer your question, “How should I solve my problem?” Surface the trade-offs for each solution, identifying what you are ready to give away that you value so that you can get a little more of something else that you value even more.

Typically, critical thinkers will rigorously question ideas and assumptions, they will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the true picture and are commonly able to recognize inconsistencies and errors in reasoning to achieve the desired outcome.

    Schedule a free 30 min consultation/discovery call