How to Star in a Supportive Role

How to Star in a Supportive Role
Administrative assistants and secretaries are not the only jobs involving supportive roles or activities. Even as a Human Resources Manager, you may be in a supportive role to a director or company president. It's typical to think of a support person as the low man on the totem pole, however, that is simply not true. A support position can be anyone who assists or supports the activities of someone higher up within the organization – even managers have managers. Now given that definition of a supportive role, what steps can you take to become the “ideal” support person?

Keep an eye on the big picture. Understanding your own role within the organization is the easy part. Understanding the role in context of the bigger picture is entirely different. You may feel that your job is insignificant, but once you understand the big picture and your role within that framework, your job will take on greater significance.

What is your manager’s role within the organization? Knowing your manager's responsibility is crucial in providing support. Back to the example of the Human Resources Manager - understanding what statistics the Director needs to report to their boss, helps you to determine what you need to provide in order to make his/her job easier.

Keep up with the times. Technology is evolving. Rules, regulations, procedures are always changing. What does all of this mean? It means that change is inevitable. Keeping up with the latest facts, figures or software enhancements will help you to keep the office moving in the right direction. It will also help you to determine future needs.

Be available for delegation. One of the most difficult skills to learn is how to delegate. As a result, managers get caught up in the viscous circle – too much work and too busy to take a moment to decide what work they can actually delegate. The issue is compounded by the fact that when they glance toward your desk, you appear to be so focused on what you’re doing – you are inapproachable.

Starring in a support role will benefit you in many different ways. Do you want to advance in the company? Do you want to learn more and increase your knowledge and skills? Starring in a supportive role will make you more visible within the organization and at the same time; increase your skills and abilities. Starring in a supportive role is most definitely a win-win situation.

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