Five ways to build trust as a Scrum Master

How many of you have worked with someone you simply didnt trust? How did this impact your work?

  • Were you less likely to work hard for them?
  • Were you less likely to share news with them?
  • Were you more likely to complain about them?

If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you can see what trust is important in the workplace.

Even more so, trust is vital during agile projects. Projects can ill afford to have employees not motivated to do their best for their teammates. Likewise, they can ill afford to have team members in the dark to potentially important information.

Scrum Masters do not often arrive on a project with the trust of the team in place. You have to earn it. Sounds good, but how do you earn trust. Below are a few tips to help you gain the trust of the team.

  1. Tell the truth – sounds simple, but is often easier said than done. Tell the team the truth even when it hurts you. The team needs to know that they can believe what they are told. You are the primary source of information for the team and they need to know that they are hearing accurate information.
  2. Fulfill your obligations – when you say you are going to do something, do it! You expect the team to do this, so you better be prepared to live up to this standard yourself. This applies to the huge tasks (pushing back on requirements, gathering new resources) as it does to the small and mundane tasks.
  3. Be available – don’t hide from your team. If the team knows where they can find you, they know that you will be there to help them and the project succeed.
  4. Don’t hog the glory – everyone likes to be praised, but make sure you let your team be the ones to be praised. Since you are the one often speaking to the stakeholders (and bosses), make sure that you make it clear that the team did the heavy lifting. This will cause the team to get the recognition and they will respect you for not trying to take the credit.
  5. Be good at what you do – most people think that trust is only your attitude,but it also ties into your aptitude. If the team is to trust you as the scrum master, they need to believe in your ability to perform the job.

Practice these five steps at all times. If you do, your team will trust you more and your projects are more likely to succeed.

Please share other tips you have to build trust with the team.

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