How closing the Contact Centre impacted Isolation Empathy and Remote Awareness



The new normal. Contact Centre closed. Working from Home. Seldom has such a frequently used expression evoked such frustrating, claustrophobic, deflating and borderline upsetting emotions. What does it mean? Acceptance? No going back? That the life we loved has changed for ever?


Things have obviously changed for the time being and with this change, new needs for new levels of awareness and behaviours. My colleagues and friends have mused over the last half year about ‘the new’ day to day interactions, and of their challenges. We have been reflecting on how, quite by chance, a new Conscious Incompetence has become evident. In its simplest terms we are recognising it as ‘Isolation Empathy and Remote Awareness’.


So, at SalesSense both our Leadership and Training Teams are developing a company-wide training programme to build new skills to deal with this new reality. Our programme starts by recognising that when we were all in offices together, holding meetings together, sharing a coffee, a glass of wine, socialising and coexisting shoulder to shoulder, we knew and understood first-hand about workloads, work pressures, personal situations, current mindset, environment and personal outlook. We could detect the little nuances that would inform our communication approach and style. Now that these parameters have changed, SalesSense is developing this new training programme that will help our staff build greater situational awareness. This will help us, our partners and their customers in tackling Isolation Empathy and Remote Awareness.


We see that the requirement for these skills is even more prevalent in new relationships,  when we have never had the opportunity to unconsciously detect these nuances, never held meetings in person and never gotten to know each other as people – professionally or socially. Since the Contact Centre was closed in March, in one way or another, many of us have inadvertently blundered our way through video-based meetings, and while we are all very supportive of each other, the occasional moment of ‘discommunication’ is taking an unwitting but not insignificant toll on individuals and subsequently on businesses.


As people we are not genetically programmed to be isolated from so many of the interpersonal cues that we take for granted, hence the need to first raise consciousness, and then to develop a conscious competence programme. Positivity, proactively sharing small and large thoughts, ‘over acknowledging’ and offering a thank you for the big things (and the little things) are all modules on the new training programme.


So, has the life we loved changed for ever? No. We will continue to do what we can to play our part in encouraging positivity and the assurance that life will return to normal. The ‘normal’ life we have always known and loved – thank you.