The courage to communicate

Diana Larsen's tutorial at XP2005 focussed on three important aspects of teamwork that are often overlooked: listening, decision making, and personal feedback. People can be dismissive of the need to pay attention to these areas, but there is real value to be gained here:

  • people who feel listened to are more likely to think creatively and are more likely to become fully involved in a team's activities and goals
  • finding occasions to use decision making mechanisms other than concensus (which is the default mechanism for many teams) saves time and effort
  • seeking and giving personal feedback influences personal behaviour and therefore directly affects a team's effectiveness