A change of perspective makes everything easier
Call centers, with their constant customer communication and emphasis on booking calls, can sometimes be stressful places. Do any of these questions from call center employees sound familiar to you?
Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if the tech I’m dispatching gets mad at me for giving him another call?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I don’t book the call?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if a customer yells at me?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
Questions like these worry your call center employees. They don’t want to fail in front of their supervisor, feel badly during work, or say the wrong thing and hurt the company.
These are also useless questions. How much time do you, your employees, and your coworkers spend on the Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ in your business? How much wasted emotional energy do people spend every day wondering if something will happen, and what to do about it?
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had questions that weigh on our minds, keeping us from operating at our maximum ability. Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ can occupy our thoughts and cause us stress and anxiety.
Notice that all the call center Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ questions are negative and that’s the mind trying to prepare itself for a distressing situation. What if you helped your employees handle their worrying questions differently? Why not help them spin the negative scenarios into positives, and look at their Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ in a new light? For example:
- Instead of: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if the tech I’m dispatching gets mad at me for giving him another call?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ Why not: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if the tech recognizes that I’m giving him this call for a reason? What if he realizes that it’s a compliment?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
- Instead of: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I don’t book the call?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ Why not: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I don’t book the call, but our inside sales rep books it, and teaches me a new technique in the process?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
- Instead of: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if a customer yells at me?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ Why not: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if the customer yells at me, and my patience and empathy causes them to calm down?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
- Instead of: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I fail?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ Why not: Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I fail, and learn something invaluable in the process?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
Some of you may think this is all just looking at challenging situations with rose-colored glasses. And sure and maybe it is. But what if you had the same glasses I did, and could see things optimistically, rather than in a negative light? What if you learned to recognize the value in making mistakes, or challenging times, instead of letting them weigh on you? What if changing your perspective could change your whole life?
I know a woman who was fired from her high-paying job. That job provided a healthy living for her family and a lifestyle that many of her friends envied. After being terminated, she told me that she went home, cried, and got down to discovering who she really was. She told me how many times she’d questioned herself during her 12 years in that position, and how often she’d asked herself Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ questions that dealt with negative outcomes. All those negative Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ ultimately led to paralysis by analysis. They kept her in that job much longer than she had ever wanted.
She came to terms with her new reality, and rather than asking Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I would’ve done something differently? Would I still have my job?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚, she began asking herself, Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œWhat if I find something I truly love doing?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ For the first time, she focused on asking the right Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ questions, and eventually discovered an entirely new career that’s more fulfilling than she ever could’ve imagined. Her new job pays two-thirds as much as her old one, but provides ten times the enjoyment and satisfaction, with much less stress. Her negative Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ stopped dictating where she went in life. Instead, she used healthy Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ to guide her down a path to fulfillment.
When I consider the anxiety and stress that comes with my own Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ questions, I’m reminded of this quote:
Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œCan you do anything about your worry? If yes, then go do something about it. If no, then why are you worrying about it?Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚
When it comes time to consider the Ãƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…â€œwhat ifsÃƒ¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã‚ that are steering your life, your business, and your employees, consider spinning the negatives into positives. Your employees will relax, your business will do better, and your life will be one filled with learning.