This workshop is going to deal with how we deal with problems on a project - Joseph Pelrine and Ben Fuchs (tech and psychology). More information on this stuff on their website: http://www.cateams.com/index.php. Difficult Behaviors - from minor to bad:
- estimate fudging
- chronic lateness/under-performance
- physical violence
For our purposes, "difficulty" is in the context of the team and the project. We can deal with the team or with the individual.
A nice metaphor for team state - compare to cooking:
- Burning: Team in panic mode, chaos, ruination
- Cooking - things mix properly, flavors come out, things progress
- Medium Heat - things stagnate, don't mix - things break (meetings missed, bugs accumulate)
- Low Heat - things congeal - "This is how we do things"
- Off - solid, "This is how you must do things" (no discussion possible)
Periodically, you have to "turn the heat up", and then let things cool on their own (as the team self organizes). How do you turn the knobs?
- Work Pressure (TimeBox vs. amount of work)
- Diversity (age, gender, perspectives, ethnicity, etc)
- Physical environment
- Tools to slow down/and/or amplify team dynamics
- And, of course, conflict
Dealing with conflict: Pre-Conventional (Police, Medical staff use these sorts of approaches)
- Core Issues: Physical Safety
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to survival
- Model: Conflict management, de-escalation
- Approach: Positive authority
Conventional (most professional situations)
- Core Issues: Identity, Rank, Power
- Metaphor: Conflict as a threat to identity
- Model: Conflict Resolution
- Approach: Mediation/Facilitation
Post-Conventional (teams/inter-personal, for instance)
- Core Issues: Shared meaning
- Metaphor: Conflict as opportunity
- Model: Conflict transformation
- Approach: Sense-making
Constructive conflict requires emotional maturity and an ability to be self reflective. The session included multiple exercises, and I can't really convey those here.
Interesting perspective: We look at things via OIC: Observation, Interpretation, Conclusion - where the latter two come from our own beliefs, biases (etc). Often times, we see things completely differently than the other person intended.
We wrapped up with a group exercise: one of the participants related an actual work problem, in order to generate some feedback. I'm not going to say anything about it, as we all agreed to keep all the people involved anonymous.