In a 2009 article for Psychology Today, Jim Taylor stated that only three factors affect performance levels in anything we do (including answering the phones):
Of these three factors, motivation is the only one we have complete control of because ability and competition are already pre-determined. Here’s why:
Ability is something you’re born with; and it is nurtured and developed throughout your childhood. By the time you’ve entered the working world, chances are your people skills have already been developed (and may not change very much no matter what you do). So if you are great conversationalist now, chances are you have had that skill for many years.
Competition is created by the environment we live in. As a citizen of the USA, you are already competitive due to the sheer fact that you live here. Throughout your life you have been told to aim high, achieve more, win at all costs, etc. Whether you like it or not, being competitive is just part of who you are.
So that leaves us with Motivation as the final factor in performance. Motivation (or lace thereof) comes from lots of places, and thus it’s not pre-determined that you are motivated. We all know people that are highly motivated, and we know others that don’t seem to be motivated at all. That’s because they have made the choice to either be motivated or not.
So now is the time to ask yourself this difficult question: How motivated are you? And be honest with yourself when answering the question.
When we’re motivated as people, we learn, study, train or practice in order to maximize our abilities. How much time are you spending on your craft?
If you feel your training and motivation is suffering, be willing to admit it. Take a moment, and acknowledge the fact that you haven’t been giving your best effort. Then, make a conscious decision on how you want to move forward.
Once you decide on the path to take, dedicate yourself to it. Recognize that it needs to be a priority in your day if you want to achieve it. At the same time, take a moment to evaluate the things in your life that may be holding you back from this goal of being better on the phones. If possible, change them. If not, at least change your outlook on them.
Practice mental dedication, like all high achievers do — you may not be able to control the world around you, but you can always work to control the space between your ears. Once you do, you will be amazed at what you can achieve — on the phones and beyond!