5 Ways to Stay Ahead of Those You Support

How to Give Great Support to Those You Support—Part 1

Whether you are behind the scenes giving support in an office role in a classroom setting or at home, you are vitally needed and just as important as those out on the front lines.

Those Who Give Support Are Usually Not Seen

Ronald Reagan was known for saying, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.

If you work in an office, you probably wear many hats: (I’ve listed a few and you can probably add a dozen to this list!)

  • Project manager
  • Trouble shooter
  • Copy machine repair person
  • Fax machine fixer
  • Meeting coordinator
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Janitor
  • Waitress
  • Coffee maker
  • Complaint department
  • Customer service
  • The famous Yellow Pages!
  • Graphics designer
  • Travel agent
  • Operator
  • Record keeper
  • Grammar expert
  • Mathematician
  • Shopper
  • Magician :)

We all complete tasks that don’t necessarily fall into our “job description,” don’t we?

I want to share some ideas that work well for us in our office.

1. Spend Ten Minutes Planning the Next Day at the End of Each Work Day

Don’t let tomorrow morning hit you tomorrow morning! This principle helps in every area of your life. Plan the night before with your clothing, lunches, etc. For example, ironing in itself is not my favorite task, but ironing in the morning—ugh! Pick out your clothes the night before. Pick out your children’s clothes as well, or check to make sure they have.

2. If Possible, Get to the Office before Your Boss

One of your goals is to make life easier for the person you support.

Print off his calendar for that day. I like to place tomorrow’s calendar on his desk at the end of each day before I leave.

3. End Each Day the Way You Want to Start It Tomorrow

Keep your office clean and clear! No piles!

Whether it’s the office, classroom or your home; if you leave it clean at the end of the day, you’re two steps ahead in the morning!

4. Communicate

Your timing in communicating is often the key to its effectiveness. I would never want to give my husband bad news or tell him everything that went wrong that day the minute he walks in the door, and I would never want to give my pastor bad news as he is walking out of the office to go preach.

If you’re really overwhelmed, say, “I have these projects I’m working on for you. Which one would you like me to focus on today?” Communication is a big part of support.

5. Think Ahead

Success is eighty percent preparation. It is usually completely unnecessary to let a simple task become a last-minute crisis; do not let that happen to you. A secretary, for example, might need a letter from the pastor for a youth conference booklet. She should see it coming up on her schedule and ask for it earlier than needed. A procrastinator, on the other hand, will ask for it the day of or day before the booklet must go to print.

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