Teach your Team to W.A.I.T
If you’re the scrum master of an agile scrum team and you find that those daily scrum meetings are taking longer than you want, or your team members are getting too into the details, and you aren’t getting enough value from the scrum, here’s a tool that might help your team be a little more mindful in how they communicate and share information in meetings.
W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking?
The acronym W.A.I.T is a quick strategy to help your team members ask and answer one simple question: Why Am I Talking? This is useful to help team members better communicate and collaborate – especially in meetings. It helps people pause for a split-second to think about the message they intend to communicate and the best way to communicate it.
That thing I want to say, does it really need to be said? If it isn’t important – or if it has already been said – then just WAIT until something more relevant comes to mind.
That thing I want to say, does it really need to be said right now? If the timing isn’t right – just WAIT – a better time to put this idea forward might present itself.
That thing I want to say, are these the right people to say it to? Think about who would most value from this idea, feedback or thought. If the right people aren’t present – just WAIT. Waiting for the right people to show up can limit repetition and make sure that the right people hear what your team members have to say.
That thing I want to say, am I the best person to say it? Think about whether there might be someone more appropriate to communicate this idea – if so, just WAIT. Even if this thing needs to be said, it might not need to be vocalized by this particular member of the team.
That thing I want to say, have I figured out the best way to say it? Often times, we don’t stop to think about the best way to communicate an idea – typically when it enters the mind it then immediately enters the mouth. If we haven’t determined the best way to share a thought – just WAIT – share it once you have figured out how to best communicate it.
This tool is an easy to remember device designed to help us pause for a split-second to think about how, when and to whom we’re communicating. It then helps to make that communication as effective and impactful as possible. In the scrum, this helps keep the meeting much more focused and a lot more valuable.