PA Tips: How to Communicate Effectively with Your Boss

Assistants should never assume anything when listening to their boss


I have always made it a habit to be clear with my communication.  If there is one thing we can probably all agree on, it’s that people in this world don’t communicate enough.  In keeping with my err on the side of caution philosophy, make sure that you over-communicate an important detail if you have doubts that something may get screwed up.


One of the biggest obstacles celebrities and VIPs face is that they are always surrounded by yes-men (sycophants).  In short, people that just smile and say yes to everything and never want to bring their boss bad news.  I have never been that way and I’m up front about that in the interview.  Good or bad, right or wrong, I’m going to tell my boss how it is.  That certainly doesn’t mean that tact goes out the window either.  In the end, I think my policy has served me well because my employers have respected me for it.


After you’ve been hired, it’s very important that you have a candid discussion with your boss about how,and how often, you should communicate with them.  I’ve had bosses that insisted on knowing nothing, as long as the end-product was what they anticipated.  Perfectly juxtaposed to that methodology, I’ve had employers who insisted on knowing absolutely every single detail.  Whatever your situation may be, always be specific when communicating the business affairs of your employer.


Never assume or make inferences, ever.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen disasters take place because of miscommunication.  In fact, I usually hear about the stories because assistants in the business make news in certain circles when they royally screw up.


It goes without saying you never want to be that person because getting another personal assistant job would be difficult at best.  I’d like to remind you now that some of these monumental and legendary personal assistant screw-ups have involved TV and movie stars not getting a nomination for an Emmy or Oscar because someone forgot to file the paperwork.


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