It's not a "management" problem

It's not a "management" problem

I keep hearing of the widespread "problems with management" from inside agilist communities.

From Twitter and meet-ups to conferences and in-person, even inside training courses.

Talking about some complex scenarios typically followed by choruses of:

"Management changed priorities."
"Management doesn't listen".
"Management is too slow."

Management? Management!

Agilists claim to be in favor of trusting one another. We say we should believe everyone is trying to do the best job possible.

Yet here we are, laying blame.
Even assuming the failure is intentional and willful.

We also claim to support constructive feedback. And still, we rarely give feedback that is more than judgment.

A world of tools and certificates won't help us if we can't work together to improve.

We can't do this without trust.

Suppose we want our leaders to trust us.
We have to be willing to return the favor.

Check your base assumptions.
Remind yourself everyone is trying to do their best, even your managers.

When giving feedback, aim to be helpful, truthful, and kind.
When you can't be at least two, rethink your approach.

PS: The best way to build influence with your leadership is to have some empathy for their role. It's not easy, and it often gets lonely at the top.

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