The New Art of Gatekeeping: Updating a Familiar Role

Tips to filtering out the riff-raff

Gatekeep

Did you know there have actually been articles written on how visitors can slide by you to get to your boss?

However, you know your role isn’t so much about blocking as it is about filtering.

Here are some hints to help you become a top-notch filter for the person who matters most – your boss:

Set the standard

First things first: Make sure you know exactly how your manager wants you to handle phone calls and drop-in visits.

It’ll save you both time, and you’ll know what kind of information to gather when you’ve got someone clambering to get past you.

Judge the facts

Once you and your manager have worked out a system, the true filtering process begins.

You get to weed through the initial pitch and dig out the relevant details: who, what, when, where, why – focusing especially on the why.

The primary question to ask: Why should my manager care?

If you can’t come up with a good answer, chances are it doesn’t need to be brought to your boss’s attention.

Trust your judgment – but when in doubt, ask.

Keep a smile

We all know it’s part of the job but it bears repeating: When dealing with anyone, keep a smile on your face no matter what.

Even if you get frustrated, just keep wearing the grin – because it gives you the upper hand!

The physical act of smiling helps you remain calm and focused so you can get the essential info you need to relay back to your boss.

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