Rethinking Manager’s Relationship with Agile Teams

This article originally appeared on gantthead.com  In the early days of agile, some pundits (and developers) cried, “We don’t need no stinking managers.” By now, most people realize that organizations still need management (and people in management...

Bridging Structural Conflict: the Same and Different Exercise

No two people or groups are the same, but their differences don’t have to force them apart. Conflict resolution in the workplace starts with redefining these differences. Let’s begin our exploration of how groups can bridge structural conflict with a story. I...

Peer-to-Peer Feedback

One of the traps people fall into on teams is withholding information that’s critical for the team to function. Sometimes the information is about friction between team members. When team members don’t have a way to talk about small frictions, they turn in...

A Tale of a Too-Hands-Off Manager

I recently worked with a team that was struggling. One of the team members, Tad, wasn’t playing by the rules the team had established. When the team formed, members agreed that each day they’d have a fifteen-minute stand-up meeting to report on progress. The team...

Tale of a Yo-Yo Manager

There is much more to empowering a team than simply stating “You’re empowered.” Consider the three Ws of empowerment: “what,” “when,” and “why” when creating boundaries that define which decisions are the team’s...

No More Middleman: Avoid triangulated feedback

Tom looked up to see Jonathan, who had just transferred onto the team, standing in the doorway to his office. Jonathan looked red and flustered. “What’s up, Jonathan? Looks like you’ve got something on your mind,” Tom said, waving Jonathan in...

For Managers: 8 Ways to Build Trust, 3 to Break It

If you hold the role of manager, you can approach it from two different philosophies. You can go the traditional route and be a boss, or you can be a leader. One key difference between a boss and a leader is the ability to build trust. But how? Some managers seem to...

Six Ways to Better Team Communication

Getting team communication to work may seem mysterious—something that just happens or grows through some unknowable process. The good news is there are concrete actions that tend to build strong team communication (and concrete actions that are almost guaranteed to...

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