For many years, it was standard practice that the role of manager or team leader was often paired with strongly authoritarian descriptors such as controlling, sole decision maker, and unyielding. And while this type of management style was practiced for years, a newer and more effective style of management or leadership was introduced by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970.
Call center managers are among those who have realized that there are many benefits from learning how to manage by Servant Leadership. Some of the positive benefits that have been gained include an increase in employee satisfaction levels, in customer satisfaction levels, in innovative ideas, and a decreased rate of turnover. Each of these benefits then translates to increased revenue for the organization.
Do You Have What it Takes?
In order to be a successful servant leader, you must be willing to ask yourself if you truly have what it takes to lead with service instead of with force. This self-evaluation need not be a grueling or harrowing experience for contact center leaders, instead, it should be a way of pinpointing small changes that you can make that are sure to have a positive impact on the entire team. Some questions that you may want to review include:
- Am I empathetic?
- Do I understand how to listen?
- Am I aware of situations, undercurrents, and of myself?
- Do I believe that healing can happen?
- Am I able to see the big picture?
- Are big dreams to be encouraged or scoffed at?
- What am I doing to nurture my employees?
- Am I a good steward?
- Is the feeling of community important to me?
- Do I persuade or coerce?
What Can You Do to Serve More Naturally?
If you have conducted an honest self-evaluation, it is probable that you have come away with the knowledge that you need to work to be a more effective servant leader. For example, you may make the decision to research how to be more empathetic so that you can to treat each team member as a unique and valued individual, even if you must help to correct behaviors that may be hurting the productivity, overall attitude or the effectiveness of the call center.
Striving to become more comfortable as a servant leader frequently leads to an increased awareness of more than just numbers. Instead, you will come to understand the struggles that your employees face each day. This clarity and awareness of values, ethics and personalities will help you to serve your employees and problem-solve more effectively.
Expanding your own abilities to think big will also help in your efforts. When you take time to know and serve those on your team, you will also know where their hopes and dreams lie. Be prepared to listen, to encourage and to share your own dream.
Serve Yourself So You Can Serve Your Team
As you move through the process of becoming the type of servant leader you have envisioned, remember to take time out for yourself, so that you can practice, learn, and refresh. The increased knowledge and wisdom you gain as you take time to serve yourself are certain to benefit not only your own life but the lives of all those that you serve with each day.