The Olympics is about more than just sports. In all the hubbub surrounding world records and gold medals, there’s an undercurrent of something even more compelling: the stories behind the athletes.
People with such extraordinary levels of focus and dedication invariably encounter obstacles along the way, but their determination to keep going despite those obstacles is what makes a good story. Like gymnast Kieran Behan who was once confined to a wheelchair and told he would never walk again. Or 18-year-old Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, who had to push a sinking boat through the Aegean Sea for hours after fleeing the country.
Everyone can learn a lot from these athletes, not the least of which is the value of hard work. Business leaders, too, can look to them for inspiration. There’s been a lot written about the mental prowess of Olympic athletes, and how mental skills training—like visualization and concentration—can be useful in the business world. In the contact center, visualization tools are handily used to help Communicators be more successful in their jobs, and improving concentration is an essential part of managing stress.
I believe there are greater takeaways, however, on a less scientific level. No matter what their individual story, every Olympic athlete has one thing in common: a winning attitude. Part of that includes setting challenging goals and managing the process of achieving them. The same principle applies to success in the contact center. Have you defined your contact center’s goals clearly and documented them? Do your daily tasks contribute to achieving those goals? By demonstrating a high level of commitment on a daily basis, you’re developing the “will to win.”
A winning attitude also means being dedicated to performing your best. No matter where your contact center is in the evolutionary process—multichannel or omnichannel, technologically challenged or on the cutting edge—we need to measure success our own way. Although we put great emphasis on being the best, start with trying to be better than you already are. In what ways can you move your contact center forward, one step at a time? Sports psychologist Peter Haberl put it best: “When you become your own yardstick, you experience success, no matter if you win or lose.”
Enjoy the 2016 Olympics! Then bring that winning attitude closer to home.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.