Guest post: Mastering the sidle

About the Author: Jonathan Coleman is an Iteration Manager/Agile Project Manager at Suncorp. Jonathan’s journey has included many and varied roles, from large scale systems integration, to small in-house development projects, to BAU maintenance, to rolling out massive systems consolidation projects. Jonathan has worked as a consultant, for himself, and as a permanent staff member for large corporates.
Jonathan began to see the light in 2006 – when Agile and Scrum were introduced to him. He took some of these concepts into managing a small pseudo-IT team within the business, and really got it humming.
Jonathan is also an active and dedicated father, volunteers in coaching marriage and finance workshops, and runs a blog which addresses the deeper issues in life, love and child raising!



Have you ever noticed when you have a team conversation, and agreement seems to be reached?

Beware! There will be a sidle. Watch for it, be prepared for it. Don’t avoid it.

What is the sidle? The sidle is simply, one person who hangs back … the conversation after the conversation; the hallway conversation; the kitchen cup-o-tea conversation.

This is vitally important to realise, to prepare for as a leader. The sidle could indicate many things;

  • Perhaps the person is uncomfortable sharing their thought / question with everyone.
  • Perhaps there’s a hidden agenda.
  • There’s a question that wasn’t asked that is burning.
  • There’s a reliance on you as a leader to communicate – and you haven’t.

Whilst agreement seems to be reached in the meeting – it’s the conversation after the conversation that can make the difference. A wiser person than I mentioned that there would always be questions. Wait. If there’s none, wait some more. There will be questions in the room.

The sidle used to irritate me. I used to feel so frustrated, because in me there would be a sense of urgency. I felt like I had ‘dealt with the issue’ in the room – and it was now time to move on.

I’ve learned since – that this feeling is my feeling. If there is a sidle (and there usually is) then it is a good thing. I can help this person. I can encourage the person, help them with the question.

Given the sidle is time expensive – and we are in a world that tends to rush from meeting to meeting … How do you deal with the sidle?

11 Responses to Guest post: Mastering the sidle

  1. @justinhennessy November 30, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/3jmUblOE

  2. @Werner_Mo November 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/mhLo8vTO

  3. @scrumology November 22, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/vayg1NW9 #Scrum #Agile

  4. @AgileCarnival November 22, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/flmymSZ0 #Scrum #Agile

  5. Jon Coleman May 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Hi Malcom – Sorry I didn’t see this comment!

    I mention ‘mastering’ the sidle – in that I have now learned to leave space for the sidle at the end. To hang behind and listen.

    I wasn’t too specific in this post as to how I do this I admit, as all I put is the below:


    I’ve learned since – that this feeling is my feeling. If there is a sidle (and there usually is) then it is a good thing. I can help this person. I can encourage the person, help them with the question.

    Thanks for asking.

  6. mikenovi (@mikenovi) February 8, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    RT @boostnewmedia Mastering the sidle, quiet dissent or reservations in Agile process. | @Scrumology http://t.co/D8ZrxUcf #scrum #agile #pm

  7. (@boostnewmedia) (@boostnewmedia) February 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. | @Scrumology http://t.co/l3Z2kkuM #scrum #agile #pm

  8. Malcolm Anderson January 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Mastering the Sidle.

    Jonathan, I see you raising the question about how to handle a sidle and I’m missing the part where you explain how you handle them.

    I believe that this is a valuable subject as I have seen engagements go down in flames because the sidle was not recognized or managed.

    Have you discussed this subject elsewhere?

    Thanks

    Malcolm Anderson
    Scrum Coach / Agile Engineering Coach

  9. npelloux (@npelloux) January 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    RT @scrumology: Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/m3mUw62L #Scrum #Agile

  10. (@boostagile) (@boostagile) January 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. | @Scrumology http://t.co/JHLjsqmj #scrum #agile #pm

  11. (@scrumology) (@scrumology) January 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Guest post: Mastering the sidle. http://t.co/m3mUw62L #Scrum #Agile

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