BRAVING Trust in the New World

Navigating the challenges of the pandemic led to a number of changes in our work life, some good and some not-so-good. While we learned a great deal of empathy for each other and enjoyed greater flexibility, our teams also experienced more disconnectedness and even “quiet quitting.” Agile principles fall apart quickly in the absence of trust, so how do we balance empathy with accountability, ensuring each team member has what they need to be healthy mentally while also believing that they are truly doing their best work? One answer I’m exploring with my teams is to use Brene Brown’s idea of living BIG – with Boundaries, Integrity, and Generosity – and clearly setting expectations in our Team Agreements using her BRAVING acronym to guide a candid, meaningful conversation that builds trust amongst team members. (BRAVING = Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-Judgment, and Generosity)

My intended audience is Scrum Masters and Team Leaders who are responsible for team engagement and delivery. I will have materials to hand out that can help guide the teams in using this model in their teams (Values sheets, Suggestions for Activities to bring into their agile team practices to support each of the BRAVING attributes, etc.) but can run this as either a talk or a workshop. Attendees should walk away with a new mindset and practical applications for handling challenges in building trust in remote and hybrid environments.