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Want to be an Administrator? Treat People Right

8 December 2012 One Comment

Becoming an administrator is something that many professionals aspire to. Whether it’s for the bump in salary or the prestige that comes with being a leader, administrative positions are in high demand in multiple fields. If you would like to be awarded this coveted position, you’ve got to have a certain qualities, including the ability to lead people effectively. Here are five people skills that great administrators share:


Are you a good listener? Listening to people involves more than the simple, physical act of hearing. To listen to people, you’ve got to stay quiet, pay attention and absorb what is being said. People often listen to others with only half of an ear. Meaning that as people are listening, they are already busy thinking about what they are going to say. This habit will cause you to miss not only what is being said, but the unspoken message that your employees are trying to convey. Listening takes practice; use your friends and family as guinea pigs. Quiet your mind, listen to what is being said and mirror it back to the speaker.


Do you know how to speak to people? One of the biggest pet peeves that employees have when it comes to their supervisors is the feeling that they are being spoken down to. Remember that your employees are your peers and not your children. Having more responsibility and a higher salary doesn’t make you a better person; it simply means that you have a different job. Avoid speaking to your employees in a condescending or patronizing tone of voice.


You’ve heard the old tale of catching more flies with honey. If your employees feel as though sharing ideas or admitting mistakes will be met with nothing but ridicule, you’ll soon find that your employees shut down. Check your bad mood at the door, leave your baggage at home and work on your attitude if necessary. The job of any supervisor is to make his or her employees better in their positions. Keep this in mind as you speak to your employees. Offer words of encouragement frequently, thank people for a job well done and use mistakes as an opportunity for learning.

4.We, Not Me

Remember that being an effective leader means being part of a team; you have to share in both your employees’ successes and their failures. A good administrator understands this and never puts him- or herself ahead of anyone else. When you make yourself a part of the team, your employees will show you the respect that you’ve earned. If your employee comes to you with a mistake, help him or her find a solution. Keep in mind that when your team is successful, so are you.


Have you ever thought about sending your boss an email and then not bothered because you knew that you’d never get a reply? Don’t be that boss. Let your employees know how you preferred to be contacted, when you can be contacted and how quickly they should expect a response. If you want your employees to trust you, you need to make sure that you are accessible. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes each day, at a specific time, to answer emails and return voicemails from your employees. If an employee has a question or issue that you can’t respond to immediately, let him or her know that you’ve received their query and that you will give them an answer as soon as possible.

Being an effective administrator involves much more than knowing how to fill out paperwork. Good administrators have great people skills; if you don’t have these skills, learn them and put them into practice. It’s only then that you’ll find success as a leader.

One Comment »

  • Mark said:

    Very nice points. But administration can prove to be quite difficult… A good administrator will not have any questions 'thrown' at them (or a minimal) because they are skilled at explaining – like a consultant. And I strongly agree that the manner you speak to your employees in is crucial for performance and work ethic