Knowledge Bank
Knowledge Bank


31.08.20 08:59 PM By Michael


Fostering openness and trust during the pandemic

2020 has been a year of disruption and many of us are already looking forward to starting fresh in 2021. Every workplace on the planet has been affected by the pandemic and New Zealand continues to fare better than most.  We’re curious about how teams are coping.  Lockdowns are shunting our workplaces and many are finding out how good (or bad) their remote working facilities are and it’s typically the people that feel the brunt of adapting their work patterns. 

People tend to internalise stress during sustained crises like COVID19 and very often lack the language needed to help them deal with the immediate challenges and longer-term effects.  It turns out, teams that are open about their internal state tend to foster more trust than teams who don’t and more trust equals better performance.   

If you’re worried about openness in your teams, try using a ‘Check-in’ protocol (first introduced by McArthy

Here’s how it works: 

At the beginning of a key team session, ask each team member to ‘check-in’ to the meeting by declaring how they’re feeling at that moment.  Each person takes a turn to share things on their minds that they are:

  • Glad, Sad or Mad about...
  • Grateful for…or
  • Afraid of...

Encourage the team to listen carefully without engaging or responding to what's being shared.   When that person is done they usually say: “I’m in” signalling that they are fully checked-in to the conversation, engaged and ready to participate. 

It usually takes about 5 to 8 minutes for a team to fully check-in and the mode shift is usually palpable.  

In our experience the benefits are:

  • Individuals tend to feel acknowledged and are more likely to engage in the meeting.
  • This type of transparency fosters tolerance and understanding 
  • Sets a productive tone to meetings improving the quality of the time invested

Give it a try at your next session and let us know how it went

Surge is growing

Surge Welcomes a new partner...

“In the desert, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.“

African Proverb

A specialist in accelerated delivery practices such as Agile, Scrum and Lean. Colart is also heavily involved in the local startup ecosystem. Alongside pursuing his passion for helping kiwi organisations to speed up innovation and build a more sophisticated ecosystem, he also grows an amazing moustache.

Colart has an executive MBA from Massey University and is a qualified ScrumMaster and product owner.

Surge Welcomes a new Transformation Coach

“Sometimes it's the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination. “


Tim has a long history in project management and SAFe transformations. A registered scaled agile practitioner to engage leaders on agility transformations and certified coaching.

A certified SPC, Prince2, ScrumMaster and SAFe trainer


Business Agility Foundations (ICP-BAF)

This course is for leaders looking to drive successful strategic outcomes and agile leaders looking to expand their horizons outside of I.T. What is Business Agility and how can it help customers and I be more aligned.

SAFe Scrum Master

Attendees discover how to build high performing Agile teams by becoming a servant leader and coach, and how to coach those teams to deliver the maximum business value at scale.

Something for your toolkit

Choosing between Agile and Lean requires an understanding of the problem you are looking to solve.

Agile Delivery comes from the Agile Manifesto and focuses on four key values.

Scrum is an iterative delivery framework that was adapted to I.T from product delivery, now is heading back.

Let’s have coffee

Enjoy a coffee on us while you explain your vision for the future and let us help point you in the right direction.


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