Collaboration is essential for any project or program success, especially in Agile. Over the years, I have found one of the key ingredients for better collaboration is to first understand how I and others react to situations. When I am aware of how I best communicate and interact with others (along with my triggers), it keeps two-way conversations open and flowing. And it’s this openness that enables effective collaboration, leading to better innovation and results that our stakeholders can see.


In this high energy, interactive session, we’ll take a unique approach to collaboration by focusing in on awareness of how you and others react to situations. We’ll first talk briefly about communication and collaboration with a dash on self-assessments. From there, we’ll dive into approximating your DISC profile and what that means for collaboration. We’ll finish up applying the concepts learned, to help you not only create environments you and your colleagues can flourish in, but how to get challenges back on track as well.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

This is one of my most favorite workshops to facilitate. It’s highly interactive, eye-opening and informative for the attendees. This workshop has been presented in several formats, ranging from 60 mins to 90 mins, and tends to get very positive feedback.


This workshop runs in 3 “acts”, to keep the attendees engaged and learning, with each section building on each other.


There is an introductory exercise to get attendees comfortable and at ease with each other (little do the attendees know, but I’ll be referring back to this exercise later in the session!). There is a short talk (and exercise) about collaboration, followed by a short talk on assessments and why/how they can be helpful. Attendees, as individuals, then approximate their DISC profile, which highlights how people tend to react to situations. I then group all the D’s in one corner, the I’s in another, and S’s in another, and D’s in the last corner of the room. Once attendees are with their “like minded” folks, we then play 2 more exercises in both small groups and in pairs to drive home concepts of why knowing how you react not only will help you collaborate better, but your teams and organization as well.


The session takes on the following form:


Act I: Introduction & Collaboration

(0:00) Talk: Quick Introduction/Goals of Session

(0:03) Exercise: “Howdy Neighbor”

(0:13) Talk: What do we mean by good collaboration? Why is it important?

(0:20) Exercise & debrief: Collaboration do’s and don’ts (small groups)


Act II: Assessments & Learning about Collaboration Predispositions

(0:30) Talk: Why are assessments needed? Includes: General overview of assessments (Myers-Briggs, SDI, and what makes for a good assessment) and why this information is good for leaders (especially those striving towards servant leadership)

(0:35) Talk: Overview of the DISC model

(0:40) Exercise: Part 1 – approximate your DISC profile

(0:45) Exercise: Part 2 – get with your fellow D’s, I’s, S’s, C’s. Answer 2 questions.

(0:60) Debrief exercise parts 1 & 2, relate back to “Howdy Neighbor” exercise


Act III: Application

(0:70) Talk: Interacting with others. Natural tensions between various combinations of the “letters”

(0:75) Exercise & Debrief: Part 3 – Pair share. Applying concepts at your organization.

(0:85) Wrap up & final questions

(0:90) End of session


I’ve done this exercise with as few as 20ish at private clients up to 187 people in one room before (at PMI Global Congress 2015 in Orlando). It’s best in the 90 minute format, to give attendees some “ahah” moments and time to sink in before going to further exercises.

Learning Outcome

  1. Quick review of collaboration and its impact to success of your projects/programs
  2. Increased awareness of how you react to situations and how this impacts collaboration by approximating your DISC profile
  3. Recognizing patterns and needs of others in how they react to situations, so you can collaborate better within and across teams

Target Audience

Team Members, ScrumMasters, Product Owners, Managers


schedule Submitted 7 years ago

  • Gidion Peters

    Gidion Peters - Non-IT Agile and Scrum: Lessons Learned in Europe

    60 Mins

    Agile and Scrum are very promising when it comes to non-IT challenges. Many new disciplines, including marketeers, engineers and financials are discovering the potential of Scrum for the projects they are involved in.

    In Europe, specifically The Netherlands, I have trained, coached and consulted on Agile and Scrum adoption in both the private and public sector. In doing so, I made a number of adaptations to Scrum as used in software development, and learned a bunch of lessons along the way. That has led to a book full of non-IT best practices (2015, 4th edition, with a foreword by Jeff Sutherland), which I authored as part of a scrum team.

    In this talk, I will share cases and lessons from Europe on the application of scrum across the organization.