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Engaging team members

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  • mikeabugow
    All, I have a team member that I can t seem to get engaged and excited on my team. He s content doing his own thing for our team. Which means he s happy
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 28, 2012
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      All,

      I have a team member that I can't seem to get engaged and excited on my team. He's content doing his own thing for our team. Which means he's happy coding, and helping team members so that his work is successful. Other than this, he does not like to participate other than the absolute minimum required for our team. He comes and reports to the team in the daily stand-ups, grudgingly participates in retrospectives, sprint planning sessions, and backlog grooming. Does not want to participate in team demos, other than being in the room. He is comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, I have seen this. I have asked him if he is happy with the team and his role in it, and was told yes he is happy. However, his non-verbal cues tell me he'd rather be anywhere else. Any help/insight from this esteemed group is appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Michael Abugow, CSP, CSM
    • Kevin Callahan
      Hi Michael, Sounds like an interesting one, indeed. Putting on my coaching hat :) Do you conduct regular 1:1 sessions with the team members mid-sprint? I ve
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 28, 2012
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        Hi Michael,

        Sounds like an interesting one, indeed. Putting on my coaching hat :)

        Do you conduct regular 1:1 sessions with the team members mid-sprint? I've found these to be some of the most productive conversations I have through the week, and an opportunity to both hear what team members are really thinking though aren't sure how to bring up in the group, as well as a leverage point to work on nudging the team in a different direction (adoption of TDD, for example, which I had a pretty good idea would be an utter battle if I brought it up to the group rather than getting buy-in one person at a time). Additionally there have been countless other opportunities to support team members and also gain critical information that can be (with the team member's permission) reported out to other parts of the business.

        If you are doing these sessions, it could be a great time to see if you can't use some inquiry and good listening to dig a little deeper. Also, I wonder if his behavior is having an effect on the group, or if you're the only one noticing it? If you're not doing these sessions, I would encourage you to do so, and give time to establish rapport and trust before attempting to dig into what you're perceiving as non-verbal cues. In each of my calls I ask: how are things going, what's going well, are there anythings that you would like to see change? how is scrum working for you, what's going well, are there anythings you would like to see change, or ways I'm facilitating that could be improved (though just because I ask it doesn't mean I'm going to change the framework :)? That latter question could be an opening for the conversation you're seeking. I've frequently been surprised that team members I perceived a certain way, given the invitation to speak privately show me just how inaccurate my perception was.

        Anyhow, hope that helps; it's hard to really know much of what you're up against, relationship stuff is so incredibly nuanced...

        -kevin


        On Mar 28, 2012, at 8:58 AM, mikeabugow wrote:

         

        All,

        I have a team member that I can't seem to get engaged and excited on my team. He's content doing his own thing for our team. Which means he's happy coding, and helping team members so that his work is successful. Other than this, he does not like to participate other than the absolute minimum required for our team. He comes and reports to the team in the daily stand-ups, grudgingly participates in retrospectives, sprint planning sessions, and backlog grooming. Does not want to participate in team demos, other than being in the room. He is comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, I have seen this. I have asked him if he is happy with the team and his role in it, and was told yes he is happy. However, his non-verbal cues tell me he'd rather be anywhere else. Any help/insight from this esteemed group is appreciated.

        Thanks,
        Michael Abugow, CSP, CSM


        Kevin Callahan, CSP
        Scrum Master
        mobile: 207-691-2997
        AIM: kevmocal


      • ceezone@yahoo.co.in
        This would depend heavily on circumstances and person. The only thought I have is try to involve the team in pair programming, if you aren t already. Keep a
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 28, 2012
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          This would depend heavily on circumstances and person.
          The only thought I have is try to involve the team in pair programming, if you aren't already. Keep a sharp eye for opportunity for collaboration where he can realize the benefits of working with the team. But maybe he's bored of the project and wants to do other things.... Here I speculate. 

          Cheers
          Srinivas


          On Mar 28, 2012, at 6:28 PM, "mikeabugow" <mikeabugow@...> wrote:

           

          All,

          I have a team member that I can't seem to get engaged and excited on my team. He's content doing his own thing for our team. Which means he's happy coding, and helping team members so that his work is successful. Other than this, he does not like to participate other than the absolute minimum required for our team. He comes and reports to the team in the daily stand-ups, grudgingly participates in retrospectives, sprint planning sessions, and backlog grooming. Does not want to participate in team demos, other than being in the room. He is comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, I have seen this. I have asked him if he is happy with the team and his role in it, and was told yes he is happy. However, his non-verbal cues tell me he'd rather be anywhere else. Any help/insight from this esteemed group is appreciated.

          Thanks,
          Michael Abugow, CSP, CSM

          =
        • Mark Levison
          Michael - have you taken him out for coffee, told him what you see and asks how he feels? Maybe he thinks he s fully engaged? Sometimes I like to model all the
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 28, 2012
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            Michael - have you taken him out for coffee, told him what you see and asks how he feels? Maybe he thinks he's fully engaged?

            Sometimes I like to model all the forces I see acting on someone. At home where no one will see this, write down on index cards (or postits) all the forces you see acting on this person, including home life, boredom with the problem domain, .... that are acting on this person. See the world from their viewpoint and this will often help you understand why they act the way they do.

            Cheers
            Mark Levison - modeller of human beings
          • mikeabugow
            Srinivas, I was my team was large enough to do pair programming. He s my only backend developer. But thanks for the idea. Mike
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 28, 2012
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              Srinivas,

              I was my team was large enough to do pair programming. He's my only backend developer. But thanks for the idea.

              Mike

              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, ceezone@... wrote:
              >
              > This would depend heavily on circumstances and person.
              > The only thought I have is try to involve the team in pair programming, if you aren't already. Keep a sharp eye for opportunity for collaboration where he can realize the benefits of working with the team. But maybe he's bored of the project and wants to do other things.... Here I speculate.
              >
              > Cheers
              > Srinivas
              > Ceezone.wordpress.com
              >
              >
              > On Mar 28, 2012, at 6:28 PM, "mikeabugow" <mikeabugow@...> wrote:
              >
              > > All,
              > >
              > > I have a team member that I can't seem to get engaged and excited on my team. He's content doing his own thing for our team. Which means he's happy coding, and helping team members so that his work is successful. Other than this, he does not like to participate other than the absolute minimum required for our team. He comes and reports to the team in the daily stand-ups, grudgingly participates in retrospectives, sprint planning sessions, and backlog grooming. Does not want to participate in team demos, other than being in the room. He is comfortable speaking in front of groups of people, I have seen this. I have asked him if he is happy with the team and his role in it, and was told yes he is happy. However, his non-verbal cues tell me he'd rather be anywhere else. Any help/insight from this esteemed group is appreciated.
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > > Michael Abugow, CSP, CSM
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > TODAY(Beta) • Powered by Yahoo!
              > > Jennifer Lawrence's edgy magazine cover
              > > The star sizzles in a sequined corset and jokes about what she'd like to do with her money.
              > > Privacy Policy
              >
            • mikeabugow
              Mark, Good idea. I will have to try this one. I ve spoken to him onsite, but not yet offsite. This is a great idea to help him become at ease and relaxed.
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 29, 2012
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                Mark,

                Good idea. I will have to try this one. I've spoken to him onsite, but not yet offsite. This is a great idea to help him become at ease and relaxed.

                Cheers,
                Mike

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Mark Levison <mark@...> wrote:
                >
                > Michael - have you taken him out for coffee, told him what you see and asks
                > how he feels? Maybe he thinks he's fully engaged?
                >
                > Sometimes I like to model all the forces I see acting on someone. At home
                > where no one will see this, write down on index cards (or postits) all the
                > forces you see acting on this person, including home life, boredom with the
                > problem domain, .... that are acting on this person. See the world from
                > their viewpoint and this will often help you understand why they act the
                > way they do.
                >
                > Cheers
                > Mark Levison - modeller of human beings
                >
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