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Guide students in handling crucial conversations

These are life skills they will use forever

Student software teams have lots of challenges and they need to talk to each other in order to make it happen. Often this all goes smoothly, but that isn’t always the case. We need to prepare students for how to handle difficult conversations with team members.

I found the book Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., Switzler, A. (McGraw-Hill, Second Edition, 2011) extremely useful.

This felt like the perfect way to guide students in their difficult conversations with someone regularly turning up late, or not participating as they said they would. This would help them find their shared understanding so that everyone passes the course.

I turned this into a workshop and then tried it with students and also with developers and coaches at Play4Agile one year too, in order to validate my assumptions about the scenarios. All who’ve done it have found it useful.

You can download the PDF to use in your class.

This post is part of a project pulling together my materials and ideas about Teaching Team Collaboration: the Human-Side of Software Development for software development to students. If you’d like to be notified of future posts, then please sign up for more using the adjacent form.

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