Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. This is probably the most used word you'll hear from agilists. It sits right at the core of agile principles. How do we reconcile this with the fact that 30% of the population is introverted?

There has been extensive research around introversion that can help us understand this apparent contradiction better. This talk will explore the complexities of introversion, from the distinction between shyness and introversion to the complexities of pseudo-extroverts and "high active" babies. 

Finally, what can we learn from companies like Menlo Innovations and Hunter Industries, where they have high collaborative environments with introverts that say they would not work any other way.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

This talk will explore my own journey to understand introversion from my time as a manger of a team of self-reported introverts, to reading the book Quiet. 

As I read the book Quiet, I began a journey of self-evaluation. My initial reaction to the book was to feel extremely defensive, because it painted a view of extroverts that was bleak. 

As I continued to read I found that the different between extroversion and introversion is more complex than a linear scale. My talk with explore the MANY dimensions of this relationship as revealed in the various studies in Quiet.

Finally, I will explore Menlo Innovations (Enforced pair-programming, no earbud policy) and Hunter Industries (pioneers of Mob Programming) where I have interviewed people who work at both. I will explore the unique culture in these workplaces that have allowed introverts to thrive in an apparant contradiction.

Throughout the talk I will help people explore their own preferences through audience participation as I explore the various dimensions of introversion.

Learning Outcome

- Understand the complex dimensions of introversion

- Learn about your own preferences and gain insights into those you work with

- How start building a highly collaborative culture that is inclusive to introverts

Target Audience

Anyone who wants to understand more about introverts or themselves

schedule Submitted 7 months ago

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  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  6 months ago
    reply Reply

    This sounds like a relevant topic. I agree there are many misgivings about toe so-called "introverts", especially in today's open offices with the work area being transformed into an arena, and we expect everyone to participate in hi-energy rituals - clearly, not everyone wants to be part of it. Do you have any blog or a presentation on this that helps us understand some of the ideas that you plan to discuss?

    • Chris Edwards
      By Chris Edwards  ~  6 months ago
      reply Reply

      This is the first time I have spoken on the topic. I can expand a bit more with some of the areas I plan to delve into. A big focus will be exploring the different dimensions of Introversion to help reveal that it is more complex than a on dimensional introvert/extervert scale. Along the way I'll help the audience better understand where themselves.

      Some of these dimensions:

      - High reactive vs low reactive - Research has shown that babies that have a higher sensitivity to stimuli are more likely to be introverted. An experiment that shows this was as follows: Each person had to perform a simple activity (sorting cards) while wearing headphones. They were allowed to modify how loud it is. Introverts tended to put the volume lower than extroverts. Both teams performed equally well. When they forced the introverts to perform the task with the headphones at the volume of the extroverts they performed worse. Conclusion? People have a different level of stimuli they work optimially with

      - Psuedo-extroverts - People who displayed introverted tendencies early on, but learned to display the behaviours of extroverts. 

      - The difference between shyness and introversion. One scale is about how outgoing you are, and the other is how much energy you get while being around others.

       

      In the second part I will explore the challenges of introversion in agile. In particular I will explore two different companies: Menlo Innovations and Hunter Industries.

      Here is some source material that I will be using for this:

      https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.agilealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Mob_Programming_for-the-Introverted.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwj2js6BkInQAhVC1oMKHX8JDPcQFggbMAA&usg=AFQjCNHxsL7qXbErvf9wZrbTpUKb8YFEtA&sig2=irwWl9kiQ0VdwFNPvC3bnA

      I have spoken with the author of this paper and I plan on exploring some of the things he's said and what is unique about Hunter. In particulatr, the different ways that he finds it challenging to work in this environment, however it is the supportive nature, sense of safety, and loyalty to his teammates that make it such a great place to work for him.

      Menlo is another environment where they have introverted individuals who work 100% pair programming. I spoke to Rich Sheridan about this and he had an introverted individual say he has never worked in such a supportive environment. I plan on setting up an interview with this person to explore this a bit more and to bring this experience into the talk.

      I'm happy to expand on any of this if you need more clarity.

      Regards,

      Chris 


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