Soledad or Beatrice

Once i hoped that in another universe, or in another dimension or maybe in another lifetime I could be with you for eternity. We may not have been able to make it in this life, but in another we probably could. Don’t you think?

You moved away and for years we’re not talking. Not even a simple hello. But recently, your name appeared again. I can feel the love again through our “haha’s” and “I missed talking to you” phrases. In a few months, you’ll be home you said. You said you want to spend your days here with me, only me. I promised you, “just go home and I’m yours!” when what I really want to say is “I still love you.” But that phrase scared me so i reinvented it by saying “I’ll plan our trips when you get home” or “we’ll play in the arcade again like we used to.”

You’ve always been my Soledad, my God given solace. But you seem to be my Beatrice too, someone I will always love but only from afar.

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If I Hadn’t Said Yes To A Few Drinks!

It has been ages since I last wrote something on my blog, but I guess that’s kind of my thing. I do write a lot before. I just don’t publish it ’cause I’m not that confident. I used to be really passionate about writing when I was a kid, but I lost it when I grew up and realized that the world are surrounded by horrible beings. Not all of them though, but most of them. . Especially people at work, people that surround me at my job are ridiculously horrible individuals, arrogant, self-absorbed narcissists who can’t even enumerate the function of their frontal lobe or may not even have the slightest idea that they have one. At first it didn’t bother me, but then their crap started to weigh on me. It slowed me down and made me disgusted at every moment I am surrounded by them (Ugh).  So I requested a change in my duty hours. I like my new shift because most of the time I am left alone, which peacefully allows me to think and be productive. Though I know sooner or later I have to go back to my old shift because so many reasons. So cheers! I’ll probably drink even more when I go back to my old shift.

Well actually, I don’t want to talk about my overly – confident colleagues. They’re not the reason why I’m writing now. The first part was just me venting and I can’t help it. I wanna talk about my drinking. On my previous entry I’m Not Extroverted Unless I had A Few Drinks!”, I talk about the downside of my drinking. Now I will talk about the good sides (huh… a silver lining after all). I used to be a non-affective kind of person. People who are close to me says I’m too hard and I don’t allow anyone to get near me. But not if I’m drunk! No one in my world has imagined that I’ll fall in love just because I said yes to a few drinks. I’m happy with who I am with and I also never have thought that I would be this happy and content. My closest friend say’s I’ve changed a lot since then, in a good way and she’s lucky that I am trying to be the best that I could for her. But I think I’m the one who got lucky here. Most of the time I hurt people because of the brutal honesty that goes out from my mouth and they can’t handle that and I never thought there would be someone who’s willing to be with me because of that. Most importantly, I’m a better person now because she inspires me to be better.

Just to be clear, I’m not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol. What I’m just trying to say is sometimes, it’s okay to loosen up a bit and be carefree or venture into the unknown. As the saying goes, “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”.

The Method of Micro Pacing

The Water Gun Game

In the call center where I work, we try to build a good working relationship especially the relationship between the supervisor and their agents. We know that our closest link to the agents is their immediate superior and to empower our agents, we have to let their supervisors motivate them. We don’t want to judge the capacity of our people by just looking at the numbers (e.g. QA scores, AHT, service level, etc.). Gallup latest survey found employees who agreed that their supervisor focused on their strengths and personally motivates them, active disengagement fell dramatically to 1%. What’s more, nearly two-thirds 61% of these employees were engaged and only 38% are not engage. Whereas, those employees who are ignored by their supervisors, 51% are not engage, 40% are actively disengage, and only 2% are still engage employees. In the same manner, we believe that if we empower our agents to do better, the numbers that our software is giving us will be a lot more pleasing to look at.

Today, I’d like to talk about one way how we improve our agents performance. One responsibility that our supervisors play when they are on the calling floor is what we call “micro pacing.” Micro Pacing is managing the agents by every half-hour increment to maximize results. This is the process in which coaches can effect the now, or in other words, every hour of the day. This can be done in a variety of ways. Some include:

  • Set small hourly goals with each agent

  • Initial small hourly games with only a couple of individuals

The key to micro pacing is setting individual goals with agents. In goal setting, it is important to remember the following six steps:

  1. Create the Desire

    1. This is the great motivator that pushes people to achieve their goals

  2. Establish a Belief

    1. Help the agent believe without a doubt that they have the ability to achieve the goal

  3. Write it Down

    1. A good rule of thumb is this: until a goal is committed to paper, it is not a goal. Writing it down solidifies the goal.

  4. Analyze

    1. Help the agent determine where they are currently in regards to the goal, and determine what help they need to accomplish the goal.

  5. Set a Deadline

    1. Set the point when the goal can be accomplished.

  6. Follow-Up

    1. By following up with the individual regularly, it will help them remained focused on the goal so that they can accomplish it.

In addition to goal setting, Micro Pacing involves constant interaction with the agents. This interaction, though remaining professional, will help establish a fun energetic atmosphere that encourages high performance.

This means that supervisors don’t just sit in their stations looking at their computer screens with no human interaction to their agents. If you pay a visit to our calling floors, you will see supervisors roaming around, sitting beside the agent, doing side by side monitoring and coaching, and sometimes, you will even see supervisors laughing with the agents when they are avail. A good call center software that provides enormous real time performance data, with increased level of visibility is great for a call center. But if we don’t know how to interpret those data and make use of them, we still can’t improve our performance level and our productivity.

You might say that this work is too much for one supervisor managing several agents to finish. You might even think that maybe the stress level of our supervisors are higher than most. With all the reports they need to submit, all the agent metrics they need to monitor plus their own stats that they need to pass, I can say our supervisors are pretty busy than the most. However, since they are happy with what their doing, stress is not even at their vocabulary. I know this because I’ve been in the calling floor also and until now I’m still connected with my previous supervisors. I still attend to all those team-buildings even if I’m not at their team anymore. I must say, I’m quite a busy person too because those team-buildings and team night outs happen very often, almost every weekend or every day off. And we don’t care much if those events are company paid or not. In fact, I can’t call those trips as team-building but site-building because the attendees are not only from one team or one campaign. It’s always comprise of different people from different teams, different campaigns, from manager down to agent level. You can add to my schedule the chit chats with a cup of coffee. One of my supervisor before even volunteered to be my watcher when I was hospitalized even if I wasn’t on her team any longer.

Stress is always present wherever you go and whatever work you do. But if there’s also one thing that keeps on motivating me, that is here, I didn’t only find a job. I found real good friends, I found a family. Thanks to the “company culture” that we share, for teaching us that no matter how improved the technology we are using, good human interaction and good relationship with each other is still the best way to motivate us to do better. 

Where To Download Motivation?

There was once a friend who asked me, “where can I download motivation?” And I was like “what?” Then she told me about her experience at work saying that she is losing motivation because of so many things. She felt like she is not being appreciated at work, that her working environment wasn’t healthy anymore, and she experiences too much stress because of too much workload.

I don’t  know how to comfort her because at that time, I felt like I’m demotivated as well. But I couldn’t think of why I felt the same. When I’m at work, I’m happy because I have friends who are really funny. I don’t have to suffer from scheduled breaks, I have everything I need to do my job right, and people from our department always bring food which in my opinion is awesome because we don’t get hungry.

Me and my friend just sat beside each other, just thinking. We are very close friends so it wasn’t awkward at all. In fact, it gave me an opportunity to think about my current job and my current situation. I started evaluating myself. I’m a Sagittarius, and Sagittarius are very out going, fun-loving, but can also be easily bored. That’s when I started to realized that I was doing a routine job. It was always the same everyday and it feels like even if I close my eyes, I can do it almost perfectly. It would be nice for some maybe but not to me who likes to push myself to the limit.

I wasn’t demotivated because of bad management, or low incentive program, or because I’m stressed with the workload like the majority. I was demotivated because the job failed to challenge me. It didn’t satisfy my need to compete to myself and beat myself. The job wasn’t bad but it did not also gave me the reason to feel good about it or to feel good about myself. There was no personal growth.

My point is, not everyone feels happy or feels bad because of all the same reasons. Some ways are maybe good for other people but not for the rest. Pressure can be sickening to some but can also bring out the best in others. If you are in a managerial position, for me it would be best to know your subordinates  personally. Determine which approach can bring out the best and the worse in them. Listen to all those psychological approaches on how to build good relationship with colleagues but never forget to humanize your own approach.  Motivation can come in so many ways to different kind of personalities and try to celebrate diversity! It actually makes the world a lot more colorful.

We are who we are.