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The Pitfalls of Vague Instructions in Virtual Assistant Relationships: A Path to Improvement

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Frustrated with the results you're getting from your virtual assistant (VA)?


Perhaps it's time to take a closer look at how you and your VA communicate with each other. It goes without saying that clear and detailed instructions are essential for a successful work partnership with your VA. Which begs the question... if your instructions can't be understood, is it the reader's fault or yours?


But we get it! When we have an idea for a project, it's not always easy to scoop it from our brain and lay it out in an organized way. Because translating your ideas into something your VA will understand is often challenging, it can lead to those inevitable one-liner instructions. But here's the thing: these shortcuts might be leaving your VA feeling uncertain and demotivated.


In this blog, we'll explore the potential impact of vague one-liner instructions on your VA relationship. But don't worry, we'll provide insights into our process, giving you a glimpse of how concise instructions can enhance collaboration - and your VA will love you!!!


Plus, we'll share practical tips to boost your communication skills and foster a thriving partnership with your team. It's time to level up your communication game and unlock the full potential your team so you can finally scale your business. Let's dive in!

Our Process Unveiled: A Glimpse into How It Works

At 8point8, we pride ourselves on our tried and true four-step approach that enables our VAs to deliver exceptional work. We believe in transparency which is why we’d like to share a glimpse of our process with you:

Step 1: Detailed instructions.


Our clients provide clear and detailed instructions for the project/task they need help with. This includes information on the scope of the project, desired outcomes, relevant project items, and applicable deadlines.

Step 2: Clarifications.


If necessary, our clients can schedule a call with Lisa to clarify any questions, concerns, or additional instructions they may have about the project. This will ensure that the 8point8 VA team has all the necessary information to complete the task effectively.

Step 3: Research and Implementation.


Our VAs starts working, using their expertise to complete the project/task. They conduct thorough research and implement the necessary steps to complete the project to the client’s satisfaction.

Step 4: Communication.


Our team provides regular updates to the client and maintain constant communication until the project is completed. This helps the client to stay informed about the progress of the project and provides an opportunity to provide feedback.

At times, we receive instructions from clients that are short and unclear. This can lead to confusion among our VAs, who may struggle to understand what is expected of them. Not only is this an inefficient use of time, but it can also make any virtual assistant or team member feel undervalued, despite their vast expertise and skill set.

So, what can you do?

What You Can Do: Be Transparent and Communicate with Your VA


To ensure that our VAs perform to the best of their abilities, we urge clients to communicate their expectations transparently and clearly from the outset. This helps to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings down the line.

If the project is still in its early stages and the details are not yet clear, we suggest that clients provide a budget for exploratory work of maybe 1 to 2 hours in the instructions. This way, our VA’s time spent on research is compensated, and the VA feels valued as part of the client’s business.

By providing clear instructions, you can help your VA to focus on delivering a high-quality end product rather than wasting time trying to figure out what you want. If your VA comes back to you with an implementation plan of the project, possible roadblocks, and a list of tools/apps that can be subscribed to (with their corresponding subscription prices), then you have found yourself a golden virtual assistant.

Remember, effective communication is a two-way street. If you drop a one-liner instruction, don’t be surprised if your VA drops a vague reply. If you want your VA to be invested in your business, show that you value their hard work and their time. By doing so, you can build a strong and productive working relationship that leads to exceptional results.

BEWARE: If you drop a one-liner instruction and your VA also drops a one-liner vague reply – RUN! You won’t get far with that virtual assistant, that person is not invested in your business like you expect them to be.

Final Thoughts


At 8point8, we believe that effective communication is key to building strong and productive working relationships with our clients. By providing clear and detailed instructions and valuing our VAs’ time and expertise, we can ensure that our clients receive high-quality work and our VAs feel valued and motivated to continue delivering exceptional results.





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