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What are the most important SCRUM Master Skills?


Mendix

In my previous post about why Agile fails, I mentioned the Scrum Master as being a critical person in the whole Agile process. The Scrum Master is responsible for helping the team follow best practices and for removing impediments. Even though they have “Master” in their title, they are not really a master in any way. They are a servant-leader, and they service the team and the product owner. Thus, a complete mindset change may be required, especially if you are a “Type A” personality. To drive digital innovation, the most important scrum master skills to have are to be able to change and constantly be willing to improve yourself and your team.

Here are three Scrum Master skills to learn and acquire to become a Scrum Hero:

1. Listen

If you are a Type A personality or a traditional manager, you probably enjoy taking charge and telling people what to do. Sometimes you might even feel like you must take charge in order for things to get done. For example, you might be the first to speak and lead the Scrum meetings. You might already know the best way to do things, and sometimes you actually do know.

However, the focus with Agile development is on the team achieving a common goal and delivering a product. The goal is to get the team to work as effectively and efficiently as possible. You cannot achieve your goal if you don’t stop to listen and learn from your team. It is important to listen to what issues the team brings up, what suggestions they have, and what improvements they want to make.

How can you listen effectively?

If you are not a natural listener, you can start by acting like a good listener. First, do not talk until the other person has made their point. Secondly, do not argue with others in your head or think about how to make your counterargument. Lastly, repeat what they said to ensure that you understand what they meant. Practice your listening skills with one-to-one conversations, and then upgrade to the Scrum meetings.

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