Liz Van Vliet Managing Director of My EA Career transitioned from an award winning career in Corporate Sales in the technology sector to found a business dedicated to boosting the confidence and career development of Executive Assistants, after her own experience as an EA provided insight to the complexity and growing demands of the role.
Liz has developed bespoke competency frameworks, training programs and coaching methodology to provide Executive Assistants with the tools and knowledge to contribute strategically to their organisation’s success and to realise their own potential. The glowing endorsements from leaders and Executive Assistants in blue chip companies is a testament to Liz’s impact.
How do your signature training programs help Executive Assistants become the Linchpins in their workplace?
I transform under-confident Assistants and overwhelmed Admin Support into Empowered, Strategic and Effective Linchpin Assistants enabling them to power their organisations, and thrive in their career and life.
I am a global keynote speaker, certified executive coach and trainer leveraging my Linchpin Assist Model®, Assistant Competency Model® and the Ten Power Skills for Linchpin Assistants® to move assistants from order-takers to linchpins in their organisations.
Tell us about your coaching methodology for Executive and Administration Assistants? What can they expect?
My coaching is based around my E.F.F.E.C.T.I.V.E® methodology. In partnership with my coachee and their organisation I help them:
Elevated view: lift their gaze and see the potential for them as individuals and as strategic partners to their leaders.
Find starting point: leveraging self assessments (I am DiSC accredited) to identify where they currently sit and give insight into how they are showing up and relationship challenges they may be experiencing.
Feedback 360: stakeholder interviews to seek input in terms of where their key stakeholders feel they are at.
Engineer SMAART goals: exploring and establishing goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, action-oriented and time based.
Cultivate confidence: supporting coachees to understand the confidence spiral and enabling them to develop practices to cultivate their confidence.
Training, coaching and mentoring: providing access to the Linchpin Assistant Academy® to reinforce learning and scheduling sessions to engage and deliver coaching and mentoring.
Implementation plan: defining a specific, measurable action plan to ensure we are outcome focused.
Value star: supporting coachees to identify their five-pointed value star that assists them in gaining clarity around their Unique Value Proposition.
Evolve effectiveness: The overarching goal of working with individual assistants is to empower them to move from efficient to effective and truly occupy the Linchpin Zone.
What competency areas are key to high performance in Executive Assistant roles?
I have developed some key models that form the foundation of my training, coaching, mentoring and speaking.
The Linchpin Model® illustrated below:
I empower assistants how to be more effective and improve their strategic thinking by teaching them to build their knowledge, insight and understanding across five foundational pillars:
- Organisational dynamics
- Their role
- Leader insights
- Their Power Skills
- Self Insight
The outcome of this knowledge and insight is that they can provide a higher level of support to their respective leader.
I have also developed the Assistant Competency Model® as a way of illustrating where executive assistants, personal assistants and administrative assistants are spending their time and how they are ‘showing up’ based on their competencies. Which zone an EA or PA fits into is determined by a set of characteristics like aptitude, development, mindset and experience. There are also times when a manager needs their assistant to operate from one or another quadrant.
My approach to coaching and training is to develop the skills that enable an assistant to spend MORE time in that Linchpin zone. Key to levelling up is their knowledge of and capacity to employ ten core POWER Skills.
Building confidence and capability in what I describe as Power Skills is also what propels assistants into that more impactful space.
I focus on teaching the Ten Power Skills for Linchpin Assistants®.
These competencies are what I describe as ‘supercharged soft skills’ that empower assistants to:
- Mastering confident communication
- Navigating difficult conversations
- Managing up skillfully
- Revealing your leadership
- Balancing negotiation outcomes
- Claiming your influence
- Giving and getting effective feedback
- Fostering curiosity for insights
- Building strategic thinking
- Understanding EQ and self-regulation
Assistants who participate in my programs achieve the following learning outcomes, leaving with the knowledge and the tactics that will enable them to:
- Solve problems before they arise
- Balance tight deadlines
- Anticipate the needs and protect the time and energy of their manager
- Maintain mutually beneficial stakeholder relationships
- Connect their outputs to the strategic vision of their organisation.
It is incredibly rewarding to see the transformation that can be achieved by Executive Assistants that undertake my program. They report that the relationship with their Executive is also transformed and that the productivity and effectiveness they are subsequently capable of delivering is acknowledged and valued. Similarly, the Executive reports that they can operate at a higher level because of the improvement in the support they are receiving. It truly is a win/win situation.
Tell us about your impact working with leaders and their EAs to improve communication for a more effective working relationship.
I’m an EA strategist who works with emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to onboard or reset their relationship with their assistant using my 3P Methodology®. This ensures that the leader and their assistant have a common language to use to communicate and a shorthand to refer back to as they move forward in their relationship.
Here’s some feedback from my clients:
“The effect of Liz’s coaching and mentoring has been significant. Liz has deservedly built a reputation as a coach and trainer with the ability to develop confidence and capacity in assistants to be effective, not just efficient.”
“Liz has recently helped us with an in-depth company skills analysis. Having identified areas that needed improvement, she designed and implemented a comprehensive training programme for our staff. This covered a wide variety of areas with a particular focus on sales techniques, time management (and identifying key priorities) and communication both internally and externally.
Liz’s work has been transformative for our company. She has a wonderful ability to see to the heart of the matter and manages to combine great tact and diplomacy with Australian straight talking. Our staff really responded to her.”
“Through my coaching sessions with Liz, I feel that I have grown not only in my role as the EA to the MD but on a professional level in my career as an EA. I found Liz’s style to be very encouraging, and Liz was able to put things into perspective in order to demonstrate the value I bring, how I show up, how I demonstrate my leadership capability and build my confidence so that I could do my job effectively and consider the pathway for my career progression.”
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