4 tips for effective communication with your VA

Bleating sheep

It’s good to talk…

…Said one popular telecoms company back in the early nineties. And whilst they may not be promoting using your landline anymore, due to the popularity of mobile phones, the adage is still very true.

Communication is key in many aspects of our lives and especially in business. Being a virtual assistant, I rely heavily on clear communication channels such as email, skype and my phone to ensure nothing is lost in translation. As most of the time this communication is not face to face, I must make sure that my intentions and messages are clearly expressed to ensure a happy and successful working relationship.

I’ve looked into 4 key ways to ensure your communication with your VA is being received loud and clear, and wanted to share them with you below:

1.       A Clear Objective and Deadline

Being clear in what your objectives are is important for getting the most value out of your time and money. Ensure that you have decided on a clear set of goals and know what you want to get out of your VA in the time you have allocated with them. Having actionable tasks and a deadline for completion works well in my experience. Let them know if you would like updates, and if so, how often.

 2.       Method of Communication

Agree, at the start, how you prefer to communicate and establish a routine. This may sound simple, but it needs to work for both of you to get the most out of your working relationship. Decide on whether it may be email, Skype or a phone call, and if necessary book these into time slots in your diary.

Do you want to call every day? If so, schedule a mutually convenient time each day to catch up. That way you won’t miss each other or be caught without the right information to hand. Top tip: Sometimes a quick phone call can save a lengthy time consuming email.

I also recommend Slack as a great communication tool – a real time messaging service. It saves clogging up your inbox with one line question and answers and is less formal than an email.

Nothing beats face to face communication for building a rapport, which is great if you have the option to meet with your VA in person, but if this isn’t feasible, Skype works wonders and is free!   

3.       Providing Information – The Right Amount

If you provide your VA with either too much or too little information, you may find them coming back to you for clarification. Sometimes this can’t be avoided if you also aren’t sure the full scope of the task or project, however if this is the case, say so to your VA, so they understand where you’re at. 

By making sure they are fully prepared with the specific information to complete the task you have set, you will find you will get the most out your VA.   

4.       Sharing Files in a Central Location

Sharing is caring. No really, it is! When you begin working with your VA, make your life easy by providing them with access to everything they’ll ever need in a shared space such as Dropbox or Google Docs. Share any process docs, company branding guidelines or images that will be relevant to the work they do for you and you’ll save time later on.

I’d recommend having your login passwords, credit card details saved securely in an app such as lastpass. It works a dream and means that you can easily and quickly share sensitive data safely.

Agree on a space or app where you’ll keep your task list such as a project management app like Asana or Trello or even simply a shared Google Doc worksheet to save duplication and aid communication.

 

Thought of some good points to add to this post? Let me know in the comments below!

Featured image: Pixabay