It’s a powerful tool, and it’s a point of honor that a scrum master has no control, only influence, within a team. I prefer it that way, and I hope you do too. I recently reflected on how I conceptualize influence, and I realize that I operate in one of three contexts. Before I share those contexts, a caveat. Before my life as a scrum master, I was a Marine. I served as an intelligence operative and martial arts instructor for 10 of the most formative and adventurous years of my life. Even now, I still find myself using military language to explain my thoughts. In my opinion, it makes for a more vivid metaphor.
Frontal assault. When you know you won’t face much resistance, lay out your idea, explain what you’re looking to do, gain buy in, and execute. No subtlety is involved, and it’s usually the quickest method to implement an idea. However, use caution. Never let bias for your idea convince you that others will love it. If you conduct a frontal assault and find support is lacking, the losses can be substantial.
Rules of engagement: