Get THEM On Your SIDE
Win Support. Convert Skeptics. Get Results.
Samuel B. Bacharach
Platinum Press, 2005
Reviewed by Dan Coen
Every so often I stumble across books that will enthrall call center managers and executives. The fact these books are not call center oriented is irrelevant. Great management training, ideas and practical tools, regardless of the industry, can become terrific learning tools. Get THEM On Your SIDE by Samuel B. Bacharach is just that type of book! It is a captivating and intricate read about blending political actions in the workplace with people management skills to earn results. It is, to put it simply, a book call center management should not only read, but apply, in the workplace.
The book focuses on political challenges in work related situations and getting peers and non-peers to act the way you want them to act. It is a training tool about creating ideas and getting those ideas accepted. No doubt this has great value for those professionals who deal with office politics every day. Such topics as understanding agendas, getting initial support and putting your ideas in place are supported with research and case studies from the author’s experience.
Call center management and executives fight battles all the time. They may have a political battle when hiring staff, or a strategic battle to target new and exciting projects. In fact, call center management spends so much time fighting battles that sometimes they have little time to motivate, build, share and compel people to perform.
Have you ever had to persuade, carefully and precisely, your employees to act the way you need them to act? Mr. Bacharach maintains that political challenges (persuading your audience to your view point) are a positive in the work environment. The author writes that political challenges makes you aware of others, drives common ground and ensures you get help to achieve objectives. Convincing others to act is a key to workplace success. Battles are healthy to reach the final goal. Mr. Bacharach writes “Resistance to your initiative begins early and can continue throughout the effort. As you attempt to move your proposal forward and negotiate with others who have different agendas, you will need a strong coalition to help you overcome ongoing resistance.”
Get THEM On Your SIDE emphasizes that earning results is an interactive experience. It involves written and verbal analysis, generating buy-in and understanding reaction. Give and take is ideal. Your skill in curtailing disagreement is critical. I could not help but think that in the call center environment every manager can tell you there is no shortage of good ideas. Your team leaders, call center agents, and management all have thoughts that could provide a scope of success. But they also may conflict with one another. How do we as leaders present ideas and generate acceptance? Here’s the answer the book provides:
Throughout the eleven chapters Mr. Bacharach stakes a claim to what a politically competent leader should and should not do in the workplace to succeed. The theme is establishing credibility. Don’t wait for others to make a decision without first knowing how successful your views can be. Then, inform allies and competitors alike of your position. Ask for their input and direction. Show them why you feel your way is correct. And listen intently to their feedback. Once people join you in your initial efforts, you have begun building a successful coalition. When you have a coalition to support your call center management efforts you have the strength in numbers. Strength in numbers leads to success as a manager and a leader.
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