While knowing that my best practices might not work for everyone, I have decided to share some of the personal guidelines I use in my day-to-day interactions with agilists and agilists in the making — Agile team members, ScrumMasters, product owners, managers and leaders, and other stakeholders.
These are part of my ongoing focus on self-awareness and self-management and my build-up of social awareness and relationship management competencies.
- In order to identify the next steps required for training, mentoring, and/or coaching, I sometimes share my findings with the folks and teams I work with. All that in a positive manner, as an opportunity for improvement, not as a failure or a gap in current skills, knowledge, or understanding.
- Very early in the relationship, I usually make a determination about how explicit and direct an approach is appropriate, considering the state, personality, and attitude of the folks and teams at issue.
- While focusing on specific goals and outcomes, I find it useful to build up empathy into the relationship. It helps the teams and others involved to know that I am invested and committed throughout the duration of the engagement.
- I try to use their words or preface interventions with comments such as, "As you were saying earlier . . . " to help them more readily accept my recommendations and directions.
- I always attempt to maintain a nonjudgmental and inquisitive stance toward their difficulties and their perceptions of the situation and context.
- Since I recognize my reactions tend to be powerful and sometimes negative, I find it helpful to monitor, anticipate, and contain my emotional reactions.
- Pitfalls that I recognize I should avoid are to respond defensively, aggressively, or dismissively, or to withdraw and collude with their potential state of denial through a passive attitude.
Of course, this is an actively growing and changing list. What works for you? Let's see how large a list we can build together!