Communicating With Your VA (Virtual Assistant)
By Bibi Goldstein
Communication is key to any relationship, but communication with your VA is vital to ensuring success. Opening up the lines of communication goes both ways, but don’t forget the old saying “You get what you give.”
It’s important to nurture your relationship with your VA and lead by example for the type of relationship you want to have. Are you more of an informal or formal communicator? Do you want a team member or someone who’s just going to do what you tell them to do?
Once you decide that here are a few tips to help guide your communication regardless:
- Never use profanity! Frustrations can arise, but it is never ok to use profanity. It’s unprofessional and not only affects your VA, it could also hurt your productivity with your VA and let’s not forget your reputation.
- Try not to declare everything be done ASAP. You want and need things done by a certain date, we get that. While emergencies do occur, not everything has to be an emergency and can be completed within a respectable deadline, remember the boy who cried wolf? You want an ASAP to be taken as a true necessity, but if you use it all the time it loses its impact.
- Train your VA to ask for deadlines. When you are giving assignments/projects to your virtual assistant, make one of them asking for your deadline, it won’t be long before your VA will learn to ask without it being one of their to-do’s.
- NEVER communicate more than one project in an email string. Your VA can handle multiple projects, but if you are giving your VA a task and then asking about a previous project in the same email string and use google mail or other mail hosts where emails get wrapped or stacked, things can get lost, miscommunicated or requests can get applied to the wrong project.
Following these tips can free up time, reduce stress and allow you to build a healthy relationship with your virtual assistant.
Remember, just because the word assistant is in their title doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with dignity and respect, we after all are no longer living in the era of “mad men.”