Why should a ScrumMaster be a Master of Learning?

Listening to the product.  Communicating in daily stand-ups.  Solving the problem.  They all have one thing in common.  Learning.  Every time we share information, it is learning.

When the Scrum teams listen to products, they listen through their own learning perspective.  They have preferences in how they consume information.  This is their learning style. During daily stand-ups, demos, and retrospectives, Scrum teams dialog and listen to each other; they process knowledge individually and uniquely.  This is their learning style.  As teams strive to problem solve, all learning preferences converge as they seek resolution.

When a ScrumMaster can master the knowledge of learning styles and preferences, he can more effectively nurture his team to their best performance.  ScrumMasters can seek team members to complement each other in their learning styles.  Conflict can be managed through awareness of thought patterns.  Effective and efficient questioning pathways can be sought in sprint planning meetings and product demos.

leading quadThere are four distinct learning styles as differentiated  by the Learning Type Measure (LTM) designed by 4MAT.  4MAT has simply, but elegantly, plotted the learning preferences on a grid of four quadrants.


If you are a One, you prefer to take in knowledge through experiences.  How you feel about the knowledge is important on your learning path. Once you have taken it all in, Ones will reflect, and especially enjoy reflective dialog in small groups.  Most important to you is the question “Why?”  Why is this meaningful to me?  Why should I care about this?

If you are a Two, you share that reflective strand, but would rather be surrounded by facts and expert thinking than experiences.  “What?” is your driving question. Twos are the data driven, quiet team members.  You think carefully before sharing an idea.  You want to know what.  What are the facts and what do the experts say?

Threes, like Twos, want to know what credible experts believe. Then, you like to  test the theories for yourself before you buy into it. Threes will tinker with and explore the ideas.   Threes will not believe until they can prove it to themselves.  They ask “how?”  How does this work in the real world?

Threes and Fours are both doers in their learning.  They literally want to get their hands on it.  However, Fours circle back and share the desire for experience with the Ones.  Fours ask, “What if?”  What if, I adapt the expert way and make it my own?  Fours will jump in and learn as they go.

As a ScrumMaster, if you could master awareness of your team’s learning style, think of the benefits.  Diverse learning styles on teams would raise sharper questioning paths about the product. They would spark each other to greater problem solutions.  Team conflict would no longer be seen as personal, but rather as style differences.  Daily stand-ups, demos and retrospectives would be charged with creative tension, always pushing bigger and better thoughts.

Doesn’t that sound like a well formed team?

Learn more about well formed teams with our new course from 3Back, 4MAT for Scrum Teams.