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What else have I learned? I realized that a CSM course is a foundation. Click here to view upcoming CollabNet Scrum training courses near you. Agile negotiation: Earlier this year I was having a conversation with my good friend Emily who runs a consultancy to teach people and organizations how to negotiate skillfully and how to have difficult conversations that sometimes get brushed under the rug. She was working with a client who was using Scrum and was interested in finding out more about the framework.

During our conversation, I thought to myself that the work she does would be amazingly helpful to agilists. Thankfully, Emily agreed, and we started discussing how we could work together to bring value based negotiation to the Scrum world. Anytime you attempt to influence or persuade someone you are negotiating.

According to that definition, everyone negotiates constantly. We negotiate with our colleagues, managers, spouses, children, and friends. Positional negotiation may work well for one time sales think of buying a car , but has no place in your Scrum team or agile organization.


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Successfully implementing agile requires a mastery of many skills. And you think through that future for the individual, for others, and for the organization.

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In using this style, you often base your strategy on appeals to the other person's emotions. You try to kindle excitement about a better future which the other person may value for himself, for others, or for the organization.

You draw them into the discussion to such a degree that, in the end, they want what you want because they helped to develop it. In using mutual participation, you let others know that you value their contribution. You don't push a point of view, but draw out the other person. You don't rush decisions, but you let the other person know that there is plenty of time to explore one another's views. Properly applied, this style builds real commitment to decisions.

One caution: You can't use this style successfully unless you have some flexibility in your position. Say I try to influence you using this style.

The top 20 most influential Agile people

You make a suggestion, and I can't or won't accommodate you. You're not going to feel like you are a partner in developing the idea, so my effort at using the style won't work. Two Examples Two examples from my own experience illustrate the styles. They will, I hope, convince you that using the influence styles to tailor your argument to the person is useful. Some years ago, a colleague and I were briefing the president of our college. We were trying to sell him on the idea of organizing a management development center to provide management consulting services in our region, which was expanding with many new businesses.

We presented all the facts: the opportunities for workshops and other services, the costs of such services, and what it would mean to the college in terms of profits. By nature he was a common vision person. We finally persuaded him with this argument: "When we get this center operating, we'll have our business faculty in the boardrooms of many local businesses.

People will recognize that faculty members who can do a good job with their senior managers must be doing a great job with students at the college. The argument might not have been effective with another person, but our analysis of his personality indicated that he was a common vision person. And it worked! In our college, as at most others, faculty members undergo tenure review. At the six-year point in service, they must put together a history of their service, including evidence of scholarship, which is then reviewed by an elected body of their peers.

That group decides, on the basis of the evidence, whether the faculty member should be tenured. Failure to get a favorable recommendation means you must leave the college. Best Tip Use mutual participation when you need to build trust and commitment.

5 Strategies for Influencing Others in the Workplace

Let others know you value their contributions. When I was chair of the business department, some of my faculty, who did a good deal of consulting, asked me to get a letter from our provost stating that, for business faculty, consulting work could be considered as scholarship for tenure purposes. The provost initially balked at the idea, saying that business faculty had to adhere to exactly the same rules as all other faculty. As I talked to him about the virtues of my faculty he softenedand finally said: "OK, you draft the letter you want me to send you, and I'll consider it.

But over a period of a month he and I passed this letter back and forth, negotiating its various provisions. It finally got signed. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but the provost had moved far in our direction. This was a good example of the use of mutual participation. In the end we both believed in that letter because we both had a hand in developing it.


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Actually, I suspect that most of the time you will do what I do: forget all about the theory and just wing it! That's reasonable, most of the time. However, my advice is this: When you have a really tough opponent, a difficult issue to resolve, and you care a lot about the outcome, use the influence strategies outlined here. They'll give you an edge. The next chapter provides a specific, step-by-step process to assist you in sharpening that edge.

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Try it before resorting to harder lines. Prepare a detailed plan to meet one on one. Use others to help you as necessary. Keep track of who is with you and against you. Appeal to others' values, emotions, and hopes for the future. Suggest working together to develop mutually satisfactory solutions. The Agile Manager continued. The best argument, in my mind, is that it costs us 10 percent more than our two top competitors to make and market the main product line.

One thing I don't know, though, is just where to cut. But what about the others? All this can't come out of my budget. I'm working on them. Cut costs or close the plant? Come on the choice is clear. Derived from the influence process activities and styles described in the last chapter, these questions represent a tool for planning a successful encounter. First, I'll list and explain the questions. Then I'll give you a chance to apply the tool in two real-life cases.

Whom Do I Want to Influence? This may seem like a trivial question, but influence efforts often fail because we don't put enough thought into developing a complete list of all the individuals we need to contact to achieve our objective. In this first step, make that list, including any intermediaries with whom you must deal.

How to Influence Leaders

You can stumble if you neglect this step. Some people may feel it is important that you deal with them prior to carrying your message to others. Some people may be favorably impressed by hearing the reactions of those you approached earlier.

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Some people are smart or have particular expertise or experience you could use. Approach them first. They will help you refine your arguments. What Do I Want to Happen? Here you need to get specific. What do you want to happen at the first meeting with this individual?