I was listening to a podcast earlier in the week. The title was along the lines of 3 things you can do to make yourself a better scrum master. As things go, I have no idea what 2 of the 3 were, but the one that stuck has been echoing around my head for days.
The statement was this. Good scrum masters do a daily personal retrospective. They find a time to reflect on how they have done during the day and how they can learn and grow for the next.
This has struck a real chord in me and a challenge. I know, I often fail to live up to this ideal. It is true, that one of my biggest personal values is always looking for growth opportunities, but I saw something quite profound in the statement.
The value of personal daily reflection (which is at the heart of any good retro) has been well documented. HBR has explored why you should reflect daily. This is a bonus for you. The thing is as a scrum master (or agile coach, product owner or developer) your state of mind and your growth affects others.
The people around me are a big part of the why I try to do better. If it helps, I should be doing it, but I’m not doing it on a daily basis. And if it is so good for us, why don’t we do it?
The excuses can come thick and fast and some are legitimate, but many are just that, excuses. They don’t stand up under the light of examination.
The excuses I have used include tiredness, nothing exciting happening, not knowing where to start and sheer forgetfulness. To be honest they are pretty weak.
So, if I don’t want to make excuses, but instead do something about it how can I start?
Here’s a few things I’m going to try.
Pick a time daily and stick to it
I catch a train home. I often try to finish of a bit of work, but I find network connections can be a real pain on the first leg of my journey. So this week, I am going to try to spend those first 5 minutes doing my daily retro
Figure out what works
I think I’m going to go for a 1 line journal style in my work book to keep it focused and to the point. Again the benefits of journaling are well covered. Huffpost has a great article on it. I’ve been meaning to do it forever. I guess this is an easy way to start
Pick an action
I think my next line should be something to do, watch, read or consider for the following day.
Forgive myself if I don’t get it right
I know I’m human, if I miss a day I haven’t blown it. I am right here giving myself permission to start again without recrimination.
Experiment for a set period of time
I’m going to do this each day this week coming and will happily update at the end of the week. I will continue the experiment for 4 work weeks and see how I feel. I’m also happy to update.
Finally and to finish this off, I want to know what others do. Many people on this site keep journals and actively participate in self-improvement. How do you stay fresh and come back to each new day with something to try?
Please share your thoughts and ideas. I’d love to hear from you and your experiences.