SPA Conference session: Difficult Conversations Workshop

One-line description:deliberate practice through role play to improve handling difficult conversations
Session format: Workshop (150 mins) [read about the different session types]
Abstract:As we create value through software development we are immersed in technology and we work with people. Both are essential and inseparable. We constantly improve our technical skills to make sure we create bug-free software. We tend to expand less energy on debugging our relationships. Ultimately, the value we are able to deliver as software developers depends on how effective we are in working with our stakeholders. No software grows in isolation. In this workshop you'll be able to hone your skills of handling difficult conversations with deliberate practice through active role play to make sure that nothing stands between your technically perfect solutions and the needs of your customers.
Audience background:There are no prerequisites for this workshop, everyone is welcome. If you decide to come, I will be asking you to bring a short story of your own, personal experience with a difficult conversation. Honesty, open mind and focus on learning will be very helpful in getting the most of the workshop.
Benefits of participating:Get an opportunity to practice and experience some aspects of difficult conversations in a safe and friendly environment. Two takes on the two scenarios will allow experience how different approach and mindset in a conversation can lead to different outcome.
Materials provided:Scripts for the role-play exercises
Process:The heart of the workshop are 4 role-play exercises done in one or more small groups by the participants (depending on the numbers) and reflection
Detailed timetable:00:00 - 00:05 Why are we here?
00:05 - 00:20 Introduction - share our stories
00:20 - 00:35 Scenario 1 - take 1
00:35 - 00:40 Gather insights
00:40 - 00:50 Scenario 2 - take 1
00:50 - 00:55 Gather insights
00:55 - 01:10 Reflection - How did it go? What did we achieve?
01:10 - 01:20 Break
01:20 - 01:30 Scenario 1 - take 2
01:30 - 01:35 Gather insights
01:35 - 01:50 Prepare scenario 2
01:50 - 02:00 Play Scenario 2
02:00 - 02:05 Gather insights
02:05 - 02:20 Reflection - Was it different this time? What did we change?
02:20 - 02:30 Takeaways
Outputs:Our observations of the outcomes from the exercises.
Action points for the future.
History:XP Day London 2011 (1st Iteration)
XP Days Belenux 2011 (2nd Iteration)
1. Marcin Floryan
Energized Work / Emergn
2. Marc Johnson