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Top tips for becoming an exceptional PA

There’s a big difference between being good at your job as a PA and being exceptional. If you’re willing to go the extra mile in this role it could open up a wide range of exciting opportunities for your life and career – so how do you get to that point?

Be a great communicator

You must understand the importance of making a good first impression, especially as you’re often doing this on behalf of your employer. Professional, concise communication is critical, as is being able to discuss and negotiate with people of all managerial levels.

Always keep a record

Whether you use a pen and paper or tech, such as a tablet, it’s essential to be able to keep a note of what has been said and what is required. Even if you have a good memory, an exceptional PA will ensure that nothing is likely to be missed by taking precautions and writing it down.

Upgrade your organisational skills

General time management and organisational skills are essential for a good PA. You can ensure that you stand out as exceptional by taking this to another level and establishing systems that allow for seamless management of diaries and appointments, noting deadlines and ensuring action points are met.

Learn how to be calm under pressure

When everyone else is panicking an exceptional PA can step in, make suggestions and take decisions that help to take the heat out of challenging situations. If you’re not naturally calm in a crisis then this is an essential skill to learn.

Be perceptive when it comes to the needs of your employer

Most employers will already have an established approach and you will need to be perceptive about how things operate when you arrive. Picking up quickly on the needs, likes, dislikes and demands of an employer will enable you to hit the ground running and fit effortlessly into the support structure.

Don’t forget the small things

It’s often by focusing on the smaller action points and to do list items that you can get more done in a shorter space of time. Clear the less challenging tasks quickly and leave yourself more time to tackle those that are going to require more effort and brainpower.

Get tech savvy

You might be required to use a wide range of systems and software in your role as PA and being able to effortlessly absorb information and techniques will set you apart from the rest. Stay on top of the latest developments in your sector so that you’re prepared to tackle new technology as soon as it becomes relevant to you.

Focus on solutions

In a situation where everyone is highlighting issues or problems, be the voice that focuses on solutions. If you’re renowned for being an effective trouble-shooter then your PA stock will rise.

Be professional – but human

Professionalism can take many forms but is often based around trust – an employer should know that you appreciate how important discretion is, as well as the need to keep certain information confidential. Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes, everyone does, it’s just part of being human. But if you aren’t prepared to admit to mistakes then this could damage your credibility with an employer.

If you want to be an exceptional PA these are some of the top skills to learn. Find out more by booking onto our Developing Your PA Potential to Ensure Success.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.