Adriana Thompson was confronted with a challenge that so many frontline leaders in contact centers face. How to become a better leader when the path to success is not so visibly clear.
59% of frontline supervisors in contact centers were formerly agents (Source: ICMI). And like me, when you obtain the position, the excitement is rapidly met with anxiety because 99.9% of frontline supervisors are left to figure it out on their own and to lead the best they can.
Against All Odds
Just like Adrianna, many look to books to try to figure out the competencies they need to build and then institute the behavior changes required to successfully lead the frontline.
And with it known that 80% of people leave their jobs due to the relationship they have with their immediate supervisor, AND you’re in an industry with widespread issues with low-morale and high-turnover, the stakes are very high and the unfortunate industry standard has been that the immense burden is on individual supervisors to find their own way to success – quickly.”. Thankfully, Adrianna had the rare internal strength to do just that.
I had the delightful experience and honor to interview Adrianna shortly after the she received her recognition at the ICMI Global Contact Center Awards ceremony at the CCExpo in Orlando.
Skills to Develop
During her interview she shared with me her personal journey on making it to this high-mark in her career. As I was listening, I heard eight distinct skills she developed that enabled her to not only survive the most difficult job in the contact center industry, but to thrive in it.
If you hear others, please share them in the comments section. What I heard was:
- Humility: She thanked her team, her company (BuildASign.com), and managers.
- Resourcefulness: For her to find her way down her success path she needed to figure out where to go, what to do, and then do it. She did!
- Self-motivation: She did not wait for others to hold her hand and walk her down the path to success, she made her own way.
- Humility and Vulnerability: Definitely influenced by Brené Brown (links in additional resources below). Adriana was able to put herself in a position of openness and learning and in the position of guiding and supporting versus commanding and controlling.
- Feedback: Known as one of the most underutilized tools in a leader’s kit, Adrianna’s focus was on individual team members. She focused on their needs by asking how she could be a better manager for them.
- Selflessness: While she did get recognized as an individual, it’s obvious that Adriana’s desire to excel is clearly rooted in her need to serve others.
- Caring: Repeatedly, her message was about passion for others and a motivation that is driven to serve.
- Confidence: Adriana mentioned she struggled with it, as so many new and tenured supervisors do. Confidence can easily be shattered without a defined success path. Stay strong – move on.
It was thrilling to get to meet her and see the wisdom she has obtained in her young contact center career. It took me several years to figure out (actually – I’m still figuring it out) what she already has.
Adriana is a wonderful ambassador for the contact center industry and I hope we can retain her, so that someday she is able to win a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Congratulations Adriana! We wish you the very best.
- The Call Center Supervisor Success Path
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown
- Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown
- Kelli Barabasz Podcast: Becoming a Better Contact Center Leader
- 8 Vital Lessons from an Award-winning Supervisor – Click to Tweet
- “59% of frontline supervisors in contact centers were formerly agents.” – Click to Tweet
- “99.9% of frontline supervisors are left to figure it out on their own and to lead the best they can.” – Click to Tweet
- “The unfortunate industry standard has been that an immense burden is placed on individual supervisors to find their own way to success – quickly.” – Click to Tweet
- Congratulations to Adriana Thompson – 2018 Contact Center supervisor of the Year – Click to Tweet