• Javier Perez Fernandez

A story about influencing a group: 1B - 1A

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Have you ever had the feeling that a group doesn't listen or that you are not able to explain yourself?

When I started working as a scrum master almost 10 years ago, I was frustrated because it was very difficult for me to influence my team. I thought it might be because I was working in a language that was not my mother tongue. However, if I spoke to just one person or in small groups, I was able to convince them. There had to have been something else.

Thanks to Samuel Fuentes and Alejandro Castillo I learned a way to better reach a large group. I understood that when I tried to educate my team on various concepts or improvements, several problems could arise, such as:

  • Each person understood something different.

  • Some people not paying attention.

  • The audience would pay attention but would consider the content irrelevant to them.That each person understood something different.

In addition, the scrum master position is very complicated: you have to influence the organization without having formal authority. But how do you get that moral authority when you have little real experience or the group is skeptical?

The trick was to focus on the message. Instead of trying to convey several concepts or suggestions of what to change, focus on just one, explaining the benefit to the audience of knowing a concept or taking an action: 1 Benefit, 1 Action.

This way there is a better chance that the audience is aligned on what you want to achieve, that it is relevant to them and that the suggested action will be accepted. Whatever audience it is.

Has it ever happened to you? How have you solved the problem? In what situation could this trick help you?