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An Exercise About Trust

09 Apr, 2008

An exercise for The Art of Agile Development's Trust practice.

'Retrospective Format' poster

Download this worksheet!

Trust can be a scary proposition. So often, we wait for the other party to make the first move--to show that he trusts us. He's doing the same thing, so we stand like teenagers on opposite sides of the dance floor, staring at the floor and shuffling our feet.

One of the key tools I use is empathy. What's it like to live the other person's life? What are they passionate about, and what worries them? What do they expect from you, and what do they need?

Typically, I try to figure these things out through casual conversation and interaction. For today's feature, however, I thought it would be interesting to provide an exercise for you and your teammates to try.

To follow this exercise, start by downloading and printing out one copy of the worksheet for each participant. Split into pairs, and take turns interviewing each other. (This works even better if you interview someone who has a different job than you.) Then come back as a group and share what you've learned.

After you've finished the exercise, talk as a group about how you want to apply what you've learned. How can you change the way you interact to make others' lives better? Follow through on your decisions.