I am currently in a situation where the role I am in have meant something else in the company’s past. We are in the process of defining what it really means. This puts pressure on me towards the teams that I interact with, as it might not be clear to them what to expect from me.
To adress this I deviced a simple excercise that would allow everyone to give their view on how they saw the other team members, as well as themselves, during the last Sprint.
You will need a set of Dixit cards, a team, and a “secluded” area with a table where you can sit down together.
How much time will it take?
This will of course depend on the size of the team, I did it with one group of 5 and one group of 6. We took no more than 45 min in each session.
How do I do it?
In the first part you focus on the most recent time period, e.g. the last Sprint. The purpose here is to go around the table focusing on one person at a time, letting everyone share their view on the person in focus. In order to make it a safe environment and remove the sense of blaming, volunteer to start focusing on yourself and encourage honest feedback.
What you do now is invite all the members, including yourself, to pick a card from the pile in the middle of the table, all facing up, that represents their view of your behavior towards the team during the last Sprint. When everyone has picked a card (or two), you start clockwise and let everyone share their view ending with yourself. Repeat this until all team members have been in focus.
The last part of this session has to do with long term vision. During this part everyone picks their cards at the same time and then you go around the table sharing your motivation to the cards. First you want to pick a card that represents your view on where you think you are right now. The second card represents your long term vision, i.e. where you want see yourself in the future within the team. This will help everyone understand better how each member see themselves and how they want to evolve. The first part of the excercise will work as a spot check to get a reading of how you currently stand towards your own vision.
Thoughts in retrospect.
I found this excercise very helpful in regards of understanding what everyone wants for themselves, as well as getting to share my thoughts around my own professional growth.
I’m ending with a quote I found suitable.
This was very hard, but fun. I guess it’s good to do these kinds of excercises from time to time.
You might think this is a modest quote. But coming from one of the engineers that seldom gives any feedback, this is huge! 😉