Manager: Don’t Require Your Staff To Do That Which You’re Not Willing To Do

unreasonableI wrote a post a while ago about multitasking.  In that post I mentioned a particular time when I asked our customer service representatives to answer chats and phone calls at the same time.  It seemed like a simple request.  Heck, I can do chat and I can answer phone calls so what’s stopping me from doing them simultaneously?

I decided to give it a shot for myself and quickly realized that it’s a lot harder than it looks.  I inevitably recited my chat answers to the person I was speaking with on the phone and vice versa.  On another occasion I got wrapped up in the phone conversation, resulting in significant delays on the chat.

What a frustrating experience!  It’s so easy for us management types to say things like “It’s so easy” or “Anyone can do that” or “Multitasking is a must.”  In the case of this manager, those were my famous last words.  After trying it for myself, I quickly realized that my expectations were unreasonable.  Here’s a simple rule of thumb for managers:

Don’t require your staff to do that which you’re not willing to do

Not only will you gain a good understanding of how reasonable your expectations are, but you will gain the respect and admiration of your team as a boss who truly seeks to understand before being understood. (Thank you Stephen Covey)


Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *