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Q & A with Jan Jones: The Importance of Feedback Between Executive & Assistant

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses the importance of feedback
between executives and their assistants.

 For the past five years, FlyPrivate has been a proud partner and associate of Jan Jones. Jan brings valuable, actionable information to EAs across the globe. We hope you enjoy her blogs as much as we do! 

Business meeting

FlyPrivate: How often should you meet with your EA and provide 
feedback about their performance? How important is this to the
 working relationship?

Jan Jones: Being honest and respectful does wonders for any
relationship, but especially for the delicate balance that must be struck between an executive and assistant. Feedback should be
ongoing, particularly at the start of the relationship, or if the current assistant is not performing up to standard and adjustments need to be made. If something gets dropped, or mistakes are recurring,
address them quickly so there is no undercurrent of dissatisfaction impacting the relationship. Don’t let the EA assume that everything is OK and then suddenly get hit with the news that you are not
happy with their performance. I shared in my book the example of an EA whose new boss seemed to be annoyed with her and she could not figure out why. At a social gathering she finally asked him. He said he was not a morning person so when she called out “Good Morning!” in a cheerful voice, it irritated him. The discussion about work style should have been on the EA’s priority list at the outset. Since she didn’t ask, and it obviously was an issue for him, he should have said something about it. Instead, uncomfortable months went by during that early period when they could have been building trust, respect and rapport.

When an EA is new in the job, I recommend they ask their executive if everything is satisfactory no later than at the end of the first week. Are there any challenges with communication, or work
performance? A simple “How did we do this week, are there any
issues you’d like to discuss?” should quickly let the EA know how they are faring and lets the executive know the assistant is open to feedback. When I started a new job, on the first day I would tell my boss I wanted to hear immediately if they were not satisfied with anything, no matter how minor, so I could fix it. Executives should be specific when giving feedback. Let your assistant know exactly what the issue is. Don’t beat around the bush and leave them perplexed about what you really mean. Don’t let problems build up. For me, once the relationship was established and I knew I could be candid with my boss, I shared my observations but I was careful to pick my moments. The timing has to be right or you’ll wind up doing more damage than good. Feedback works best when it is communicated sincerely and respectfully, without either party feeling intimidated, or put on the spot. It should be communicated in private because it may start out positively, but it could lead to other issues that should be discussed confidentially.

Schedule time for an informal performance discussion at the end of the first 30 days and a formal performance review at the end of the first 90 days. If things are not going well, don’t wait 90 days to
address them. Similarly, if the assistant has settled in well and you are pleased with their performance, let them know and say thank you. If the executive and assistant are working together
comfortably, they probably have sufficient rapport to be able to talk to each other about performance, expectations or
misunderstandings on a frequent basis, not just at review time. Use your instincts. If something feels uneasy, speak up and get it handled.

All relationships require effort and commitment, and the
executive-assistant relationship is no exception. Develop trust and confidence in each other. It creates a space for both of you to safely share what’s on your mind without feelings being hurt, or intentions misunderstood. When trust and support back up your relationship, it creates a sense of comfort in which you are free to thrive and do your best work.


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. This article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and ©Jan Jones 2020. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or
duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and
Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed international executive assistant to well-known business people, including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ book and visit her website:
The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones

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Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

If the Need is Speed, Look to Citation X

Citation X+
Photos courtesy of Cessna

Loyal Citation customers sought increased baggage capacity, longer range and more speed at a time when Lear jets were the
champions of speed and range but were limited on cabin size and baggage area. Cessna needed to develop something bold for their loyal following.

Citation X+ Interior

Using the same fuselage diameter as their popular Citation VII (5’6″ x 5’8″) the Cessna design team developed 35% more baggage
capacity and stretched the cabin length by 25%. Engineers doubled the thrust of the engines, increased their intake capacity and
adjusted the sweep of the wing. The result was a stunning increase in cruising speed from 506 mph to 588 mph with top speed
capability of 699 mph, creating not only a faster jet, but also a
revolutionary new model. The six-year project culminated in the birth of the “fastest civilian aircraft in the world”, the Citation X
(roman numeral ten).

Citation X+

The increased speed and 3,000-mile range make the Citation X very popular for coast-to-coast trips and for customers who are looking to take advantage of the possible time-saving. The fastest we have ever tracked one of our customers in a Citation X was 627 mph on a trip from SNA-TEB. This resulted in a one-hour time-saving over a heavy or midsize jet.

The Citation X is classified as a super midsize jet.

Citation X+

If you have the need for speed we have your answer. FlyPrivate
customers have on-demand access to the entire national and
international charter fleet of the Citation X. They are popular
aircraft and book up as swiftly as they fly.

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates from
FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Redefine Luxury in a Gulfstream 450

The Gulfstream 450 is a long-range heavy jet and is considered one of the best in its class. According to Gulfstream, “Functionality is a mainstay of the Gulfstream G450. This is an aircraft that offers more payload, more cabin configurations and has a cockpit equipped with advanced guidance systems, some of which aren’t even available outside the Gulfstream fleet.”

The G450 can travel non-stop over 5,005 statute miles at a cruise speed of 562 mph, making it ideal for trans-continental trips, as well as cross-country flights. With a full galley containing a conventional oven, microwave oven, sink, cooled storage, china dinnerware and stemware, full meal service can easily be arranged. This jet offers a fully enclosed lavatory with closets for additional storage. There is also 169 cubic feet of ample baggage space that is
accessible while in-flight.

G450

The Gulfstream G450 sets the standard for luxury, reliability and performance. The heavy jet can seat up to 16 people at max capacity in the large stand-up cabin and berth up to six. The cabin is ideal for conducting business with its advanced soundproofing technologies that cuts outside noise significantly. To combat fatigue and
contribute to passenger comfort, fresh air is circulated around the cabin every two minutes. The 12 oval windows allow for more
natural light in the cabin making for a more enjoyable ride.

Gulfstream 450 exterior

The spacious interior of the Gulfstream G450 is 1525 cubic feet, with a cabin height of 6′ 2″, width of 7′ 3″ and length of 45′ 1″. Many G450s come standard with other cabin technologies
including: a seven-channel Honeywell satellite communications
system, CD/DVD player, Wi-Fi network, printer, fax machine, LCD TV screens, cabin audio system, electrical outlets, and tables to
conduct work.

G450 interior

Images courtesy of www.gulfstream.com

The impressive range and speed of the Gulfstream G450 is due largely to the new wing design that helps cut down on drag and help with fuel capacity and consumption. The technological capabilities in the cockpit are also quite impressive. Gulfstream boasts that “the most advanced technology comes standard issue in the Gulfstream G450 PlaneView cockpit. Four multifunction 14-inch liquid crystal display units provide layers of data such as interactive navigation, electronic approach charts, and satellite and radar weather images. Colorful graphics paired with well-organized, streamlined data
improve pilots’ situational awareness and their ability to respond to changing conditions.” Equipped with an Enhanced Vision System (EVS) and Head-Up Display (HUD), pilots can easily monitor their surroundings even in low visibility conditions.

To request a Gulfstream G450 for your next trip, contact us!

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.