the fifteen years I have been working in call centers (as well as in other
industries), I have been able to see first hand the mistakes most often made by
new and seasoned supervisors, managers, and others who lead employees.
time, I have consolidated these common errors into four major mistakes.
See if you or someone in your center is making these mistakes needlessly
by reviewing the following list:
Sometimes called the "halo or horns" effect, this phenomenon is seen when a management member tries to turn everyone on the team into a "mini me". Certain his or her personality type or style is the best, this supervisor offers advice, counseling, feedback and even disciplinary action based on style or personality traits instead of on data, numbers, observed behaviors and other objective criteria.
2. FAILING TO ENSURE SOMEONE'S DIGNITY AT THE BEGINNING, DURING AND AT THE END OF A ONE-ON-ONE.
single most important component when giving someone corrective feedback is to
ensure that person can walk away with dignity.
When two people are in conflict or getting defensive (which is the main
theme to most one-on-ones) this becomes increasingly difficult.
In an attempt to appear in charge and in control, the supervisor may try
to "win" by demeaning the employee with veiled insults, overheard
gossip about the employee, or using statements like "everyone agrees with
3. NOT ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERY RESULT PRODUCED BY THEMSELVES AND THEIR TEAM.
that this mistake says "EVERY RESULT". This is a very hard shift for many new management members.
The new manager is no longer an individual contributor, and is now responsible
for every person' s performance. This
is a contradiction in the "real world". No one can control or change
another. And yet, in management,
you are expected to take responsibility for your team's performance, especially
when it is lacking (and frankly, to NOT take credit when the performance is
good!). The supervisor must determine what isn't working and why and correct
that; and when things are working, he/she must continue these processes while
ensuring everyone stays challenged, motivated and recognized.
Thank God for stock options!
NOT LEADING BY EXAMPLE.
who has had a moody boss knows that the tone of the day was set by this person's
mood. To fail to show your
"best face" regardless of the circumstances encourages similar
behavior in your employees. This
supervisor often doesn't see the correlation between his/her example and the
team's mimicking behavior. Accusations of being "unprofessional" when
employees arrive "just a little late", or when they begin to snap at
co-workers often come from this very supervisor. This inevitably leads to a lack of trust and performance that
only follows the "just enough to not get fired" standard.
does someone making these mistakes turn these around? By doing just that—turn around or reverse these mistakes
and make them positives. Here’s
what this would look like:
Note on the Author : Stephanie Goddard Davidson is the author of “101 Ways to Have a Great Day at Work” (Sourcebooks Publishing, 1998) and the accompanying workbook “The 102nd Way”. Both are available through www.Amazon.com.
Stephanie is CEO of Workforce Management Solutions and its subsidiary Call Center Solutions. An instructor with the American Management Association, Ms. Davidson is also a nationally-certified trainer for many acclaimed business programs including “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”’ “People Skills for Managers” and master certified in Zenger Miller/Achieve Global Management Programs.
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