I am going to try to write a blog about what is going on in America without too many political views. You are right in understanding this well be hard. It is just important that truths are known that can affect the way we work, live and do business.
As a generation x black woman raised on the west coast, I knew very little injustice. In fact, the first racial injustice in my memory was the Rodney King beating in March of 1991. The entire community was outraged by the incident, but more so that the police officers (who were caught on camera) were not punished for brutally beating a man in a random traffic stop. This led to the 1992 riots portraying people of color as riotous angry people.
I am now a mother of three minority young men. They are absolutely amazing. They are in college and positive members of society. However, as a black mother of three minority sons, November 2016 changed my confidence in their safety. It changed my perspective in their success in the business world. You can ask why, but we all know why.
November 2016, a generation of older politicians, affluent businessmen, and neo Nazi supporters (who cannot agree on anything) came together to bring back laws that enslaved minorities. These same laws took away the right to vote, the right to live in any neighborhood, the right to fair employment, and the right to just be free.
The positive thing about this is, the age to technology and social media established a platform for awareness. Social media is bringing awareness of incidents of injustice that have happened in the past and currently. As a result, as a joined community we are saying “we will not go back”.
Now that I have ranted about the reason for this blog, I want to discuss how to build a social arsenal that can protect us from this fear to returning to a very negative time in American history. We need to be socially aware without living in fear. Here are some tips:
If you read this and you want to add comments or tips, please do. We must work together to stand strong.
Growing up in my family, we became accustomed to the insults that are meant to be funny. It is known as a form of family bonding. Eventually there is this cycle of pointing out flaws in people that are in our circle. It seems harmless, only there is a long-term harm that can diminish the ability to be successful.
This analysis may seem silly, but it is true. As we progress through generations, the term “thick skin” has lost its meaning. In fact, as we become older those little insults float around creating self-esteem issues that are not immediately noticed. If someone tells you enough times that you are stupid, in the back of your head this is part of your description for yourself. However, if you have an environment where everyone tells you how smart and capable you are this becomes your reality.
It is important to become proactive in only surrounding yourself with people that only say positive things about you or at least know when to say nothing at all. In addition, you must also be someone who does not give energy to judging others or saying negative things about other people. This is difficult if you have been raised the same way I have where you learn to take the insults and laugh it off.
Let’s consider the way we communicate generationally to understand the lasting effects of judgement and insults:
As humans in our personal and professional lives we are regularly in situations that can be escalated. “Can be” is the key statement that should be considered. We are either the customer or the professional in either scenario.
As an agent in the call center industry, there are many opportunities to improve communication. This industry is mentally draining and can be deadly. Customers don’t consider there is another human on the line trying to do their job. The agents take calls back to back. It can be a demanding career. In such high stress environments, illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety disorder, and heart disease are common. It is important to find opportunities to refresh and provide excellent service for each caller.
To recover from the last call, you must have a strategy in place. This ensures you are prepared for every interaction. Here are some important tips:
Similar to life interactions, the un-expected will happen in your professional life as a call center agent. After your initial introduction is when the customer must “have the floor”. Always make sure you listen after you introduce yourself, this will allow you to assess the situation. Simply, take a breath and become the answer to their question. This will give you confidence and the customer respect.
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor