Although there are some learnable aspects of leadership, leadership is often identified as something that comes naturally to certain personalities. Therefore, it is no surprise that certain people can act as better servant leaders and better Scrum Masters.
Let's look at some characteristics that will help you master with your Scrum Master Role.
This is a given, in any role. However, as a scrum master you are listening, comprehending, repeating, summarizing, energizing, observing, writing, simplifying, critiquing, suggesting, asserting, chatting, presenting - all in one. Each conversation merits its own synergy and skill.
You are a representative of your team. If you are able to build and gain their trust, then you should be able to stand up for them and be proud to represent them whether they have achieved success / lesser success.
Humans can be judgemental but to go above and beyond in appreciating your team member's efforts and allowing them to progress and succeed takes real leadership, that will definitely command the respect of your team.
Being neutral is not the same as being diplomatic. For any challenge, decisions should be taken on the basis of validation and merit, instead of who you are friends with. This can lead to very tough decisions.
Generally the term master assumes some level of control in a team, however, in this case it is a directional leader who cannot punish when team members go astray. Hence, it is key to build trust and show the importance of following a decision, which can be quite demanding compared to a leader who can force decisions.
A scrum master can be involved in a very detailed decision which determines the solution to a problem or in a discussion that maps the strategy of an implementation. Regardless of the level of detail, you should be able to switch gears.
Assuming an ideal team of 7 plus minus 2, you are responsible for running a machine today and planning for tomorrow, while assessing events of yesterday. Add to this mix, regulatory and managerial catchups and planning for the next sprint and release - you got to be good at juggling and time management.
Rome was not built in a day but it is key to keep assessing what is important at any given time. Prioritizing and managing expectations is important to deliver the best MVP and to maintain good relations. I know fire accidents happen but try not to burn bridges.
All work and no fun makes a scrum master very dull indeed. Having fun is not just for you but also for your team. Just having some time in the sprint when your team is not thinking about work can be energizing and rewarding. At the same time, no problem is a big problem. A cool mind leads to better focus and better problem solving experience.
If you like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - being scrum master will be super fun.
Never fear to try out something new, for at the end of the experience, you would have only gained, not lost.
Date: 6th May 2019
Location: Offices of International Scrum Institute™ (Wollerau, Switzerland)
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