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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.

Feb 18, 2022

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by three of his colleagues Alba Uribe, Quincy Jordan, and Justin Thatil. In today’s episode, they are exploring the concept of vulnerability as it is introduced by Brené Brown and its meaning for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches who are seeking to foster a safe environment where vulnerability is welcomed and celebrated.


Key Takeaways

  • What is vulnerability?
    • According to Brené Brown, vulnerability is the emotional experience during times of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
    • Vulnerability is related to having courage regardless of the circumstances.
  • There are different phases of vulnerability: on an individual and a collective level.
    • You succeed and fail as a team; it is not about each person’s performance but the collective execution.
    • Teams need to trust and work together as a unit, as a collective.
  • What techniques can a Scrum Master use when having a new team and trying to create some of the safety that can host vulnerability?
    • A Scrum Master should first show and model vulnerability and then ask the team what they need in order to feel safe.
    • To establish safety.
    • To open up to team members about the importance of fostering vulnerability.
    • A team has to be aware of the responsibility implied in fostering a safe environment where vulnerability can take place.
  • Human connection is the catalyst to establish vulnerability.
  • Myths about vulnerability:
    • Vulnerability is disclosure: There have to be boundaries to what you share; vulnerability shows that there is trust and safety about what is appropriate to share at the right moment.
    • Vulnerability is weakness.
  • Techniques to encourage vulnerability:
    • Intentionally expose your troubles for others to see that you are willing to be transparent; vulnerability is contagious.
    • Establish what is OK in the team setting.


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav

Positive Intelligence

Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours, by Shirzad Chamine


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