Lauren Rose Eimers believes boundaries come in many forms. What we are willing to accept in a work environment. What shape our working day takes. And how much we let our working day bleed into our personal lives.
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 70 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is self care and support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today. Lauren Rose Eimers. Lauren it’s lovely to have you back. Always pleasure to talk to you. And I know that this week’s topic is dear to your heart. It is self care and support.
Lauren Rose Eimers 0:45
Yeah, I love self care. And of course, you know, hailing from my mental health background as a therapist and a genetic counsellor, self care. I mean, I don’t think you have to be in the mental health care industry to know how Important, it isn’t just all aspects of life. And I like to think of support customer support as a caring profession, because you really are tapping into a lot of the same wells of empathy listening, that you use in other caring professions. And that well can dry up if you are not refilling your own cup. So, self care, of course, I could talk about this for hours, but I promise not to spend hours today. I did want to talk about a few things that I think are not only great to use if you’re leading a customer support team, but if you are in customer support, and honestly I think this is a great tip for just real life if I can just put that out there like you really self care is an important thing in all aspects. I think you would agree. Yeah, yeah. I can’t wait to hear the tip now. Well, the first one and the biggest one is about it. boundaries, boundaries are a great way to empower your team to be able to give to a certain point and then know when things are starting to get toxic or abusive. If a customer decides to start using colourful language with you, if a customer starts, you know, going off topic, and especially as someone who presents as a woman, in my job and online, being able to set a very strong boundary there, when I can say, Hey, this is where customer support ceases, if you’d like to continue this track, I reserve the right to, you know, cease service to you. Or we might even be able to delete your account in its entirety because you are really not being a nice human being. That rarely happens. But I think being able to empower your team and saying, hey, if the conversation goes in a certain direction, then you absolutely can pass this on to me, you know, as your manager, or you can just have the autonomy to say hi Stop this conversation for my own personal mental health. And the fact that this is just not, this isn’t a great interaction. So being able to set that boundary giving your team parameters in which they can operate in, and if people are out of bounds, they can stop that conversation, pass it to a lead or just stop the conversation altogether. And of course, I think boundaries are important too, when you are working remotely, especially knowing I have set hours of my day that I work, and especially when you’re remote, it’s so easy just to check that ping or check that email or, you know, I can just do five more minutes now and answer a few more tickets before I log off and just get that queue down to zero. You’ve got to be careful of that bleed over into other aspects of your life, especially now a lot more. Folks are understanding how easily blurred those lines can become. And you can turn an eight hour day into a 12 hour day In a blink of an eye, so setting those boundaries, where this is my work time, and this is my non work time, and then giving yourself the ability to rest and rest and switch off. I think it’s also so important to self care.
Charlotte Ward 4:13
The boundaries thing is interesting, isn’t it? Because we assume it’s as simple as turning off the notifications, closing the laptop lid. But that obsession with like, just reducing the work is kind of toxic in support, I think because you never get truly to the bottom of the work. It’s never done. Even if you do hit the queue zero, the equivalent of Inbox Zero. Give it five minutes. There’s gonna be another one, right?
Lauren Rose Eimers 4:42
Oh, absolutely. It is a constantly replenishing source, which, first of all, we are so lucky to have We are so lucky to be able to have a constant influx of people needing help and needing someone to walk along this new path, right. So on that side of it, it’s amazing but on the other side of it, being able to switch off or turn off, it really does have to become a practice that you take on and then give yourself the boundaries in which you can operate from, especially being a leader. We all know that just because your laptop is closed and you’re not answering pings, it doesn’t mean you’re still not ruminating over ways to better improve processes. Helping out a teammate who has come to you struggling in any aspect, and I think being a leader, I, the more and more you walk that path, you realise people reach out to you with things that don’t have to do with security. They don’t have to do exactly what work but they look to you for help in other aspects of their lives. So we all know that those are also wheels that are still turning. Try to focus on what you’re doing right in front of you. I think there is a real, pervasive and insidious thought process going around saying that multitasking is actually possible, but research has shown that we’re, terrible at multitasking,
Charlotte Ward 6:03
like really doing is task switching
Lauren Rose Eimers 6:05
exactly your task switching and you’re not doing any of it well, instead of just being able to focus on one thing, being able to focus fully in that moment, again, setting those boundaries where you’re saying this is what’s getting my full attention. I think that can help you also switch off all the other things that you might be ruminating about. When you are logged off, your laptop is closed and you’re not answering those emails.
Charlotte Ward 6:32
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/70 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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