Effective Communication as a Virtual Assistant— Your Key to Professional Success
Effective communication means a message is clearly delivered and received. Miscommunication or communication breakdowns in the workplace can be frustrating. How effectively one communicates can determine the success or failure of a project, relationship, or organization. Effective communication is needed for deadlines, expectations, presentations, exchanging knowledge, and building relationships.
Humans are able to communicate with more than words. Body language, facial expressions, vocal tone, eye contact, and gestures are all ways people communicate non-verbally. In a remote workplace, it is not always possible to rely on non-verbal communication. So, in virtual remote-jobs, effective verbal and written communication is crucial. Knowing how to successfully communicate via phone calls, email, virtual video meetings, Slack channels, and even text messaging is essential to succeeding in virtual assistant work.
Why Communication Matters as a Virtual Assistant
As a virtual assistant, both written and verbal communication are key to your success. Because your business never takes place in person, you must learn how to communicate via email, phone calls, video calls, and other messaging platforms. Your ability to speak and write clearly will help mitigate issues and will create a positive experience for those with whom you work. At times, written communication can be difficult, as people may interpret things differently than you meant them, so it is crucial to be clear, or even follow up with a call when necessary.
Your ability to execute verbal communication effectively during an interview will be your bread and butter. When searching for virtual remote jobs, you will be a more desirable hire to the interviewer if you can listen well, know your audience, and effectively articulate your skillset. The better you are at effective verbal communication, the greater your chances for success in virtual assistant work.
As a virtual assistant, your job is to make a client’s easier. You will offer technical, administrative, and other business support services to business owners, companies, and organizations.
The ability to effectively deliver and receive communication regarding expectations, needs, and challenges is the foundation of building a healthy professional relationship. Strong professional relationships improve not only the work experience but can also lead to more business. For example, when you successfully resolve a customer service need on behalf of a client, the client has then gained a happy returning customer they may not have otherwise had time to secure.
How Strong Written Communication Skills Serves You
Strong written communication skills will serve you beyond your role in a remote job. When verbal and non-verbal communication are eliminated, it is easy to lose context. You’ve likely received a text message and thought someone was angry at you only to find out they weren’t. Maybe you’ve sent an email to your boss and thought it was clear, but you had to follow up with a phone call to clarify. If not done thoughtfully, writing can portray an undesired tone or leave out important pieces of information. Professionally, it can also lead to additional unwanted follow-up.
Writing has the power to communicate a brand to an audience and outline professional goals, needs, and expectations. It is important to develop this skill professionally and personally.
How to Effectively Communicate Virtually
There are a few different virtual platforms you’ll need to know how to communicate on as a virtual assistant. From video calls to Slack, you can grow your professional career if you can effectively communicate virtually.
When participating in a Zoom meeting be sure to use headphones or mute your microphone when you aren’t speaking to limit distracting sounds. Instead of making direct eye contact, consider looking into your webcam when you speak. If you reference a particular link or resource, you can send it to the meeting participants in the Zoom chat.
First, ask yourself if what you are emailing is necessary. If so, keep it as brief as possible while still including important information. Many people’s inboxes are flooded with information, so it’s best to keep things brief and to the point. Choose a clear subject line to communicate the contents of the email. Always remember to maintain a polite and professional tone. Before you send it, always proofread for mistakes.
Project Management Tools
Project management tools like Infinity, Asana, Trello, and ProofHub allow you to delegate and manage projects effectively. Each is a one-stop-shop to assign roles, share files, track progress, manage deadlines, and outline meeting agendas. Communicating with your team of collaborators using a project management tool can help streamline the process and effectively execute your projects.
Messaging platforms, such as Slack, notify users with every message, so it’s best to send out fewer – yet longer – messages whenever possible. To make longer messages more legible and easier to digest, format them with bullet points to highlight the most important information. Consider replacing short responses to other messages with an emoji reaction to reduce the number of notifications to fellow users.
7 Need-to-Know Communication Tips for Virtual Assistants
As a virtual assistant, there are essential communication skills you must practice daily to succeed in remote assistant jobs. Here are the top seven tips for advancing your virtual assistant career.
1. Ask Questions:
If you are unsure of something, ask questions. It is better to ask for clarity than be confused and execute a project incorrectly. Asking questions is an essential part of effective communication. If a message is delivered, but not received, it has not been communicated effectively.
2. Check Your Inbox:
In remote work, important information is communicated every day to your email and other inboxes. Check your inbox so you can stay on top of your tasks, stay privy to any changes, maintain your relationships, and respond in a timely manner.
3. Offer Feedback:
Making observations and sharing them can help improve the business. If a client is open to feedback and you’ve noticed something that can be improved, communicate your observations.
4. Listen Carefully:
Stay present and take notes if you need to. Listening carefully enhances your ability to comprehend and deliver the task at hand. When a client knows you are listening to them, this develops trust and builds a stronger relationship.
Working from home can be distracting. Children, TV, social media, and neighborhood events can all pull your focus and distract you from communication efforts. Turn off certain notifications, put in noise-canceling headphones when able, and focus.
Staying on top of tasks, organizing deadlines, schedules, clients, and projects will be crucial. Keep yourself organized by writing notes to yourself, setting reminder alerts, and logging completed tasks as they get done.
7. Designate a Workspace:
Setting up a designated workspace at work sets a clear boundary between home and work for yourself. It can also limit distractions and noises so you can be more present and effective.
How to Begin Your Career as a Virtual Assistant
Prepare your resume and credentials, search for work that best suits your skills and job experience, and apply. Salaries and benefits may vary, so be sure to do your research before applying.
If you’re ready to work your dream remote job, research the skills you need to jumpstart your career as a virtual assistant. Virtual Assistant jobs are available globally. If you’re looking for an opportunity in Latin America, contact Virtual Latinos.
Apply for your dream remote job in Latin America as a virtual assistant with Virtual Latinos today.