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With an open-mind, anything is possible. Even Scrum.
Photo credit by Unsplash/Artem Beliaikin

As a Scrum Master, I know that encouraging the development team, product owner, and organization in the  adoption of Scrum is anything but easy. It takes time (a lot of it) and patience.

And during that long journey, it's vitally important that the Scrum Master never stops improving. In fact, it's this commitment to continuous learning that helps me perform my responsibilities and enables my team to maximize the values of Scrum.

But in order to do this successfully, I have to remember to stay open-minded, no matter what.

Openness with Scrum Master

Why openness is needed for continuous learning

"Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve. -- John Wooden

When we were kids, we had no difficulty learning new things. It was easy to accept new information, just like a piece of white paper. But as we got older, we started to have a natural filter of sorts in our minds, which automatically judges the information we receive. The result? We became less open-minded by default.

But a closed mind will simply not work for a Scrum Master. It can stop you from looking for something's root cause because it's much easier to judge based on experience rather than actual data.

Most importantly, though, a Scrum Master needs to keep openness (and all the other Scrum values) living in the Scrum Team. The best way to lead is by example, after all. And without this openness, no one will be able to adapt and thrive within an uncertain and complex environment (which we all know modern software development to be!).

Keep yourself fresh! But also stay humble.

"The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize the less I know." -- Michel Legrand

Every time I catch myself judging instead of listening and observing, I know I am not open. But how do I get myself back on track? I remind myself of this: There's always something more to learn, and no one has all the answers.

I then remind the team of this, asking them to help keep me humble by stopping me in my tracks if I start to be less open. Admitting your mistakes is one of the best ways to build trust within a team, after all. More leaders should try it.