Developing Leadership Skills: A Guide for Contact Center Supervisors

20 - 30 mins


Leadership is a critical skill for any supervisor, especially in the contact center industry. Effective leadership can inspire your team, drive performance, and contribute to a positive work environment. Moreover, developing your leadership skills can open new career opportunities and lead to personal fulfillment. This guide will provide you with a practical framework for developing your leadership skills as a contact center supervisor.

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1. Understanding Leadership:

Leadership is about more than just managing a team. It involves inspiring and motivating your team, setting a clear vision and goals, and creating an environment where everyone can thrive.


  • Understand the difference between management and leadership.
  • Reflect on your own leadership style and how it impacts your team.
  • Continually learn about leadership through books, courses, and other resources.

2. Developing Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is a key leadership skill. It involves understanding and managing your own emotions and empathizing with others.


  • Practice self-awareness and self-regulation.
  • Develop your empathy skills.
  • Learn how to effectively manage conflict.

3. Communicating Effectively:

Effective communication is crucial for leadership. It involves clearly conveying your expectations and feedback, and actively listening to your team.


  • Practice clear and concise communication.
  • Develop your active listening skills.
  • Learn how to give and receive feedback effectively.

4. Leading by Example:

As a leader, your team looks to you for guidance. Leading by example can inspire your team and set the standard for behavior and performance.


  • Uphold the values and standards of your organization.
  • Demonstrate the behaviors and performance you expect from your team.
  • Show resilience and positivity in the face of challenges.

5. Empowering Your Team:

Effective leaders empower their team members. This involves giving them the tools and support they need to succeed and trusting them to do their jobs.


  • Provide your team with the resources and training they need.
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively.
  • Trust your team and avoid micromanaging.

6. Continually Improving:

Great leaders are always looking for ways to improve. This involves seeking feedback, learning from mistakes, and continually developing your skills.


  • Regularly seek feedback on your leadership.
  • Learn from your mistakes and failures.
  • Establish a network of mentors.
  • Continually invest in your personal and professional development.

Creating Your Leadership Development Plan:
  1. The Power of Writing Down Your Plan:

    Before we dive into creating your leadership development plan, let's take a moment to understand why this step is so crucial. Research has shown that the simple act of writing down your goals and plans can significantly increase your chances of success. In fact, a study by Gail Matthews at Dominican University found that individuals are 42% more likely to achieve their goals when they write them down.

    Writing down your plan helps to clarify your thoughts, focus your efforts, and keep you accountable. It serves as a tangible reminder of what you're working towards and how you plan to get there. So, as we move into creating your leadership development plan, remember that putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is an essential part of the process.
  2. Define Your Leadership Purpose: Start by reflecting on why you want to be a leader. What impact do you want to have on your team, your organization, and your career? Your leadership purpose will guide your development efforts and help you stay motivated.
  3. Set Leadership Objectives: What specific leadership skills or competencies do you want to develop? These could be areas you're already good at and want to strengthen, or areas where you need improvement. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Identify Learning Opportunities: How will you develop the skills or competencies you've identified? This could involve reading books, attending workshops or courses, getting a mentor, or seeking out new experiences or challenges at work.
  5. Create a Timeline: When do you want to achieve your objectives? Setting a timeline can help you stay focused and motivated. Be realistic about how much time you can devote to your development efforts.
  6. Measure Your Progress: How will you know if you're making progress towards your objectives? You might need to seek feedback from others, or you could set specific, measurable goals for yourself.
  7. Adjust Your Plan as Needed: Your development plan is not set in stone. As you grow and learn, your objectives might change, or you might discover new learning opportunities. Be flexible and willing to adjust your plan as needed.

Developing your leadership skills is a journey, not a destination, so be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.


Developing your leadership skills requires ongoing effort, learning, and growth. But the rewards – including improved team performance, career advancement, and personal fulfillment – make it well worth the effort.

Becoming a great leader takes time and patience. You will make mistakes along the way, but it's important to learn from these experiences and continue to grow. Be patient with yourself and remember that every step, even the missteps, are part of your development process.

Research has shown that effective leadership can have a significant impact on team performance and employee satisfaction. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found that transformational leadership – which involves inspiring and motivating employees, providing intellectual stimulation, and showing individualized consideration – was associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and performance.

Moreover, developing your leadership skills can also benefit your career. According to a survey by the Center for Creative Leadership, organizations with strong leadership are 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key bottom-line metrics such as financial performance. This makes leadership skills highly valued and can open up new career opportunities.

Finally, leadership can also lead to personal fulfillment. As a leader, you can make a positive impact on your team and your organization. This can provide a sense of purpose and satisfaction that goes beyond the typical rewards of work.

Leadership is not just about you, but about the people you serve. As you continue to develop your leadership skills, always keep in mind the needs and aspirations of your team. Your success as a leader is ultimately measured by the success of your team.

Your Path to Mastery: Debunking Mythsand Celebrating Your Commitment to Learn

Objection 1: "I'm a supervisor, not a leader. My job is to manage my team, not inspire them."
Rebuttal: While it's true that supervisors have managerial responsibilities, they also have a unique opportunity to lead their teams. Leadership is about more than just inspiring your team—it's about setting a positive example, guiding your team towards achieving their goals, and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. Developing your leadership skills can make you a more effective supervisor and can contribute to a more engaged and productive team.

Objection 2: "I don't have time to focus on developing leadership skills. I have too many other responsibilities."
Rebuttal: It's understandable that as a supervisor, you have many responsibilities. However, developing your leadership skills is an investment that can lead to improved team performance and productivity. By becoming a more effective leader, you can help your team work more efficiently and effectively, which can ultimately save time and resources.

Objection 3: "I'm not a natural leader. I don't have the charisma or confidence that great leaders have."
Rebuttal: Leadership is not about charisma or confidence—it's about the ability to guide, support, and inspire your team. Many great leaders are not naturally charismatic or confident, but they've developed their leadership skills through practice and experience. Remember, leadership is a skill that can be learned and developed, not a trait that you're either born with or without.

Objection 4: "I don't need to develop my leadership skills. My team is performing well as it is."
Rebuttal: It's great that your team is performing well! However, developing your leadership skills can help you take your team's performance to the next level. Leadership is about continuous improvement, both for yourself and for your team. By developing your leadership skills, you can help your team achieve even greater success.

Objection 5: "I don't know how to develop my leadership skills. I've never been a leader before."
Rebuttal: That's exactly why this guide exists! It provides practical tips and strategies for developing your leadership skills. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. By taking the initiative to develop your leadership skills, you're already demonstrating one of the key qualities of a great leader.

Recommended Reading:
  1. "The Leadership Toolbox" by Vicki Brackett: The Leadership Toolbox offers readers a proven approach for helping informal and formal leaders quickly increase leadership skills to drive the outcomes their business cares about – in both virtual/work-at-home and brick and mortar environments.
  2. "The 7-T Success System" by Casey Kostecka: The 7-T Success System is crafted as a manual for individuals with the ambition and motivation to emerge as leaders who can motivate others towards a shared objective. This exhaustive structure will teach you how to pinpoint the most essential tasks, providing you with a clear path to execute these tasks effectively and correctly.
  3. "To Be Honest" by Ron Carucci: Filled with real-life examples, To Be Honest offers actionable steps, practical tools and approaches that any leader or manager can use to create a culture of purpose, honesty and justice.
  4. "The Leadership Challenge" by James Kouzes and Barry Posner: This book offers profound understanding of the intricate social interactions within the workplace and portrays leadership not just as a skill that can be acquired, but also as a relationship that requires continuous care and attention to fully mature and thrive.
  5. "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek: "START WITH WHY" is a compelling exploration of how understanding the 'WHY' behind an idea, product, or movement, an approach personified by influential leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers, can foster innovation, influence, prosperity, and loyalty.
  6. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni: In Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni offers specific, practical guidance for overcoming the five dysfunctions, using tools, exercises, assessments, and real-world examples.
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