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)

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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.

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