Working in Pairs

I’ve been building a new working relationship the last couple of months, or at least a new sort of working relationship.

I’ve known Diana Larsen for a few years, and we’ve worked on the annual Retrospective Facilitators Gathering. For the Retro Gathering, we each have taken responsibility for different parts, and our work comes togetger at the actual gathering.

Now we’re writing an article and putting together a one-day workshop. Even though we’ve worked together before, this feels different — we both own the code (so to speak).

Learning how to work with Diana has given me the opportunity to look consciously at the process.

Here’s one thing that I think has helped alot:

Working Session Debrief

At the end of a working session I ask just a few questions like these (in the order of a Focused Conversation near the bottom of this post.):

What stood out for you from this working session?

Where were you surprised?

Where were you challenged?

What worked for you that you’d like to continue?

What would you like to do differently?

What will we change in our next working session?

This little framework provides a way to talk about how we are working together and bring up the inevitable bumps.

We haven’t had any serious conflicts yet — maybe because we’ve been using this debrief.

My guess is that when (not if) we do run into a larger difference, we’ll be able to work it through. In our debrief process, we’re learning how to talk about working together and we’re building trust.