Agree to Agree

Thanks to LondonGeekNightsat Thoughtworks yesterday evening, I had the chance to enjoy Pat Kua and Liv Wild, talking about the “conflicts” happening during the projects, and how to solidify, materialise these soft issues.
They have done a fantastic presentation, and obviously good preparation.
The bits I found quite useful are :
– use a structure before starting conversation:
ORID [1.Objective, 2.Reflective, 3.Interpretive, 4.Decisional]
– Importance of how you give/receive feedback and preparation for this.
– Rituals [having something every week where you can talk anything but work, teas, lunches]
– Doing proper/regular Agile Retrorespectives
[technical and personal agile retrorespectives] and a book suggestion
-Using six thinking hats while doing retrorespectives
-Team disruption, changing members
-Being explicit when you are playing the devil’s advocate.
On my side,
The conflict starts when both side feel sentimental about the subject and can’t put emotions beside. Let’s give example of Andy and Betty working in the same team. Any decision required can instantiate a talk between them. The ultimate goal should be sharing their experiences and enlarging their understanding on the subject.
However, human psychology starts with starting the things “they know”, “they believe”, totally living in their comfort zones. It is quite common that people are coming from different backgrounds; and maybe people like playing “devil’s advocate.”
Crucial Conversations Tools for talking when stakes are high” was a useful book in this subject. Leaving emotions aside, being able to communicate, and having an agreement while you are keeping the relationship longer…I have realised that I have blogged about this book before, so I reckon it is the time:

Start with your Hearth:
– State what you really want
– State what you don’t want
– Find alternatives and creative solutions

Analyze your stories:
-Question your feelings and stories
– Don’t confuse stories with facts

Get Back to Facts:

-Separate fact from story by focusing on behaviour
-Spot the story by watching for “hot” words

Watch out for three clever stories:
– Victim [it is not my fault]
– Villian [it is all your fault]
–  Helpless [nothing else I can do]

Use a structure: [STATE]
-Share your facts
-Tell your story
-Ask for others paths
-Talk tentatively
-Encourage testing

In addition to these, obviously there are personality differences, Belbin roles, and colors of people during normal state and in conflict state, which are all subject to another blog, until then take care!

That’s all folks for today, hope you enjoyed!


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