Christy Crump explores the themes of confidence, communication and chemistry

At a recent conference, an executive panel shared what they felt admins needed in order to advance to the next level in their careers. As each panelist spoke, it was obvious they felt confident in their partnership with their respective admin, and that their admin agreed with and supported them wholeheartedly.

Three prevailing themes resonated from the panelists:


If you don’t have confidence to excel at the next level, you are not going to advance. Getting to that next level is not dependent on how many certifications you earn or how much additional education you gain. It’s how empowered and confident you are in your current abilities, in what you can learn, what you can teach, and how you can partner with your executive to assist in leading the team to success.

The more you do something, the better you get. The better you get, the less fear you have. The less fear you have, the more confident you become. Confidence grows exponentially. Lack of confidence is rooted in fear. When faced with fear, you do one of two things – take flight away or fight against it. Most of us take flight away from fears, because it is easier than standing up and fighting. When you remain in that state of fear, you lack confidence and become stagnant.

There are only two fears you are born with – the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds. Every other fear you learn from parents, siblings, teachers, and life experiences. You allow those fears to grow strong and become prisoner to them. You limit advancement and fall short of reaching your goals, because you allow fear to be stronger than your desire to succeed. Rather than taking flight away from fear, stand up to it, beat it down, and never let it control you again. How do you do this? Go back to the thought above…The more you do something, the better you get. The better you get, the less fear you have. The less fear you have, the more confident you become. Confidence grows exponentially. Practice fighting against your fears, and you will become fearless, empowered, and confident.


The second theme was excellent communication. Everyone knows communication is key to a successful relationship or partnership. However, the communication these panelists were referring to is a level higher than basic effective listening and speaking for understanding. This is where you are so fine-tuned to the skill of listening and processing that you understand instantly what is being said and not said. In other words, you can read the executive’s mind and know what they need before they need it. You are also comfortable enough to say things that no one else has the confidence to say. Many times, executives need an unbiased ear to listen, an open attitude to bounce ideas off of, or an honest opinion regarding a situation. Open communication and the ability to comfortably engage in positive conflict (defined as the productive exchange of diverse ideas and opinions in a nonthreatening or oppressive environment) is vital.


Chemistry, or synergy, is where the executive’s and the assistant’s similarities and differences merge together to create a perfect partnership. The assistant receives what they need to do their job well, and the executive receives what they need to do the same. When the executive and the admin have synergy, you both excel as a result of the partnership, because you have a level of trust, are comfortable engaging in productive conflict, are committed to a common goal, hold each other accountable, and are focused on the same results. Your partnership and work style can then be emulated by the team.

Work on building your confidence, developing that higher level of communication, and synergizing. With these skills, you will naturally progress to the next level.

Christy Crump has 20 years of experience in high-level administrative positions and five years as founder and president of Crump & Associates, a training and professional development company with a client list including Fortune 500 companies. In ... (Read More)

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