s172 Do introverts really need help and protection from extroverts?

The silent thinkers are rightly highlighted and associated with impressive individual thinkers such as Albert Einstein, Steve Wozniak and Marc Zuckerberg. The editors Kerstin Bund and Marcus Rohwetter take up the lance for the silent thinkers and the introverted employees. With extensive research and a wealth of current and outdated data material, the “silent thinkers” are rightly highlighted.

Pressure with project deadlines belongs to classical methods. These methods in particular have missed the delivery promises and are now being replaced by agile methods. Sprints are fixed time boxes that give the agile team the framework to process stories on its own responsibility.

Agile methods protect against interruptions and intrusions so that everyone can concentrate on their task (single-tasked), exactly what the authors demand for the introvert. The regular ceremonies with fixed time boxes limit the interaction to a minimum and give the team the deserved appreciation in the review. I doubt introverts would feel like snails being dragged out of their house with agile events. Anyone who has ever experienced a sprint review in which the “silent thinkers” are appreciated for their work knows what a disservice the authors do to the introverts. Time-boxes allow silent thinkers to work on topics in private.

The size of 5 to 7 agile team members eliminates excessive group dynamics that take the dominance away from “busybodies”. The artificially spanned polarity between “madness of many” and creative individual thinkers neither limits one nor helps the other. The question of whether introverts need and want help is questionable. With agile methods, they would have someone as the Scrum-Master to give them space and defend them.

Image01 – So people get a chance to do well

The article is completely marginalized by the statement that a psychotherapist, who wants to remain unnamed, helps a company herself to become agile in a second job. An agile transformation of a corporation is a veritable change project that can neither be accomplished in a second job nor by a psychotherapist. An agile transformation requires competencies in change projects, a solid training as a Scrum Master as well as own project expertise. Agile coaches are rarely prepared for the task. Coaches with agile roots often lack the experience as managers responsible for a specific business area and managers as coaches lack the agile expertise to adequately integrate the challenges of that business area. Coaches who are characterized by the classic project manager approach try to create agile change with a traditional project approach. The agile methods are thus watered down and devalued.

I myself belonged to the “silent thinkers” and now rather to the extroverts who never gave up thinking. This article in “Die Zeit” devalues the agile collaboration that gives all people a chance to do well. We should all stand up for solutions that support “silent thinkers”, extroverts and all the types in between. This includes KiE-DecisionMaking, aligned to emotions(E), intuition(i) and cognition(K), the KiE trilogy and agile methods.

With KiE-DecisionMaking, everyone can speak at the same time in just a few seconds, and commonly supported decisions can be made safely and timely.

December 2019

Richard Graf (DecisionMaking, Emotionsforscher and Agile Transformation Coach)

Elsa Graf (Head of KiE-Marketing)



„Die neue Entscheidungskultur“, Richard Graf, Hanser Verlag 2018

Die Zeit No. 40 28. November 2019 „Introvertierte Menschen – Leiser, bitte!“ von Kerstin Bund und Marcus Rohwetter

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