Giving gracious space
I have just received another holiday gift. It's one of those that you give to yourself by giving to others. No, it's not volunteering in a soup kitchen or making costumes for the school play. It's something so quiet as to be imperceptible unless you are paying very close attention. It's the gift of giving gracious space. Giving. Gracious. Space. I was fortunate to witness the first rehearsal of a new play. The actors don't have a lot of time. Theater goers have bought tickets, a date just four weeks away marked on their calendars. And they are expecting quite a show.
The actors have spent considerable time individually preparing their characters, each of them now holding a vision of the play to come. Any one of them could bowl the others over with the force of their ideas and conclusions. But they don't. They give gracious space to one another because they trust that doing so will yield something greater than any one personal vision.
Giving gracious space - it is an active thing. You can see them practicing it with one another, especially because half of them have never worked together which makes it, perhaps, a little more apparent.
If actors under immense schedule pressure make time to give gracious space to one another, there is certainly something useful in the giving. With four weeks breathing down their necks, they would not waste even a moment on a frilly team building activity or making one another "feel" included just to be polite. This is a powerful thing - this giving gracious space.
What would it be like if people on Agile teams could give one another gracious space as a conscious, active practice? How much better might their products be? How much faster might they go? How much prouder might they become of what they create together? How much more satisfied might they be?
I think quite a bit.