Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Aug 5, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Jim Beale and Gerardo de la Fuente to follow up on a conversation started in a previous episode where the constitution of a high-performing team was addressed and its direct relation with following the Scrum Values.


In this episode, Jim, Gerardo, and Dan explore the importance of trust, and how it can only be encouraged by the presence and exercise of the Scrum Values in a Team.


Key Takeaways

  • What does the Scrum Guide say about trust?
    • Trust is just an outcome of living the Scrum Values that are reflected on the Team.
    • When someone starts working with a Team, it starts as a stranger, and what helps build that trust is not only sharing the Scrum Values but also being an example by practicing them.
  • How can a Scrum Master help to build trust in a Team?
    • Have one-to-one sessions with each Team member, holding an open conversation about themselves and how they feel about the work.
    • Building trust requires time and consistency.
    • A Scrum Master must be honest in admitting when he had failed to follow the Scrum Values.
  • How to overcome the first dysfunction of a Team?
    • Absence of trust is the first dysfunction to address, none of the other four (inattention to results, avoidance of accountability, lack of commitment, fear of conflict) can be managed until trust is recovered.
  • Examples of the absence of trust:
    • A Team member avoids sharing an issue as a consequence of fearing being judged.
    • When there isn’t trust, a lot of personal conflict arises in Team meetings.
    • Backchannel conversations appear often as a result of a lack of trust.
    • People take feedback in a personal way.
  • Other tactics to encourage trust-building in a Team:
    • Motivate people to be open and to make questions.
    • A Scrum Master needs to be willing to share that he does not know everything.
    • Avoid asking people why did they do something, which tends to create defensiveness, and instead be curious about what they found interesting in the decision they made.
    • Ice breakers help build trust.
    • Share the prime directive in the retrospectives.
    • Assume everyone is doing their best possible in the situation at hand, this is a way to avoid being judgmental.
    • What is celebrated is repeated, so taking the time to highlight when Scrum Values are practiced is a good way of promoting them even more.
    • Opening the cameras when meeting virtually.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Listen to “What Does a High-Performing Scrum Team Look Like?” with Erica Menendez and Justin Thatil

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition, by Lisa Adkins

Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions to Common Scrum Problems, by Ryan Ripley 

Scrum Mastery: Agile Leadership to Take Your Team’s Performance From Good to Great, by Jeff Cohn


Want to Learn More or Get in Touch?

Visit the website and catch up with all the episodes on!

Email your thoughts or suggestions to or Tweet @AgileThought using #AgileThoughtPodcast!