Four Steps to Coach Your Teams Low Performers

As a Scrum Master, having a coaching conversation with your team’s low performer can be really hard, especially when you are the first to reveal that things aren’t going well. You’ll need your communication skills.

Here is a four-step preparation strategy that you can use to handle such conversations.

Items required: Pen & Notebook (you can’t just wing it)

1) Write your opening statement

Ask yourself, “What exactly is going on?”

Are they:

Not keeping up with the Sprint Goal REPEATEDLY, Late in important meetings or Failing to collaborate with other team members

Be specific

2) Write the impact on others

Something like, “I am concerned about the impact to the team and everyone else who’re relying on us to keep things on track”

AVOID, “You’re causing others to miss their commitments as well”. Don’t use blaming language (no matter how true it sounds)

3) Check if they agree with your assessment. Their reaction will depend upon how well you deliver the 2nd step

4) Brainstorm (with them) next steps

Assure them that it’s not too late to turn the ship around. Discuss ways to improve moving forward

Having a strategy will help you feel organized, prepared and ready to coach for improvement.

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