Happy Tuesday TA Fam! We're trying out a different format this week—hope you like it!
Today’s checklist: Get tips for communicating and collaborating with everyone. Basically.
YOU DO YOU
I Like Your (Thinking) Style
Last week, you identified your thinking style. If you missed last week's issue, pause here for a minute and get your "Thinking Style" quiz results before moving forward.
Great, now that we've done that—are you ready to collaborate seamlessly with people of all styles?
Collaboration style: Analytical
They want the facts. They dig for them. Vagueness and fluff frustrates them like nothing else.
Favorite questions: What does it mean? How do you know?
Associated thinking styles:
When collaborating with an analytical colleague…
Be prepared to answer a lot of questions.
Use numbers and other measurable metrics when possible.
Use words like “test,” “measure,” and “verify.”
Stay on topic. Tangents will turn them off.
Provide agendas for long meetings.
Collaboration style: Intuitive
They love it when people get to the point — the “what” and, most importantly, the “why.”
Favorite questions: So what? Why should we care?
Associated thinking styles:
When collaborating with an intuitive colleague…
Picture the proverbial inverted funnel. Start with the point and then provide supporting information.
Avoid being dismissive. Keep an open mind and ask them to explain any ideas you don’t fully understand.
Steer away from lofty and/or empty claims. Big pictures won’t satisfy if they aren’t grounded in real possibility.
Discuss projects and ideas in the context of your shared goals.
Collaboration style: Functional
Nothing is real to them until you explain precisely how it’s going to happen. They want to see the plan, the process. To them, ideas live in the nuances of their execution.
Favorite questions: Have you sketched out a project plan? What are the next steps?
Associated thinking styles:
When collaborating with a functional colleague…
Share all the details. (They’ll probably end up asking about any you leave out.)
If you mention follow ups, do them as soon as possible to show you mean business.
Be prepared to have them tell you all the logistical nuances you didn’t think about. Embrace it. (They just want to help, and it’s what they’re good at.)
Give them plenty of review time. The level of thoroughness they aspire to takes time to pull off.
Collaboration style: Personal
They consider everything in terms of the thoughts and emotions of those around them.
Favorite questions: What do you think about this? How do you feel about this?
Associated thinking styles:
When collaborating with a personal colleague…
Don’t be short. Building rapport is more important than getting to the point.
Try to link ideas and suggestions back to the people affected by them.
Make specific, personal small talk. Always ask about their day.
Always ask for their opinions; they’ll probably be empathic and uplifting.
Emotionally proofread messages intended for them. Look for gray areas that could be negatively construed.
SPONSORED BY MORNING BREW
Get smarter in just 5 minutes with Morning Brew
Let's face it: most business news is dry, dense and boring. But Morning Brew is written in a witty and conversational tone that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. The best part? It’s just a 5 minute read—so you can get smarter, faster.
Join a community of over 3 million readers.
P.S. Morning Brew is a huge influence on us and helped inspire us to launch The Assist. We highly recommend giving them a read!
GET MORE SH*T DONE
Don’t Reduce Me to a Label
Some people will tell you everyone has a dominant communication style: assertive, passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive. TBH, nearly anyone can use any of these styles depending on their mood and the events of their day.
People are not their emails. (Luckily, because haven’t we all sent a few doozies?) Here are some tips for responding to every style of communication no matter who it comes from.
Recognize: It usually defers to others and includes few if any direct statements related to opinions, ideas, or feelings
Example: Remaining silent and giving cues, such as nodding or breaking eye contact, that invite others to speak first and last.
In person: Use friendly facial expressions and body language to encourage, but never pressure, them to speak.
Email: End with a clear call to action if you’re asking them to do something or a clear question for them to answer.
Phone/Zoom: Allow longer than normal pauses to encourage them to speak up.
Direct messaging: Make clear points or they may be uncertain how to respond.
Recognize: It seizes attention through vocal volume or forceful verbiage, projects confidence but may overlook other opinions, and sometimes frames opinions as facts.
Example: “You need to completely redo this presentation.”
In person: Maintain your eye contact and vocal volume to establish your presence.
Email: Consider their feelings, address them, and state how you intend to move forward.
Phone/Zoom: Ask them to clarify or explain their assertions or directives.
Direct messaging: If the tone grows argumentative, suggest a future in-person discussion to minimize the risk of misunderstandings and escalations.
Recognize: It seems to have double meaning, conflicts with the speaker’s body language or facial expression, and may attempt to put the speaker at a distance.
Example: Someone saying they’d be happy to take on the extra work and then rolling their eyes with the clear intent to be seen.
In person: Avoid confronting the specific behavior, but ask the person how they’re feeling.
Email: Allow at least a few hours for everyone to calm down before responding.
Phone/Zoom: Keep them engaged in the conversation by frequently soliciting their opinion.
Direct messaging: Reserve your right to remain silent. If you can’t think of a productive response, give yourself enough time to identify one.
Recognize: It clearly states opinions and feedback even when it might be unpleasant and usually invites responses and further discussion on all points.
Example: Someone paraphrasing what they just heard from others before calmly stating why they disagree.
In person: Share your opinion openly. They want the truth.
Email: Be sure to complete the exchange they started in their email.
Phone/Zoom: Respond to their points before proposing your own.
Direct messaging: Feel free to ask clarifying questions if you’re uncertain what they’re getting at.
High-Caliber EAs Wanted
33Vincent is on the hunt for rockstar Executive Assistants to join their freelance community and support world-changing clients. They offer completely remote, flexible work and a thriving EA community of best practices and resources. They look for:
5+ years experience in executive administrative support or client services: inbox and calendar management, file management, contact management, to-do list management, travel planning & logistics, catering management, etc.
Exemplary planning, time management skills & customer service instinct
Minimum of 10+ hours/week of availability
Learn more & apply here today!
Employee Engagement Swipe List
Bringing the fun to work isn't always so...fun. So we've come up with a quick hitting list you can use to swipe ideas to bring to your office and keep everyone sane happy and engaged.
Start your next meeting with an icebreaker question:
What’s something that always confuses you about the work we do here?
Would you rather be an Olympic gold medallist or an astronaut?
If you were a refrigerator, what item would you hate holding?
Which character from a kids’ book or movie reminds you of yourself?
If you could go back in time and pay more attention to any class in high school, what would you choose?
Make your team or colleague's day at work:
Send them a yummy treat
Write a nice handwritten note or card
Give them a shoutout on Bonusly
Help them with a task
Plan a lunch hang
Remind them to take a break & drink water
Try something different for your next team building event:
Attend a class:
Painting or drawing class
Have a tasting:
Office scavenger hunt
Employee talent show
Put together a volunteer event
Play a game:
Hungry, Hungry Hippos
In case you missed it...
APC Live Stream & Virtual APC Travel isn’t always an option, so APC has created multiple ways for you to capture the training and connection from their annual, in-person event without having to travel. #TrainingWithoutTravel
Office Otter helps you automate your to-do list by turning your conversations in Slack, email, text and Siri into tasks.
monday.com helps you keep track of everything your team's working on, communicate in context, and get started in minutes with a super easy set-up. No more endless e-mail threads or long meetings.
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
Visit our Treasure Trove page. We'll continuously add resources to this page, so bookmark it for easy access. Access every previous newsletter in our Archives.
Can't wait until next week's The Assist? Here are some recs to tie you over until then:
Ho, ho, hold on...have you thought about Secret Santa gifts yet? (You'll thank us later when you're not last minute gift shopping.)
Bring the par-tay to work with these ideas.
Pssst...It might be time to upgrade your company swag.
SPILL THE TEA
Hooray—You made it to the end!
Sharing is Caring
The highest compliment you can give us is by referring us to others. Show us some love and share the link below with someone you know:
Pro tip: Make sure your referral puts down your email address when they sign up so we can credit the referral to you.
If you enjoyed our newsletter today, "like it" by clicking the ❤️ on the bottom right!
Have feedback or interested in advertising with us? Shoot us an email: email@example.com 💌