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How do you engage developers who share their thoughts in a card during retro but wont speak at all.

Not all the developers but two of them to be precise.

7 comments

Ask them a specific question: Hey so and so, what do you think of this card? Do you agree with this? What other ideas do you have?

Like # people like this

Thanks @Jenna, the funny thing is that they suggest great input but when I follow up they kind of crawl back.

What @Robert Wen said, it about one on ones and understanding them. We all have to grow our skills, even introverts, but you want to help them do it not force them to do it. Ask them how you can help them speak up in meetings.

Like Robert Wen likes this

Have you tried not using cards and just doing a round? 

Like Summer.Hogan likes this

That is my next Idea but don't want to be pushy because they are really Introvert everyone knows that. Thanks, Wouter

Try doing an activity that makes it easy for them to start talking before the retro starts to get people talking, such as ask them to post a picture of their favorite place and then have them tell you why they chose that place. You can do the same for favorite movie/tv show, what their first job was or what their favorite programming language is, or what their favorite food is. The opportunities are endless. This is a great article that has lots of other suggestions: https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/get-quiet-teams-talking-agile-retrospectives/

Like Wouter Bruinings likes this

Awesome Summer, this really helps, thanks

Like Summer.Hogan likes this
Robert Wen Community Leader May 04, 2022

Hello, @Ijeoma Fredrick ! Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

First off, I'd say let them keep giving feedback via cards.

You may want to have a one-on-one to find out the "why".  Are they naturally introverted?  Is it a cultural reason?

If they tell you the why, work with them so they continue to provide their thoughts.  Don't force them to do something they don't want.

Like Summer.Hogan likes this

Great @robert am actually doing that, they are extremely introverts. Thanks

Like Robert Wen likes this

I will say the first thing first is to set the stage, you can set the stage by throwing in an icebreaker. This helps you to lighting the mood and ensure the voice of everyone in the team is heard.

Like Summer.Hogan likes this

Yes Toyosi thanks, also wanted to make the team lead during daily standup but this guys are really not the talking type.

Hi @Ijeoma Fredrick 

One facilitation technique that can help with that symptom is 1-2-4-All, where after individual brainstorming, transition to pairs, allowing people to share ideas with a single person and improve them...perhaps even selecting a reduced set to share out.  For larger groups, the pairs can merge to quads and repeat...until all gather to debrief and share the ideas.

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That's really smart. Do you have more resources on facilitation techniques?

Hi @Jenna Price 

In my opinion, context is key on techniques...What am I trying to do (e.g. present, train, facilitate, coach, mentor, etc.) and what am I trying to accomplish (e.g. ideate, observe, persuade, plan, problem solve, etc.)  I can recommend lots of sources and choosing what to pull in from the "toolbox" is a case by case thing.

Here are some books and online sources:

  • The Workshop Book: from Individual Creativity to Group Action, by R. Brian Stanfield
  • The Art of Focused Conversation, by R. Brian Stanfield
  • Coaching Agile Teams, by Lyssa Adkins
  • Agile Coaching, by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley
  • Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
  • Project Retrospectives, by Norman Kerth
  • Innovation Games, by Luke Hohmann
  • The Systems Thinking Playbook, by Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis Meadows
  • Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders, by Jean Tabaka
  • Liftoff, by Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies
  • Many of the books on Lean problem solving methods
  • The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures, by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, also at https://www.liberatingstructures.com/
  • Atlassian's versions of many of these ideas on their Team Playbook site: https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook
  • Many free retro technique sites

 

Kind regards,
Bill

Like # people like this

Appreciate this list. Thank you so much for taking the time.

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