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Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Influence Without Power
Why Empathy is Your Best Friend
Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Introduction
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Agenda
- Introduction
- Understanding the Needs: Empathy Map (Gray)
- Ladder of Inference (Argyris)
- Agile Conversations (Squirrel and Fredrick)
Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Talking to the Product Owner
When getting ready for production takes ages…
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
https://www.freepik.com/
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Table share:
Difficult Conversations
What’s the situation?
What’s your goal?
What’s the result?
What Suzanne and Leo said:
S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint
L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time
S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish
not even half of the stories each sprint
L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of
the work. And the last few months there was a lot we needed to
figure out, so I’m pretty sure things will go faster from now on
S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the
same time
L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we
won’t be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t
have enough stories to work on
S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate
more closely
L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more!
Because then they would be working on the same story together…
Choose the “hardest part” of the conversation
Write down 4-6 lines of the conversation (as a video capture)
Use only the right column of your paper
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
What can we learn from our difficult conversations?
Because we all have different views, experiences, feelings
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Biases built into our brains:
➢ Belief that personal views are commonly held
➢ Belief that we see reality as it is, without bias
(Theory of Practice, Argyris and Schön)
We don’t live in a world of universal peace, acceptance and understanding
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
Shared
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Understanding their needs
Who is the other?
What is their main concern?
What drives them to make decisions?
What’s their view on the situation?
What beliefs/assumptions will influence their actions?
Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Understanding the needs: Empathy Map (Gray)
Empathy maps can help you better understand your
customers' needs or your conversational partner
Who are they?
What do they think or feel?
What do they see?
What do they hear?
What do they say and do?
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Pressure from management
Unsure delivery
will be on time
Powerless because of
no grip on the situation
Hopeful that things will
magically go faster…
Deadlines
People “doing nothing”
Too few stories getting done
in a sprint
People are working hard, but…
We need to reduce pressure on the team
In the SU I heard someone complain
they had nothing to do: fix that!
People should take more time to sit
together and discuss their work
We finish half the work we should be doing
You really have to speed up!
Fill up the sprint with work that needs to be done:
work is piling up…
Micro-managing team members
Leo
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Your turn!
Choose one of the examples you
discussed with your group and fill out
the empathy map for them
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
I feel like I need deeper understanding of their motives and actions
Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Ladder of Inference (Argyris)
https://authenticjoy.org/2018/05/17/the-ladder-of-inference/
“I have nothing to do”?! There’s so much work that needs to be done!
Work in the sprint never gets finished and delivery is very slow. The testers
aren’t doing anything
Team is not mature, because they don’t finish the job. That’s why we go so slow!
We should be working more efficiently, assigning more tasks to the team and
control the progress, so people will be productive at all times
The only way to finish the job is by controlling the work for the team
Agile is indeed dead!
I’ll take over planning
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
How can better
Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
help make conversations easier?
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Agile Conversations
“The key to success is not only adopting practices, but having the difficult conversations
that foster the right environment for those practices to work”
Conversational methods to help you and your team to not only
diagnose your cultural problems, but actually cure them
Dysfunctional Team Characteristics, Lencioni
We can diagnose dysfunctions in organisations, but fixing it seems to be quite hard!
Types of conversations:
1. The Accountability Conversation
2. The Commitment Conversation
3. The Fear Conversation
4. The Trust Conversation
5. The Why Conversation (Simon Sinek)
The 4R model
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
The 4 R Model
1. Record: write it down (as a video might capture)
2. Reflect: on curiosity, transparency, patterns
3. Revise: creating a better alternative
4. Role-play: practice producing a better conversation
➔ Good news: reflecting on conversations allows us
to become aware and then change our behavior
➔ Bad news: it takes a lot of practice, and worse…
it requires difficult emotional work
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
1. Record: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation
What Suzanne and Leo said:
S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint
L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time
S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish not
even half of the stories each sprint
L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of the
work. And the last few months there was a lot we needed to figure out,
so I’m pretty sure things will go faster from now on
S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the same
time
L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we won’t
be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t have
enough stories to work on
S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate more
closely
L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more!
Because then they would be working on the same story together…
What Suzanne thought and felt:
This is just common sense…
That’s not how it works, come on man!
We all can think rationally, right?! See for yourself!
Oh really?!? Things that are half way finished are not a bonus
for the next sprint, you should know that!
Apparently he needs more explanation, so here we go again
There’s plenty of work. The problem is that there’s a lot of waiting,
because there’s only one person in the team who knows it all to make
the right decisions. Let’s think of effectiveness rather than efficiency!
I have told you before, Annie, Bob and Tina should work together if we
want to get rid of all the waiting and interrupting…
Well at least they wouldn’t be waiting for each other then!
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
2. Reflect: Curiosity, Transparency, Patterns
Curiosity: ask genuine questions
- You really want to know the answer
- It’s reasonable the answer might surprise you
- You are willing to change your views/behavior
Genuine Questions
_______________
# Questions asked
Patterns:
- Triggers: something that causes you to react strongly (e.g. “junior developer”)
- Tells: behavior that tells you’re not acting with transparency (e.g. pace around the meeting room when frustrated)
- Twitches: instinctive default response (e.g. get to a decision and adjust later or delaying the decision until all facts
are in)
Transparency: unexpressed thoughts and feelings
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
What Suzanne thought and felt:
This is just common sense…
That’s not how it works, come on man!
We all can think rationally, right?! See for yourself!
Oh really?!? Things that are half way finished are not a bonus
for the next sprint, you should know that!
Apparently he needs more explanation, so here we go again
There’s plenty of work. The problem is that there’s a lot of waiting,
because there’s only one person in the team who knows it all to make
the right decisions. Let’s think of effectiveness rather than efficiency!
I have told you before, Annie, Bob and Tina should work together if we
want to get rid of all the waiting and interrupting…
Well at least they wouldn’t be waiting for each other then!
2. Reflect: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation
What Suzanne and Leo said:
S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint
L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time
S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish not
even half of the stories each sprint (shows the data)
L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of the
work and the last few months there was a lot we needed to figure out, so
I’m pretty sure we’ll speed up by now
S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the same
time
L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we won’t
be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t have
enough stories to work on
S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate more
closely
L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more!
Because then they would be working on the same story together…
tell
trigger
# questions: 0!
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
3. Revise: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation
What Suzanne and Leo said:
What Suzanne thought and felt:
S: Maybe we can take fewer stories into the next sprint, what do you think?
L: I’m afraid we won’t be able to finish all the work if we do that
S: I understand and I don’t feel confident myself either. Do you have ideas on
how to finish more work in one sprint? Maybe we can think of ways to find more
focus for the team?
L: That’s what the team should do. They know why testing takes so long, right?!
They just need to work harder and finish testing, so they can move to the next
story. I don’t understand why this keeps hanging each sprint
S: Hmmm, that’s right. I have seen testers struggle with their tests, because they
didn’t really know the changes in functionality that they needed to test for. Can
we maybe think of a way to get the testers more included in the development
process?
L: I’m not sure, because this will take more time of the testers then, where they
should actually be doing their test work
S: True, there still is a lot of test work. There’s a good chance though that
improving the collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina will help us improve
our throughput. Maybe we can give that a try and see how that works out?
L: Only if we can guarantee that the test work for next sprint won’t be delayed
This seems logical if we want to get more focus, I’d also like to hear Leo’s ideas
That’s a valid concern, but we need to find ways for more focus
I have heard him say that we need to stop starting and start finishing, so
maybe he can help get more focus for the team
Good! Here’s an opening for closer collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina.
One of the reasons why testing takes so long is that the team is still working in
silos and the testers don’t really know what they should test.
It’s not a matter of simply focussing on the hours needed to run the tests. We
really need to improve our process. Let’s see if Leo is open for closer
collaboration…
He’s still concerned about getting the work done, but it feels like an opening
I need to explain once again how collaboration will improve the throughput.
Hopefully that will convince him that we need to change our process
Of course he needs to be reassured, but at least he agreed to give it a try. I’m
hopeful that this will help the team improve their development process
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
3. Role-play: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation
What Suzanne and Leo said:
S: Maybe we can take fewer stories into the next sprint, what do you think?
L: I’m afraid we won’t be able to finish all the work if we do that
S: I understand and I don’t feel confident myself either. Do you have ideas on
how to finish more work in one sprint? Maybe we can think of ways to find more
focus for the team?
L: That’s what the team should do. They know why testing takes so long, right?!
They just need to work harder and finish testing, so they can move to the next
story. I don’t understand why this keeps hanging each sprint
S: Hmmm, that’s right. I have seen testers struggle with their tests, because they
didn’t really know the changes in functionality that they needed to test for. Can
we maybe think of a way to get the testers more included in the development
process?
L: I’m not sure, because this will take more time of the testers then, where they
should actually be doing their test work
S: True, there still is a lot of test work. There’s a good chance though that
improving the collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina will help us improve
our throughput. Maybe we can give that a try and see how that works out?
L: Only if we can guarantee that the test work for next sprint won’t be delayed
What Suzanne thought and felt:
This seems logical if we want to get more focus, I’d also like to hear Leo’s ideas
That’s a valid concern, but we need to find ways for more focus
I have heard him say that we need to stop starting and start finishing, so maybe
he can help get more focus for the team
Good! Here’s an opening for closer collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina.
One of the reasons why testing takes so long is that the team is still working in
silos and the testers don’t really know what they should test.
It’s not a matter of simply focussing on the hours needed to run the tests. We
really need to improve our process. Let’s see if Leo is open for closer
collaboration…
He’s still concerned about getting the work done, but it feels like an opening
I need to explain once again how collaboration will improve the throughput.
Hopefully that will convince him that we need to change our process
Of course he needs to be reassured, but at least he agreed to give it a try. I’m
hopeful that this will help the team improve their development process
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
`The 4 R Model
1. Record: write it down (as a video might capture)
2. Reflect: on curiosity, transparency, patterns
3. Revise: creating a better alternative
4. Role-play: practice producing a better conversation
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
2. Reflect: Curiosity, Transparency, Patterns
Curiosity: asking genuine questions
- You really want to know the answer
- It’s reasonable the answer might surprise you
- You are willing to change your views/behavior
Genuine Questions
_______________
Questions asked
Patterns:
- Triggers: something that causes you to react strongly (e.g. “junior developer”)
- Tells: behavior that tells you’re not acting with transparency (e.g. pace around the meeting room when frustrated)
- Twitches: instinctive default response (e.g. get to a decision and adjust later or delaying the decision until all facts
are in)
Transparency: Unexpressed thoughts and feelings
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
3. Revise your conversation
Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
4. Role-play your conversation
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
Influence Without Power
Why Empathy is Your Best Friend
Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash
Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash

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Suzanne Lagerweij - Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend.pdf

  • 1. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Influence Without Power Why Empathy is Your Best Friend Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash
  • 2. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Introduction
  • 3. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Agenda - Introduction - Understanding the Needs: Empathy Map (Gray) - Ladder of Inference (Argyris) - Agile Conversations (Squirrel and Fredrick) Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash
  • 4. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Talking to the Product Owner When getting ready for production takes ages… Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash
  • 5. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024
  • 6. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 https://www.freepik.com/
  • 7. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash Table share: Difficult Conversations What’s the situation? What’s your goal? What’s the result? What Suzanne and Leo said: S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish not even half of the stories each sprint L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of the work. And the last few months there was a lot we needed to figure out, so I’m pretty sure things will go faster from now on S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the same time L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we won’t be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t have enough stories to work on S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate more closely L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more! Because then they would be working on the same story together… Choose the “hardest part” of the conversation Write down 4-6 lines of the conversation (as a video capture) Use only the right column of your paper
  • 8. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 What can we learn from our difficult conversations? Because we all have different views, experiences, feelings Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash Biases built into our brains: ➢ Belief that personal views are commonly held ➢ Belief that we see reality as it is, without bias (Theory of Practice, Argyris and Schön) We don’t live in a world of universal peace, acceptance and understanding
  • 9. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash Shared
  • 10. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Understanding their needs Who is the other? What is their main concern? What drives them to make decisions? What’s their view on the situation? What beliefs/assumptions will influence their actions? Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
  • 11. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Understanding the needs: Empathy Map (Gray) Empathy maps can help you better understand your customers' needs or your conversational partner Who are they? What do they think or feel? What do they see? What do they hear? What do they say and do?
  • 12. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Pressure from management Unsure delivery will be on time Powerless because of no grip on the situation Hopeful that things will magically go faster… Deadlines People “doing nothing” Too few stories getting done in a sprint People are working hard, but… We need to reduce pressure on the team In the SU I heard someone complain they had nothing to do: fix that! People should take more time to sit together and discuss their work We finish half the work we should be doing You really have to speed up! Fill up the sprint with work that needs to be done: work is piling up… Micro-managing team members Leo
  • 13. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Your turn! Choose one of the examples you discussed with your group and fill out the empathy map for them
  • 14. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 I feel like I need deeper understanding of their motives and actions Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash
  • 15. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Ladder of Inference (Argyris) https://authenticjoy.org/2018/05/17/the-ladder-of-inference/ “I have nothing to do”?! There’s so much work that needs to be done! Work in the sprint never gets finished and delivery is very slow. The testers aren’t doing anything Team is not mature, because they don’t finish the job. That’s why we go so slow! We should be working more efficiently, assigning more tasks to the team and control the progress, so people will be productive at all times The only way to finish the job is by controlling the work for the team Agile is indeed dead! I’ll take over planning
  • 16. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 How can better Photo by Zuzana Ruttkay on Unsplash help make conversations easier?
  • 17. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Agile Conversations “The key to success is not only adopting practices, but having the difficult conversations that foster the right environment for those practices to work” Conversational methods to help you and your team to not only diagnose your cultural problems, but actually cure them Dysfunctional Team Characteristics, Lencioni We can diagnose dysfunctions in organisations, but fixing it seems to be quite hard! Types of conversations: 1. The Accountability Conversation 2. The Commitment Conversation 3. The Fear Conversation 4. The Trust Conversation 5. The Why Conversation (Simon Sinek) The 4R model
  • 18. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 The 4 R Model 1. Record: write it down (as a video might capture) 2. Reflect: on curiosity, transparency, patterns 3. Revise: creating a better alternative 4. Role-play: practice producing a better conversation ➔ Good news: reflecting on conversations allows us to become aware and then change our behavior ➔ Bad news: it takes a lot of practice, and worse… it requires difficult emotional work
  • 19. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 1. Record: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation What Suzanne and Leo said: S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish not even half of the stories each sprint L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of the work. And the last few months there was a lot we needed to figure out, so I’m pretty sure things will go faster from now on S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the same time L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we won’t be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t have enough stories to work on S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate more closely L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more! Because then they would be working on the same story together… What Suzanne thought and felt: This is just common sense… That’s not how it works, come on man! We all can think rationally, right?! See for yourself! Oh really?!? Things that are half way finished are not a bonus for the next sprint, you should know that! Apparently he needs more explanation, so here we go again There’s plenty of work. The problem is that there’s a lot of waiting, because there’s only one person in the team who knows it all to make the right decisions. Let’s think of effectiveness rather than efficiency! I have told you before, Annie, Bob and Tina should work together if we want to get rid of all the waiting and interrupting… Well at least they wouldn’t be waiting for each other then!
  • 20. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 2. Reflect: Curiosity, Transparency, Patterns Curiosity: ask genuine questions - You really want to know the answer - It’s reasonable the answer might surprise you - You are willing to change your views/behavior Genuine Questions _______________ # Questions asked Patterns: - Triggers: something that causes you to react strongly (e.g. “junior developer”) - Tells: behavior that tells you’re not acting with transparency (e.g. pace around the meeting room when frustrated) - Twitches: instinctive default response (e.g. get to a decision and adjust later or delaying the decision until all facts are in) Transparency: unexpressed thoughts and feelings
  • 21. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 What Suzanne thought and felt: This is just common sense… That’s not how it works, come on man! We all can think rationally, right?! See for yourself! Oh really?!? Things that are half way finished are not a bonus for the next sprint, you should know that! Apparently he needs more explanation, so here we go again There’s plenty of work. The problem is that there’s a lot of waiting, because there’s only one person in the team who knows it all to make the right decisions. Let’s think of effectiveness rather than efficiency! I have told you before, Annie, Bob and Tina should work together if we want to get rid of all the waiting and interrupting… Well at least they wouldn’t be waiting for each other then! 2. Reflect: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation What Suzanne and Leo said: S: I think we should take fewer stories into the next sprint L: We can’t, because we won’t be able to finish all the work on time S: If we look back at the last few months, we can see that we finish not even half of the stories each sprint (shows the data) L: Yes Suzanne, but for most stories we have already done half of the work and the last few months there was a lot we needed to figure out, so I’m pretty sure we’ll speed up by now S: Well, if we want to speed up, we need to do fewer things at the same time L: What do you mean?! If we have fewer stories in the sprint, we won’t be able to keep everyone busy. Last sprint the testers didn’t have enough stories to work on S: Also, it would be great if Annie, Bob and Tina could collaborate more closely L: That’s not very efficient. It would slow them down even more! Because then they would be working on the same story together… tell trigger # questions: 0!
  • 22. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 3. Revise: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation What Suzanne and Leo said: What Suzanne thought and felt: S: Maybe we can take fewer stories into the next sprint, what do you think? L: I’m afraid we won’t be able to finish all the work if we do that S: I understand and I don’t feel confident myself either. Do you have ideas on how to finish more work in one sprint? Maybe we can think of ways to find more focus for the team? L: That’s what the team should do. They know why testing takes so long, right?! They just need to work harder and finish testing, so they can move to the next story. I don’t understand why this keeps hanging each sprint S: Hmmm, that’s right. I have seen testers struggle with their tests, because they didn’t really know the changes in functionality that they needed to test for. Can we maybe think of a way to get the testers more included in the development process? L: I’m not sure, because this will take more time of the testers then, where they should actually be doing their test work S: True, there still is a lot of test work. There’s a good chance though that improving the collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina will help us improve our throughput. Maybe we can give that a try and see how that works out? L: Only if we can guarantee that the test work for next sprint won’t be delayed This seems logical if we want to get more focus, I’d also like to hear Leo’s ideas That’s a valid concern, but we need to find ways for more focus I have heard him say that we need to stop starting and start finishing, so maybe he can help get more focus for the team Good! Here’s an opening for closer collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina. One of the reasons why testing takes so long is that the team is still working in silos and the testers don’t really know what they should test. It’s not a matter of simply focussing on the hours needed to run the tests. We really need to improve our process. Let’s see if Leo is open for closer collaboration… He’s still concerned about getting the work done, but it feels like an opening I need to explain once again how collaboration will improve the throughput. Hopefully that will convince him that we need to change our process Of course he needs to be reassured, but at least he agreed to give it a try. I’m hopeful that this will help the team improve their development process
  • 23. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 3. Role-play: Suzanne and Leo’s Actual Conversation What Suzanne and Leo said: S: Maybe we can take fewer stories into the next sprint, what do you think? L: I’m afraid we won’t be able to finish all the work if we do that S: I understand and I don’t feel confident myself either. Do you have ideas on how to finish more work in one sprint? Maybe we can think of ways to find more focus for the team? L: That’s what the team should do. They know why testing takes so long, right?! They just need to work harder and finish testing, so they can move to the next story. I don’t understand why this keeps hanging each sprint S: Hmmm, that’s right. I have seen testers struggle with their tests, because they didn’t really know the changes in functionality that they needed to test for. Can we maybe think of a way to get the testers more included in the development process? L: I’m not sure, because this will take more time of the testers then, where they should actually be doing their test work S: True, there still is a lot of test work. There’s a good chance though that improving the collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina will help us improve our throughput. Maybe we can give that a try and see how that works out? L: Only if we can guarantee that the test work for next sprint won’t be delayed What Suzanne thought and felt: This seems logical if we want to get more focus, I’d also like to hear Leo’s ideas That’s a valid concern, but we need to find ways for more focus I have heard him say that we need to stop starting and start finishing, so maybe he can help get more focus for the team Good! Here’s an opening for closer collaboration between Annie, Bob and Tina. One of the reasons why testing takes so long is that the team is still working in silos and the testers don’t really know what they should test. It’s not a matter of simply focussing on the hours needed to run the tests. We really need to improve our process. Let’s see if Leo is open for closer collaboration… He’s still concerned about getting the work done, but it feels like an opening I need to explain once again how collaboration will improve the throughput. Hopefully that will convince him that we need to change our process Of course he needs to be reassured, but at least he agreed to give it a try. I’m hopeful that this will help the team improve their development process
  • 24. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
  • 25. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 `The 4 R Model 1. Record: write it down (as a video might capture) 2. Reflect: on curiosity, transparency, patterns 3. Revise: creating a better alternative 4. Role-play: practice producing a better conversation
  • 26. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 2. Reflect: Curiosity, Transparency, Patterns Curiosity: asking genuine questions - You really want to know the answer - It’s reasonable the answer might surprise you - You are willing to change your views/behavior Genuine Questions _______________ Questions asked Patterns: - Triggers: something that causes you to react strongly (e.g. “junior developer”) - Tells: behavior that tells you’re not acting with transparency (e.g. pace around the meeting room when frustrated) - Twitches: instinctive default response (e.g. get to a decision and adjust later or delaying the decision until all facts are in) Transparency: Unexpressed thoughts and feelings
  • 27. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 3. Revise your conversation Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash
  • 28. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 4. Role-play your conversation Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash
  • 29. Suzanne Lagerweij | suzanne@lagerweij.com | @suzylagerweij | Influence Without Power - Why Empathy is Your Best Friend | #RSGGhent2024 Influence Without Power Why Empathy is Your Best Friend Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash Photo by Kevin Butz on Unsplash