11 May 2011

Secretaries are communication heroes

Way back, when I was a student at university, I was taught that secretaries are important communications hubs, both in formal and informal communications networks. So, if you want to do communications research, on how informal communications networks function, for example, secretaries need to be included in that research.

Over the years I have learnt another feature about secretaries: they may be the most important communicators in many organizations. Actually, it is fair to say that apart from organizing their bosses work, communicating is probably their main task. I dare to state that secretaries communicate as much as communications professionals and I feel that their work is underestimated and underpaid.

Think of it: they write emails, letters, make phone calls all day, organize meetings, make meeting minutes. And I have found that they often master digital communication tools, like Office programs and social media far better than their bosses, or most other employees in the organization. They are probably the group with the best communication skills in the workforce.

I feel that often they are a victim of the tendency in many organizations to delegate the real work as far down as possible. They don’t have anyone to turn to, and most often they deliver time after time. Just felt the need to write that down at least once in my life.

Value them, my friends, they are the heroes of the modern office!


  1. Another great post, Jan. Complete agree with the point you make. I had the privilege to give a workshop along these lines to about 50 secretaries. I also underlined how important they are and their work is. They were surprised (because they never hear this) but agreed. Here are two pointers to my posts about this workshop. They fit perfectly next to your post. http://info-architecture.blogspot.com/2010/06/secretaries-communication-and.html and http://info-architecture.blogspot.com/2011/01/workshop-social-media-for-secretaries.html

  2. Ah, yes, once again we think alike. We would make a good team ;-). Thanks for your comment,and I highty recommend your blog to my readers. It is in the blog list under 'infoarch'