Dump The Ceremonies, Build Trust Instead

You’ve adopted the Agile, Lean, or DevOps methods just like you’re supposed to, but it isn’t working. Your sprints are more like marathons, you aren’t getting the flexible, rapid delivery you were promised, and you’re wondering if maybe the team is just going through the motions.

The solution is not “agile harder”. Another ceremonial meeting or by-the-book ritual isn’t going to change the dynamics. Instead, start by building trust, creating a culture of commitment and accountability, and watch the transformational results flow.

How do you change your culture? You do it by changing your conversations.

In our book Agile Conversations, we describe numerous techniques for improving your conversations and getting dramatic agile results quickly. In this talk, we will show you how to take your first steps toward a human-centered transformation, using nothing more than a piece of paper, a pen, and a willingness to learn.


Jeffrey Fredrick

Author, Agile Conversations


Douglas Squirrel

Author, Agile Conversations



Welcome back to Troubleshooting Agile. Hi there, Jeffrey.


Hi, scroll.


So this looks a little different. Yeah. As a matter of fact, um, I, I, I think the people out there in the podcast audience can see us today.


Yeah. In fact, I think we're not on our podcast. We may need to do something different. In fact, these people may not be a normal podcast listeners. We may have to introduce ourselves to them.


We probably do. Hi, I'm Squirrel. I'm a CTO here in London. I'm a, uh, consulting CTO, which means I work with lots of different organizations and I'm a co-author of the book Agile Conversations.


And I'm Jeffrey Frederick. I'm a longtime agile practitioner. Going back to the days before the word agile was coined. And I'm also in London, uh, currently managing director at a FinTech company four days a week and consulting on the fifth day. And, um, along with Scroll one of the hosts of, uh, troubleshooting Agile podcast. So what are we here to talk to people about today? Scroll,


Right. Well, I, I, I think this must be, if it's not our podcast, this must be DevOps Enterprise, uh, London, which must mean that we're talking about dumping ceremonies, which is one of my favorite topics.


Uh, that's right. And it's something that, uh, readers of our book, Azure Conversations will, uh, know that we are focusing on conversations more than ceremonies. Uh, however, if you are one of those readers, don't worry. What we're talking about today is not a repeat of o from the book. And similarly, if you're in the audience, don't feel like we're gonna be, uh, there's no point in, in reading the book. You still will, we're gonna talk about all about some stuff that's compatible with what we have in the book that's aligned with the, the core message, but it's not the same.




But what we, what is common is essentially who we're talking to and why we're talking to people. When we wrote the book, for me, it was very important. I had a, an idea in my head of who I wanted to reach, and it's people who are trying to make a transformation. They're trying to change the way they're doing things. They're making a good hearted attempt, and yet they're frustrated things aren't working.


And of course, the solution that seems most obvious is to buy the entire IT revolution book catalog, <laugh>, and read all of them and do what they say.


And, and that's great. And we, we do recommend that, uh, especially if you get the newest book, agile Conversations. But, but there is a, a problem here, uh, that just knowing what to do is not enough to get the results. And it's those people who were doing the work, buying the books, bringing in the practices, and still not getting the results that we wanted to talk to.


Exactly. And even by the way, if they read our book, then they just read our book, they could still fall, fall into the same, uh, traps. So we're gonna talk about those traps and why the ceremonies aren't going to work for you, why you should do something else.


That's right. And there's an element of what we're talking about today, which isn't new. The idea that culture is important is something that people in the DevOps space have heard many times. And not just, not just DevOps, but people in agile and lean and digital transformations, uh, which, uh, I think is something, uh, a bit more than, uh, I guess everything happens on computers now, <laugh>, uh, but when any of these places people do talk about the importance of, uh, culture, how important that is, and yet at the same time how difficult it is.


Well, just the easy thing is this, you should just make sure that you change your culture and then after you've changed your culture, everything will go fine, <laugh>. But the strange thing is that even though people know this, they keep failing all over the place. And this is just one statistic. There's another that we were coming across recently. Uh, half of all transformations in the UK are delayed. So something's going wrong here. And even though everyone knows you're supposed to have a good culture, either they don't know how to create it or they don't know what they're aiming for.


Uh, and it's, uh, and I do think people might have a sense of what they're aiming for. Uh, uh, especially, you know, people who will have, uh, uh, read, uh, accelerate, uh, one of the anti revolution books and come across the idea of the three cultures, uh, from Juan, Ron, Russ from, and he talks about three different cultures. And this is about, uh, what typifies the, how information flows in your culture, uh, what the, the, uh, concerns of people in power are. And basically, whatever people in power are concerned about will lead to certain, uh, easy to understand, uh, experiences in the culture.


Well, it's easy to tell which one you want to be. It's obvious that number one is the very best. That's why we listed in this order, <laugh>. So you definitely want to be pathological, right, Jeffrey?


Well, okay. Probably not as, as you said before, that the names are kind of a giveaway. It, we probably don't wanna be pathological, and we don't wanna be bureaucratic. Generative sounds much better of, of the three, if I had to choose one just by name alone, I'd go with that.


Yep. But if you're pathological there, that's actually got some attractiveness to it because, um, it will be, uh, somebody who's, um, uh, keenly interested in results. It'll be directed from the top. Um, there are lots of examples of successful companies that run this way, so don't dismiss it completely. And, uh, bureaucratic organizations dominate, right? So people, uh, all over the place have, uh, uh, fights with bureaucracy. So we're pretty used to the idea that we're gonna follow a bunch of rules. I don't think people set out to be pathological or bureaucratic, but they wind up there because, um, that's the easy thing to do. That's, uh, yeah. And also, for example, that they wind up with ceremonies that don't work in a bureaucratic culture because, um, it, that's, uh, kind of what the books say to do. The tricky part is how on earth do you get to generative <laugh>?


And, and I think the part of the, the issue here is the, the way that people approach transformation, the way they come in trying to change their culture, actually reflects the culture they're starting with. And, uh, a lot of times when people have a focus on the ceremonies, it's very easy for that to become a, a bureaucratic exercise where people say, look, we're, we're doing this because that's what's in the book. We're, we're literally, we we're reading the book. This is what it tells us to do. So that's where our focus is.


And it seems like it should work. I mean, all those people wrote those books, right? I mean, you and I wrote a book. So should people just do what's in the book? That seems the obvious thing to do.


And there's a lot of knowledge in embedded in those books when they, when you tell you to say, um, have small teams, uh, there's real advantages in that. Uh, when they tell you to have a, a daily ceremony, like a daily standup, there's real value in those ceremonies, but only if you're the people that are approaching them and are living the right way. Ceremonies are so interesting to me. Ceremonies are only effective if the people in the culture really buy into them. And, and in a sense that the, uh, ceremonies you have, the ceremonies that work are gonna be only, uh, working if they're an authentic expression of your culture. Unfortunately, we wanna be degenerative, which is the third on this list. And it's not a case where one plus two equals three. So a top down push, we are making a transformation, and a bunch of people in the middle saying, we're gonna do it by the book does not get you to a generative transformation.


What it gets you is empty ceremonies, which is what we're telling you to dump. So if you go to your standup and it feels like everyone's staring at their shoes and, um, you know, these days it might be staring at their shoes while looking at you in Zoom, <laugh>, but however it is, um, they're, they're just saying, yeah, this is what I did. This is what I'm doing. No blockers. If that's the feeling you have in that ceremony, or in your planning session or in your, uh, retrospective, then you're the people we wanna talk to. Because actually the surprising thing that the case we're gonna make here in this talk is there's something you can do about that. Most books, most, uh, uh, training, most consultants, most folks will tell you, look, you just gotta find a way to improve the culture. You gotta get to generative. They don't tell you how we will tell you step by step things that you can do. And if they don't work for you, we'd like to hear it. If they do work, then you'll be like thousands of others that have tried them.


Right? Um, now the interesting thing here is that what it takes to, uh, be effective is something that people already understand. Um, this is one of my favorite diagrams that kind of layout about, uh, how collaboration goes wrong. And what we have here is a sort of classic consultant, two by two matrix, and at the top, uh, yeah,


I know where we wanna be on the two by two matrix. We wanna be in the green one in the upper right, <laugh>.


That's right.


This is easy. I can get all the right answers. Jre.


That's fantastic. Now, what, what might be surprising though, is that what's read the bad zone is not the bottom left. Uh, and the reason is this, uh, article that I've took, taken this diagram from is describing, uh, transformation actually. The, the challenge of moving from a culture of top-down, um, uh, low, uh, disagreement and low trust and respect, and the challenge of trying to move to that upper right, try to have true collaboration. So if we're moving it from a traditional environment, what are the pitfalls along the way? And there's two, uh, major ways that, that this fails. One is that you have people quite willing to, uh, disagree with one another, and, but they don't have trust and respect for each other. And when that happens, you end up unproductive conflicts between people. On the other hand, if you do have trust and respect from people, but they're not willing to disagree, right?


They're too worried about being nice and and not willing to, to bring up differences with one another, then you fall into the failure mode of group think. So we have this very interesting challenge. We want people who trust each other enough to care about what each other thinks, but also are trust each other enough to say what they really think, <laugh>, that you need to have actually a type of conflict between ideas. And that's what real collaboration is. And the fundamental element here is, is this idea of trust and respect is really the, the, the number one enablement that to really get on both sides without, without trust to, to share what you're thinking and trust to hear what the people are saying. It's not possible.


This sounds like motherhood and apple pie, Jeffrey. This just sounds like good stuff. Like a politician says <laugh>, just to get you to believe it. I don't believe you can get trust and respect other than by, um, having people already who trust and respect each other. There's, there's no way to create it,


<laugh>. Well, actually, the good news is there is something you can do and, uh, you can start with what we call it conversational transformation. And this is not something we've invented. This is something that we've come to over the past eight years because we were learning it ourselves and we started realizing, hey, these are really powerful techniques. And this goes back to, uh, a guy named Chris Arris, a Harvard professor, and, uh, uh, very well known in, in the area. And he's has this whole body of work that goes back now decades. And it says very consistently that if you change your conversations, you can change the way people relate to one another. And those that way they relate. That is your culture. Now, the really funny thing about this is that everyone knows what the end results are supposed to look like. And not just in that sort of like, we should be in the top right culture, you know, we should be up or right. And green <laugh>, yes, you want that, but we seem need seem more, make more specific, which is, you know, what good collaboration looks like, even if you're not producing it. We're,


Lets, right now we're through that now. Exactly. Yeah. Let's, uh, everybody get hands on keyboards. Yep. We're gonna need you in Slack. And with the power of my mind, look at me. I'm gonna be, I'm gonna manage to get tuned into the universe and I'm gonna see into the future. And about a week from now, you guys are all gonna be typing in Slack, and you're gonna type in Slack. What a good collaboration looks like. And I'm going to predict what you say, even though you're in the future. And I'm in the past,


<laugh>. Alright, let's give you Jeffrey,


Tell 'em what they're supposed to type. So they have to type it in Slack, get your hands on the keyboard, okay, what do they type?


So we're gonna make a decision together. We are all gonna decide about, uh, where does should be next year? Like, where should the conference be? And what I want you to do now is to say how we go about deciding that as a group,


Not what the decision is. Don't start arguing about which city


That's right. Argue


About our discussion is about how to decide.


Yep. So, so right there


Still psychically thinking. I'm getting psyched up.


So imagine that you personally are the person who's gonna decide how we go about making that decision. What would you recommend we do now? Go type your recommendations into Slack now.


Okay. It's coming through the, the, the vision is appearing in front of me. I think I can see it. And if Jeffrey goes to the next slide, <laugh>, I bet that we can actually see what you typed in Slack. Let's see. Go ahead. Jeffrey isn't switching yet.


The slide is not switching. There it is. Okay. So what we're gonna predict is that you're going to say that we should be diverse, we should get lots of different ideas that we should share those ideas. So we have everybody sharing, including yourself. And that, uh, those ideas should conflict. We should have some discussion about which is the best one and pros and cons, and then we should come up with a, with a decision everyone's happy with. Yeah. And I predict now a week in advance that you said that. And if, believe me, I've got some stocks for you to buy as well,


<laugh>. Well, now it's, it's actually not very hard for us to make this prediction because we've asked lots of group of people in lots of settings, although never, we've never asked people in the future like this before. Usually we do it


In real time. Oh, this be a new experiment. Yeah, but I predict it'll still work,


<laugh>, because basically everyone gives us some variation of this. Uh, I would ask everyone what their views are, and I would share my views that that's it. Uh, because we all understand that getting all the information in the room is what we want. That more information gives us more choices, helps us make better decisions.


And now that everybody knows that we can bring this to an end and take questions, right? Jeffrey? We're all done. Now that you know exactly what to do.


Well, uh, there's this problem though, is there's this gap between what we espouse. This is, this is the behavior that we think we do, that, that we tell people we do. In fact, you probably all believe that you do this. And, and actually this is how you go about making decisions, uh, except when the stakes are high. When there's something important to you, when there's an important decision to be made, and you might feel some loss, if it goes wrong, then suddenly people behave very differently. Well,


In that case, Jeffrey, what I've gotta do is convince them, I mean, I, I understand it well, and in most of the time, really, it's good for all that conflict stuff. We really got it completely with it. But you know what, I, I've got the answer here and I just need to convince them. Can you help me with that?


Yeah. Uh, that's that squirrel modeling how people behave. Uh, when it's something important, it's like, well, I know what we do is normally the best way, but in this special case, now suddenly we're gonna behave differently. Now we want our, uh, ideas to win. It's no longer a question of collaboration. We see differences not as a strength, but as a threat. And as a result, we don't end up being very curious about what other people are thinking. You know why? Because why should be curious when we're right. And we also don't share all we know because it's obvious, right? I mean, not just what we should do. Uh, it's like all the facts lead up to it. Why would we share what's obvious? And so suddenly, well, we, even though we, we have this espoused value of curiosity and transparency, when we come into actually making these decisions, instead we end up trying to win. Not sharing, we no not being curious. And that undermines trust and respect. So in a sense, to build trust and respect is easy, but difficult. It's easy as far as it's simple as doing the things that we know we should be doing.


It's actually doing them. That's hard. That's, it's like losing weight is easy. All you do is don't eat.


Now, the thing that's, we said that we're gonna teach you in this session how you can learn, how you can start changing your behavior. And we're gonna give you some things that you can do in this course, in this time. We have, in this limited time, we're gonna tell you steps and you can follow along and you can actually begin changing your behavior by the end of the session.


You do need some equipment though. So it, it is very important that you get the correct equipment. And that consists of a piece of paper that has been folded in half and a pen, <laugh>. So those are the, the complex pieces of equipment. You haven't got those you might wanna run and get them 'cause you're gonna need them for the next section. That's


Right. So if you have, you get your pen and paper, and we're gonna walk you something called the four Rs. And the four Rs are a, uh, general set of steps that you can use to improve your conversations. Uh, we're gonna be using them in a very specific way, which is about how to make sure you're improving your transparency and curiosity. And then the book we talk about using other tools and improving your conversations in other dimensions. But, but they will always come back to this core technique of the four Rs. And it's so simple that you can learn it in the time we have it remaining.


Okay? So by this time, you should have your paper ready, go ahead and fold it in half vertically so you wind up with two columns and that'll prepare you for what we're about to do,


Right? And here's the fours. We're gonna walk you through, uh, the four R's. Start with, uh, first record. We're gonna make a recording of a conversation that we want to have, I use to improve our skills. Second, we're gonna reflect two. Uh, third, we're gonna revise three after we've revised, we're gonna repeat that, go back and reflect again. Four. Uh, and then we're gonna, when we have a revision that we like, we're gonna move on to role play five and, uh, and role reversal.


Uh, six. That's right. So there are six four


Rs, the six four Rs. So, uh, you know, we're, we're helping you, your conversations, not your math skills, but we're gonna take you through one through four here. And, uh, we'll start with that recording. So you have your paper, and you can do this right now, think of a conversation where you're frustrated and think of the element of that conversation where you got frustrated and you don't,


Not the whole conversation. It's fine to have just a couple of lines as I have here.


That's right. So you, you're gonna think of are, uh, a key exchange. What was the element? What was the time when you, you know, you were getting frustrated when you felt the other person just wasn't getting it? Go ahead. And on the right hand side, you're gonna write down what was spoken, what, what you said, what the other person said, the things that would show up on a video camera. Uh,


Jeffrey, I'm sorry, I don't, I don't remember the conversation that well. I I'm not sure I could write down every word.


You know, you don't need every word. You can just go ahead and write down what you can remember. In fact, it's okay if you're gonna be naturally paraphrasing some things. You don't need to have it exact even a, a faulty incomplete memory, even if you're, guess this is, I'm pretty sure we said something like this. That's enough to work with. Absolutely. So this is part of our no excuses <laugh> policy. There is no reason not to begin working on your conversations today.


And I'm sure that all of you have now written something on the right hand side of your piece of paper. So you're ready for the left hand side. What goes there


On the left hand side, in the right hand column is the visible world. The left hand one is the invisible world. It's your inner dialogue, what you thought and what you felt while that conversation was happening.


Uh, Jeffrey, I've developed telepathy, so I'm gonna write what the other person thinks. Is that okay


If, if you have telepathy? Ah, yes, but


I have to have telepathy. Okay?


Right. But if you do not have telepathy, you're not allowed to write what the other person was thinking, feeling. You only have access to your own thoughts and feelings. So you're gonna have this dialogue where the, uh, on the right hand side, you have, uh, their dialogue and your dialogue and their dialogue and your dialogue. But the left hand side is all about you. It's all what you're thinking and feeling as you're reacting to what they're saying, as you're thinking while you're talking. So your thoughts going left, and this is your record you're gonna work with. Now, it's very important that this is written down. Why, why do I, you know, why don't have to write this down, squirrel. How come I can't just keep it all in my head?


Well, the reason is to do with something called self distancing, which is different to what we're all thinking about now, which is social distancing. It's the idea that if you have something on a piece of paper, it almost feels like it's somebody else. And that's very important because your brain is all con conditioned to think about how other people react to you and what, uh, what they're thinking about. And so if you can see yourself as an another person, self distance from yourself, you'll actually have a much better analysis. Um, my favorite story about this is we had a, a teacher, a person who worked with us very much on this, who, um, would record his conversations and his name was Benjamin. And he would play them back for himself. And then he would shout at the tape recorder, Benjamin, stop doing that <laugh>. And, um, the reason he was able to do that is because he could see Benjamin as a different person. It was himself, he was shouting himself to do something differently, but it helped him to have the recording so he could actually, um, shout that at himself. You don't have to shout at yourself, but it is very, uh, very, very important that you actually write it down. So no excuses can't, uh, just do this in your head, follow along as as if you're doing it. You need a piece of paper, a pen, and to write these down. It's not too late. You can still do it.


That's right. So once you've written it down, now you're gonna move on to the second step. The second of the four Rs, which is reflect and reflect is kind of the scoring section. It's when you go ahead and look at what you've done to say, am I following the espoused behavior? And the simplest thing to do is, you said is just look at the question is, am I being transparent and am I being curious? So how would I know if I'm being curious?


Well, there's, uh, something I know that I can't do. Uh, I can't, I can't achieve curiosity without asking questions. Yes. So the easiest scoring method is to circle the question marks. So we have a conversation here, we won't, uh, read it out to you, but you can see that, uh, what, uh, the person who's recording it Norbert, uh, actually asked was one question. So we can circle that question mark,


Right? And then, uh, then you can go and say, okay, I have this question, but was it genuine? And, uh, what do we mean by genuine question?


Well, a non-genuine question is actually easier to explain. It's a leading question. Like, uh, Hey Jeffrey, uh, we should speed up 'cause we're getting close to the end of the talk, right? That would be a, that would not be a genuine question because I really have an opinion that I'm stating with a question mark at the end. And that's what's happening in Norbert here. If you look in the left hand side, he's an advocate of KBM, and he's asked, he's saying, why don't we ask about KBM? He means, let's use KBM, right? Whereas if he were really curious, he might ask and reflected in the left hand column, um, gee, KBM sounds interesting in there are other alternatives too. How could we explore those? That would be a genuine question,


Right? So you, you can't tell for someone else if what they're asking a genuine question. You can only do it for yourself because you need to know what someone's actually thinking, feeling to know if the question's genuine or not. So that first you're gonna question is, am I being genuinely curious? And in this Norbert's case, he says, okay, not really. How about transparent? When you look at the left hand side at the things that norbert's thinking and feeling, or in your case what you are thinking and feeling, are there things there that you are not sharing? And then probably there are, and you're, you're challenging me. Like, how can I figure out how to get those over onto the right hand side?


And, and of course you want to get them onto the right hand side in a productive way. So for example, it would be really helpful for Norbert to say what you're saying doesn't match what you're doing Quinn, but probably saying what a hypocrite you are is not going to produce a positive reaction from Quinn <laugh>. So it's very helpful idea. It's an, it's an important notion that I'm hearing one thing and seeing something else, but, um, you wanna express that in a productive way rather than an unproductive one.


And one thing that will happen is as you're looking at your different, uh, cases, what you'll start to find is there are certain things that are triggers for you, certain items that you know, will tend to cause you, uh, difficulty in living up to your espoused behavior standards. So that's something you can look for and plan for to say the next time that I have one of these triggers, how am I gonna behave in a more constructive way?


And I think we're, we're kind of anticipating the next slide, which is all about the, the third r revise.


That's right. So revise is, we're gonna go ahead and come up with another set of, uh, actions. But this time we're gonna be looking at, uh, things that I could have said that would be more similar to, uh, the behavior I want to be creating. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So I'm gonna, in this case, this is what Norbert has gone through and changed, uh, based on his previous example. So he, Phil, he wasn't curious enough and, uh, he wasn't transparent and he felt he had been triggered.


So, so let's try this one out, Jeffrey. Let's, let's see if this revision actually makes sense. We saw the earlier one where there were a lot of leading questions, a lot of things hidden on the left. Yeah. Uh, do you wanna be Norbert or should, uh, do you wanna be Quinn? Uh,


I'll be Quinn.


Sounds good. So Quinn, actually almost everybody, uh, Al already knows KVM, I mean, I can check with them to be sure. Do you think that's a good next step?


Well, it's certainly good to get the information, but don't let 'em think the choice has been made. Unfortunately, I can't leave business critical decisions like this up to the team.


Hmm. You know, that does, doesn't sit well with me because I think we need more autonomy, not less. Can we talk more about how we make decisions. So if you'll, uh, see there that although this isn't a perfect dialogue, it's got a lot more challenge and productive conflict than the first one in which Norbert more or less, uh, knuckled under to Quinn <laugh>. And Norbert's actually able to ask some questions that get him some more information that might let him, uh, change the situation. He might not be able to change the situation. Quinn might be unwilling to, to move, but Norbert will be sure about that rather than being, uh, uh, in the dark and thinking, uh, he already knows what Quinn thinks,


Right? And the, uh, uh, what we just walked through was actually a role play of the, uh, conversation. Now, uh, we were, uh, role playing it, uh, even though it's not ours, but when you say when, when you create your revised dialogue after you've scored it again, that's the repeat and you have a revision that you like, and then it's very helpful to go onto a dialogue, uh, with someone else. Because a lot of times I might write something down and be very happy with how it feels on the page, but when I say it out loud, I realize, you know what? I don't talk like that, that that doesn't work for me. I wouldn't actually speak that way. And so, uh, having that, uh, role play with someone else can be very helpful to say, okay, this is how I actually would, would, would get it across. And, uh, and it up with something very different. We also mentioned in the four Rs that sort of six four R was role reversal. So sometimes it's very good to have someone say something back to me, I can learn something different.


I was, I was trying that with a client the other day and it, it just didn't sound right back to that person. And so it's helpful always to hear it. And you say, that doesn't sound quite like what I meant. <laugh> again, you get that self distancing, it's being said to you so you feel about it. You can think about it and reason about it differently.


That that's right. Um, and, and that's it. Those are the, the four Rs. And what happens if you can start, uh, analyzing your conversations like this in producing different behavior, then there's very predictable demonstrable changes in what happens in particular. You get improved relationships, you get this improved trust and respect that we talked about. Improved trust and respect is really the, uh, uh, foundation. You need to start having better conversations, better collaboration, which really leads to better decisions and ultimately better leadership. Now as we said, this is simple but not certainly easy.


And you notice that these are things that we said that you would do. So the challenge we have to you is take that piece of paper in which you'd revised, um, your conversation and try out some of those techniques. Repeat the process, because if you don't make those changes, then if, if you make those changes, then what you should see is that others, um, behave differently toward you. So this is not a process that someone else does. This is a process that you do. And then the result is that you get these improvements. And if you don't believe us, you can go and try it. You just did it in this conversation, in this, uh, uh, uh, uh, talk. You actually, I hope actually wrote something down. And you have an opportunity to have a different conversation the next time. Does it work for you? Tell us. We are very interested


And you really have a chance to improve every day because every day you're having collaborations with people, you're having conversations. Uh, sometimes they're in meetings, sometimes they're one-on-one, sometimes they're uh, in email, sometimes they're in Slack. Uh, but you have multiple, uh, types of collaborations every single day. And you can always be using this as a learning opportunity to say, am I being transparent? Am I being curious? Am I behaving the way that I would expect people to behave when they're trying to collaborate and make good decisions? If you do the conversation analysis, you'll learn a lot more. You'll improve your own performance, your own behavior, and that will improve and change the behavior of the entire group.


Well, uh, uh, there's more material here in the slides, which I'm sure you can download. Um, you can, uh, look at, uh, the, the five conversations we talk about in the book, all of which we help you to, uh, address, uh, trust, fear, why commitment and accountability. So if you have problems with any of those, it's usually not hard to diagnose, but it's pretty darn hard to figure out what to do about it. And we give you steps just like the ones you just learned for addressing these issues. And here's my final and most challenging comment to you. If somebody says, you know, we just have too much fear around here. Nobody understands why we're doing this. Uh, nobody trusts us. Um, if you hear that, or if you find yourself saying that, challenge yourself first to try the techniques that we're describing, because, uh, what I don't wanna hear is the same as when people say, oh yeah, we have a lot of bugs, <laugh>. And some, somebody typically these days now 30 years ago, no one would say this, but these days somebody would say, have you tried tests? You know, I hear automated tests could help with that. So I'd sure like it if, uh, people who are uh, listening to us today think to themselves and for others, you know, have you tried doing a conversational analysis that just might help you with the fact that your team is afraid of its boss?