• Naz

Am I Reaching Anyone?

I’d like to find a way to ‘bottle’ (capture) the feeling you have after a really good day at work. Anything to reassure you, ‘what you are doing, you are doing well. keep going’. Until then, I suggest we all bask in; the worthwhile moments, ‘a-ha!’ gleams, unexpected comments of gratitude, and DiY Mother’s Day gifts.

…What? The last one didn’t resonate with you? Well, allow me to share how my 2019, paper, flower bouquet convinced me, my efforts truly have the power to impact tomorrow’s world!

In a recent past, I had the pleasure of collaborating with an inspiring group of Scrum Trainers and learned I was an ‘Evangelist’ Agile Coach. I accepted the labeling because I agree, my goal in life is to work with anyone who will listen and find ways to improve their relationships, families, work-life etc. Agile principles, and specifically, Scrum Values are part of my everyday walk, talk and most consistently, help make up my parenting style. My husband and three kids have been meeting in front of a ScrumBan board for over six years. We prioritize and plan vacations, purchases, chores, meals, playdates…etc. We’ve experienced success as a team by benefiting from developed trust and respect: difficult choices have been discussed by equally weighed voices and resulted in supported decisions. We’ve experienced success amongst our peers: neighbors, friends, and extended family become interested in our practice when they hear us handle conflict.

For example, our kids say: -“that’s not in the Sprint” to identify scope creep (i.e., unplanned yard work) -“fist to five” to quickly poll their confidence on how feasible a request is (like when a neighbor asks, “Do you all think you can go the pool AND be ready for the movie by 5pm?” my kids will turn to each other and ‘fist to five’ to start the conversation) -or my favorite, ‘put it on the backlog’ which means, “I hear you, I’m interested, but I need more information”, (in short, it’s not happening today).

Our friends’ curiosity grows because they say, ‘it works’. Potential fits and fights are de-escalated, and no one ends up losing their technology 😉. I, of course, take full advantage of the interest we create and share Scrum with as many families as possible. Face it, there are more interesting things to fight about instead of the common, ‘did you make your bed’ or ‘no, we are not spending that much on shoes’.

I’ve had success as an Agile Coach; Personal wins away from work Coaching professionals and seeing them thrive in new ways Achieving Agile certifications and Experiencing financial growth, have definitely been satisfying… But Mother’s Day 2019, brought me an unexpected sign of value and impact. My youngest son, a 10 year-old, self-proclaimed Product Owner, made a paper, flower bouquet at school. Each flower had a reason explaining why he loves his mom. Things like, ‘I love my mom because she takes care of me when I’m sick” and ‘My favorite thing to do with my mom is Chill’. The ‘chill’ answer by the way is another big win. Having a better balance between chores and ‘fun stuff’ has been a clear Sprint Goal for us. Our Retrospectives trended in ‘too much housework/cleaning’ as an area needing improvement.

But the BEST flower… the one I can only imagine, would bring confusion and even offend the everyday mom, filled me with amazement and pride. Easily, it proved to be the pinnacle of my home Coaching career. ‘My mom makes me laugh when she… Fails’ WHAT?!?!??!?! Was it working? Was it actually sinking in?!

I realize, in his everyday life, Zade knows, failure is not just accepted, it’s expected. If he’s not failing, he’s probably not having as much fun as he could or should. He’s probably not trying hard enough. If failing is going to happen anyway, let’s ‘hurry it up’. Fail Fast, ‘just try it’. Fail UP, ‘ask questions and take your best guess’… SO many conversations, so many examples, so MUCH MODELING 😉 and he got it.

So, in support of my ‘changing tomorrow’s world’ claim, raising kids to be respectful and courageous; students, neighbors, spouses, parents, co-workers, bosses, etc. These kids will accept your future attempts, listen to your guesses, lead with less fear, and be curious, asking about the unimaginable. All who cross paths with them will experience their contagious leadership. Sharing this gift and experiencing the change is why I show up every day and twice on Sunday.

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