Essential Skills

Culture, Values, Behaviours and Skills


If you ask most people who have coached an organisation through a successful Agile transformation what was the biggest contributor to the organisation's success they will pretty much all say something along the lines of culture, buy-in or having a champion in place.

Transformation is change and change is reliant on the group being open minded about new ideas.

But what skills can the team work on to help their transformation.


Scrum Masters are first and foremost leaders who are driven by a desire to serve a team, group or organisation. As such they are not motivated by personal recognition but an altruistic desire to help others fulfil their potential. Typically Scrum Masters have a high emotional IQ, are excellent listeners, are non-judgemental, excellent problem solvers, self-motivated, proactive, stubborn and good persuaders. They must also be comfortable talking to people at all levels in the organisation.

Active Listening

Scrum teams are self-organising which means that they need to find their own solutions by consensus or consent. As such they need to have good communication skills but when most people are in a dialog they use the time that the other person is talking to think about what they are going to say in response. Active listening is a technique that helps people engage with others who disagree with them, empathise and find common ground based on actively listening when the other person is speaking!

Non-Violent Communication.

NVC is a conflict resolution technique that involves stating the issue that occurred in factual terms, the impact that it had the on the speaker and the fears and concerns that the action generated. It is best followed by Active Listening and is an excellent way of helping team members confront their own behaviour, especially when a Culture of trust has already been established!

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