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Don't Worry About Being Right, Just Be Curious!

My shift toward an Agile mindset

8 June 2017

Horia Balog
Balog Consulting Ltd.

This is my variation on an idea that my friend and mentor Mike Caspar put before me in one of our early discussions about Agile coaching. Little did I know that embracing curiosity would make such a big difference to me, not only in my work with others but also in my own mindset and attitude.

Being curious presumes that you have already acknowledged that you don't know everything. Along this line of reasoning, check out Mike Cohn's video/course.

It also acts as the springboard to step out of our comfort zone. Not a lot of (significant) things happen if we're cushioned inside our comfort zone and continue to follow the same (not so) good old routines and processes every day. If this doesn't make sense to you, take a quick look at Senninger's Learning Zone Model.

But the main benefit for me in embracing curiosity was how much more easily one can connect, communicate, and collaborate while in this state of mind. I already had a pretty strong feeling that trying to always be right, trying to always have "the answer," would not help me connect with others under most circumstances. And I realized that I didn't wanted to be that guy in the room — you know, the one with all the answers, the know-it-all, the all-wise one who could never be contradicted. The one that nobody could even have a decent conversation with without either having to accept that they were wrong or ending up in an argument.

Last but not least, being curious means one might learn that there are multiple solutions to most problems. One could learn a thing or two.

So in this same vein: Why don't you add a comment below and let me know what you think of this? Because, you know . . . I'm curious, and I'm OK if I'm not right!

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 3 (2 ratings)


Shawn Parker, CSM, 7/18/2017 2:13:06 PM
I agree with the overall theme of this post. I feel that many leaders feel they always need to be viewed as the authority on a subject and have all of the answers. I find that when I step back and let others contribute to the discussion, whther I have a solution to the problem already or not, we'll almost always land with a better solution than if I came up with one on my own. And you want to ensure that you are enabling the team to come up with solutions not individuals. Only then can you build self organizing and productive teams.
Horia Balog, CSP,CSM, 7/25/2017 9:48:02 AM
Thank you, Shawn! Appreciate your feedback. That is very much the point - when coaching, you have to find ways to encourage and enable the team to solve their own problems. Which quite often is more difficult than providing them with the solution.
All the best,

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