What kind of call centre manager are you?
What kind of call centre manager are you?
Have you ever been sucked into the deep twisty world of the BuzzFeed Quiz? It’s like falling down the rabbit hole. You start one and then three days later you wake up to find out who your celebrity bridesmaid should be (who is Gigi Hadid?), what your orc name is (Ur-Dag War-born) and what type of ocean creature you should be (sea dragon).
While we’re sure there are plenty more quizzes out there that are far more serious and could actually help you develop your career not dream of your next holiday destination (Buzzfeed tells it’s Ireland); we’d rather cut to the chase. Below are either Yes/No answers to help you find your managerial style. Yes, if you’re a call centre manager, then you have a managerial style. Fact. It may be a style that is learnt and something you’ve proactively developed over time, or it might just be your natural thing. Let’s find out what it is.
Question 1: Is it everyone else’s fault?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a Blamer Manager. If you answered ‘No’, move onto the next question.
Have you noticed how your team is always getting things wrong? As an ex-manager once said to me “It’s amazing how many stupid people there are out there.”
You might be a Blamer if you’re continually having to reprimand your staff. You might be a Blamer if you find yourself wishing your team could be more like you. You might be a Blamer if you can’t name more than a few people in your business that you trust to do good work.
The thing is, if your team is always getting things wrong the blame might not sit with them, it might sit with you.
Famous Blamer Manager: Donald Trump.
Question 2: Is your time spent managing everyone else’s time?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a Micro Manager. If you answered ‘No’, move onto the next question.
In the call centre business meeting targets is everything and you will do whatever it takes to make sure your team meets those demands. You make sure everyone knows their accountabilities and you’re ready to reprimand if they step out of line.
When you’re a Micro Manager there are no surprises. You regularly listen in to agents calls, meet with them daily to give constructive feedback and you may even find yourself doing their paperwork for them – just to make sure it’s done right.
You need to approve everything your staff do. You have control, that is for sure.
Famous Micro Manager: Steve Jobs
Question 3: Is your goal in life to avoid conflict at all costs?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a Jellyfish Manager. If you answered ‘No’, move onto the next question.
I’ve been told there are two main types of people in the world. Sharks, who get what they want no matter what; and jellyfish who get eaten by the sharks. I’m not sure it’s true but I like the analogy.
Jellyfish call centre managers are a gentle lot. It’s not to say they don’t worry about targets but they are unlikely to intervene, coach, problem solve or reprimand when things go wrong. Conflict is a dirty word and they’d rather passively let things sort themselves out.
You may be a Jellyfish Manager if you find yourself swamped with work but unable to delegate, you rarely give feedback to your team and you’re unsure why you’re not hitting your targets.
Famous Jellyfish Manager: No one. No one got famous by being a Jellyfish
Question 4: Do you rule your contact centre?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a King Manager. If you answered ‘No’, move onto the next question.
The King is the boss. The King rules the roost. The King knows exactly how things should be done and help anyone who thinks otherwise.
King Managers know the agents are there to make them look good. All the wins are theirs alone to be celebrated. And much like the Blamers, every loss is someone else’s fault for not doing it their way. A King’s team knows never to question them, because they’re always right.
You might be a King if you find yourself regaling agents with stories of the big challenges you have over come in your career (single-handedly) but don’t once ask them about their life. You might be a King if you find yourself saying things like, “Do it however you want, as long as it’s done my way.”
Famous King Manager: Tony Stark
Question 5: Is your role to help your team succeed?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a Servant Manager. If you answered ‘No’, move onto the next question.
The Servant Manager is a rare breed. These call centre managers are enablers. They’re the managers with the door open that agents know they can come to with issues and they’ll be listened to. Servant Managers don’t just have an eye on today’s results, they’re thinking about how they can improve the situation on the floor to get better results tomorrow.
You may be a Servant Manager if you find yourself asking for opinions on improvements from all levels of staff. You may be a Servant Manager if you understand the individual strengths of all your agents and regularly say “Thank you for your hard work.”
Unlike the Jellyfish the Servant Managers aren’t there to make people feel better, they’re there to help them work better.
Famous Servant Manager: Gandhi
Question 6: Would that cabinet be better a couple of inches to the left?
If you answered ‘Yes’, you might be a Perfectionist Manager.
Perfectionists have a lot of great qualities but consistency is not one of them. In an effort to continuously improve results they chop and change systems, processes and even staff looking for the best result. Some Perfectionists may have qualities of other managers such as Blamers or Servants. While their approach may differ you can be sure they will almost never give up searching for improvements.
Famous Perfectionist Manager: Elon Musk
So there you have it; your managerial style in black and white. Clearly true. The good news is that if you don’t like your style you can change it. Otherwise, head to Buzzfeed where the world is kinder.