Too often we are distracted from truly being able to understand what others want, and sometimes need, us to know. Notice how I did not say; ‘what others are trying to tell us’?
I have often observed Sprint Reviews where the Product Owner and Dev Team are enthusiastically demonstrating the latest great product feature to a room full of customers and stakeholders. So caught up in their success that the Dev team are not seeing the confused expressions of the customer. In her eagerness to show cool working product the Product Owner is not hearing the needs of the stakeholders to fix existing problems.
Good grief! Where is the ScrumMaster? Where is the facilitator to help them navigate to a successful Sprint review where product feedback is received for better Product Backlog refinement?
A key skill for ScrumMasters is listening. Listen for what is being said and for what is not being said. ScrumMasters also need to observe how communication is and is not happening. Yes, the ‘non-verbals’ are just as important in listening as the verbals!
Listening skills are just that, skills. To be good at a skill you need to practice. How do you practice listening? Join Dee Rhoda in a two day workshop on Facilitation for Agile and Scrum Practitioners to learn more.