In this episode, Eliza shares a story about an international team that faced trouble with communication and escalation issues. The team initially attempted to create team agreements using a shared whiteboard. However, Eliza later discovered that team members were escalating concerns directly to management without involving her. This raised concerns about whether the team felt safe communicating with her. Eliza offers the tip of addressing this issue through one-on-one conversations, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe space for team members to express themselves. She found that these coaching conversations had the most significant impact. Eliza advises making it clear to team members that you are there to listen and understand their concerns. Additionally, she recommends setting up one-on-one meetings and allowing individuals to define the cadence that suits them best. Eliza also suggests conducting more workshops, especially for teams that are not yet mature, to facilitate better communication and collaboration.
Featured Book of the Week: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Grenny et al.
In this segment, Eliza describes the book “Crucial Conversations.” She highlights that the book is dense and cannot be read in one sitting. Although it is not specifically focused on Agile or Scrum, it delves into conversations that occur when emotions are high and people feel unsafe or threatened. The book emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space and presents essential skills for effective communication with one’s team and others. Eliza emphasizes the significance of recognizing within oneself when entering a crucial conversation.
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About Eliza Gregory
Eliza Gregory has worked as a Project Manager, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach for U.S. Defense and the German automotive industry. She uses teachings from Agile to hone her writing process, and has a new novel out this May about an IT Project Manager coping with burnout and work stress. Originally from Virginia, she now resides in Bavaria, Germany.