Dealing with personality types — not just at work

Understanding personality types is critical in your journey as a ScrumMaster.  Being a person who leans more toward the extrovert side of the graph, dealing with introverts was incredibly frustrating until I studied up on what motivates them and how they recharge their brains.

Here is an article with tips on dealing with introverts vs. extroverts.  It has two great graphics which I laminated and posted in our team room. 22 Tips to Better Care for Introverts and Extroverts

Get feelings out of the clouds

I had a brilliant idea for getting introverts on our scrum team to contribute valuable input during our end of sprint retrospective. It’s mixes a little bit of fun and creativity without going over the top and feeling too contrived, like some of the agile games I’ve researched.   It involves a tag cloud.

Here’s the instructions:

  1. Using Notepad or other simple editor, type a minimum of 20 words describing how you feel about the project’s current state.  You can repeat words to add emphasis.  You can also include phrases, but do not put spaces between the words in the phrase.
  2. Browse to http://www.wordle.net/create.
  3. Paste your words into the text area.
  4. Click the GO button.  Now, be patient.  JAVA needs to load.
  5. When the Authentication Required dialog appears, click the Cancel button to ignore it. Then the JAVA dialog appears asking if you “want to run this application?”
  6. Click the Run button.
    • Again, be patient.  For some reason it takes awhile to generate.
  7. Once your tag cloud appears, click the Randomize button.  This regenerates the tag cloud using different colors, text directions, and font faces.  Keep clicking the button until you see one you like.  It’s fun!!
  8. Print your tag cloud and bring it to the retrospective.

I’ve given my team these instructions for Friday’s retrospective.  I’ll post back with the results.

Retrospectives as an opportunity to work on yourself

Today was the end of our sprint and culminated with a retrospective.  The law of humanity states that having a sour apple in your bushel shouldn’t be a significant surprise; with mine being no exception.  Regardless of what technique I use, one team member will stonewall, then set the garbage can on fire and leave the room.   This individual relentlessly brings his issues to the sprint event and remains on the periphery, never fully investing in the team.   I have to wonder if this isn’t  more prevalent with public institutions?  My apologies for the judgment.

When your hands are tied, the best way to approach this challenge is to look at it as an opportunity to work on yourself.  I am in the midst of reading “Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution” and the timing couldn’t be perfect.  The universe works that way.   I view the challenge as a blessing to exercise what I’m learning through this self-study.  Since retrospectives are great opportunities for conflict resolution, capitalize on it to work on yourself.