Do You Value Your Team’s Differences?

Have you ever been in a meeting with a bunch of people; tired, irritated, and frustrated? As you sit there you are thinking “gosh people, why can’t you just see it my way, let’s just do it and move on”. Too often we get in a meeting, thinking the meeting is actually the enemy. “We don’t have time to meet, let’s just do”. If you have the right heart and spirit, I believe the meeting is exactly what you should be doing.

I say all of this in the context of a Scrum environment. Of course you can “over meet”, but don’t NOT meet simply because you don’t want to “call another meeting”. We should value conversation, collaboration, and understanding. How else would you do that if you don’t get the team together and actually converse, debate, and understand? I believe most often there are times when people just sit idly by and listen to the debates. They will do whatever the team tells them, they are the robots. There are others that try to control the meeting and influence people to see things their way, often getting frustrated with a healthy debate.

I firmly believe that we should actually be seeking these debates and seek to understand the view points of others. If we truly want to cross-pollinate knowledge and build the best solution possible for our customers, hearing everyone’s view point is critical. We are so rushed to “get on with it” that we forget that the value is in the conversations that happen.

What we need to do is value the differences in opinion within the teams. Talk through them and seek to understand the view points. If you have a team that follows the opinion of 1 person, then other people are not necessarily needed. We need to value the diversity and differences in opinion to ensure we arrive at the best possible solution. The next time you are tired and frustrated in a meeting, change your paradigm and value the conversation and debates that are happening. Celebrate that you have differences in your team and those differences will ultimately give you a better solution.


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