Culture Transformation | What Servant Leaders Should Focus Most

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Munish Kumar

We can name it in different ways: servant leadership, facilitation, or coaching, eventually a scrum master, for the most part of her role, needs to deal with people.

People are our greatest resources.

They give birth to us, feed us, raise us, give us money, make us laugh and cry, comfort us, heal us, cure us, invest our money, service our car, build our homes and bury us.

We can’t live without them. We can’t even die without them.

We are part of a connected community that provides us with strength and safety. When we feel strong and safe, we put our energy to evolve — socially, culturally, and spiritually.

We, human beings, are social animals and it is far more “normal” for people to get along with one another than it is for them to argue, fight and not get along.

While there may be several differences on the surface, deep down we are similar in many ways.

Fundamentally, we are like each other and we want to behave like each other.

We align and synchronize ourselves with the signals other people send us.

People aspects are very important to focus areas for anyone in a people leadership role, Scrum Master, Scrum of scrum lead, and/or Release Train engineer. Let’s explore the three of them here.

1. Keep the “Right Useful Attitude”

Our attitude controls our mind and our mind delivers body language. Attitude sets the quality and mood of our thoughts, our voice tone, our spoken words. They govern our facial and body language.

 Attitudes are like trays on which we serve ourselves to other people.

The quality of our attitude determines the quality of our relationships

Our body does not know how to lie. Unconsciously, with no directions from us, it transmits our thoughts and feelings in a language of its own to the bodies of other people, and those bodies understand the language perfectly.

Change your attitude, and your body language and voice tone will change to reflect your new attitude.

We are always influencing each other’s behaviour, every moment we are with other people, we make minute adjustments to our behaviours and they to ours.

If leaders have the right attitude, they get the right attitude from the people around them.

2. Be an “Active Listener”

Conversations are key. There are several meetings and sync events in a project setup. The conversation is how we open another person up to see what’s inside, to deliver a message or both. The idea is to get the other person talking, then find out what matters to him or her and synchronize ourselves.

The key to being an active listener lies in making a sincere effort to absorb what that person is saying and feeling.

Active listening is an active attempt to grasp and understand the facts and underlying feelings of what is being said.

Being active listeners, leaders will get several cues to the underlying problems that are holding the team to reach its full potential.

A problem well stated is a problem half solved.

3. Be generous with “Compliments”

Leverage every opportunity to give compliments. Everyone has a deep desire to get appreciated and acknowledged.

Compliments are fine as long as they are sincere. Exaggerated and false compliments destroy credibility.

On the other hand, an honest expression of praise can reinforce self-confidence and even increase rapport.

If you are complimenting, take the trouble to get into the details.

"It was a great session" has far less impact than "it was a great session and it was amazing how you used the XYZ example to explain a complex topic in an easy way.".

As leaders, if you get compliments from your team, peers, or anyone else; accept all compliments graciously. Do it simply. Do it directly.

Leaders need empathy and humanness to get the needed collaboration and cooperation from everyone involved in a common goal.

I would love to hear your views and thoughts.

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