• Agile Cricket

On Coaching: When to Correct Behavior

Updated: Apr 21, 2019


Daily. 9.49. Team members discuss already since 9.30. They are trying to find a solution for the user management issue while synchronizing their work during the Daily meeting.

Planning. Team goes directly to the user stories without checking the Sprint Goal. 

Refinement. One user story is being discussed by the scrum team members. After some minutes one of the developers estimates the story with 8 story points and they all go to the next user story. Review Meeting. Team starts the review meeting with PO and stakeholders going directly into the user stories and demo. No info is provided about the business value achieved.

Scrum Masters should not wait for the situation to come to an end in order to correct it, he/she should just DO IT, correct it at once, at the moment when this appear. This is the best moment to signal a wrong step and to bring it back to the correct flow.

Some trainers call it 'back to kindergarten', as we need to go back to the WHY and understand why we do what we do and correction is needed. It is a great opportunity to refresh the basics and to start good. Psychologists, coaches, trainers, they all advise us to correct the behavior on the spot, it works also with kids, believe me.

Reinforcing the correction later, after the event has taken place does not produce the same effect and it may even provoke more damage.

We can do the same with the positive situations. It is recommended to positively reinforce a behavior when it takes place, as it induces energy and happiness and in the same time it increases the chances that you get a repeatable action.

e.g. when I came to Germany I registered for German classes after work and the teacher was asking us to do some homework from one day to another. Most of the people were working people (six to niners) and only a few managed to do their homework on a daily basis. The teacher was positively reinforcing the ones who were doing the homework, praising them and thanking them from all her heart, rather than pointing out the people who did not prepare anything. In short time, one by one, more people started doing homework.

From the example above there is another thing you need to learn: try focusing more on positive reinforcements rather than pointing out the negative aspects. It is easier to notice mistakes, than to notice improvements, this is why Scrum Masters have the great challenge to be skilled active listeners and pick these treasures in the dark.

Anything else you would add? Share your feedback in the comments bellow.


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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