Posted by Dan Smitley on March 24, 2023
As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in the contact center space, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of having people around you who will disagree with you. Sure, it may feel easier or more about “culture fit” to have a bunch of people agreeing with you, but the benefits of having people around you who will challenge your ideas, push back on your assumptions, and help you see things from a different perspective are numerous!
First and foremost, having people who disagree with you helps refine your ideas and produce a better product. In contact centers this is especially important because customer experience is king here. If you have a team of people who all think the same way, you run the risk of missing important details that could make or break the customer experience. Having people who are willing to speak up and challenge your assumptions can help you see things from a different perspective and ultimately improve the product or service you’re offering.
Secondly, people come from different backgrounds and will provide different perspectives on the same problem. This is incredibly valuable in contact centers because your customers are not the same as you. They have different backgrounds, experiences, and desires. Having a team full of people from different backgrounds and skill sets can help you approach these challenges in a more holistic way. For example, someone with a background in psychology might approach a problem related to agent burnout in a different way than someone with a background in engineering. Having both perspectives can help you find a more comprehensive solutions to both your customer and employee experiences.
Thirdly, you should always be learning. In fact, if you stop learning, you stop leading your organization. Having people around you who disagree gives you an amazing learing opportunity every day! By listening to their perspectives and ideas, you can broaden your own understanding of a particular issue or challenge.
Fourthly, disagreements protect you from falling into groupthink, where conformity is more important than critical thinking. If everyone on your team agrees on a particular approach or strategy, there’s a risk that you’ll overlook potential problems or issues. Having people who are willing to challenge you and the status quo can help continue to prioritize critical thinking and avoid groupthink.
Finally, having people who disagree with you can help you grow emotionally and intellectually. It’s not always easy to hear that your ideas are flawed or that there’s a better way to approach a particular challenge. But learning to accept and embrace those perspectives can be incredibly beneficial in the long run. It can help you develop a growth mindset, where you’re constantly looking for ways to improve and evolve.
Having people who disagree with you helps you refine your ideas, approach challenges from different perspectives, stay on top of the latest trends and best practices, avoid groupthink, and grow emotionally and intellectually. So if you’re a contact center manager or leader, make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you, push you, and help you be the best you can be. Your customers (and your team) will thank you for it.