Positive feedback is like a magic cloud swirling around your call center! It builds self-esteem, self-confidence and encourages independence. It is an amazing tool to improve overall performance and morale in your center.
Do you think you provide enough positive feedback to your customer service team? Have you ever sat down to what you think was an incredibly healthy meal, only to count up the calories and realize you just ate 900 calories in one sitting? We all have a tendency to overestimate our real actions. Hence, I am daring you to take the 5 Day Positive Feedback Challenge! Here's how it works: Pull out a piece of paper and make a list of 6 team members with whom you have influence, probably your direct reports and peers. After each name make a column for each day of the week, Monday-Friday. Your goal is to give one piece of positive feedback to each person each day for a total of 30 actions in one week.
Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Why should you take this challenge? You likely overestimate how much positive feedback you currently give. As a Call Center Leader you are part of a very unique group who I find really understand the value of positive reinforcement. You know that your team needs the recognition and you feel like you embrace this value. However, when I took this challenge I was shocked how hard it could be to complete my list for the day. I would get caught up in other activities and as the afternoon passed I would realize that my only communication with one of the managers was to forward a report with a question. It was a real wakeup call! Ready to take the challenge? Here are just a few rules:
- Keep this secret for the whole week. After the week is over you can share your stories.
- The positive feedback needs to be very specific with a description of the action you are praising and the effect of that action. It can't be "great job in today's meeting" rather say something like "I really like how you were willing to be the first to share your ideas in today's meeting, it helped get the rest of the team talking."
- You are not allowed to give any corrective feedback at the time you give this positive feedback. I had a boss once who was incredibly generous with positive feedback, but then always added something to the end such as an adjustment he wanted me to make or encouragement to raise the bar even higher. For example "Ladona, it's amazing you made a record $5,000 in sales yesterday, Great job. Can you double that tomorrow?" It was like a balloon blowing up and then all the air suddenly releasing. Let people bask in the moment!
- Keep it going like an old fashioned chain letter! After you complete the challenge, share it with your team and give them the same challenge. Ask them to continue the chain.
I would love to hear back from you after you take this challenge. Was it as easy as you thought it would be? And how did your team react?