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As you can read in my previous question I have found myself in a bit of a tricky situation and my reputation has been slightly damaged by one of my developers.

Even though this has happened it might surprise you to know that I love working for this company. I love all my other developers, my manager and all my leadership peers.

So I don't want to give up just yet.

I just think I don't really have the tools, experience or plan how to improve my reputation and build rapport with people.

I am very good 1 on 1 but I am not the most charismatic of people when facilitating workshops.

Does anyone have and tips about what I can do to repair my reputation or perhaps resources or books?

Update: My current ideas:

  • Stay 100% within the expectations of my role according to my manager

  • Not be as direct and honest to everyone be more delicate

  • Be a ball of positivity and avoid being overly directive.

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  • You say you're "very good 1 on 1". Does that mean that the incident with the low performance developer happened in front of his teammates? To me, it sounds like you're confounding two separate issues. How would charisma repair your reputation? Also, I have the nagging feeling that you're not telling us the entire story. If the developer has low performance, and you just told him the truth privately, then you did nothing wrong (unless you're not telling us everything). And ergo, there should be no reputation to repair if your reputation was never really damaged in the first place. Jul 15 at 18:11
  • For Charisma, you could just join a toastmasters club. toastmasters.org/find-a-club But otherwise, for difficult conversations, you should just have them privately. Either that, or you should follow the process, and have HR present and present a PIP to the employee. Jul 15 at 18:20
  • Yes I did nothing wrong and my manager did not criticize what I said he just criticized the lack of closeness I have with some individuals on the team and said I must work on this. He never mentioned an issue with this guy that has damaged my reputation. I just heard this from other sources. He said the individual does not feel safe on the team but did not blame me.
    – user32613
    Jul 16 at 17:37
  • It is possible the situation is not as worse as I imagine. The individual did tell me he feels unsafe due to what I said and then started this campaign of telling everyone he is unsafe due to me.
    – user32613
    Jul 16 at 17:39
  • 2
    See this as a chance to improve your reputation. There are concerns from the developer your can address. Try to listen why someone might feel unsafe and try to change things which currently don't work. If someone tells you about this "campaign" tell them you want to improve the situation and ask them if they have ideas about what you could improve. This will show people you're interested in improving the situation and it will make them feel valued when you use their ideas and suggestions.
    – Falco
    Jul 17 at 10:38

3 Answers 3

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Talk with the team!

Your main job as a scrum master is to make the team more productive. As discussed in the other question, your company seems to have added more facets to the job. But you are there to help the team. If you do not have the authority to hire and fire, then your job is to make the most of the team you have.

  • Do you have formal or informal levels of seniority within the team? What do the senior developers think?
  • How are your daily scrums going? A painful ordeal where people recite ticket numbers and 'x percent finished,' or are you asking the key question 'what stops you from finishing?' and 'who could help you?'
  • Who does what in the team? You mentioned pairing, but do you have a culture of reviewing merge requests? If not, introducing them could be the single most important thing you can do for the team, and also to bring that developer along.
    Merge requests can go from junior to senior and from senior to junior, and a story is only done if a second developer can explain to the first developer why it works correctly. In the process, the code gets improved, because all developers make errors or forget edge cases, and developers get improved, either because they teach or because they learn.
  • What is the bus factor of your team? Management might want to retain even 'underperformers' because they increase the redundancy for some knowledge.
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Just keep acting professionally and within your role. It's not a popularity contest.

The drama of the moment is soon gone and forgotten. If you colleague continues making a big deal out of it, people will soon tire of him and start looking closely at his performance, because it would be unprofessional of him and there's no smoke without fire. They're probably already looking.

Be a ball of positivity

This is a VERY valuable skill (most people don't proactively strive for this) that is usually misinterpreted as a personality trait or a sign of someone who knows exactly what they're doing in the wider picture and can handle problems without flinching. So work on it and watch your problems dissipate on their own or be given their real importance.

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You said it:

  • Stay 100% within the expectations of my role according to my manager
  • Not be as direct and honest to everyone be more delicate
  • Be a ball of positivity and avoid being overly directive.

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