Avoid Misunderstandings: Saying it Best the First Time Around

Be specific and direct when they come to you with questions


As an administrative assistant, you’re the go-to person for many things around the office.

It often can seem like you’re talking to someone every minute.

So it’s not important you’re not misunderstood.

After all, you don’t want to have to explain something multiple times before a person gets what you mean.

It’s hard enough getting everything done in the course of a day!

We’ve got three surefire tips to make them understand what you say the first time, no questions asked.

Ditch the ‘maybes’

Words like maybe and perhaps give others the impression you’re not knowledgeable about the topic.

Worse, it may make you appear less trustworthy.

Instead of: “Maybe you can speak with my boss tomorrow.”

Say: “My boss will be in tomorrow. I’ll let you know if he’s available to speak to you then.”

Use fewer pronouns

Too many unidentified pronouns can leave a listener confused.

Stick with specific nouns whenever possible.

Instead of: “I talked to him about that yesterday, and he said they’d get it done.”

Say: “I talked to Mr. Smith about the deadline yesterday. He said his staff will have the numbers ready.”

Buy some time

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but taking a second to compose your thoughts is important.

It’s the only way you’ll say exactly what you mean.

Tip: Buy some time by rephrasing the question in your reply, such as:
“What’s the status of the project?”
“The status of the project is…”

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