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Communication

The Foundation of Good Management

Skillful communication is the key to any relationship and this relationship with your PA is one of the most important ones you will ever have. It will ensure your ability to participate in your world to make it the experience you want it to be. We offer you this short summary of communication tips from other PA services users who suggest you think about them before even beginning to write the ad that will bring your, of course, perfect PA to you.

Many of the exercises in this “Quickstart Guide” are designed to help you identify the details that will make your PA’s job description and schedule clearer. You are the person who has to communicate these expectations to your attendants. We offer these task lists and scheduling forms as examples of ways you can identify and share this information. There are many more examples in the Toolkit Library!

Over and over again, the individuals who helped us develop this Toolkit said that communication is often the hardest part of PA management and also the most important. Communication is the key to interviewing applicants, describing the job accurately, setting boundaries, developing trust and clear expectations between you and your attendants, and dealing with conflicts before they cause lasting problems. All of these situations depend on good communication.

Sadly, we aren’t born with the skills we need to hire, train and supervise our PAs; and many PA managers said that the issues most difficult for them to deal with came down to basic communication skills and practical experience in using these skills with paid attendants or others who assist with their care. Knowing what your natural communication style is and practicing listening and presentation skills can make a good PA relationship a better one and change a bad situation to a good one, but it takes courage to identify a problem and try new communication strategies in an effort to resolve it. Some of the books and materials in the Toolkit Library offer excellent strategies and we also have peer mentors with skills and experiences to share!

Writing an Ad

The ad needs to communicate important information about the particular tasks you need done. Do you need light housekeeping or companionship or bowel or bladder care or transfers included as important parts of the job description?

The ad needs to say a little bit about your interests and preferences as well. It should highlight in a few words important information about things that might make the job attractive to some people or tell others that it might not be a good match for them. Are you are smoker or is smoking not allowed in your home? Are you someone who prefers conversation or who looks for quiet in your home space? Are pets a part of your life? This information can help you attract individuals who are more likely to share your interests or be able to provide the specific types of assistance you need. There are more examples in the sample ads but take some time to think about who you are and the interests and skills you are looking for in a job applicant.

Many of the exercises in this “Quickstart Guide” are designed to help you identify the details that will make your PA’s job description and schedule clearer. You are the person who has to communicate these expectations to your attendants. We offer these task lists and scheduling forms as examples of ways you can identify and share this information. There are many more examples in the Toolkit Library!