Many years ago a friend told me about an experience he had facilitating the ball point game for a team.   For some reason he   decided to start tossing the balls at the team instead of having them start the game.  Obviously the team wasn’t ready….they….ahem, dropped the balls if you will…and then he told me something amazing happened.

The Scrum Master stood up, held his hands up, stood between the facilitator and the team and yelled STOP!

Clearly the Scrum Master wasn’t going to put up with this nonsense.

So why do so many teams put up with this nonsense at their workplace?

Today I spoke with a friend who said he felt he had just been threatened to get a project out the door by X date or “it’s his ass”.  This in an environment where project priorities have changed daily over the last couple of months, where people have been moved between projects multiple times and in some cases, a person may be the only person working on a multi-month project.  By himself.  Half the time.  Perhaps he was exaggerating about the “it’s your ass” part, but I’ll take him at his word.  Perception is often reality.

A couple of weeks ago it was anti-bullying week in Toronto.  My kids’ school had an anti-bullying rally and of course, it’s all the rage nowadays.  We have to stop kids from bullying!  My 8 year recently stood up against a couple of 12 year olds at the park because they were acting like jerks and they threatened to blow up his house.   We found out who the kids were and went to their school and reported them to the principal who dealt with the situation.

Bullying is part of life and finely engrained in our society and it isn’t going to stop in our organizations until people like our resident Scrum Master I mentioned earlier react the same way on a real project as he did on that simulation.