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Ekaterina Barabash
Ekaterina Barabash

What is common between ‘agile’ methodologies and emotional intelligence (EQ)?

I address my thoughts to those who are in IT management for whom the terms such as quality of project implementation development and profitability indicators of the company are important.  And it is also addressed to business analysts whose daily routine is the process of communication with Customer.

A little about myself first.

The last 8 years I work as an IT business analyst and of course as any business analyst I’m like a ‘link’ between the world of Developers and world of Customers. It turns out, probably because of my personal qualities; I pay a great attention to the importance of building a healthy and trustful relationship with both team members and Customer.

After all, we are pleased to come to work and communicate with people who have a common goal with you and who understand you well.

Therefore, in addition to the necessary hard skills, I find soft skills very important.

Because of that I’ve come to studding the methods of development of emotional intelligence (the development of my emotional intelligence first!).

The more I was interested in the methods of evolution of emotional intelligence the more I was having the feeling that I had already heard about it and practiced it. I was just looking at it from a different side and different angle. Specifically, it is about practicing Agile methodologies. Of course, in reality each company, well, each team adapts the methodology to it’s realities, however one of the main principals of Agile methodologies is people!

People and interaction are more important than processes and tools.
 

For me personally it’s very important and valuable (hmm, I’m not sure whether this principle is as important for my IT colleagues as for me). Specifically, quality interaction with people and the development of these skills teach us methodologies for development of emotional intelligence as well.

In Agile for preliminary working with a new feature we use User Story, that consist of:

As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>.

I.e. <the user role(name)> <goal> <reason>.

For development of emotional intelligence and communication with other people we are taught to use the following formulation:

‘I feel…, because of…, and I would like…’

I.e. <name of emotion> <reason> <goal>.

It turns out that by increasing our emotional intelligence we learn to think clearly and structurally, call things by their proper names, understand and pronounce the final goal.

Using Agile methodologies and emotional intelligence in work, we learn to create good cooperation and understanding with colleagues and Customers.

Did you notice the word of business is very unstable and started changing very fast comparing to the world we witnessed just about 15 years ago. And now the continuous changes in business are an unspoken norm.

 Well, this is a problem of business, you’ll probably think…

But after all, we as Executors should satisfy the needs of business, help to make the Customer's business more profitable, because they pay us and their success is our success too.

This especially applies to Product Development and it's super important here!

What conclusion does one suggest? Executor takes responsibility to follow the changes brought up by Customer.

It’s like a tango dance where partners move synchronically.

Synchronization of business and IT cannot be done without quality emotional interaction. It is a very important factor allows us to respond quickly to changes, helps to understand needs and demands, gives the ability to be flexible, allows to anticipate changes in Customers business. If interaction is not established properly it takes longer time to understand and therefor we loose development time, it brings a delay in release, loss of reputation and sense of further development in general. 

I think, that the new format of communication such as interaction, should be integrated as obligatory part of corporation communication and interaction with Customer.

What does it mean emotional interaction? Do we really understand when it appears and how to establish it?

Obviously it appears in everyday life when people talk about common stuff, without formalities, without any roles and ranks, just everyday topics. 

 

What is needed to build human relation?

 

  1. Eye contact. We should see the person. The scientists have proven that the human brain reads 80% of non-verbal information. The modern technologies provide us with a variety of possibilities.
  2. Physical presence. When you are in the same room it’s much easier to communicate and exchange thoughts. It’s even easier to establish a better contact with a person who communication did not work out with initially due to certain reasons. 
  3. Introduction of regular mandatory coffee meetings, lunch, whatsoever, where people mostly talk about there life and interests rather than work. Here we are all just human beings, not a part of the IT world or business. We appear to have common interests and problems. Please note, I don’t mean a friendship, I talk about creating a good understanding between people. When it comes to work, the base of relationship created this way helps in discussing complex topics and solving problems.

 

	I’m sure this list of how to build human relations can be extended by experts in emotional intelligence and psychologists.
 
It’s very important for me what do you think? How do you create a productive relationship with Customers?  
I would be grateful for any comments and reviews.
This entry was published on Nov 10, 2018 / Ekaterina Barabash. Posted in Requirements Management and Communication (BABOK KA). Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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