Importance of Communication
Communication – we all know that this is vital in every workplace. But as a virtual assistant, how do we become effective at communication?
In this topic, we will discuss what is communication and its importance as a virtual assistant. We will also discuss who you need to communicate to, and where and when it’s best to communicate. We will also be sharing tips on how you can excel at communicating.
Communication, generally, is an exchange of information and ideas. It’s a human interaction. And as a virtual assistant, communication is important in almost every action that you will do – either verbal (like the words you choose and how you say them whenever you compose an email or respond to a message) or non-verbal (which is your facial expression, body language and the tone and pitch of your voice). It helps you establish a connection with the people you work with.
In one of the videos, we talked about how you can build a strong work relationship and make yourself valuable. And for you to excel at both of these things, you must know how to communicate well verbally and non-verbally. This helps you understand the people you are working with, so you can build a strong work relationship with them. And at the same time, it gives you a clear understanding of your daily tasks and responsibilities as a virtual assistant so you know how to be more valuable.
Remember: Not everyone is used to working with someone whom they cannot physically interact with, so constant communication is vitally important. Communication is how you ensure that you are actually “showing up,” making sure they know and feel that you are present.
As we talk further into this topic, we will also give you some tips on how you can be effective at communication.
Now that we talked about what is communication and its importance in being a virtual assistant, let’s talk about who to communicate with. To simplify, let’s divide it into two: the ia Blueprint and your assigned agency.
Here in ia Blueprint, there are a couple of people you can reach out to for different reasons or purposes. But most of the time, the VA operations manager is your go-to person whenever you have any inquiries or concerns regarding your employment, processes of ia Blueprint, and all other things. These will be discussed more by the operations manager who will handle you.
On the other hand, there are the people from your assigned agency. These are your teammates and the owner or CEO of the agency. You will likely communicate more with the people from your assigned agency because your daily tasks and responsibilities will be given by them. On or before your first day, you will already be informed whom you should directly report to or communicate with within your assigned agency. Most instructions and training you’ll undergo will also come from them. You can also ask them about account or task specifics.
Contact information of ia Blueprint and your assigned agency will be provided to you on your first day. If you are unsure who to reach out to, communicate with the ia Blueprint management team.
The next thing we’ll talk about is where you can communicate.
There are a lot of communication channels that you might need to use daily. Here in ia Blueprint, we use Slack to communicate with virtual assistants like you. While your assigned agency might be using a different channel like Teams or Google Chat. Others use Skype, and VoIP like Ring Central, SpectrumVoIP, Bridge, and many more. But one of the most commonly used channels is Teams (chat) and Outlook (email).
Don’t worry, you will know what communication channel your assigned agency uses as this information should be given on your first week of employment.
Lastly, let’s talk about how you can communicate.
Remember: it’s important to make sure to make them feel you are present even if you are working virtually.
The basic practices you can apply daily are by responding and acknowledging emails as early as the first hour of your shift or sending good morning/good night messages to your teammates. Also, observe what time of the day they usually respond to each of the communication channels. This way you’ll know when it is best to contact them and you would be able to get the response that you need promptly.
So how can you be good and effective at communicating as a virtual assistant? Here are a couple more tips:
• Think before you speak. Carefully think of how your words are going to affect the person you’re talking to. Actively listen and comprehend the meaning of what
the other person is saying before responding.
• When speaking in a meeting or a phone call, relay your opinion or suggestion as clearly as possible while remaining calm, polite, and focused.
• Be presentable, avoid unnecessary actions, and give your full attention in every meeting you will attend.
• Check your grammar and email structure. We highly recommend to download Grammarly to help you check your grammar and spelling.
• Also, observe how your teammates construct their messages and emails to adapt some of their best practices. Follow email scripts if they have provided any.
• Review every email that you compose before hitting send.
• Provide all the needed information to your manager or teammates clearly and precisely, whether that’s in email, phone call, chat or in a meeting.
• It’s also important to check all communication channels throughout the day. Try to check it on an hourly basis to avoid missing messages and emails.
• Be honest when you don’t know the answer or have made a mistake. Learn to acknowledge the feedback that has been given to you and thank them when they
give you a guide or instructions.
• Send end-of-day reports daily. This is also one of the important things in communication; making sure that you report your progress daily.
You may view these tips on the ia Blueprint employee directory website. We also recommend you to re-read these tips weekly. So, the following week, you know where to improve and you are ready to be a better virtual assistant who keeps excelling at communication.
Communication is, therefore, vital even if you are working virtually. It does not only help you understand and accomplish your daily responsibilities and tasks, but it also helps you build trust among the people you work with. When team members feel comfortable communicating openly with each other, it can lead to a more productive, healthy, and creative work environment.
Knowing when and whom to reach out to for help is always a great thing. And always remember to check the communication channels that we always use. Try to apply the tips we have mentioned in the video and who knows? It might be a pathway for you to get bonuses and be recognized as an exemplary employee.