10 leadership tips to make you stand out
I’ve said it plenty of times before that contact centres provide some amazing career opportunities.
More often than not though, that journey starts from identifying someone on the phones who shows a bit of talent above the norm, or someone who shows some initiative in wanting to further their career.
We then throw them into a Team Leader role, give them a pat on the back and then wonder why people aren’t becoming effective leaders!
Thankfully a lot of call centres are recognising that leadership training is a critical component of a career path.
Along with my CX Skills business which specialises in training for contact centres, there are now plenty of trainers out there focussing on leadership and coaching skills.
But just throwing someone into a course doesn’t make someone a great leader either.
Good leaders are always developing their skills through continuous learning.
Being a leader doesnt mean you need to be a leadership expert. In fact, great leaders are the ones who pursue their own education.
Leadership in a contact centre, after all, is not about being a CX or technology expert. It’s about being an expert in people management.
By being a better leader, and investing the time to do so, will help everyone perform better.
These tips were inspired by an article on Forbes with contributions from industry leaders.
10 leadership tips
1. Pursue Feedback
Ken Blanchard says, Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Excellent leaders are characterized by aggressively pursuing feedback.
You will never graduate with a degree in leadership from the school of no news is good news.
After most enlightening experiences, circle back and ask what went well and what couldve been better.
Be relentless in your pursuit of receiving feedback.
2. Share What You Know With Others
If you want to learn, teach.
Those of us who teach leadership professionally know this secret: We have to develop ourselves, keep learning, and model what we believe.
No matter where you are in your career, you can mentor others, offer what you know, share your questions, exchange insights, and keep learning.
By so doing, youll further your own education.
3. Check Your Balance
True leadership is the healthy balance between the attention of your mind and the affection of your heart.
If your leadership approach is all about the cerebral aspects of the work, there is no inspiration.
If your style is all about fluffy feel-good, you miss the mark on delivery.
Set plans with solid thought, measured by conviction and you will create an environment for exceptional performance.
4. Find A Mentor
Landing a leadership position that feels like sink or swim with no support doesnt require drowning.
Look toward your professional network and upwardly within the company to find a mentor relationship that can keep you on the fast track to leadership success.
Learning and guidance from those who have been there and want to foster success in others is a surefire path to confident management.
5. Observe Others, Read, Get Coaching
Leadership is a skill that can be learned despite many believing that we are born with leadership abilities or not.
We typically learn leadership in one of two ways, we work for a bad leader and say, Ill never do it that way, or we work for a good leader and say, Ill do it like that.
Over time, we develop our style, but it can be improved and accelerated by books and personal coaching.
6. Establish A Discipline Of Reflection
To quote Mintzberg, Leadership like swimming cant be learned by reading about it.
Leaders have scores of experiences from which to draw learnings.
Develop a habit of stopping the action occasionally to reflect and write what happened, what worked, what didnt, and what did I learn and youll have thousands of learning experiences.
Otherwise, youll lose thousands of learning opportunities.
7. Hit The Books And The Pavement
There are two approaches to learning anything, and how to become a leader is no exception hitting the books and hitting the pavement.
When it comes to books, look to best-sellers, management training programs, leadership certificates and executive education programs.
Hit the pavement by identifying the styles you admire and asking for mentorship.
8. Pursue Training Programs
While Im a coach, Im also the CEO of a 40-person company. Ive been most valuable to my team when I invest time and money in my own development.
Over the last two years, Ive commenced from both the Stagen Leadership Academy and the Gestalt Training Program out of Cleveland.
Both were deeply immersive and profound.
Commit to an experience that is guaranteed to challenge you.
The ROI is worthwhile.
9.Practice By Volunteering
Training and books are great, mentors are wonderful, but the only way to become a leader is to start leading.
Join the board of a nonprofit, get involved with a cause, volunteer to lead an event or fundraiser, and youll get to spread your wings and grow while youre doing something great for your community (and making contacts).
10. Seek The Newest Ideas
Read books about peak performance so that you learn what is really required for people to outperform.
Introduce yourself to new research and ideas so that you dont fall back on sometimes erroneous instinct about work and motivation.
A great book to start with is Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, by Ashley Merryman and Po Bronson.
- Read more articles on How to engage and motivate employees
- Search for courses designed for leaders in a call centre/cx environment
- Learn How to improve your coaching and leadership skills