When Scrum Masters start their journey but come from project management or even line management background, there’s the temptation to “tell people what to do”. However, that’s not a good approach to help teams grow and improve. In this episode, we explore the role of the Scrum Master as a coach, and discuss how to set up and host “Coaching Conversations”.
Rik is an agile coach, who’s worked during the last years at the Volksbank, the Dutch Railways and ABN AMRO bank. Rik also teaches various agile courses such as Professional Scrum Master, DevOps fundamentals and Leading SAFe.
Not all teams have the benefit of working within an Agile organization. Some of the teams we work with are stuck between Waterfall and Agile. And as Scrum Masters, we very often get asked to work with teams that are struggling with exactly that problem. In this episode, we discuss how we can help teams that are in a similar situation, and what Mo learned from that story that you can use to your advantage.
In this episode, we refer to Martine Davos, and Agile Coach and Scrum trainer.
About Moana Pledger
Mo started her career in education and program management before moving into digital delivery. She’s pretty sure she was a servant-leader before she had even heard the term. Her passion is to build healthy teams and foster the all-important relationship between business and team, which allows a safe space for the magic to happen.
Once in while, Scrum teams need to face critical situations. In this episode, we explore what a Scrum Master can do to help a team that is facing a critical customer escalation. These are situations where urgency can easily lead to conflict and negatively affect a team. Are you ready to handle such a situation? Listen in to learn how Chelsie tackled that challenge.
About Chelsie Raiola
Chelsie has been working as a Scrum Master in the Greater Boston Area for just over two years. She has experience working with both co-located and distributed teams developing on-premise and SaaS solutions worldwide. She is an avid lover of technology, dogs, and bullet journals, Chelsie loves finding ways to bring Agile outside of the office.
Nonviolent communication is a method of a communication process developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as an understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).
But how can we, as Scrum Masters benefit from this method?
A simple context where NVC may be useful is when teams and team members want to get and give feedback. NVC can be very useful to phrase our feedback in a way that highlights what we are looking for (our needs being met) without expressing judgement over others (our opinions of them). But that’s only one of the contexts where NVC may be useful. There are many others.
I bet your team has a lot of written communication with stakeholders and within the team. Is that right? Well, then you know that written communication has a lot of potential for misunderstandings and to generate conflicts. How can we avoid that? By using better approaches to communicate. Melissa also explains how we can use NVC ideas to make written communication less conflictuous and more likely to have the impact we hope.
What we need to be able to communicate effectively
NVC is a good method to structure our communication, but before we can use that method we need to understand how we feel. NVC, being a needs/emotions driven communication method requires us to be aware of our own emotions and feelings. So we need to learn about emotions and needs. And especially we need to enlarge our vocabulary about needs and feelings so that we can communicate them in a way that is understandable by others. This is especially important if you are not a native speaker of the language you use at work.
Where should I get started if I want to know more about NVC?
In this episode Melissa also shares simple practices you can take into use immediately to help you practice NVC and help your team learn about, and maybe even get started with NVC.
About Melissa Lang
Melissa has worked in many diverse jobs over the last 20 years: ethnomusicologist, cook, IT project manager, agile coach. In all of those jobs, her main focus has been on strengthening team work and facilitating communication. As a dedicated agilist for 10+ years Melissa has worked at a range of companies, from start-up to multi-national corporation. Currently she is coaching teams from Barcelona and Hamburg at Xing AG where she has been employed since December 2011.
Without knowing how to effectively manage conflict in teams, Scrum Masters are unable to help their teams perform at the peak of their performance. Conflict is part of the growth of the team. Francesco gives us some tips on how to manage conflict. For more details you can read Francesco’s article on managing conflict available here.
About Francesco Attanasio
Francesco Attanasio is an Agile practitioner, Certified Scrum Professional® (CSP) and Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM), Developer, Trainer, Reader, Dreamer and Runner.
He’s now been working as Scrum Master for more than 3 years. Having worked so far as Scrum Developer and Scrum Master in several teams, Francesco has fieldwork experience of how Scrum can be implemented with success. He provides Lean/Agile/Scrum training and coaching to Product Owners, Scrum Masters and Development Teams.
You can find Francesco Attanasio on twitter. You can also find Francesco Attanasio on LinkedIn, and in the Scrum Alliance website.