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How to avoid being an intimidating team leader.

As a team leader, it’s your job to make sure everybody is toeing the line and delivering results - but it’s also crucial to make your teams feel supported and valued whilst they’re at work. After all, a strong relationship with your team is key to improving performance.

We know that finding the balance between driving performance and being the go-to person for team members is harder than it looks - so here are our top 5 tips to ensure your agents can come to you confidently, easily and without panic:

  1. Engagement is key – Talk to your team often – not only when there’s a problem. Even a simple thing like saying good morning and acknowledging any personal events you are aware of will help agents develop a positive attitude towards speaking with you. This may be a small step, but it goes a long way.
  2. Set clear expectations –Whether it’s face-to- face, email or desk drop - explain to agents’ meetings or offline time needn’t always be planned. Let your team know as soon as you do about potential changes to the schedule, and most importantly, why they’ve been changed. The more you communicate, the more they will be aware of the challenges you face.
  3. It’s not what you say but the way that you say it – The words a person uses contributes only 10% to their communication style - a whopping 90% is determined in your tone and delivery alone. This doesn’t mean you should be using jazz hands all the time, but make sure you consider the way you talk is supportive and understanding, even if you have something negative to say.
  4. Try not to approach team members when they are on a call – Giving someone a little notice that you want to grab five minutes to have a chat will always deliver a more positive outcome. If it’s not an urgent matter, give your agents a heads up that you’d like to discuss something with them when they’re not busy – this demonstrates consideration for their time as well as your own.
  5. Avoid the shoulder tap – Customer service is not a contact sport, so it shouldn’t take physical contact to get the attention of colleagues. Although innocent, a tap on the shoulder can make the recipient feel disrespected and surprised – simply saying the name of the person you wish to speak to should be enough.

Follow these five tips, and you’ll see your agents respond positively. We know being a Team Leader isn’t the easiest job in the world, so we’ve created The Essential Team Leader Playbook - we know what the most common challenges are, and more importantly, how to tackle them.