5 Things You Learned in Kindergarten That'll Help You Be An Exceptional Virtual Assistant
You might be a master of Microsoft Word and a superstar with social media management, but if you don’t get these five basics right as your foundation, you will struggle as a Virtual Assistant.
The five things I’m talking about are basic things you learnt when you were in kindergarten.
Here’s how you can tweak them to ensure the core of your VA business is rock solid.
1. COMMUNICATE - Say what you think, ask for what you need.
If you are around young children, you will understand precisely what I mean when I say that kids communicate openly and honestly.
There is often no filter; they tell it like it is and say whatever they want. As adults, we might describe some of this communication as whingeing, but at least we know how they feel, right?
Guess what? You can apply this logic to your clients too.
The number of times I have had VAs come to me and say that the client is doing all of these things they don't like and what should they do?
I find myself sounding like a broken record saying: “Just tell them!”
The client probably has no idea that what they are doing isn't working for you or giving you what you need, so simply provide them with the courtesy of letting them know what they could do differently so that you can support them better.
It’s all in the delivery, so always ensure you deliver your message professionally and with respect. The goal is to use your four-year-old self’s open communication style as inspiration, not quote your four-year-old filter-less self!
My best advice is to over-communicate because although it might feel like too much, in my experience, you'll end up communicating just the right amount.
2. WHAT DO YOU SAY? - “Thank you”
Practice gratitude. Your clients and referrers don’t HAVE to use or promote you; there are thousands of Virtual Assistants out there.
So it pays to be grateful to your clients, referrers, and people who tell other people about your business. You wouldn’t have a business without them, after all.
3. SHHHHH - Be quiet and listen when someone is talking.
When your client is talking and telling you about their business problems that need solving, it's easy to feel the need to jump in straight away with all your fantastic VA solutions, but this is a mistake.
Clients want to be heard first so let them talk and tell you all about their business. Imagine how you would feel if you went to the doctor and they prescribed you medication before you said what the problem was!
By listening carefully, you will get a full overview of your clients’ business needs and your clients will feel respected and understood.
This is a win-win and means they will be more likely to reciprocate by listening to the solutions you have to offer, and you might end up being able to offer your support services in more than one area of their business.
4. FIVE PLUS A DAY – Eat well, and often.
It is so important to keep up your energy and look after yourself. You're no good to your clients or your family if you're running on empty (or even worse, hangry!).
Being hungry has a number of detrimental effects on your performance, productivity, and ability to cope with stress, so it is imperative to stay on top of it.
Keep healthy snacks at your desk or in your bag, so your whole day doesn’t derail, and to ensure that you don't get so hungry that you're tempted by something heavy and unhealthy.
Equally important as eating healthy is staying hydrated. Drink your water, people! Clarity and efficiency come when you are well hydrated, so keep that water bottle at your desk (you can add herbal tea if it helps entice you to take sips) and remember to take regular breaks.
5. GO OUTSIDE - Get some fresh air.
At kindergarten, your day was broken up by at least three breaks to eat and play outside.
There are some seriously good reasons that outside time is something encouraged by teachers and parents alike.
Research shows that time spent in the great outdoors has far-reaching benefits including improving short-term memory; helping combat stress, depression and anxiety; reducing inflammation and fatigue; protecting your vision; improving your ability to focus; lowering blood pressure; enhancing creativity; boosting your immune system; and even helping prevent early death!
So when was the last time you went outside?
By employing these five basic practices in your Virtual Assistant business, I can honestly say you will be a step above the rest.
Working as an honest, polite, grateful business support person will set you up to be a productive, clear thinker, who works efficiently, listens to their clients and delivers exceptional support services.
Be that VA that would impress your four-year-old self!
Good luck out there!
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As the founder of New Zealand's leading virtual assistant company, I'm an expert on how to run an efficient and high performing business. As a creator at heart, I love sharing my knowledge with others. Brought up on a dairy farm and attending boarding school from a young age, I am fiercely independent and a confident risk taker. With a love of snowboarding in winter and wakeboarding in summer, the outdoors is where I find joy, but nothing beats running around with my boys of 6 and 5 and have an immensely supportive partner who is also my best friend.