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Tag Archives: Ask

Connected Leaders Get Their ASK in Gear!

Leaders encourage new team members to ask clarifying questions surrounding a project, protocol or procedure.  Connected leaders take it one step further and reassure individuals to reach out for support or help when needed. Yet, too many individuals still hesitate asking for what they need to succeed demanding that leaders change their approach.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, a call center experiment may hold clues to creating a safe and supportive “asking” environment.

The Challenge: The company’s rapid call center growth (tripling in size over a five-year period) left insufficient time for training to support their financial advisor clients. Wanting to look good in their supervisor’s eyes, new hires hesitated asking for help or saying, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” This increased call volume as clients chose to call back until two out of three answers received were alike. The leaders gave their teams a clear vision: Change whatever it takes to prevent clients from living by the three-call rule.

The Experiment: First off, management made it safe to experiment by keeping, but not compensating, call center service agents on metrics for four weeks. To show they were serious, white lab coats were distributed and input solicited. The first experiment resulted in a “Bat Signal” agents could press when needing informational support, but they still hesitated as the device clearly signaled they needed assistance. In addition, everyone assumed someone else would jump in to help, leaving the requestor helpless. Even after someone was assigned as Bat Manager, other demands often meant they weren’t at their desk to receive the signal.

The experiment shifted to a private “Bat Chat” channel where new hires could directly connect with specialized departments, but that also failed. However, when the “Bat Chat” channel was launched to the entire call center, everything changed. Although management anticipated that new hires would be connecting and asking for support from each another, that wasn’t the case. Turns out, only when seasoned team members modeled the behavior and asked each other for additional support, did new hires follow suit.

As the article’s author Joe Brown noted, “When they were just another voice in a crowded room, they felt safe to ask questions. So, the key wasn’t in giving newbies special treatment, it was making them feel normal in saying, “I don’t know.” And a nice added benefit of the Bat chat? Those long transcripts became a searchable library of answers for future service agents.”

My Takeaway for You: Leaders must get their own ASK in gear if they expect others to feel safe enough to follow suit. Put your pride on the side, show your vulnerability and ask for support when necessary. Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, but you’ll be leading the way for others to do the same.


If you are looking for an award-winning, funny motivational speaker that can also deliver solid content in a way that evokes change and produces results, Colette Carlson is the one for your next event!  To have Colette at your next event call us today at 888-766-3166 or click here: Book Colette Carlson

Just Ask! by guest: Kelly Swanson

askI don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of women who hate to ask for help. We’d rather stand proudly in the pool of martyrdom, even if we are drowning – but at least we did it on our own, with good hair, fine china, and a purse that matched our shoes. Asking translated to weakness. Asking meant you weren’t polite. Asking was rude. What we didn’t realize, was that sometimes (and maybe most times) in order to get what we want, we have to ASK for it. Yet many of us, me included, are disappointed at all the things we didn’t get that we never asked for.

Today was a good example for me. I want likes on my Facebook page – not to feel needed, but because it gives me more exposure to clients looking for motivational speakers. And yet every time I open my Facebook page and see that place where it gives me the option to ask my friends to like me – I ignore it. It just feels too needy. What if they say no? What if that makes me promiscuous?

But today I said, “What the heck. I’m always happy to like their pages. And they can always say no. I’ll never know unless I ask.”  So I asked.  And not even an hour later I got 80 likes – make that 81, I just got another while typing this. And I would bet by end of the day that number will be higher.

Lesson to me: ASK.

Lesson to you: ASK.

They can always say no. But your chances are always better than if you said nothing at all.

So now that I’ve climbed out of the pool of martyrdom and into the pool of asking for what I want – does anybody have any diamonds they want to give me?

(P.S.  In case you now want to go find me on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/funnymotivationalspeaker.  I’ll be the one with all the likes.)

kellyswansonAbout 

Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson – called one of North Carolina’s funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow – Kelly’s make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience’s imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market. To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson: see her Speaker page at http://www.simplysuespeaks.com/speaker/17/Kelly_Swanson